Expansion project in Middlebury placed on hold
ELKHART COUNTY —
Expansion plans for a Middlebury RV maker are on hold at the moment.
The Elkhart County Council put that agreement on hold to allow both sides to work out details.
The $8.6 million plan would add more jobs. But where would those workers come from?
Four of seven Elkhart County Council members met Monday morning. Their goal-- to give a final say for the Winnebago expansion project in Middlebury.
It would go up on property across from Winnebago’s current plant off of County Road 14.
Because of some concerns, however, the council tabled the motion.
“There were some loose ends here that really needed to be tied together. Before that we were willing to give a tax abatement and a final approval on any kind of agreement,” said Council Vice President, Dave Hess.
He says ultimately, the Elkhart County Council is in favor of the expansion but wants to make sure all of the T’s are crossed and I's dotted with any agreements, to make this happen.
“I think we all felt that we needed to get a little more comfortable with some of these issues,” Hess said.
“The town of Middlebury would be definitely excited about the process of Winnebago expanding. We just need to make sure that the infrastructure is there to support those expansions,” said Middlebury Town Manager, Mary Cripe.
County Commissioner Mike Yoder favors the project but wonders where workers will come from because of the county's low unemployment rate.
“And it’s not just an Elkhart County problem. I am hearing from other communities that it’s really hard to find employees, so it’s really tough for companies nowadays to offer, you know, to get some sort of inventive because we are adding jobs,” said Yoder.
The Elkhart County Council meets next on Saturday, April 14.
The hope is any differences will be ironed out and final approval can be given for the expansion project.