On Monday, BioEnergy Development President Robert Swain updated the council on the company's progress in beginning operations and the reason for requesting the modification.
"With the economy in bad shape the past couple years and tough times with lending institutions, we are currently in the process of financial due diligence," Swain said. "In addition, we are still in the process of clearing up mineral rights and title issues."
In October 2009, the council approved final action on a pair of tax abatement applications -- which included the Abatement Calculation ("clawback") Agreement -- for the company. But with the delays, Swain said there was a need to request an extension on the agreement's terms in order to achieve compliance.
"We have obtained a Title 5 Air Permit from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and were able to complete the transfer of one parcel a couple weeks ago," Swain said. "We are hoping to complete the transfer on the other parcel soon so we can finally break ground sometime in the Spring."
With the information provided, the council approved the extension of the deadline to comply with the agreement's terms one year to Dec. 31, 2012.
Council President Mike McCullough emphasized a major reason the extension was granted is due to the fact the company has not yet benefited from the tax abatements.
"No taxes have been abated yet because there has not been a complete transfer of the property," he said. "The county has not lost any tax revenue because of delay."
Clay County Redevelopment Commission Attorney Lou Britton having the agreements in place is a major positive for the council.
"This process is another example of the benefits Abatement Calculation Agreements provide," he said. "They help keep you in touch with the companies and aware of what is going on."
In other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Council:
* Approved final action on a seven-year personal property tax abatement for PDF, Inc.,
* Approved, with suspended rules, a salary ordinance which sets the compensation for all county employees in 2011,
* Accepted additional appropriation requests of $2,130 in the Auditor's Fund for clerical purposes, a total of $12,500 in the Cumulative Capital Development Fund for asbestos removal at the old jail, along with paint and plaster repair at the Clay County Courthouse, and a total of $24,414 in the Drug Free Community Fund to allow the dispersal of collected funds, and
* Made appointments to the Redevelopment Commission, Clay County Personnel Committee, Alcohol Beverage Commission, Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and West Central Indiana Economic Development District.
The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.