Creating commerce

New business park to be built
near bridge in Switzerland County

New connector road to I-71
expected to boost local economy

By Konnie McCollum
Contributing Writer

VEVAY, Ind. (January 2007) – Switzerland County, Ind., is poised and ready to capitalize on the extension of KY Hwy. 1039 to the Markland Dam Bridge, which will give travelers a direct cross-river connection to I-71 running between Louisville and Cincinnati. The new extension, which opened last fall, allows motorists access to the growing industries in both Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana.

Gallatin I-71 Exit

Photo by Konnie McCollum

The new connector road leading up the
hill from the Markland Dam Bridge to
I-71 in Gallatin County opened last fall.
It will alleviate truck traffic
through Carrollton.

Although the county has only about 10,000 residents, it is located practically in the center of the expanding industrial area between the cities of Cincinnati, Louisville and Indianapolis. The new route will greatly improve trucking and shipping throughout the area, and it will open up commuter access for thousands of potential employees, local officials say.
“We are excited about the new logistical advantage the highway brings to our area,” said Jon Bond, president of the Switzerland County Economic Development Corp. He said the highway access has allowed officials to set their sights on a different type of economic development than was previously possible. “We now have a new way of thinking, and we can sell ourselves better.”
He also noted that county officials are in the early phase of updating the county’s long-term economic plan to include this new logistical opportunity. “We want more than just reaction growth; we want sustainable, planned growth,” he said.
In a related move, on Nov. 9 at the Switzerland County Courthouse, the Switzerland County Council voted to approve the $2.3 million purchase and development of a new 117-acre business park. The Markland Dam Business Park will be located behind and east of the Markland Dam Bridge.
Bond said that since the whole process of purchasing the tract of land started, there has been lots of activity in the area, including the announcement of a new Honda plant in Greensburg, Ind. With the announcement of that plant, the potential business and industrial site in Switzerland County has been getting a few looks from potential suppliers to the Honda facility.
“We have had some interest but nothing to show at this point,” said Bond. As of yet, the land is still being used for agriculture, but officials hope to have the deal closed and the land certified by the state as “shovel-ready” in 2007.
Bond noted that because of the close proximity of the site to the Belterra Casino Resort & Spa, much of the infrastructure for the business park is already intact. He said there will be several small projects that need to done, including additional sewer work and the laying of fiber optic lines throughout the site.
“This is going to be a long-term project for Switzerland County,” said Bond. The plan is to make the space available for potential business investors, not “fill it up just yet,” he said.
Officials plan to re-establish old contacts and create new affiliations in an effort to attract possible investors to the new business park. Bond said his county is ideal for automotive suppliers and others looking to strategically place themselves in the rapidly developing industrial region.

Back to January 2007 Articles.



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