PRINCETON — Gibson County Commissioners Tuesday endorsed a $6.6 million request for use of Patoka-Union Twp. Tax Increment Finance District revenue to improve traffic infrastructure serving Toyota Indiana plant’s expected influx of 400 new workers next year.

The request moves to the Gibson County Redevelopment Commission, which might meet in special session to consider the project prior to their planned Jan. 7 regular session.

Transportation engineer Scott Wilkinson of Beam, Longest and Neff told commissioners, who were first presented with the request last week, that the addition of a dedicated one-mile southbound travel lane for the county-owned Tulip Tree Drive, as well as modifications to a parking lot at the Toyota plant site, will provide some long-term safety improvements.

About $3.9 million to $4 million of the total project cost is earmarked for adding the new lane to the county road.

About 6,300 people work at the Toyota plant, and a $600 million expansion planned to increase production capacity from about 412,000 vehicles per year in 2017 to more than 450,000 vehicles per year, will increase traffic to and from the facility.

Since breaking ground in 1996, Toyota has invested about $4.3 billion at the site. Most of the valuation captured within the Patoka-Union Twp. TIF district comes from taxes paid by Toyota.

The prospective timeline for the project, if the redevelopment commission approves use of TIF revenue, would target construction to begin in April and substantial completion by Toyota’s July plant shut-down.

Gibson County Economic Development Corp. CEO/President Paul Waters told commissioners GCEDC's board is "highly in favor" of the project.

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