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November 23, 2013

Borden art center delay caused by title issue

Attorney hopes to have matter settled within 30 days

BORDEN — After more than a year in limbo, plans to place an art center in Borden look to be getting back on track.

Last year, Trio Ventures and Ohio Valley Creative Energy appeared before the Clark County Plan Commission to request a rezoning from agricultural to heavy industrial for a property in Borden where OVCE plans to create the Ohio Valley Creative Energy Sustainable Arts and Education Center, where methane gas from the Clark-Floyd Landfill would be used to power the facility. The commission gave a positive recommendation for the zoning change, which was approved by the county commissioners the next month. But since that time, nothing has happened.

The culprit: Problems with the title for the property, which is located along Wilson Switch Road. But now the attorney for Trio Ventures, which is owned by the same ownership group that runs the landfill, says that will be resolved within 30 days.

“I’m on the verge of getting that cured,” Trio attorney Greg Fifer said. “So as soon as I get that cured, which I expect to happen in the next 30 days, they’ll be able to convey the property to the arts group.”

The property has not been used for any other purpose and is set aside for OVCE, said Robert Lee, owner of Ecotech, Clark-Floyd Landfill LLC and Trio Ventures.

“It’s been too long now, and it’s not like we have been sitting on this,” Lee said. “It just takes some time in order to get it done. I would anticipate ... that we could get the problem solved by the end of the year so that we can start next year and see where Ohio Valley is with their financing and if they can take care of making arrangements to go through a lease-purchase with us. I suspect that they could be moved in by next summer. It’s there for the taking.”

It’s been a frustrating year for OVCE, which relies on volunteers and has been losing momentum while the title issue at the site of the proposed art center has lingered.

“It’s frustrating for everyone involved, because we’ve been trying to get access to this property for many years, and it seems like every time we turn around, something else is in the way,” said Shane Corbin, an OVCE board member.

A free and clear title for the property is one of the final hurdles that needs to be traversed before the art center can become a reality. But in the meantime, OVCE has been losing momentum. OVCE Treasurer Ben Hunter hopes that the group can rekindle enthusiasm for its plans.

“We want to engage the community and rebuild our volunteer base as we get the infrastructure in place,” Hunter said. “I would hope by the following fall, we could have some workshops and classes. But basically, we need to get the community engaged again and rebuild our volunteer base.”

OVCE will purchase the property from Trio Ventures for $110,000 on a 30-year mortgage, self-financed by Trio, Hunter said. The group will pay discounted rates during the early part of the mortgage, he said.

Additionally, OVCE has received a $25,000 grant from Hoosier Energy to get the methane infrastructure in place, Hunter said.

To learn more about OVCE or to volunteer, email Hunter at climbhigh1980@yahoo.com

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