To help land a new welding company, the city of Marion is looking at amending an ordinance from 1977 to add Lenfesty Avenue to the city’s list of truck routes.

The amended ordinance would allow box and semi trucks to use Lenfesty Avenue to deliver and receive products from Wike Welding.

Though Principal Nick Wike previously said there hadn’t been much talk about seeking a tax abatement from the city, Grant County Economic Growth Council Executive Director Tim Eckerle said the council could expect to see an abatement request soon.

Eckerle said the abatement would help “offset the fact that Indiana is one of the few states that taxes manufacturing equipment.”

The council also discussed two proposed land annexation ordinances.

One is for a proposed $15 million project that would annex nearly 15 acres into city limits just west of the city’s boundary on Ninth Street. The project could facilitate an industrial hemp processing facility that would be 24 acres in total as long as the annexation gets approved. Jay Berry, one of the project partners, helped bring Central Indiana Ethanol to Marion. The other partner is Mike Bartram.

This week, city attorney Tom Hunt requested that the annexation ordinance be passed on its second and final reading rather than on third reading.

The board voted to suspend the rules and pass the ordinance, but ultimately realized the rules cannot be suspended for annexation ordinances.

The board had to vote to amend their original motion, meaning the ordinance will be placed back on the council’s agenda for a third reading.

At a January meeting, Bartram told the Chronicle-Tribune that the development team isn’t set on Marion as its final location yet and said he could not disclose other locations under consideration. He previously said a non-disclosure agreement limits the details he can share publicly.

The council also voted on an annexation ordinance for a property on Adams Street, which is a proposed project to build a senior living facility near the entrance to Indiana Wesleyan University. That ordinance passed its second reading and will get a final reading at an upcoming meeting.

The nearly $40 million proposed project could total approximately seven acres of land and be a mixed-use, mixed-income facility with 80 assisted-living apartments, 27 independent-living apartments and 32 memory-care units, totaling 139 units according to Paul Ezekiel Turner, a representative from Vista Investment Holdings.

In other business, the council also reappointed Chris Oliver to Marion’s Economic Development Commission and tabled the public hearing on an ordinance to establish a deputy mayor position.

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