development moves ahead
the annual dinner meeting of the Ripley County Economic Development
held November 2 at the Holton Community Building, it was evident
Gary Norman, director, has been doing his homework.
Norman addressed the crowd saying working together with a variety
of entities has truly been the key to having success in the
county for economic growth.
Working with Southeast Indiana Growth Alliance (SEIGA), has
forged relationships connecting the county with other counties
making a regional effort to bring businesses close to home.
Norman is the president of SEIGA.
Norman thanked many key players in the audience and asked Barry
Lauber, president of Ripley County Redevelopment Committee to
Lauber talked about the importance of working together to bring
jobs to Ripley County. He thanked the towns of Osgood and Versailles
and local government for their support when trying to offer
incentives to bring businesses to the county. We can move
quickly with the support of the local government, he told
Representative Randy Frye, District 67, was in attendance and
told what was being done on the State level to encouarge growth
in economics in the county. He said Ripley Countys best
resources are their workforce.
He talked about the need for wireless technology and getting
cell phone service in places like Milan. He noted that Verizon
has a new cell tower on the horizon for Elrod in 2012. That
wasnt exactly what Frye had in mind, but its something,
he noted. He is still adamant that Milan and any other dead
zone in the county get service.
Frye addressed the need for transportation to bring companies
to the county. The US 50 project is progressing with four lanes
being brought from Seymour to North Vernon with a by-pass around
the town. But, he is looking for the road to expand more and
wants to see a four-lane all the way from North Vernon to US
50 and SR 101 to help businesses who use trucking for their
He said the State has worked hard to protect its financial health.
He talked about the sad plight of the State of Illinois and
said while they have $200 billion in unfunded liabilities, Indiana
has $1 billion in cash surplus. We are not in debt,
Frye told of his concerns about the power plants in Lawrenceburg
being closed. He said three of the coal-powered plants are scheduled
for forced closure by 2013 due to a new EPA ruling. He talked
about the impact the area will feel from that decision. He said
66 employees will lose their good paying jobs and the power
rate for customers will increase 30%. We have to get that
turned around, he said.
Norman welcomed Patrick (Mike) Farrell of Concepts Industrial
Inc. to Ripley County.
Its a pleasure to have this company come to the
town of Sunman, noted Wayne Jenner, Sunman Town Council.
He noted that the company, which began in Farrells garage,
is now located in the old Pri Pak building. Jenner said Farrell,
along with consultant Mike Draper, moved at the speed of light
to get things done. This is a distribution and asset disposal
company that deals primarily with large automotive component
manufacturers including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Corporation.
For example Concepts may purchase property being removed as
a manufacturer closes existing plants. They then will break
down that equipment and refurbish electrical components, robotics,
processors, sensors, motors, etc. and resell as replacement
Since 2005, the company has grown to a $3M plus business in
2010. Farrell told how grateful he is to the town of Sunman
for their efficient help. Anything I need, they see to
it, he noted. Currently they employ 16 full time employees.
They plan to begin hiring additional shipping clerks, and sales
and research associates within the next month. They will create
up to 25 jobs in the Sunman area by 2014. The company will invest
$1.77 million to purchase and equip a 108,000 square foot facility.
Another up and coming company in the county is Amazon Drygoods.
This company has relocated from Davenport, Iowa, to Osgood and
is owned by Kevin and Samantha Hinkle.
The company produces paper cuffs and collars from a 1860s press.
They offer virtually every style of clothing for reenactment
and Cinematography. They have thousands of clothing patterns
that range from the Renaissance period to the 1950s. Amazon
has supplied items for the Titanic (paper collars), Pirates
of the Caribbean and Top Gun.
Watch for more information in an in depth story that will be
in the local paper as soon as the company gets more of their
inventory unpacked. Samantha was dressed in a 1933 style skirt
she made herself and told the Osgood Journal she is excited
to be in Osgood. She said they are going to employ a couple
of seamstresses in the future for the company that has been
in business for 29 years.
The evening was complete with Jeff Volz providing wine sampling
to compliment the catered meal by Eckstein Catering of Sunman.
Norman said he is excited about how Ripley County is growing.
He said he will continue to work with others to make the county
attractive to prospective companies, no matter where they decide
to settle in the county.
ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTOS
above from left are Osgood Town Council members, Linda
Krinop, Dee Dee Holliday, and new business owners, Samantha
and Kevin Hinkle of Amazon Drygoods as they were welcomed
to Ripley County at Ripley County Economic Development's
annual dinner last week. Another new business in the area
is Concepts Industrial Inc., who was welcomed to Sunman.
Pictured below are: Wayne Jenner and Kris Schneider, Sunman
Town Council and Mike Farrell, owner of Concepts Industrial
and Mike Draper, consultant for the business.