The self-professed “farm boy” said so far in 2013, 65 percent of 81 site searches by companies considered the I-74 corridor territory, according to the IEDC Web site. Only economic development directors are allowed to enter details about sites for sale or lease. “You’ve got to make sure the landowner is on board with you showing that property. You must have an option on the property and a stable price.”
Schirmer admitted, “For the most part,” updating county offerings on the state Web site doesn’t get done. “We don’t have the manpower … it’s a volunteer system. Now we have part-time assistance.” A secretary is supposed to work six and a half hours weekly, but Schirmer pressed for her to be able to work up to 15 until the money runs out.
“There’s a level we have to play at and we can’t afford to play at that level … we’re doing the best we can to play at this level… our hands are tied toa certain degree financially.” Adding potential sites to the Web site “is something we will try to address in the next couple of months.”
Lane encouraged the commission to seek funding for a full-time director, noting he has never worked with a part-time director in his region. FCEDC has had paid directors before, most recently Frank Thompson and Rene Stivers. The IEDC director advised, “If you want to focus on economic development, you’ve got to commit to it.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
First in a two-part series • Part 2: Indiana Economic Development Corp. has many assets to help, Nov. 8