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Angola OKs tech park infrastructure work

August 15th, 2016

By Jennifer Decker | KPC News

ANGOLA — The city wants a state-certified technology park and started tackling infrastructure toward it Monday.

The park is proposed at the Interstate 69 and U.S. 20 intersection.

The Angola Common Council approved an agreement with HWC Engineering, Indianapolis, for $188,040 for technology park infrastructure improvements. Payment will come from the city’s local option income tax funding.

Angola Plan Director Vivian Likes said the park is proposed at the southeast intersection of U.S. 20 and Interstate 69 on 40 acres of property owned by developers Wayne Klink, Jim Ingledue, Ken Wilson and Angola First. The property is east of the Angola Gardens mobile home park.

Likes said the city has been working for two years to develop that site and is working on a development agreement with Angola First. To help with financing, a Community Crossings matching grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation is being sought. The matching grant program provides funding to make improvements to local roads and bridges.

The scope of the infrastructure engineering will include reconstruction of Shoup Street that will be connected to a new access road. Consideration will also be given to making Shoup Street one way southbound.

Based on preliminary discussions with the Indiana Department of Transportation, a traffic signal will be needed at the new intersection with U.S. 20. Work will also include sanitary sewer and water main improvements. It may also call for the acquisition of six parcels.

Plans for a park were included in the city’s strategic plan.

“This is an opportunity on the east side to develop it as a certified technology park. We have to start somewhere,” she said. “We have to be able to have access to the park.”

Likes said in developing the site, it will lure business to town. She said the city has received interest from developers that could also include the hotel and restaurant sector.

“That area gets recognized by site selectors,” she said.

Angola Mayor Dick Hickman also said development of the site is crucial to bringing companies to the city.

“We’re receiving some interest, but we don’t have anything ready,” Hickman said.

The state’s certified technology parks program was created to support growth of high-technology business, says the state’s website, in.gov. The certification allows for local recapture of certain state and local tax revenue that can be invested in the developing park.

Presently the state has 24 certified technology parks, with the closest in Fort Wayne at the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center.