By BRADEN LAMMERS
A special meeting to help set the table to move forward on a heavy haul road connecting River Ridge Commerce Center and the Port of Indiana — Jeffersonville was still held, but the road was not part of the meeting.
River Ridge Executive Director Jerry Acy said the commerce center is still in the process of negotiating an interlocal agreement with the parties helping to fund the construction of the road.
“One of the reasons we called this meeting today is we thought we were looking at a short-term deadline for the state issuing an RFP (request for proposal),” Acy said. “That RFP has now been delayed.”
The delay will push the RFP back about a month, but the ultimate objective is to have the road construction by October 2016 when the east-end bridge opens.
Initial estimates for the road, which will connect the port to River Ridge and run through the commerce center back out to Ind. 62, is about $22.5 million. The Indiana Department of Transportation has committed $11.25 million to the road; the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission agreed to pledge $2.6 million; and the Clark County Commissioners committed $2.4 million with the remainder being split between River Ridge and the port.
Acy said it is likely that the interlocal agreement will be on the agenda for the River Ridge Development Authority Board’s next regular meeting Sept. 16.
KEEPING IT GREEN
Along with plans to improve transportation to the new east-end bridge under construction, River Ridge’s board approved an agreement to preserve some of the area wildlife.
River Ridge Planning and Development Manager Tom Vittitow said as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project planners have needed to mitigate nearby rivers and streams and the two entities have been working on a deal to mitigate a portion of Lentzier Creek.
Vittitow said an acceptable agreement has been reached for about 21.3 acres of land near Lentzier Creek in the commerce center for $24,030. The original offer was $9,325.
The purpose of the agreement is to set the property aside in perpetuity in order to preserving some natural habitat in the area for wildlife, Vittitow said.
CATAMARAN SAILS ALONG
Two claims were approved for payments associated with the Catamaran project being constructed in River Ridge.
Paul Wheatley, director of marketing and finance at River Ridge, said the payments were part of the purchase agreement reached with Catamaran Corp. Because River Ridge had not completed a phase one study, which examines the land on which the building will be constructed, the development authority agreed to pay the $2,200. The remaining money was a repayment to the U.S. Army for the payment of the land sold to Catamaran for $16,104.
Catamaran Corp. is constructing a 75,000-square-foot building on a 12-acre site at 1050 Patrol Road, which officials anticipate will bring 200-plus jobs with annual salaries averaging $50,000 to the region. An additional 75,000 square feet adjacent to the building will be available for future expansion for the pharmaceutical benefit management company.
The 12 acres of property was sold to Catamaran for $45,000 per acre or a total of $540,000.
Catamaran Corp. anticipates opening its building in November.