By Lois Mittino Gray
Posey County Director of Economic Development John Taylor enthusiastically invited members of the Mount Vernon Common Council at the July 11 meeting to walk a golden path with him to the new fertilizer plant.
“Let’s go down the Yellow Brick Road together on this project,” the Executive Director of the Posey County Economic Development Partnership said. “On July 1, $2.6 billion traded hands and it’s getting done.”
In his report to the Council, Taylor predicted that the next ten years may see the plant’s construction and production result in a nine billion dollar economic impact in this area. “I see changes happening here like those that happened in Princeton when Toyota came to town. At first they didn’t want it, but look at the good it has done for them.”
Taylor alluded to the battle originally started by Governor Pence’s state funding objections to the project which now has his okay and financial bonding from county officials. “The Governor threw up roadblocks, but elected officials listened to the people and our community leaders about what we wanted and fought for us,” Taylor noted. He thanked Mayor John Tucker and the Board for its positive work on the project.
In talking with the CEO of the Pakistani firm building the plant, Taylor said it will hire an estimated 2,500 employees for construction and would like most of them to be local. Taylor would like to see three or four more fast food places and some nicer restaurants built in town to feed these workers. Right now the CEO is looking to fill three lead positions for the fertilizer plant: Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Director and Director of Sales. Those positions will be based in Indianapolis as there is closer access to a major airport. There will be a human resources office here locally for hiring.
Three sites are being considered for the location of the plant and that has not been decided as yet.
In other board action:
–Sewer Superintendent Rodney Givens presented a pictorial report to the Council answering Council Member Andy Hoehn’s earlier question about getting gravity fed lines out to the area north of 62 and the junction of 69 near Super 8 and the Expressway Automart. Givens and Danny Moss looked at several area businesses there and their present sewage situations and lift stations. He concluded that “gravity sewers can be put in because the ground in that area is flat, but we will need the extra help of lift stations to move it all back to the plant”.
Hoehn asked the Council to consider what would be needed to get the gravity system out there. “I think we have a tremendous opportunity for expansion here. I’d like to see us commit tonight to get an estimate on this from some engineering firm”. Attorney Beth McFaddin Higgins said the process is to get bids and take it to the Board of Public Works. Hoehn asked Givens to take the first steps and talk to some firms on estimates for the project and he agreed to do it.
–Passed Resolution 13.16 transferring $1.499Million dollars from Water Works Operating & Maintenance Fund to Water Works Improvement Fund
–Passed an ordinance for a three way stop sign at Locust and East Water Street.
–Discussed ADA compliant sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, security systems for the City Hall and drug policy for CDL drivers and non certifieds.