Pulaski County is ready to take the next step towards the development of its rail-served Westside industrial park.
CDC Executive Director Nathan Origer says he has received approval from the Advisory Commission on Industrial Development for land acquisition necessary to help designate acres for future development. The Pulaski County Commissioners’ approval was still required before bidding on the land could proceed.
Origer says that the county must proceed on the condition that they wait for a letter of intent from the future industrial park landowner, otherwise, there may be the potential for problems.
“We get it sold, and then we don’t have land to buy because negotiations fall through,” says Origer. “That would make me look pretty stupid and while the county would be sitting on cash it could use on something else, we would have sold the land for nothing, immediately.”
To help pay for the switch, Pulaski County would split and sell or auction 97 acres of farmland owned by the county south of County Road 60. The 27 acres on the North side of the roadway would remain county property.
Once a sale has been completed, funds generated would be used to acquire the 55 acres on the west side for the future industrial park. A purchase price ceiling on the land has been set by the board for the development land. According to Origer, if Pulaski County is unable to sell its farmland, they would need to consider additional sources of funding.
“Which will of course delay it which isn’t a terrible thing, but it still does mean either coming straight out of taxes, or putting all the work into a grant and still using tax money to acquire some of the land,” says Origer. “If we can acquire it without using tax money, all the better.”
The sale of the farmland would cause a net loss of about $5-thousand per year for Pulaski County in cash rent.
Pulaski County is laying the groundwork for a future federal grant application that will aid with the development of infrastructure for the site. The Commissioners gave their approval to move forward with the land purchase.