County moves forward with area development
County officials have their eyes set on New Carlisle as an area of continued economic development. In August, the St. Joseph County Council approved changes to expand the boundaries and extend the lifespan of the New Carlisle Economic Development Area. Located to the east of town, the Economic Development Area stretches north of US Highway 20 and south of State Road 2. It is generally centered around the IN/Tek and I/N Kote facilities on Edison Road. The district also includes the site of the St. Joseph Energy Center, currently under construction on Walnut Road. Nearly 4,000 acres of the Economic Development Area have held that designation since 1997. The recently approved expansion added 620 acres to the district. As part of the extension, the County Council also granted the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission the authority to sell a $9.2 million bond to fund certain infrastructure projects within the area to encourage potential development. The most immediate project will be to extend water, sewer, and conduit for fiber optic lines along Smilax Road, Walnut Road, and US 20. This utility work is planned to begin in September and should be finished by May 1, so that the county fulfills its commitment to provide water and sewer service to the Energy Center. The Commission will also look to provide more rail access to the area, by looking to acquire properties to help facilitate a connection to the Norfolk/Southern rail line. Additionally, the bond will fund the relocation of the Niespodziany Ditch, a drainage system which currently limits development in some of the areas of the district. Although a specific route has not been proposed, a connection to the Indiana Toll Road could be a potential project as well, as a way to help manage truck traffic to the industrial area. An informational meeting for the public will be held on Monday, September 12 at 7:00pm ET at the New Carlisle Fire Station.