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Designation could attract new industry
TELL CITY - Members of the Perry County Redevelopment Commission agreed at a meeting March 19 to provide a letter supporting a Perry County Development Corp. request to designate part of one of the county's industrial parks a "shovel-ready site."
Approximately 90 acres at the Perry County Industrial Park South, "ground the redevelopment commission currently owns," according to PCDC President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kinnett, are described in a 22-page application the letter will accompany.
Attorney Chris Goffinet noted the redevelopment commission also owns infrastructure at the park, the site of ATTC Manufacturing off of Indiana 37 northeast of Tell City.
The area for which the shovel-ready designation is being sought is shown on the development corporation's Web site, www.pickperry.com/sites.html, as two nearly square areas slightly larger than 40 acres each, and another 15-acre section, all west of ATTC.
Southwestern-Indiana sites carrying the designation exist only in Harrison, Vanderburgh and Washington counties, according to a map on the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Web site, www.in.gov/ iedc.
Goals of the state's Shovel Ready Program, according to information posted there, are to expedite the location and permitting processes for business development, help local communities identify and prepare sites for economic development, and identify and fast-track state, federal and local permit applications necessary for each site.
Kinnett said Wednesday he's concentrating on the 90-acre area because it's the largest available, and it makes sense to direct his resources toward it. He may file applications for other areas later, he said.
"We have to show where infrastructure such as water and fiber-optic lines exist," he told the commission, explaining that with the information, "people can invest their dollars and get started right away."
Businesses considering new facilities know issues such as soil testing and Environmental Protection Agency concerns have already been addressed at sites given shovel-ready status, he said.
"This is what we were supposed to be doing all along, redevelopment-commission member John Oberhausen said before offering a motion to provide the letter of support.
In other business, the commission granted Goffinet permission to advertise for sale approximately five acres of land ATTC is using for retaining ponds. The property has an electric-lines easement over it, "so it's useless for development," the lawyer said. Liability is a concern, he added before explaining the property would be advertised as for sale only to a tenant of the industrial park.
"Who'd be interested in buying it, besides ATTC?" Oberhausen asked.
"No one," Goffinet replied. "ATTC will buy it because they understand they're using it. As a redevelopment commission, you won't get fair market value for it, but you're selling it for redevelopment purposes."
Oberhausen asked what percentage of the land's market value they could expect to get.
"If they give us $1, we're out of the liability," County Commissioner Jody Fortwendel answered. He and other county officials attended the redevelopment-commission meeting to discuss repairs to the county-courthouse roof. The News reported on that issue Monday.
The investment ATTC has already made in the land should be considered part of the price they pay for the five acres, Kinnett said. The auto-parts machining company began operations in 2001 at the former Perfect Fit pillows-manufacturing site, has undergone several expansions and boosted its employee total from an initial projection of 41 to the current 420.
The company announced in May it planned to add another 79,000 square feet to its facilities and hire 90 more workers over three years.