Vigo County closer to acquiring facility for south highway garage

Howard Greninger, The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.
·2 min read

Apr. 14—The Vigo County Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday approved an amendment to a donation agreement to pay closing costs and property taxes for 14 acres of land adjacent to the Vigo County Industrial Park.

The commission approved paying $7,878 in closing costs and will pay about $24,000 in property taxes for 2020 due in 2021.

The land donation is from Mark A. and Barry E. Cowan, who operated Custom Blenders, a food waste and bakery waste recycling company that produced animal feed. Barry Cowan was chief executive officer of the company, which built a facility in 1983 near the northeastern corner of Harlan Drive and Carlisle Street.

The site contains several buildings including a 5,000 square foot office building with power and water utilities and a 15,000 square foot concrete building. Vigo County Commissioners have expressed a desire to use the facility for a south county highway garage as well as for record storage.

Commissioner Brendan Kearns told the Redevelopment Commission it will take "quite a bit of investment" for the site to be fully used, including a new roof for a large building that would be used by the highway department, as well as installing heating and ventilation system for a record storage area as well as security. However, Kearns said the site "offers a lot of potential."

Under the amendment, the Cowans are to grant an irrevocable license for the county to install, operate and maintain a water pump to control and assist in the control of storm water. The Cowans would also have a pump for use to remove water from a nearby home that is not part of the donation.

Witt said two property appraisals were done on the property, coming "in a little less than $500,000," saying it is a significant asset. "My thinking was it does not seem right for the Cowans to have expenses at closing when they are donating the property," Witt told the commission, as well as the county paying property taxes.

Witt said the Redevelopment Commission has the funds to cover the closing cost and property taxes.

Rick Jenkins, a board member of the Redevelopment Commission, said he thinks the donation can be used by the county, but said "they are getting some money" for the property, despite it being a donation.

The Redevelopment Commission will deed the property to county commissioners. The property is expected to be closed on by the end of this month, said Jeff Lind, attorney for the Redevelopment Commission.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.