Monday night at its regular meeting, the Greensburg Common Council unanimously re-elected Darrell Poling as its president for 2013.
Per state law, the council also named the Daily News and the Greensburg Times as its publications of record for 2013.
In other appointments, David Lease was named as the Council’s representative to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, while Christy Miller was named to take Rick Emsweller’s place on the Lily Foundation Committee.
Emsweller, who announced his retirement from the Greensburg Fire Department last year, was forced to step down from Lily due to a recent surgery and its accompanying rehabilitation.
The Council also granted four tax abatements to Greensburg’s Valeo Engine Cooling, three of them for five years and one for six.
Valeo representative Mike Mlecsko provided figures to the Council regarding the economic impact of the four abatements.
According to Mlecsko, the abatements will generate more than $15 million dollars in investments and 209 jobs over five years, translating into more than $12 million in salary.
Also on Monday night, Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Executive Director Marc Coplon requested funding from the Council for the EDC’s revolving loan fund.
Currently, Coplon told the Council, the fund has outstanding loans to five area businesses: High Point Orchards, Mesco Manufacturing, WTRE Radio, Tower Testing and Tutoring Service, and Asher Trucking. All of those loans are current.
Earlier Monday morning, Coplon had received $25,000 for the fund from the Decatur County Commissioners.
After the meeting, Coplon told the Daily News that “potential job creation is our number one consideration in granting these loans.”
Additionally, to date, about 60 percent of applicants for loans through the fund have been approved, Coplon added.
In allocating money to the EDC loan fund, Councilman Glen Tebbe asked Mayor Gary Herbert about the city’s own revolving loan fund.
Specifically, the councilman requested a complete list of current outstanding loans through the fund. His hope, he said, is to possibly allocate those repayments to help fund Coplon’s request.
Herbert agreed to procure such a list for Tebbe.
GFD Fire Chief Scott Chasteen told the Council the department had recently purchased a thermal imaging camera through the Leona Hahn Trust.
That camera, Chasteen explained, helps firefighters see through smoke in real-time at an emergency scene, thereby helping save lives and, to less importance, limit property damage in certain instances.
Chasteen stressed that the GFD will fill the vacancy left by retiring firefighter Rick Emsweller internally.
“We won’t be hiring externally for that position, but we’ll be promoting from within,” Chasteen said.
Chasteen also thanked Greensburg’s water utility for assisting with the city’s recently-improved ISO rating, which is used by insurance companies to determine coverage rates for fire-related policies.
“[Improving the rating] was a team effort,” Chasteen said. “We hope that an improved ISO rating will also help spur economic development.”
The Council will hold a public special session at 7 p.m., Jan. 21 at City Hall, while its next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Feb. 4, at City Hall.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.