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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Lawrence County Redevelopment Approves Build - Operate - Transfer Model - Bids being sought

MITCHELL - MARCH 9, 2023 - The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission approved the Build - Operate - Transfer model for the construction of a Shell building in the Mitchell Industrial Park.

The project is hoping to bring economic development to the Mitchell area. This would be the first type of project for Lawrence County.

The costs of the project will be paid back to the Dunn Hospital Fund, once the TIF district for the Lehigh Project is activated.

The Mitchell City Attorney Paul Isom is working on the parcel description and transfer of the property from the City of Mitchell to the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.

A MOU has been created between the City of Mitchell and Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission on how the two groups will construct, operate and then transfer the facility.

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 by June 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.

Video: Gary Martz discusses what a Build Operate Transfer is

Gary Martz, GM Development presented the Lawrence County RDC members about Build - Operate - Transfer Management option in constructing and operating the shell building proposed in Mitchell.

Video: Questions and Answers on Financing the Mitchell Shell Building

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.

Martz told the 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.

Lawrence County RDC have proposed building a 50,000 square foot shell building. In order to fund the building, the RDC may use a funding resolution or capital cumulative fund to help move the project forward. The Lawrence County Commissioners and Council may also decide to cumulative capital fund to move the proposal forward.

During the meeting today, the RDC members approved the BOT and approved request for bids for the shell building.

A committee of three members which include Rex Knight, Wally Branham and Scott Smith was selected to look over the bids submitted.

A deadline of March 31, 2023, have been proposed to receive the bids to keep the project on track, with a contractor selected before June of this year, as required by the City of Mitchell.

The building must be constructed by July 2025, but is expected to be completed before the deadline.

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Paid for by the committee to elect Dan Bortner Bedford City Council At Large - Debbie Deckard Treasurer

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