The first of what many hope will be many steps to develop the Interstate-70 area has taken place.
On Wednesday, members of the city and county administration met along County Road 450 North (Frontage Road), about a half-mile west of State Road 59, to conduct a groundbreaking on a new 250,000-gallon water tower.
"This tower will help provide improved water and fire protection services to the current infrastructure near I-70, plus allow for approximately 95 acres worth of similar water usage," Brazil City Engineer Brian Pohlar told The Brazil Times. "Granted, it all depends on what types of business would be constructed and how much water they would need to operate."
Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors, Avon, Ind., is already in the process of starting the foundation on the $696,938 tower, which will feature a spheroid-style tank.
For years, there has been a push to attract industry to the I-70 area, but with limited services available, those efforts had not worked out. With a water tower now being constructed, both city and county officials hope interest will spark again.
"This is just another step in the growth of all of Clay County, including Brazil," Common Council of the City of Brazil President Sam Glover said. "This is a ripe area that has needed to be developed for a long time."
Clay County Council President Mike McCullough added, "In years past, there have been a lot of businesses that have past on coming here because of the lack of water services. Hopefully, this will bring commercial interest back to Clay County and I think we could see some growth in the next five years."
Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders echoed McCullough's sentiments about the possibility of the tower making the area more attractive to industries.
"With the construction of this tower, it provides a great opportunity to economically develop the area," Sinders told The Brazil Times. "I want to commend Mayor Ann Bradshaw, the city administration and city council for all their efforts and hard work in making a water tower at I-70 a reality."
Bradshaw told The Brazil Times she was appreciative of everyone involved in all of the water projects.
"These improvements are much bigger than just the water towers," she said. "The work being done will help all of Brazil's water customers, including those in Center Point, have better water pressure and fire protection. At the same time, we have been fortunate enough to be able to build a second tower to improve those services even further, which hopefully will bring more business and jobs to both Brazil and Clay County."
Both this tower and the 750,000-gallon tower being constructed at Craig Park are scheduled to be completed by November.