Since no one expressed opposition during a public meeting Sept. 12 to the construction of a shell building on city property, Batesville Economic Development Commission members are moving forward with the project.
“Location and a timeline seem to be the biggest questions,” said BEDC President Andy Saner Sept. 20.
The structure will be built either at the Batesville Commerce Center, located at Lammers Pike and Commerce Drive, or Batesville Industrial Park at Lammers Pike and Merkel Road.
“Regardless of what we do, are we still working on upgrading Merkel Road?” member Dennis Harmeyer wondered.
Saner believes, “Merkel Road is something that needs to be done regardless of where the shell building goes.”
The estimated cost for the project is $767,000. Ripley County commissioners said they would contribute $100,000 if the city would take over the county road’s maintenance.
Member Dale Meyer asked if state funding was available. Consultant Vicki Kellerman revealed, “Not unless we have a specific project and can guarantee a certain amount of jobs.”
Meyer commented, “If we’re considering the new (industrial) park for the shell building, I think you need the road (to be upgraded) before you do the building.”
Saner said the group will make a decision on the location within the next few weeks. Members will also set a date around Oct. 23 to meet with developers interested in constructing the building.
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.
OTHER NEWS • Mayor Rick Fledderman announced Sarah Lamping has been named the new community development coordinator. • The mayor also said he had talked to Steak 'n Shake owner Bev Broughton, who said construction on the restaurant should begin again soon. "Contractors should be there by the end of next week .... (and) the completion date is three months from when they start." • Information on what was presented at the Sept. 12 BEDC meeting concerning the shell building can be found at www.batesvilleindiana.us.