IDB discusses joining countywide development authority

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

LINDEN &8212; As part of a growing effort to shift industrial development to a more countywide or regional approach, the Industrial Development Board discussed the possibility of assisting in the recent talks to make a Marengo County economic development authority at their meeting Monday.

Councilman Mitzi Gates and Interim Superintendent Scott Collier both served as part of a 30-member countywide steering committee to organize the different municipalities and determine what commitments could be made from each area.

As it stands, the financial commitment has not been established for each of the municipalities. They are still looking into adopting bylaws and finding a director to head the authority, Collier said.

The IDB discussed the future relationship with McGinnis Properties based in Birmingham. Reportedly, Ruth McGinnis kept in contact with the board to get information about certain properties her company is interested in. Pat Dixon, volunteer consultant for the board, said she is waiting to hear from McGinnis again to see how the board can assist her further.

The board also discussed the signs for the industrial park, which were moved to accommodate the widening of the road into the park. Sylvan Mutschler, board member, specified there was a need to widen the road because there were problems with the semi trucks being able to gain access into the park. Work that was recently done to the park was not sufficient to fix this problem, Mutschler said.

The board also discussed a location for a new development for educational and recreational use, which could take the form of a recreational pond area. There had been some talk of using a site at the industrial park, but the general consensus of the board was that the park was not suitable for that type of facility.

Collier also discussed the location of another new project, which is still in the works. At the last Linden Board of Education meeting, the board discussed the possibility of combining city funds and BOE funds toward the construction of a new municipal complex that would house offices for the city and also a large gym facility for use by the Linden City Schools.

The IDB discussed a potential location for this complex to be near the Linden Athletic Field. Collier said this would be a good central location and would also provide parking potential for all of the multiple uses of the facility.