Co-Line’s expansion approved as 15-year Mahaska County TIF area

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors approved adding Co-Line Welding, Inc. into a 15-year tax increment financing (TIF) area during the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The board received positive comments regarding the county’s proposal to enter into a development agreement with The Welder’s Shield, LLC, and Co-Line.

“Mahaska County Development Group (MCDG) supports this development agreement because of what a strong employer they are in the county. We are really fortunate to have them here in Mahaska County,” MCDG Director Andrew Jensen told the board. “This shows that you, as supervisors, want to help our businesses expand.”

Part of the Urban Renewal Plan, the agreement will obligate The Welder’s Shield, LLC, to construct a 120,000-square-foot addition to Co-Line’s existing manufacturing facility and complete related manufacturing process improve-ments, according to the board’s June 15 minutes.

“Construction of the addition and related improvements is to be completed in 2016. It is further anticipated that the development agreement will obligate the tenant to utilize the manufacturing facility, Co-Line Welding, Inc., to retain and create manufacturing-related jobs,” said the minutes from earlier this year. “It is anticipated that the expansion and related improvements will allow Co-Line Welding, Inc. to create approximately 15 jobs over several years.”

In exchange for meeting these obligations and other terms and conditions, the development agreement would allow The Welder’s Shield, LLC, to become eligible for economic development grants in the form of tax increment rebates not exceeding $800,000-$1,200,000 from Mahaska County.

“We have a lot of people in the county that work out there, and I’m glad that they are doing it. I think it’s a good use of tax increment financing (TIF), and I look forward to continuing relationships,” said Supervisor Mike Vander Molen.

On behalf of the Brand family, owners of Co-Line and The Welder’s Shield, Faye Brand said, “We are grateful for the support Mahaska County has given us in the past and continues to give us for our future expansions. Our continued business growth would not be possible without the support of Mahaska County, Pella Cooperative Electric, USDA, and Iowa Area Development Group.”

The TIF ordinance is a public method that is used as a subsidy for community improvement projects including redevelopment. Through the use of TIF, counties can dedicate future tax revenues to a particular business or toward a community improvement project.

After discussion, board members approved the resolution to authorize execution of the development agreement, which an audience member called a “demonstration of the [supervisors'] commitment” to the county.

(Portions of this article by Danielle Lunsford of “The Oskaloosa Herald,” used with permission.)