Nearly 20 people attended the Batesville Economic Development Commission meeting Sept. 12 at the Batesville Memorial Building. It may not seem like a large number, but compared to other similar meetings, this is a decent turnout.
The public meeting was held to present the commission’s ideas relating to the possibility of constructing a shell building.
Ultimately, the goal is attracting new business, which in turn will create new jobs in the immediate vicinity.
No one voiced opposition to the concept. However, there was discussion as to where the structure would 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.
Mike Vonderheide thought the best location would be in the commerce center, which borders the interstate. “With the number of cars going up and down I-74 every day, that’s got to be your best spot.”
BEDC President Andy Saner, who led the meeting, noted, “From what we have heard from leads, the existing commerce park has some limitations, and heavy truck traffic could potentially cause some disruptions .... It’s also kind of landlocked if we’re talking about expansion.”
Gene Lambert, a BEDC member and city council president, added, “When Honda came into the Greensburg area, we did have some extra traffic coming into our community looking at different sites. The feedback we got was they were not happy with the commerce center at all because it has hodgepodge (mixed-use development) in it .... It’s not what the Japanese are looking for at all. They want a true industrial park.
“The concern with putting a building on Lot 31 (in the commerce park) is we know we’re eliminating a lot of opportunities just because it’s in the commerce center .... (and) I would not want to put a manufacturing center right next to a retirement center (St. Andrews Health Campus).”