With a discussion on wind farms on the agenda, the Clinton County Council on Tuesday decided it was time to take a different approach and start taking wind farming as a potential economic development project and treat it the same way they would any other project of the type.
“The council decided to move forward with a more comprehensive budget study that would put the county’s overall budget in a context trying to anticipate future revenue challenges versus future expenses that we might be incurring,” said County Council President Alan Dunn.
Dunn said the council approved putting out for bids for three to five financial advisers.
“My hope is we can make a quick decision,” said Dunn. “If we can get that process started it might be useful information for our budget decisions in September.”
The council also approved a recommendation by the Clinton County Commissioners to approve $350,000 for the first phase of the mapping and engineering work at the State Road 28 and Interstate 65 corridor.
“We’re ready to actually begin designing what the system would look like,” said Dunn.
Dunn and the rest of the council knows a very big problem has to be fixed in the area before any economic development can take place in that area. That item is the Horlacher Drain that is estimated to cost $1.3 million.
“The very first domino that has to fall is getting the drainage situation fixed at that intersection because that drainage tile is at its maximum capacity,” said Dunn. “We could have all the other infrastructure in place. But if we can’t drain the parking lot, the surveyor is not going to approve the development.”
To fix that issue, the council approved an appropriation of an additional $500,000 to begin the process of fixing that drain in a more permanent way. Dunn is hoping this action will kick start activity in the area.
Dunn also added the drainage issue at State Road 28 and Interstate 65 will eventually affect all four sides of the roadway..
“We’re concerned most where the development is happening now and where it’s most likely to occur,” said Dunn. “This phase would essentially do the parts north of State Road 28. The parts of the south side of State Road 28 would require additional investment later.”