“There are always people inquiring” about vacant buildings and land for industrial or commercial development, President Bill Schirmer, Brookville, told the rest of the Franklin County Economic Development Commission Feb. 18. “Most specs don’t fit” what the county has to offer. “There is a lot of time” involved in dealing with interested owners, he admitted.
Vice President Mike Martino, Brookville, said, “I think we need two (industrial) sites in the county.” When asked where they are, he answered Golden Road to the north, and between Brookville and Cedar Grove to the south.
Utilities infrastructure needs to be improved, according to the president, who spoke with Sycamore Gas Co., Greendale, officials about installing a line to an empty Golden Road site so it can be more shovel ready. He also met with Franklin County Water Association, Brookville, leaders about installing a line south of Brookville along U.S. 52.
Schirmer added, “The Batesville area is another great site,” but most attractive property is within city limits and part of a Tax Increment Financing district.
Most of the meeting was spent discussing the camelback steel truss Cedar Grove Bridge, reportedly one of three remaining in Indiana, which will turn 100 in October. Indiana Department of Transportation officials closed the bridge to traffic a few years ago and have plans to get rid of it.
Instead, a 20-member Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge formed in the hopes of restoring the vintage structure.
According to a letter that Gary Schlueter, Metamora, Friends of Cedar Grove Bridge president, presented to FCEDC, “We have over 200 names of Cedar Grove residents in favor of saving ... (the) bridge. We had been holding monthly meetings for almost three years. Our last meeting was in December. Our next one will be in March. We’ve held a road rally fundraiser and plan more public awareness activity this summer.”