Development Opportunities Discussed during Hamlet Council Meeting

The Hamlet Town Council continues to explore potential development opportunities. During last week’s meeting, Council President Dave Kesvormas said there’s a prospect of a developer doing something with a town-owned lot on Pearl Street.

Kesvormas said he’s researching what incentives Hamlet could offer. “Some of the towns are doing like free water/sewer hookups or discounted water and sewer for a period of time, and that’s one of those options,” he said. “Another one’s what’s called a rebate. We set an amount, and we rebate property taxes back for a specified amount of time upon our approval, so I’m looking at that, too.” He added that he plans to meet with a bank representative, to go over funding options.

Meanwhile, Ron Gifford with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation discussed a couple development prospects in the Hamlet area. He explained that a company called EZ Blockchain will be leasing county-owned land east of town and setting up a data center. “That’s a good company to bring in,” Gifford said. “There won’t be a major employee [impact]. There may be two to five. But they will be paying some taxes because of being there, and there’s a possibility that they will continue to grow there. The good news for the [Kankakee Valley] REMC is that gives them a major power customer from that area of the county, which they’re certainly pleased with.”

Gifford said the foundation has also been discussing a potential prospect with the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad’s marketing manager. “We’re still talking to somebody that’s on the Hamlet East park, on the east side of Norton, that is still looking,” Gifford explained. “They need the rail access for what they’re going to do there, if they like it there. So we are dealing with him, to make sure that they can take care of their needs.”

Meanwhile, he said the foundation continues to submit the SYSCO property to site selectors.