The mayor of Lawrenceburg says he’s viewing the prospect that Indiana’s fourth port would be located in his city as a "group project" involving surrounding communities. Kelly Mollaun says "we’re going to be good stewards of whatever is given to us in Lawrenceburg," but adds he’s looking to collaborate with stakeholders in Dearborn County and neighbors like Aurora and Greendale to help see the project through. Thursday, the Ports of Indiana announced the state has zeroed-in on Indiana Michigan Power’s closed Tanners Creek coal-fired power plant site as the preferred spot for a new port.
Mollaun tells Inside INdiana Business the potential impact would last generations. "The thing that really intrigues me is the sustainability. What an exciting opportunity for us down here to help maybe mold the future with the next couple generations and beyond," he said. Mollaun said if the development moves forward, it would be "huge" for southeast Indiana. "It’s the shot in the arm that we’ve needed for jobs in the area. When the announcement was made here — going back about three years ago now — the consideration to shut down that coal-burning power plant, we took a devastatingly big hit here in Lawrenceburg," Mollaun said, "because that was a place that people went to work and thought they would retire from that place."
Plans are still in early stages and Mollaun says the timeline for potential development is still unclear. The state has engaged a St. Louis development firm, Commercial Development Company Inc., to gauge feasibility of development on the more than 700-acre site that once employed hundreds of Hoosiers for nearly 65 years. Mollaun says he’s been told the port would have an economic impact even greater than one of the city’s marquee employers, Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. "To think that there could be a bigger economic driver than that, we’re just so blessed and so fortunate, not only for Lawrenceburg, but this is going to be huge for southeastern Indiana."
The last port established in Indiana opened 30 years ago, but logistics officials believe a development that could tap into the Cincinnati metropolitan area would be worth the pursuit.
Mollaun tells Inside INdiana Business the potential impact would last generations.