Preliminary work is underway to develop an industrial park between Medaryville and Francesville in Pulaski County in order to take advantage of the area’s rail access. Economic Development Director Nathan P. Origer says the goal as stated in the 2010 “Pulaski County: Mapping a Path Forward” report is to draw agriculture and technology businesses to the area.
“Ultimately it’ll be an industrial park, but one that we hope will attract tenants, primarily in some way related to agriculture or otherwise complementary to existing business in the county, the county’s major sectors,” said Origer.
Right now Origer and his board members are in the process of identifying possible properties and gauging interest from owners. He says the response has been mixed so far.
“We’ve got one confirmed, willing owner,” Origer said. “We’ve had a couple who’ve had no interest in selling, and we’ve had a couple who are on the fence. We’ve got a couple still whom we’ve yet to approach or from whom we’ve yet to get a response.”
Origer adds options are rather limited as far as possible land acquisition for the project and stresses that it is in the very early visionary stages.
“Given that the entire point of this project is to develop along the railroad, we do have a pretty limited number of property owners, so it’s not going to be a super long time. It’s just a matter of finding among a very small pool people who are willing enough, interested enough in possibly selling in the future to give us access to the property for a study,” said Origer.
In order for development to be feasible, Origer says the county would ideally like options on 60 to 80 acres.
“That gives us enough to ensure there’s room to build, to take advantage of the railroad, to have the possibility of spurs coming off of that railroad if any company someday building would want something directly onto their property, while not burdening us with any more land than necessary, any more cost than necessary and not taking any more land out of production than necessary,” Origer said.
Origer adds that above all he wants the proposed industrial park to be symbiotic with the west side of the county.
“We recognize and appreciate how important agriculture is to our county’s economy, so it is especially important. We don’t want to be seen as taking land out of production, because we know how much of an economic impact that land does have as it is,” said Origer.