Board OKs economic development agreements


Two economic development agreements gained approval Wednesday from members of the Board of Public Works & Safety.

The first was an agreement for Weaver Popcorn Hybrids. The company announced in March its plans to build a new 25,000 square foot facility in the Crawfordsville Commerce Park. The project will expand the company’s research and production capabilities. The $15 million investment is expected to create 12-14 jobs at an average hourly range of $17-72 per hour.

The board also approved an economic development agreement with Phil Ward LLC which involves a proposal from Premier Hospitality to build a new Fairfield Inn & Suites in the commerce park. The $16 million investment that will create 22 new jobs was announced earlier this week.

The hotel project rounds out the available space in the city’s commerce park.

Members of the Crawfordsville Redevelopment Commission approved both agreements Tuesday during its regular meeting. The agreements outline the projects as well as the incentives, including assistance with land costs, tax increment financing and building permits and fees.

The hotel project and its tax incentive package must still go before the full city council for approval.

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s board meeting, City Attorney Kent Minnette congratulated the city, the mayor and his administrative team for filling the commerce park with a variety of businesses and offering improvements to the community.

In other business, the board:

• Gave Sue Lucas, director of Crawfordsville Main Street, permission to use the Marie Canine Plaza for the annual Lunch on the Plaza events from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 21, July 19 and Aug. 16.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently renovated fountain and plaza at the corner of East Main and Green streets is planned for 11:30 a.m. June 12.

The board also approved the closure of Pike Street at Pike Plaza from 2-11 p.m. June 7, July 5 and Aug. 2 for the annual First Friday concerts sponsored by CMS. The approval includes one no parking space on South Washington Street at Pike Street.

Lucas also thanked Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power for helping with the downtown hanging baskets and the Crawfordsville Street Department for helping move the organization’s decorations from one storage facility to another on Elmore Street.

• Approved a request from David Warren to close Davis Street near the 1000 block of West Main Street from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 8 for a graduation open house.

• Approved the route for the Fourth Annual Boys & Girls Club 5K at 9 a.m. July 6. Registration for the walk/run begins at 8 a.m. at Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church parking lot. The course takes participants along a route on the city’s west side. Police officers will be on hand to assist at Wabash Avenue, Jennison Street and Grant Avenue and volunteers will be stationed along the route to assist runners and walkers.

• Re-affirmed the previous contract with HWC Engineering for construction inspection on Schenck Road in the amount of $335,442. Part of this reimbursable through an INDOT program and is an 80/20 split with the state.

• Approved a variance request for Vanscoyoc Auto, which is being constructed along Corey Boulevard behind McDonald’s North. The variance pertains to city drainage requirements on the site of the future detailing and auto sales business.

• Approved the purchase of a trailer from Tom’s Marine for the Crawfordsville Fire Department in the amount of $3,845.

• Approved a change order in the amount of $4,755 for the pedestrian safety project on Wabash Avenue. The change was needed to assure ADA compliance.

• Approved an agreement between the city and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce in which the city would administer a $192,100 grant to the Masonic Cornerstone Grand Hall and Event Center, 221 S. Washington St., for electrical and fire alarm upgrades. The event center was awarded the grant through Project Makeover, which is part of the READI funding awarded to the region. No city funds are included in the project.

• Approved mowing work order requests for the following properties, 912 Tuttle Ave., owned by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.; 1001 Chapel Ave., owned by Newton Dilling; and 451 E. South Blvd., owned by Merchants Warehousing Services Inc.

• Tabled bids from three companies for the demolition of 512 and 700 Wayne Ave. The homes, which are threatened by bank erosion along Sugar Creek, were purchased by the city with the help of a state grant. The homes must be demolished. A permanent deed restriction prohibits future sale or building on these properties.