Possible Port Site Hits Transportation 'Trifecta'

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of the Ports of Indiana) (Image courtesy of the Ports of Indiana)

NOTE: You can find the story titled "Holcomb: Steelmaker’s Indiana Presence a 'Magnet'" by clicking here.

DEARBORN COUNTY- The Ports of Indiana vice president says a potential fourth port would help Indiana with a commodity that continues to be at a premium: space. Jody Peacock says the three existing state ports in Jeffersonville, Mount Vernon and Portage are using up more than 80 percent of their original footprint, "so there is a need to grow." The state announced Thursday an $8 million purchase agreement for the former Tanners Creek coal power plant in Dearborn County, setting in motion a formal economic development and environmental impact exploration process that could lead to the first new state-supported port in 30 years.

"We have 2,800 acres of land on our Ohio River and Lake Michigan (port properties) right now and once that land is gone, then you certainly have to wonder how we're going to keep attracting companies," Peacock said in an interview with Inside INdiana Business. "This project presents the opportunity for us to grow, attract some new businesses, expand the economic impact that our ports have had, and hopefully, we can provide additional contributions to Indiana's economy."

The location, which straddles Lawrenceburg and Aurora, presents what Peacock says are "challenges like we haven't seen in some of our other locations." Transitioning the old energy production property into a port operation would require space for cargo storage, cranes, a rail loop and additional infrastructure improvements. The payoff, Peacock says, would be big. "Developing a port anywhere is going to have a positive impact, because it attracts business, it creates jobs, creates synergies for businesses that are already in the area," he says, adding "it can reduce costs for businesses that are within 100 miles or more from the port, so it can be a supply chain savings opportunity for those businesses." He says port officials have considered the site for development as far back as the 1970s and is now the focus of search efforts

Peacock says, if the property is viable, officials would like to see a port in the Greater Cincinnati area that is close in scope to the Ports of Indiana - Jeffersonville, which was built in 1985, making it the most recently-constructed Indiana port. It is connected to some 16,000 jobs and generates an annual economic impact of $1.9 billion per year, according to Peacock. Greater Cincinnati, he adds, is the last large-scale metro area along a navigable waterway in Indiana without a port. In August, the Ports of Indiana reported year-to-date cargo totals of nearly 5.7 million tons at the three Ohio River and Lake Michigan operations.

"You put the pieces together for a port," Peacock commented, "you have to have river access, rail access and highway, and this port location that is being looked at in Lawrenceburg/Aurora has the trifecta."

Through a vetting process in the coming months, the state will decide if the property is viable and if it will close the deal with owner Tanners Creek Development LLC by the end of next year.

Ports of Indiana Vice President Jody Peacock tells Inside INdiana Business the location, which straddles Lawrenceburg and Aurora, presents challenges and opportunities.
  • Perspectives

    • Wojtowicz founded Indianapolis-based Cambridge Capital Management Corp. in 1983.

      Fixed, Long-Term Interest Rates Protects Against Rate Hikes

      A Hoosier small-business owner recently told his banker that, “Interest rates are as low as they ever will be” in the foreseeable future, and he wanted to get a loan with a “friendly” rate. The Fed made that official recently when it indicated  another quarter-percent rate hike will likely occur in December.  Most pundits expect there to be  three more rate hikes in 2019. Small-business owners are under pressure to act if they are considering...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • $25M Behavioral Hospital Coming to Central Indiana

      Danville-based Hendricks Regional Health is partnering with US HealthVest to develop a stand-alone behavioral center on the Hendricks campus in Plainfield. Known as the Indianapolis Behavioral Hospital, the facility will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient mental health care to patients of all ages.

    • Rolls-Royce in Indy Selected For $100M Contract

      The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a contract worth up to $100 million to Rolls-Royce Corp. in Indianapolis. The contract is related to Phase I of the Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission-Capability program for the U.S. Air Force.

    • WOWO Names 'Morning News' Host

      The program and news director of WOWO radio in Fort Wayne has been named host of the station's morning show. Kayla Blakeslee will lead Fort Wayne's Morning News, succeeding longtime host Charly Butcher, who passed away in August. Blakeslee has served has the station's program director for the past two years, and previously served as news director and afternoon anchor. She led the station's "Penny Pitch" campaign in 2017, which earned a Service to America award from...

    • USA Gymnastics Interim CEO Resigns

      Just four days after being appointed interim president and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, Mary Bono has resigned. In a statement released Tuesday, Bono said her decision "comes in the wake of personal attacks that, left undefended, would have made my leading USAG a liability for the organization." Bono, a former congresswoman and principal at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting in Washington D.C., drew criticism for a...

    • Wesemann Hall at the Valparaiso University Law School (photo courtesy Tony V. Martin/The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo School of Law Transfer Denied

      A proposal to transfer Valparaiso University's law school to another university has been shot down. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has denied the transfer to Middle Tennessee State University, which would have led to the creation of a College of Law at the school.