Duke Energy has selected a 53-acre parcel in Bloomington for a program that helps communities develop and market sites for industry.
The utility has selected a parcel located at 3300 S. Bunger Road, in close proximity to the Monroe County Airport and to Interstate 69, for its 2016 Site Readiness Program. The property currently is owned by RSSJ Rentals, according to county property records.
The utility identified the parcel as having potential for industrial development, and Duke would aid in development with $10,000 in grant funds.
Misty McCammack, who manages economic development in southern Indiana for Duke Energy — Indiana Economic Development, said the property owner will work with Duke and the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. on the project and that property acquisition isn’t necessary. The current property owner doesn’t have to transfer the site and can be the one to sell it after the project is completed, she said.
“We believe this site has great potential to attract businesses and bring economic growth,” said Bruce Calloway, Duke Energy Indiana government and community relations manager for Monroe County, in a news release. “Our Site Readiness Program is committed to helping communities grow and prosper to improve the well-being of all citizens.”
As part of Duke Energy’s evaluation of the Monroe County property, site-selection consultant McCallum Sweeney Consulting will conduct a comprehensive assessment. Based on consultant recommendations, Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas, telecommunications and electricity to the site.
The parties also may recommend road improvements, easements and rights-of-way that would be required to develop the site, as well as steps necessary to mitigate any potential environmental impacts. Banning Engineering will produce final drawings and conceptual site plans.
Local economic leaders see Duke’s selection as a positive for the community.
“We are pleased that Duke Energy has selected this parcel as a focus of this year’s Site Readiness Program,” said Dana Palazzo, vice president of the Bloomington Economic Development Corp., in a statement. “We are eager to see the consultant’s recommendations to help us focus more clearly on the site development work ahead.”
After local officials see the consultant’s final recommendations later this year, Duke Energy will present a check for $10,000 to help implement the recommendations.
McCammack said the site consultant, which is nationally recognized, also will evaluate the site as a whole, looking at strengths and weaknesses and how the community can best market the parcel.
“At the end of the program, our site consultant actually comes in and … also does kind of an economic development 101,” she said. “They use real-life experience. They’ve worked lots of projects that have attracted industry to communities.”