Firm looking to build locally

HANCOCK COUNTY — A Connecticut-based corporation is looking at Hancock County as the site for a facility that would bring scores of jobs to the area, provided the county is willing to approve a six-figure tax break.

Stanley Access Technologies, an automatic door manufacturer that is part of the Stanley Black & Decker network, is considering a site on County Road 400N near Mount Comfort for the new facility.

Sealing a deal with the company could land the county 64 jobs with an average wage of $19 per hour, said Skip Kuker, executive director of Hancock County Economic Development Council.

Representatives from the company are working with Kuker to work out details for a $125,000 tax break, which would reduce Stanley’s tax requirements over a 10-year period.

The Hancock County Council expects to approve the agreement in August, council President Bill Bolander said.

The promise of a tax break doesn’t mean the deal for the company to locate here is set in stone, Kuker said, as the company also is considering sites outside Hancock County.

Local officials feel enthusiastic about the possibility of a new business and are hopeful the tax incentives will sway Stanley to make Hancock County its home.

Such agreements are a win-win for both the county and the company, Bolander said.

“It’s not really like you’re writing a check out of your pocket,” he said. “It’s money you won’t collect but you probably wouldn’t have collected it anyway had (the company) not been there.”

The agreement calls for Stanley Access Technologies to pay about $85,000 in taxes over the course of its first 10 years.

Kuker hopes that, by the time the council meets next month, Stanley Access Technologies will have confirmed its plans to locate in Hancock County.

The economic development council has yet to release full details of the deal because of the ongoing negotiations, Kuker said.

The council weighs a variety of factors when putting together an incentives package for companies to consider. The number of jobs, estimated wages, how much space the building needs and what the company specializes in are all elements the council takes into account, Kuker said.

But economic development, no matter how large, is good for a community, he said.

The entire county benefits when a new business sets up shop here, county council member John Jessup said.

“Anytime we can bring good-paying jobs to the county, not just for the well-being of our residents but everybody who works for Hancock County and pays taxes here, (it) helps the bottom line,” he said.

Hancock County is an attractive place to locate, given its proximity to Interstate 70 and Indianapolis, he said. And the county is tax-friendly, he added.

The council might be willing to consider further incentives to secure the deal, if needed, Jessup said.

“We’re always open to discussion,” he said. “We have to be careful. If you share your hand and what you’re willing to do, then you get companies that bounce back and forth between places to try to get the sweetest deal.”

Kuker said development in Hancock County is going well, and another business will add to that success.

Last year, his office received nearly 100 requests for information from companies looking for a community to settle in.

“It’s good to have this kind of activity,” he said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or