The Clay County Redevelopment Commission has begun preparations for the arrival of new industry to the economic development area at the junction of S.R. 59 and I-70.
The commission Wednesday approved a $13,000 contract enlisting engineering firm Hannum, Wagle & Cline to serve as a contact during the planned expansion of the former Red Bird Garage compound, purchased recently by Navistar (also known as International Truck and Engine Corporation), a firm that performs truck maintenance and repairs. The contract includes an $8,000 lump-sum fee for design, with the remaining balance to cover consultations throughout the construction process.
Navistar's proposed 8,100 square-foot expansion will require the county to extend a 10-inch sewer main 2,100 feet to the site of the expansion. Brian Pohlar, a senior project manager for Hannum, Wagle & Cline, estimated the cost of the sewer expansion at around $70,000.
But because the site lies in what has been designated an economic development area, the sewer main can be purchased and installed at a minimal cost to the county.
"This sort of area supports its own infrastructure improvements," said Lou Britton, a Terre Haute attorney who advises the redevelopment commission.
Created in 2000, the economic development area at S.R. 59 and I-70 generates tax increment funds (TIFs) based on the growth of property tax assessments within the area, netting around $30,000 in 2005. The money can only be spent on improvements within the development area.
TIF revenues should comfortably cover the cost of the sewer improvement-- and continue to increase as new businesses arrive, according to Jim Coffenberry, a representative of the West Central Indiana Economic Development District who works closely with the redevelopment commission.
"It's going to allow us to do further infrastructure improvements down there," he said. "One, two more projects could pay for a water tower (to remedy inadequate fire protection in the area)."
Pohlar said Navistar is moving fast. He will begin survey work for the sewer main next week, as Navistar has requested the line be in place by mid- to late July.
"They're pushing a pretty aggressive schedule," he said.
In addition to generating additional TIF money, Pohlar said the expansion will create 15 new jobs at the facility.