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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines


MITCHELL - FEBERUARY 9, 2023- The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission will ask City of Mitchell Attorney John Paul Isom to work on the property transfer from the Mitchell Industrial Park property transferring it to the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.

Scott Smith reporting that he reached out to the Pittman Law Firm LLC and did not receive a response. In talking with City of Mitchell Attorney John Paul Isom he agreed to do the transfer on behalf of Mitchell and bill the RDC for their part of the transfer.

The property will be used for the construction of a shell building to be placed on the parcel.

A Memorandum of Understanding is already in place between the City of Mitchell and the Lawrence County RDC for the construction of the building.

The RDC will consider on how to fund the project. One of those options is a Build/Operate/Transfer for the proposed 50,000 square feet building.

A build - operate- transfer contract is a model used to finance large projects through public-private partnerships.

The RDC will give to a private company once built will transfer the property over to that company, after a certain period of time. The company will operate the project for a certain space of time with the private company paying back the investment to the RDC.

The Indiana Code 5-23 statue was enacted in 1997 and establishes the framework for Build - Operate and Transfer agreements. The statue helps small communities such as Mitchell and local governments to enter into P3 contracts for infrastructure and economic development projects.

This a growing trend for procurement projects in the State of Indiana which allows a public entity to negotiate directly with the developer of a project. The agreement can be a long- or short-term lease anywhere from three to ten years depending on how the RDC and developers come into agreement.

Recommendations are for the Lawrence County RDC members that they should make sure any agreement puts the RDC in charge of the term and conditions of any sale or lease, and not the developer. This would give the RDC more flexibility in controlling and help determine shared profits from an agreement that RDC enters into.

The Build, Operate, and Transfer model allows flexibility in funding and project costs. Some public entity may elect the traditional funding sources such as bond proceeds, or cash on hand to pay the project costs a BOT agreement may involve a alternate structure.

The Lawrence County Commissioners and County Council may have to create a resolution for the funding for this project. A cumulative capital fund may have to be created so this project can move forward.

The purpose is to create economic development opportunities within the City of Mitchell.

The Tax Incremental Fund District sits outside the boundaries of Mitchell, however the Lawrence County RDC wants to use the proposed shell building to spur business growth within the area.

The RDC will have funds available following the completion of the Lehigh Cement Plant $600 Million Renovation of its facility.

Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission will construct a shell building on 14.9 acres and will sign a contract with a builder originally planned by January 2023. The proposed project will be completed by December 31, 2024, which will be 50,000 to 100,000 square feet. The building will have a height of no less than 30 feet.

Lawrence County Redevelopment has asked that in return for the construction of the building that the City of Mitchell will deed 14.9-acre parcel of land to the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission. The ownership of the building and property will be deeded over to the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.

Mitchell City Council members visited a similar type of shell building in Washington, Indiana.

The cost of the shell building is estimated between $3 to $4 Million and will be constructed in a way for it to expand.

At this time the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission will reeducate themselves on what a Build/Operate/Transfer Project will look like.


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