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RDC: County ‘very close’ to landing manufacturer

Officials tight-lipped due to nondisclosure agreement

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Montgomery County is “very close” to landing a new manufacturer, economic development officials said Wednesday.

Redevelopment Commission president Ron Dickerson and other officials were tight-lipped about the company and where it would be located, citing a non-disclosure agreement, but the search has been narrowed down to Montgomery County and another undisclosed Indiana community in the highly-competitive process.

The company is in negotiations with a local landowner who has agreed to sell, Dickerson said. The final site is expected to be announced within a couple of months.

Another indication that the county is a finalist in the search, officials said, is the company’s request for a land survey, soil borings and other work on the undisclosed site.

“So when you hear me say those words, you’ve gotta think it’s closer than we’ve been in a long time on something like this,” Dickerson said.

The commission approved a $1,725 agreement with Crawfordsville-based Deckard Engineering for the land survey. A $14,800 agreement was signed with Lafayette-based Patriot Engineering to conduct soil borings.

“Is this normal for every transaction like this that we would end up doing surveying and soil borings for a potential buyer?” asked commission member Phil Littell Sr.

Economic development consultant Cheryl Morphew said such information is expected to be available to site selectors, especially this late in the process.

“So the reality is, if we want to remain competitive and we want to compete in the business market today, these are very common asks for projects like this,” Morphew said.

The potential investment is a promising move for economic development in the county, which has been limited by a lack of existing buildings for companies looking to expand. Most of the seven other leads received by the county in March were for existing buildings.

A countywide database of sites and buildings will soon be uploaded to the City of Crawfordsville’s website, Morphew said.

Also during Wednesday’s meeting, the commission approved the development portion of an agreement with commercial real estate firm Holladay Properties to help attract investors to the Interstate 74/State Road 32 interchange and other key economic development zones.

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