MUNSTER | The Redevelopment Commission has formally rejected a request from Munster Steel for additional incentives related to the company's future move to Hammond.
Munster Steel owner Ron Robbins asked the commission on Dec. 30 for between $300,000 and $400,000 to help pay for the move to equipment to the new plant.
The commission told him then that language in a financing agreement specifically states, "In no event shall the Town Parties be required to contribute any amounts to the relocation, construction and equipping of the new Munster Steel Co. facility."
The commission discussed incentives again Thursday night and rejected any requests for help.
Town Manager Thomas DeGiulio said Munster is already paying about $6.2 million for construction costs that he said will help Munster Steel inhabit a new state-of-the art facility in Hammond.
DeGiulio said Munster Steel also wanted money for moving expenses.
No one from Munster Steel was present at Thursday's Special Redevelopment Commission meeting.
"They were asking for $300,000, and some of that was for shutdown costs and everything else and the council felt that they should have asked for that upfront," DeGiulio said.
Prior to the vote, DeGiulio recommended that if the the council were to consider any additional incentives, it should narrow the request to moving expenses only.
Councilman Joseph Simonetto made a motion to deny any added incentives.
"I see no reason why we should step up to the table for an additional $300,000 at this point," Simonetto said.
No council member voiced opposition on the issue.
DeGiulio said Munster Steel should be ready to start moving into its new location by July or August.
Founded in 1958 by Ron Robbin's father, O.C. Robbins, the Musnter Steel site at 9505 Calumet Ave. will become part of Centennial Village. This planned unit development of residential and commercial units is one element in the underpass/overpass grade separation project at Calumet Avenue and 45th Street.
Prior to the Redevelopment Commission meeting, a Special Town Council Meeting was held at which officers were elected for 2014.
John Reed, an attorney and 1989 Munster High School graduate, was the only person nominated for Town Council president. He was elected without opposition and replaces Simonetto in that position.
Reed was also elected as president of the Redevelopment Commission. Council members John Edington and Andy Koultourides were elected vice president and secretary, respectively.
The Redevelopment Commission is comprised of the five Town Council members and one Munster School Board member who will serve in a non-voting capacity.