Industrial park plan gets approval

A development plan and plat for a new industrial park in eastern Whitley County got a nod of approval Wednesday from the Whitley County Plan Commission. The 118-acre area is west of county Road 600 East, between county Road 300 South and the railroad tracks. The area is already a tax increment financing district and is zoned for industrial park/manufacturing. The Whitley County Redevelopment Commission and Whitley County Economic Development Corporation have both been working in recent months with a yet-to-be-named business with an interest in one of the three lots in the industrial park. The business will specialize in rail processing and is a major client of Steel Dynamics Incorporated, according to redevelopment commission vice chair Jim Argerbright. Because of the needs of the business, plans call for a rail spur to go to the business from the railroad tracks on the north side of the industrial park. “This is going to be one of the few sites in northern Indiana that’s rail ready,” Argerbright said. Only rail access to the middle lot is planned, but if other sites also need access, the spur could be moved farther west and the new track would run along the west border of the property. Site development could start this fall and Argerbright said as much preparation needs to be done as possible for the interested businesses. “They’re not going to wait,” he said. When work starts, Argerbright said drain tiles and other work will be part of the project to ensure the adjacent landowners are not affected. When the land was rezoned for industrial use, one stipulation was that heavy truck traffic for the site come in from U.S. 30 south on county Road 600 East, and not from the south. Jim Brecker, an engineer for the project, said there are also no immediate plans to have a road from the industrial park connect to county Road 300 South. The access road on the site plan is from county Road 600 East and ends in a cul de sac midway through the