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Agreement In Lieu Of Annexation Planned For City Of Bloomington And Cook Group Inc.
Updated September 29, 2017 6:58 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The City of Bloomington (City) and Cook Group, Inc. (Cook) have agreed to enter into an "Agreement in Lieu of Annexation" pending final approval of the agreement by the City of Bloomington Common Council on October 18.

The agreement would obligate Cook to pay, in lieu of taxes, a minimum of $100,000 per year, for a total of $1.5 million over the life of the agreement, in exchange for the City agreeing not to annex Cook properties located outside city limits.

The agreement would take effect in 2017 and last for 15 years, as permitted by state statute. The annual payment will increase if Cook fails to meet certain prescribed goals for financial investment and increased employment in Monroe County. All payments received from Cook would be deposited into the City's General Fund.

Indiana Code ยง36-4-3-21 permits a municipality to enter into an Agreement in Lieu of Annexation with a property owner who might otherwise be annexed. The City entered into Agreements in Lieu of Annexation in the past with a group of local industries, including Cook in 1979. The agreement was modified in 1987, 2002, and 1997. The 1997 Agreement in Lieu of Annexation eventually expired in December 2012.

"Bloomington and Monroe County residents are thrilled with Cook's recent announcement that they will continue investing in this community, adding hundreds of jobs, redeveloping a significant property at the former GE site, and developing the local workforce through a variety of innovative training opportunities. With this agreement in place, Cook will have the security of knowing what its tax obligation will be going forward, which we hope will make the financial planning of both the City and Cook easier and more predictable. This is good for Bloomington and good for Cook," commented Mayor John Hamilton.

Cook Group is a family-owned, global company with headquarters in Bloomington. Since it's founding in 1963, Cook has become a cornerstone of the local and regional economy. Cook announced last week that it expects to purchase the former GE Appliances plant on Curry Pike by the end of 2017 in order to expand its operations and grow employment by over 500 jobs in the next 10 years. This move represents a planned local investment of more than $100 million dollars, and the proposed Agreement in Lieu of Annexation is a significant factor in Cook's willingness to continue to invest in Bloomington's community.

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