Highland Township recently approved a new district to aid manufacturing businesses that want to expand or others looking to relocate to the area.

A public hearing on an industrial development district was held during the January 10th board meeting. The board later approved a resolution as amended to establish the district. State law allows for the establishment of special districts to incentivize manufacturing activity and job creation.

Properties included within the district can then apply for exemption from certain taxes, if they can demonstrate that they will create jobs and foster economic development. However, only manufacturing and certain “high-tech” industries are eligible for such tax relief. Hometown Life reports board members commented the move could spur new development and help maximize use of the industrial area, while others agreed but emphasized a need to be cautious when it comes to granting potential abatements. Midwest Glass Fabricators is among those said to be interested in expanding and applying for an abatement.

The creation of the district doesn’t automatically grant anything, as companies must still go through an application process that involves the state. The newly created district includes all of the industrial and technology-research zoned parcels along the Milford Road corridor, which totals 61 from roughly M-59 to Wardlow Road. (JM)