Originally published May 4, 2013
Deal with Australian firm to locate here unlikely
Monday, May 06, 2013 5:00 AM
After a courtship lasting several months, two industrial companies that had been in close talks with local economic development leaders likely will not locate to Jefferson County.
Correction - May 6, 2013
Jefferson County EcO15 Coordinator Kathy Huffman's name was misspelled in Saturday's paper.
Interim executive director of the newly named Jefferson County Industrial Development Corp. Bernie Murphy, who will be replaced by Nathan Hadley on Monday, gave the update to the Board of Commissioners on Friday.
One of the businesses, an Australian company that has more than $9 billion in sales, decided on a joint venture with a competitor rather than setting up a manufacturing plant in Jefferson County, Murphy said.
Company representatives visited Madison on at least two occasions and local economic development officials traveled to Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis to work out a possible deal, he added.
The talks with the company had begun when Corey Murphy was the executive director of the formerly known Economic Development Partners.
"For a long time there it looked like we were going to be successful, but at the end of the day, it looks like we're going to miss out on that one," Bernie Murphy said.
"An enormous amount of work has gone into it," he added. "I share that with you just as an example that sometimes you work very hard and you don't always see results."
Murphy said he is confident and optimistic about the future of JCIDC. The economic development board has reorganized, changed its name to remind residents that it deals exclusively with industrial business prospects and selected a new president, Gary Kennon.
So far this year, Murphy said JCIDC has had 13 opportunities with companies and submitted 10 proposals.
The commissioners thanked Murphy for stepping in as the interim director, a decision that drew him out of retirement.
"You've worked for us tirelessly," Commissioner Mark Cash said.
Also at the meeting, Kathy Huffman, EcO15 coordinator, gave an update on local career awareness and outreach programs.
She said 25 companies sent a total of 65 representatives to Industries, Possibilities and Opportunity Day, a career event for high school juniors in Jefferson County. The program was part of EcO15's Dream It. Do It innovative.
EcO15 also was a co-sponsor of a job fair at Ivy Tech on April 24, Huffman reported. She said about 200 people from the community applied for jobs to companies that attended the fair.
Huffman also reported that EcO15 has seven companies committed to its internship program. And so far, more than 130 students have created internship profiles online.
In other business:
911 Director John Hendrix reported that Indiana counties are likely to see a boost in 911 funding from the state this year. He said the state will distribute about $5 million to counties sometime in August.
Jefferson County receives more than $300,000 in state 911 revenue as a result of changes to the funding formula for landline and mobile phones that took effect last year.
Hendrix also reported that the state 911 board has decided to pursue a texting option for emergency calls to appeal to those who prefer the application or those who are hearing impaired.
Sheriff John Wallace reported that inmates have been moved into the newly renovated third floor at the Jefferson County Jail. The transition will bring the inmate capacity to 110.
He also said the jail has started regular AA meetings for inmates that has had a good response. Wallace said he has heard from former inmates who continued addiction meetings upon their release.
The commissioners accepted a $7,000 grant for hazardous material suits for the Madison Township Fire Department and other Jefferson County volunteers emergency crews. The grant has no matching requirement.