Economic Development Corp. pushes for International Drive extension

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission listened to a proposal to extend International Drive in the Woodside Industrial Park at Walesboro. Jason Hester, president of the Greater Columbus Indiana Economic Development Corp. …

Under the proposal, International Drive would be extended north by 580 feet. Hester says that there’s an immediate possibility of utilizing 15 acres for new 19-million-dollar investment which would create 88 jobs. Regardless of whether or not that project actually materializes, Hester says that the need for business space remains. He went on to say that, based on current operations at the industrial park, another 300-plus jobs could be supported, with up to $300,000 coming in to the city via property tax revenue. Hester stresses that the actual property tax amount will depend on any abatements granted by the city.

Russ Poling, Sr., a member of the City Plan Commission, took issue with the proposal. He was in the audience during Monday night’s meeting of the Columbus Redevelopment Commission. Poling explained that the Plan Commission recommended the annexation and rezoning of property near the industrial park be approved. He says that one of the conditions of the approval was that International Drive be extended up to the southern boundary of the new property, with the developer bearing those costs.

No action was taken by the Redevelopment Commission during its meeting this week.