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Martinrea plans $6.1 million investment

One of few automotive parts plants operating at full speed across the country these days, the ICON Metal Forming Plant in Corydon is running three shifts daily and expanding to the tune of $6.1 million.
The Harrison County Council gave the go-ahead to that news last week with a 10-year declining property tax abatement.
‘Things are going well,’ said Sean Callahan, general manager at ICON since December. ‘Our company is growing. We’re adding jobs here; we’re seeking diversity.’
To that end, Martinrea, ICON’s parent company, plans to add $6.1 million in new equipment at the Corydon plant, formerly known as Lobdell Emery and later, Oxford Automotive.
Martinrea, the Canadian-based company that took over the bankrupt Oxford automotive plant in Corydon, was given a $3 million tax abatement in April 2005, for new equipment.
Callahan recently told the council that the company plans to diversify its product by contracting with non-automotive customers. ‘By 2011, we should have jobs that hopefully will solidify us in the community for years to come.
‘It’s an exciting time for our company,’ he said, adding that the latest investment will add about 140 jobs at the plant.
Council chair Gary Davis told Callahan: ‘We’re certainly glad to have a successful auto parts plant in our community.’
The council unanimously approved a resolution granting the tax abatement at its Oct. 10 meeting.
The council also approved $175,000 in riverboat revenue for Corydon and the South Harrison water systems to interconnect systems so each could use the other in emergencies.
Bruce Cunningham, director of the South Harrison Water Corp., along with Corydon Town Council President Fred Cammack and Corydon Trustee Charlie Lynch, brought up the idea early in September before the Harrison County Board of Commissioners.
The interconnection is expected to supply up to a million gallons of water per day from one system to the other in case of an extended water emergency at either water district.
Councilman Ralph Sherman’s motion, seconded by Councilman Carl (Buck) Mathes, passed 5-0-1, with Kenneth Saulman abstaining (he serves on the South Harrison Water Corp. board).
In other matters, the council also unanimously approved $90,000 for additional legal expenses involved with the Pittman murder trial; a second defendant, John Naylor, is expected to go to trial at the end of this year or early in 2007. The allocation is expected to cover the costs of his legal defense.