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Tipton County won't stop work at Chrysler plant over permits

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Local officials say they won't make Chrysler stop work at an unfinished transmission factory in central Indiana while they sort out building permits for the project.

Tipton County planning director Steve Edson says halting construction work would harm Chrysler's plans for completing the massive factory near Tipton that German auto parts maker Getrag started building in 2007.

According to the Kokomo Tribune, three residents have appealed Edson's decision to extend without public notice the building permit originally given to Getrag, which stopped construction at the factory in 2008. Getrag paid about $21,000 for the one-year permits. Chrysler assumed the expired permits in June without paying a fee.

Edson said he made an administrative decision to extend the fee to ensure a smooth transition. 

The Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals said the issue could be resolved if Chrysler filed for a new permit and paid the fee. A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for Dec. 16.

Chrysler said it is spending $162 million to finish the 781,000-square-foot factory and plans for it to have 850 workers.

The plant, which is about a half-hour south of the company’s transmission plants in Kokomo, never has been occupied. Chrysler partnered with Getrag to build the plant, which had been expected to employ 1,200 and make dual-clutch transmissions. But that partnership unraveled the next year, halting construction of the plant.

After Getrag abandoned plans for the plant, Colorado-based solar panel maker Abound Solar received a $400 million federal loan guarantee in 2010 to launch operations in the facility. But the company filed for bankruptcy liquidation earlier this year, scuttling the plan.



 

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