NEW ALBANY — It looks like phase one of Floyd County's innovation and technology park in Georgetown is off to a successful start before construction even begins.

Don Lopp, director of operations for the county, estimated phase one of the project to cost around $4.5 million. Work is expected to begin later this year and the park will be completed in November 2020. Phase one construction will concentrate on water and sanitary sewer lines.

Tuesday night at the Floyd County Commissioners' meeting, five companies submitted bids for phase one work with MAC Construction coming in with the low bid of $3,535,000, besting Dan Cristiani Excavating by $20,000. Ragle, Inc. submitted the highest bid at $5.2 million.

Bids were taken under advisement, but it looks like the project will start out $1 million under the projected budget.

Floyd County bonded its half of the $3 million matching grant, recently received from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, making $6 million now available for infrastructure work.

The innovation and technology park will sit on 60 acres and is expected to create 50 jobs.

POLICE CONTRACT

The commissioners held off signing a new two-year contract with Floyd County police officers. Negotiations began in February and a new agreement was reached last month. The contract begins Jan. 1, 2020.

One area of the contract that commissioner John Schellenberger wanted more information about was Floyd County's contribution to the pension fund which increased 7%. That amount for 2020 was apparently approved by the Floyd County Council a few years ago.

Commissioner Billy Stewart and three council members were part of the county negotiating team while Lt. Jeff Firkins represented the officers.

County Council President Denise Konkle said she wanted to know the dollar amount of the increase since the 2020 budgets are currently being constructed.

The contract will be brought back to the commissioners and council for approval next month.

NAACP STATE CONVENTION

The NAACP state convention is Oct. 24-25 in Jeffersonville and Tuesday, Clark County NAACP President Antia Fields asked the commissioners for $10,000 to help with costs associated with hosting the event. She was told to go to the county council meeting next month and ask for the appropriation.

REZONING REQUEST APPROVED

The commissioners approved a rezoning request for a lot on the corner of U.S. 150 and Navilleton Road. The lot was rezoned from rural residential to commercial. The Floyd County Plan Commission had already approved the request.

LEASE APPROVED

The commissioners approved a new five-year lease for the Floyd County Purdue Extension office, which is on the second floor at Purdue Polytechnic along Charlestown Road. The yearly rent is around $45,000, which is a slight increase from last year. It will still need approval from the county council.

Gina Anderson, extension educator, told the commissioners that the Purdue building is a perfect spot for the extension office. She said there is space for meetings, outdoor lab, and educators have a good working relationship with professors.

Stewart said the county has no room to house the extension office in any of its buildings.

Chris Morris is an assistant editor at the News and Tribune. Contact him via email at chris.morris@newsandtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NAT_ChrisM.

I am an assistant editor, cover Floyd County news and enjoy writing feature stories on interesting people in Southern Indiana.