The director added, “We do take into account economically depressed areas.” If IEDC is unable to help with a project, he can find other resources. “We don’t tell communities what to do. It’s up to them to come up with a strategic plan.”
A commercial site’s location is critical. The Jennings County resident reported, “Probably the busiest area we have is along I-65 … a major artery. A lot of businesses want to locate within five miles of an interstate.”
The director said he’s “really trying to develop the I-74 corridor between Shelbyville and Cincinnati. We think there are a lot of possibilities there.” Pointing to the corridor on a map of 2013 projects, he said, “There are not a whole lot of dots there, but there’s a lot of land out there” that possibly could be developed.
During the last two weeks, he called on site consultants in Louisville and Cincinnati. Cincinnati commercial real estate agents can’t work in Indiana unless licensed here. “It’s a commission thing.” Lane will try to address the issue with one of the regional economic development groups.
One drawback to attracting new businesses: “We don’t have a lot of (vacant) buildings in this area,” pointed out the Purdue University graduate. He discussed a recent “great success story” in the county, Uni-Ref. When Lane got involved, one of the company leaders already had looked at the former J&J building in Brookvillle. He asked the director about incentives. Lane called former FCEDC member Hans Beck and “we came up with a plan” of local and state incentives. “Thanks to you guys, we got that huge building off the market.”
Because the FCEDC members have little experience, Lane recommended talking to effective economic leaders, such as the private Clark-Floyd organization. He said most economic development groups are public-private partnerships. The only public director he knows of is in Batesville (Mayor Rick Fledderman). “Call them, research their Web sites” to learn best practices.