Kings Hawaiian plant to require $3.7 million in infrastructure improvements

Bartholomew County plans to spend up to $2.7 million from the rainy day fund on infrastructure improvements in the Taylorsville area to help cement plans to bring a Kings Hawaiian Bakery to the community.

The County Council yesterday approved the plan to upgrade infrastructure in the northwestern corner of the county, with part of the money to come from the county’s rainy day fund. The total project costs are estimated at $3.7 million with $2.5 million going to upgrade water mains in the area. According to advocates for the spending, the plant will actually use a minimal amount of water during general use, but it will need the increased water pressure to power fire-suppression equipment.

There would also be another half a million dollars to upgrade sanitary sewers and $400,000 to install a traffic signal at U.S. 31 and Bear Lane and $250,000 to reconfigure Hubler Drive so trucks could turn into the plant.

According to the plan, most of the money would come from the rainy day fund with another $646,000 to come from the County’s Economic Development Income Tax revenues and $400,000 in grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Jason Hester, head of the Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation said that the company had agreed to forego a tax abatement that has already been approved, so that the funds could start flowing into the county accounts immediately.

Councilman Matt Miller urged his fellow council members to consider how that money will be put back into the Rainy Day Fund after it is spent.

The 88 acre parcel is at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Interstate 65 just off Hubler Drive. The company’s initial plans are for would be for a plant of up to 400,000 square feet with an $80 to $90 million investment. If fully built out, the project could eventually bring up to a half million square foot facility with an investment of up to $180 million.

After County Council gave its approval at a special meeting Thursday afternoon, the agreement will now goes to the County Commissioners.