Work continues to bring new industries to the Hamlet area. During the Starke County Economic Development Foundation’s monthly report to the Hamlet Town Council Wednesday, Interim Executive Director Larry Wickert said it’s usually hard to find projects for which Starke County’s sites would be suitable.
But he said prospects have been looking better over the past couple months. “There is some interest and we’re starting to fit in,” he said. “A lot of times, they say, ‘We need an interstate,’ and that puts us out, but a couple of them said ‘Well hey, we need a major highway.’ [U.S.] 30 fits. You’ve got the rail there. There’s a lot of good things for this SYSCO site, so I’m optimistic there’s going to be some activity. Hopefully, in the next year or so we can get some people in there.”
Council President Dave Kesvormas emphasized that Hamlet is open for business. “We would be willing to offer some kind of incentive to get them to come here,” he said. “I mean, we have a water tower that’s in moth balls right now. It is not being used. It is closed down. We would start that up, and obviously at some point, I think that – not speaking for the whole board or anything in solid – but I would be willing to push to say something along the lines of free water hookup or something, or a discounted rate.”
One of the challenges in attracting industry to Starke County, according to Wickert, is that many companies want to locate their facilities close to large population centers.