Batesville Economic Development Commission members will hold their next meeting in the evening to allow for public comment on the possibility of constructing a shell building at Merkel Road’s industrial park.
“Anyone who has an opinion can say something,” BEDC President Andy Saner noted. The meeting is slated for the first week of September, and the public will be notified of the exact date and time. It will be held in the Memorial Building Council Chambers.
The Facade Program is underway. “They’re starting with Fullenkamp’s (Sporting Goods) and then Ison’s (Family Pizza) .... (and) local contractors are helping,” Mayor Rick Fledderman stated.
Saner added, “The progress on that will be very noticeable soon.”
Fledderman revealed, “Industrial-related ... leads have been picking up. We’ve gotten some inquiries ....(and) a whole lot more interest is being generated.”
He said city council approved a five-year tax abatement Aug. 12 for Batesville Tool & Die contingent upon BEDC’s approval. Members agreed.
At the end of the meeting, Jim Dreyer expressed his concerns about economic development. He said residential real estate sales in the Batesville area are not nearly as good as they were in the past. He also gave members a list of empty commercial properties throughout the city and said, “We need more jobs in town.”
Saner stressed, “The average home prices are falling everywhere ... the houses being sold are not the higher end homes because not as many people are looking for those.
“Looking at the list of commercial properties, I take a little bit of exception to some of them because we don’t have control over them. I don’t think all of this falls on the EDC ... (and) I would look at other positive things going on like the facade program, downtown events and Gov. Pence coming in.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.