directors cite industrial site,
bridge as top 2008 priorities
delivers year-end report
(January 2008) Madison-Jefferson County Economic
Development Corp. Executive Director Corey Murphy listed Madisons
Shovel Ready development site in the city-county industrial
park among the top achievements in 2007 during his Dec. 17 remarks before
nearly 100 people at Ivy Tech Community College in Madison.
fight for a
Murphys remarks came as he presented the agencys
Annual Report at the campus new conference center. He explained
that Shovel Ready means an industrial development site has completed
some permitting and thereby enhances the marketability of a site. Madison
is one of only 30 towns in Indiana with a Shovel Ready site, he said.
It shortens the window of exploration for determining if a site
is suitable for development, he said.
He also cited the need for a new Ohio River Bridge as perhaps the most
important challenge for future industrial development throughout the
A replacement bridge is critical for the economic health of this
region, said Murphy, a Mitchell, Ind., native who took over head
of MIDCOR in midyear. He called the bridge our No. 1 macro-economic
Although pursuit of a new bridge is virtually out of the hands of Hoosier
legislators, Murphy urged the audience to contact lawmakers to urge
them to fight for a new bridge. Kentucky transportation officials control
the schedule for constructing a new bridge, which is set to begin in
2017 if it is not delayed. We need to hold them to that schedule
and not let them get off schedule, Murphy said. We must
do whatever is necessary to keep the momentum going.
Murphy called for a professional economic impact study to be done on
the region to explore the commodity flow between the two states. He
noted that when the bridge closed for rehabilitation in 1997 that many
area businesses never fully recovered because people found new places
to shop. Indiana has earmarked $10 million toward the bridge from its
Major Moves initiative to be allocated in 2012.
Murphy listed other highs and lows in business and industrial development.
One low was the recent closing of Rockwell Reliance resulting in the
loss of about 200 jobs. But R&T Steel & Wire opened in its place
after the site was purchased by Midwest Tube Mills Inc. owner Rick Russell.
2008 Board of Directors
Armstrong, Madison Mayor;
Dan Baughman, Arvin Sango Inc.
Julie Berry, Jefferson County Commissioner
Matthew Forrester, River Valley Financial Bank
Ann Grahn, County Representative
Don Heiderman, Ivy Tech Community College
Gary Huffman, Hanson America
Chip Orben, Duke Energy
Carl Risk III, Kings Daughters Hospital
Margaret Seifert, Town of Hanover
Tony Waltz, Waltz Properties
In all, Murphy cited a total of $541 million in local
investment by area companies during 2006-07. That includes a $400 million
expansion at the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. and an expanded production
line at Madison Precision Products Inc. Other companies with recent
expansions include Arvin Sango Inc., Clifty Engineering Tool & die,
Madison Tool Inc. and Millennium Tool Inc., plus R&T Steel &
MIDCOR currently is working with a economic consultant to develop a
strategic plan. Consultant Thomas Ticknor of Winnetka, Ill., spent four
days in Madison in November talking with business owners. A recent three-question
form was published recently in the local paper as part of the strategic
plan initiative and only three people responded. And two of them
were from out of town, Murphy said.
MIDCOR expects to receive Ticknors report sometime this spring.
Ticknors consulting fee is $22,275, and to help cover this cost,
Murphy obtained a $10,000 grant from Duke Energy.
Murphy also cited a recent Lilly Endowment Inc. grant that will provide
$38 million to the southeastern Indiana region that ties workforce development
to education. The Economic Opportunities 2015 (EcO15) grant is focused
on education and covers three areas: advanced manufacturing, health
services and hospitality-tourism. The division between the counties
has not yet been determined. However, it is certain Decatur, Bartholomew,
Dearborn, Franklin, Jackson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Switzerland and
Jefferson counties will all feel the effects, officials say.
MIDCOR is a 501c4 private nonprofit agency created in 1956 in response
to the Jefferson Proving Ground losing 1,600 jobs. It is made up of
a board of directors from local business and government. The agency
is funded by the City of Madison and Jefferson County via service contracts,
and through private contributions. According to its mission statement,
MIDCOR strives to improve the economic climate of Jefferson County,
to recruit new industries and to retain and expand existing industries
that improve the quality of life in this area.
Back to January 2008