2016-01-26 / Front Page

OCRA Designates Owen County Land As Indiana Site Certified Silver

by Travis Curry
Editor


Last Thursday morning’s Indiana Site Certified (ISC) announcement was made in the Commissioners Room at the Owen County Courthouse and included presentations by, left to right: Owen County Redevelopment Commission President Craig Coffman, Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen Tucker, and OCRA Senior Project Manager Matthew Crouch. (Staff Photo) Last Thursday morning’s Indiana Site Certified (ISC) announcement was made in the Commissioners Room at the Owen County Courthouse and included presentations by, left to right: Owen County Redevelopment Commission President Craig Coffman, Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen Tucker, and OCRA Senior Project Manager Matthew Crouch. (Staff Photo) The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced the designation of Owen Camp Industrial Site as Indiana Site Certified (ISC) Silver during a ceremony held Thursday morning in the Commissioners Room at the Owen County Courthouse

The ISC certification program validates sites that are ready for economic development. The Indiana Site Certified Silver tier defines boundaries with a clear title, establishes a price, demonstrates executive level local government support, defines utility capacity and distance, and provides documentation such as the Phase I environmental assessment, ALTA, topographical, and property layout.

“Owen County’s ISC designation shows their commitment to growing and expanding business opportunities in their community,” OCRA Executive Director Bill Konyha said in a press release issued Thursday afternoon. “I applaud Owen County for taking these important steps in ensuring their hometown is positioned for economic prosperity both now and in the future.”

The Owen Camp Industrial Site is situated within close proximity to the new Hoosier Energy Operations Center along State Road 43 South and is near the new I-69 corridor at the Bloomington exit. The site, owned by Leroy Patton, is located on 117 contiguous acres.

“The ISC designation represents one of many recent successes in economic development that are a direct result of the tremendous teamwork among county, town, and local government officials, businesses, non-profit entities, volunteers and valued professionals,” Owen County Redevelopment Commission President Craig Coffman said Thursday morning.

“We are truly blessed to have such key players who share the common goal of making Owen County a better place for current and future generations.”

Indiana Site Certified is led by OCRA in partnership with the state’s Fast Access Site Team (FAST), which is comprised of multiple state agencies including the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).

The goal of the ISC program is to assist Indiana cities and towns:

•Illustrate the communities’ commitment to economic growth.

•Mitigate risks for businesses who want to locate or expand their operations in Indiana.

•Serve as a marketing tool to promote sites that are ready for development.

“This designation has enabled us to increase our attraction efforts, expand industrial development in the county as well as provide an opportunity for new investments,” Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Gwen Tucker said. “Thank you to the State of Indiana, Owen County, Hoosier Energy, South Central Indiana REMC, and local community leaders for their work to make this project a reality.”

Coffman noted the important role the ISC designation will play in the continued economic growth of Owen County.

“It provides us with a great opportunity to help attract quality companies to our community, or make it more attractive for businesses who are already here to consider expanding if they have outgrown their current location,” he said. “We can only hope that the next business or businesses to occupy this site will prove to be as good a neighbor as Hoosier Energy. As the first tenant to occupy new development among the industrial corridor along State Highway 43 as the first phase of the sewer expansion was completed not too long ago, Hoosier Energy has proven to be a tremendous asset and resource to our community. To have them as part of our business community among many of the other established local businesses that have also played a major part in economic development and the betterment of our community is truly something to be thankful for.

“An example of local business support that was crucial to completing phase one of the sewer expansion was funding provided by a bond from Cook, a local business that has done a lot to benefit Owen County over the years. This is just another example of the positive community team spirit, and a united faith in our ability to move forward together, that has helped get us to where we are today.”

“The reason I mention these companies in the context of the recent sewer expansion is that these were all key pieces that came together in an economic puzzle that helped lead to the ISC designation that we are announcing and celebrating today.”

For more information on the site, contact Tucker by visiting the Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation office at 119 South Main Street in Spencer, or call 812-829-3245.

“As we continue to roll up our sleeves and work together, with faith in each other, and God’s blessing, we will continue to achieve our goals and celebrate future success,” Coffman added. “The dedication of this site is one of many ‘irons in the fire’ so to speak, that are part of a tidal wave of positive momentum that I believe will lead to better job opportunities and continued economic growth and quality of life development here in Owen County.”

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