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Briefs

SDI earns tax break on project

State and Whitley County officials have approved more than $1.2 million in tax breaks on Steel Dynamics Inc.’s planned $27 million investment at its Columbia City operation.

The project, announced Nov. 27, is expected to create 40 new jobs by 2016.

Whitley officials on Tuesday approved tax abatements on property and equipment that will save the Fort Wayne-based steelmaker about $750,000.

Don Amber, chairman of the Whitley County commissioners, commended the employer.

“Our local leaders will continue to work proactively to encourage the investment of companies like SDI in our community,” he said in a written statement.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered the company up to $500,000 in tax credits that can be used only if Steel Dynamics meets its job creation goals.

The investment will allow Steel Dynamics to manufacture 320-foot-long rails, as compared to the 80-foot rails made by the company’s domestic competitors.

Longer rails require fewer welds per mile, which reduces costs and the chances of weld-related problems for railroads.

Whitley firm shares big defense contract

Erapsco Inc. has been awarded a $71.1 million contract for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday evening.

The company will make 83,500 sonobuoy sensors that detect, classify and locate other countries’ submarines during combat and peacetime operations. The order exercises an option from a previously announced contract. The work is expected to be completed by January 2015.

Erapsco is a 50-50 partnership between Undersea Sensor Systems Inc. of Columbia City and Sparton Electronics Inc. of DeLeon Springs, Fla. The contract calls for 59 percent of the work to be done in Columbia City and the rest in DeLeon Springs.

Home prices rise by most in 6 years

A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market.

Core Logic also said Tuesday that prices declined 0.2 percent in October from September, the second drop after six straight monthly increases.

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