Infrastructure Project to Interstate 65 is Officially On

The Clinton County Council put the finishing touches on a long-awaited project by approving the funding out to the interchange at Interstate 65 and State Road 28 for water and wastewater Tuesday morning.

“It has been over a two-year process getting this done,” said County Council President Alan Dunn. “We have two sections of the project (water and wastewater). .We consider them together but they’re actually funded separately. The total cost of the project is over $16 million and that’s going to be paid over 30 years.”

This interchange is one of the last remaining in the state of Indiana with very little development there. That is expected to change once the infrastructure is in place.

“Since the interlocal agreement was signed, we’ve had a number of large industrial prospects, we’ve had two hotels and we’ve had a number of restaurants inquiring about space out there at the interchange,” said Dunn. “We’re going through the process of getting all the easements and land acquisitions. As soon as that is completed, we’ll start moving dirt. The plan is designed and it’s ready to go.

In the past, one of the major hangups about Frankfort acquiring mainstream restaurants, hotels and big businesses has been the 20,000 population threshold that the town has fallen short of. With the new infrastructure, Dunn said that becomes a mute point.

“They’re no longer worried about a 20,000 population in the city of Frankfort,” said Dunn. “They’re worried about the hundreds of thousands of people that are coming up and down that interstate everyday. So, it makes it a much more regional location and kind of breaks that tether that might have left Frankfort as a city itself kind of locked down through our population limitations.”

Dunn added another reason is because the proximity to Lebanon and Lafayette changes the dynamics for businesses to locate there.

The council also approved a 0.2% corrections local income tax increase. Dunn explains the rationale behind that.

“The purpose of that tax is not only to fund corrections or jail operations but what it allows us to do is free up money from our general fund that can then be used to pay the debt service payments on a bond issue,” he said.

 

  3 comments for “Infrastructure Project to Interstate 65 is Officially On

  1. Clinton
    June 12, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Does anyone else find it odd that the City and County have not been able to team up to provide secure and passable sidewalks and roads for the current citizens of Frankfort and Clinton County, but they are willing to lock up about $533K of their annual budget over the next 30 years to fund a project on the hopes of bringing in businesses that may primarily cater to passers-by on I-65? This expansion sounds like it will bring very little benefit to the current taxpayers who will fund the expansion, but it will provide benefit to the County and City coffers through increased tax revenue that may never make its way back to the taxpayers if there is not a specific plan in place for it to do so. This sounds like the current taxpayers will be paying for benefits that only future generations will see IF those benefits actually materialize!
    What is wrong with taking care of all of the needs of the current taxpayers before tying up a portion of the future budget for the next 30 years? I am for improvement and expansion, but only after your current house is in order, and our county roads and sidewalks are far from “in order”.
    President Trump says “America first!”, and I feel our County Council should say “Current citizens first!” in my opinion.

  2. citizen
    June 13, 2019 at 7:15 am

    I agree with Clinton. I travel the interstates and I never travel more than 1 /4 mile off the interstate to seek the amenity I was pursuing. Consequently the small town beyond the interchange remains unknown to me and most interstate travelers. Any growth or expansion is concentrated at the interchange and the town beyond, continues to decline.
    My suggestion is to find a successful small rural town and model Frankfort after them, not a “Carmel”. Perhaps look at Plymouth, a recently visited Indiana town of 10k that appears to out-shine Frankfort in many ways.

  3. Kay
    June 14, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    You are 100% correct. Seldom do we drive into a community when what we need is right there.

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