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Millcraft reconsiders Washington County base

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Millcraft Industries is reconsidering its future in Washington because city council denied a request to extend tax-increment financing of an $18 million building it owns downtown, a company official said on Friday.

Millcraft COO Lucas Piatt said the extension would have lowered the company's costs on the seven-story Crossroads Center on Beau Street and helped attract new tenants.

“We're very disappointed, and we have to sit back and reflect and decide what the near- and long-term future of Millcraft is here in the city of Washington,” he said.

Washington Council members rejected the five-year extension to 2024 in a vote on Thursday.

Matthew Staniszewski said he supported the extension because money generated by the financing plan is paying debt on a public parking garage owned by the city.

Tax-increment financing permits government borrowing for such public infrastructure as roads and, in this case, a parking garage, and uses increased property-tax revenue created by accompanying development to pay off the debt.

Millcraft built Crossroads Center six years ago for $18 million. The building was expected to spur downtown development.

Piatt said the company sought the extension to offset the loss of a major tenant who abandoned the building after filing bankruptcy. Washington County and the Washington School District approved the TIF extension, according to Staniszewski.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

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