AP NEWS

Woodburn looks to grow industry park

January 9, 2019

Officials from the Allen County Redevelopment Commission have met with Woodburn Mayor Joseph Kelsey to discuss the potential for expanding the Woodburn Industrial Park to sites outside the city limits.

The talks were briefly discussed Tuesday during the commission’s monthly business meeting. The discussions are still preliminary, said Elissa McGauley, redevelopment director.

But it’s possible for the commission to cooperate with Woodburn on the potential expansion, she said. 

“We have a capital fund and a line item for land-banking, and that fund can be used for more than just land purchases,” McGauley said.

That means redevelopment commission money could help fund expenses such as engineering and legal work and marketing studies, McGauley said.

She added Kelsey has indicated interest in making a formal proposal for cooperation between the commission and/or county commissioners to facilitate expansion.

Kelsey said Tuesday afternoon he could not immediately comment. 

The land for the potential expansion is east of P&B Cold Storage and along the north side of Maumee Center Road, north of the industrial park.

There is also open land within city limits to the south of the park, but it might prove difficult to develop because of being in a flood plain and having a ditch, redevelopment commission officials said.

In other business, the redevelopment commission re*elected Rich Beck as president and Kurt Gutman as vice  president.  Darren Vogt was elected secretary. 

Commissioners welcomed newly appointed members Larry Brown, who replaced Tom Harris as Allen County Council’s representative, and Jill Kinder, who replaces Steve Bercot, who retired.

The redevelopment commissioners also unanimously passed two measures to facilitate a $2.16 million bond issue to finance a portion of the Fox & Main boutique hotel project in downtown Fort Wayne.

rsalter@jg.net

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