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Officials from Timpte Inc. weren’t ready to provide details last month regarding a multi-million investment in the company’s plant on the north side of David City, but the city is expecting to get some more information in the near future.

“We’re piling up a lot of dirt,” Jeff Thompson told the David City Council recently. “But we’re not really building anything right now.”

The company’s executive vice president for manufacturing and engineering did tell the council members that Timpte would not be seeking tax increment financing (TIF) for the expansion project at the plant, located west of Highway 15 behind the old Pizza Hut building.

Company legal counsel, Thompson said, advised there was no tax advantage to seeking the financing method with changes that came early this year with the passage of President Donald Trump’s overhaul of corporate taxes.

State law restricts how tax-increment financing can be used and limits the option to areas declared blighted and substandard by a local city council. That rule would come into play for a developer targeting an open field or farmland for a residential project.

Thompson told the council members the city may be interested in seeking TIF for public infrastructure projects, such as road improvements, which may be needed to help solve a traffic bottleneck at the Timpte plant during shift changes.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation is planning a traffic study in the area, he said.

In Columbus, TIF was used as an economic incentive for Hobby Lobby, Slumberland, Ramada-Columbus, Hy-Vee and the Village Centre strip mall.

In 2017, Timpte officials went to the council to update members on a major retooling of the nearly 300,000 square-foot shop floor.

The change, The Banner-Press reported last year, required input from the management, engineers and production workers. The goal: Improve the plant’s productivity while also finding a better flow-through and working environment for employees.

Those who have watched Timpte for its 38 years in David City have seen the plant grow from producing a few trailers a week to 26 in a 10-hour work shift. The company estimates that there are between 42,000 and 47,000 Timpte trailers on the road.

Jim Osborn is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at jim.osborn@lee.net.

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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