Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

January 13, 2013

Ready to build

Beck Industrial Park Phase II, a 48-acre site off of C.R. 17, has been certified as a “shovel ready” construction site by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. It is the first such site in the county.

DJ Construction of Goshen is the site developer.

“When we first heard about the opportunity to apply for shovel ready certification with the IEDC, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us to spread the word about the ‘shovel-ready’ condition of our land in the Beck Industrial Park, which already contains city utilities and a completed road,” said Bob Schrock, chief executive officer of DJ Construction. “We’re excited to be part of Elkhart County’s initiation into the program and hope it serves its purpose and brings more business to our local economy.”

To become certified the location had to undergo title work, proof of ownership, legal and environmental review and qualify for expedited permitting with state regulatory agencies. The goal of the program is to speed up the development process for industries seeking to locate in Indiana, according to the IEDC.

Certified sites have been eligible for matching grants to assist with eligible costs associated with applying for the shovel ready program.

“This gives us visibility on the state level and a real boost to our economic development efforts,” said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.

The EDC of Elkhart County has assisted employers in 2012 who announced plans to create more than 2,800 new jobs and invest $137 million in real estate and equipment. The shovel ready designation will help add to those numbers, especially the job creations, in the coming months, Heiden-Guss said.

The Economic Development Council of the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce was the initial “cheerleader” to help push this project forward, she said. Kyle Hannon, the Chamber’s president, said once the Chamber committee delved into the shovel ready program, it found it a worthwhile asset for economic development. Committee members and the EDC of Elkhart County met with state officials and concluded since the IEDC was giving the program high visibility on its website, Elkhart County should move forward to get sites in Elkhart County certified.

The Beck Industrial Park Phase II property is located five minutes south of Interstate 80/90 and is about the same distance north of U.S. 20. The park is serviced by municipal water and sewer lines from Elkhart.

Development of Phase II is under way, as ground was broken last year on a 54,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution building for Marine Fasteners.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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