With the application, Batesville officials submitted letters of support from Ripley County Commissioner Robert Reiners, District 42 Sen. Jean Leising and “many at this table. I think we’re presenting a pretty good case for assistance, how important this road is … for any new (industrial) development” there.
Saner emphasized the commission’s intent is to keep the Merkel Road and shell building projects “somewhat separated.” He feels the road upgrade must happen whether or not the shell structure is built.
BEDC member Lori Feldbauer asked about the road project’s timing. The president admitted the roadwork and building construction may not coincide. “It may be somewhat staggered.”
Batesville Industrial Park Commission President Dale Meyer asked if BEDC is still considering locating the building on Lot 31. The 13-acre parcel is within Batesville Commerce Center off of Lammers Pike at the end of Commerce Drive, highly visible along I-74. Saner answered that Lot 31 and a lot within the new and vacant 73-acre industrial park on the east side of Merkel Road and south of I-74 will be assessed.
If the shell building ends up in the new industrial park, he wants the broker to try to sell Lot 31 as well.
Switching topics, Lamping reported, “I’ve been very excited about the enthusiasm people have expressed to me about revitalizing the downtown … People are approaching me and asking what’s available (to lease or buy).” She has received positive feedback about better facades thanks to a grant and the two-way East Pearl Street section at Batesville Shopping Village.
Fledderman said, “The facade (improvements) are in the final stages. For the most part, I think people are happy. We have had some hiccups and concerns expressed and we’re working through those.”
The president detailed projects on a status tracker. Having a grocery store downtown, probably in the former Save-U-Mor site, “has been top of the list for this group.” He said, “There is renewed interest. One of the challenges continues to be the pricing.” He wants to have a meeting with MainSource Bank officials, who own the largest section, and Willard Knueven, who owns an adjoining smaller section.