The Vigo County Redevelopment Commission this week approved measures to use tax increment finance funds to improve the Vigo County Industrial Park.

This the marks the final stage of financing the first major improvements to the industrial park in 20 years, with $2.6 million in upgrades.

Those upgrades include depth concrete patching, about 10 inches deep, on 1,900 feet of Industrial Drive, from Harlan Road to the Thyssenkrupp facility.

They also include railroad maintenance measures consisting of rail tie replacement, additional ballast and leveling of track alignment for the industrial park railroad section as well as improving two railroad crossings on Harlan Road, including upgrading crossbucks to flashing lights and rebuilding the roadway/railroad surface.

Another slated improvement is resufacing asphalt pavement with milling and asphalt overlay of Pfizer Drive. This road will serve as access to the eastern portion of the Vigo County Industrial Park II, which is the former Pfizer property.

The improvements also include reconstructing Harlan Road and widening the road from Industrial Drive to Carlisle Street, including improvements to the intersection of Harlan Road and Carlisle Street.

Since 1999, the Redevelopment Commission has accumulated nearly $3 million in available funds from a number of Tax Increment Finance districts established for companies such as Heartland Steel, now Steel Dynamics Heartland after a 2018 purchase; Thyssenkrup; and CertainTeed, now Allura.

The proposed improvements and use of TIF funds were approved by the Vigo County Area Plan Commission and the Vigo County Board of Commissioners in September, prior to the Redevelopment Commission’s confirmatory resolution.

AIS Gauging progress

In other business, the Redevelopment Commission approved the advertising of a notice to offer to convey property.

The Redevelopment Commission last month approve a resolution to execute a license agreement with Industrial Maintenance Engineering Inc. doing business as AIS Gauging, which allows the company access to a former Pfizer lab property to make improvements in the industrial park.

The company, currently located at 5350 N. 13th St., produces non-contacting web measurement and control systems. The company has a patent-pending, full-width measurement device which can detect product and/or process defects, according to the company’s website.

The notice to convey opens the land up for bids, in exchange for stated improvements and jobs.

“The has not been any promised incentives other than buying the land. I would expect the bid to be a very cheap price on the purchase price with a promise to have 26 jobs and a $2 million investment,” attorney Jeff Lind told the commission. “There is a claw-back agreement tied to the jobs.”

The Redevelopment Commission last month stated an incentive would be to accept a bid of $1 for the land, with investment and jobs.

“We don’t want to go much longer on this as it will just keep deteriorating to the point of maybe no return if we don’t get somebody in there,” said commission member Patrick Ralston.

The notice calls for 26 new, permanent jobs to be created by Dec. 31, 2027. It lists six acres with a fair market value, based on the average of two independent appraisals, of $430,500. Bids on the offer are to be open Nov. 12.
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