Effingham Industrial Development Authority members will meet Thursday to discuss the Research Forest Tract.
Rincon officials recently met with the IDA to broach the possible annexation of tract D, a 400-acre segment that lies between McCall Road and the CSX rail line.
“We’ve talked about the possibility of annexation and doing some infrastructure improvements,” said IDA Chairman Dennis Webb.
The city has offered to pay for an at-grade crossing over the rail line, including its design and engineering. Convincing the railroad to install another crossing, however, may be difficult, Webb pointed out.
“It’s not easy to get that permit,” he said.
A long-term solution includes a flyover over the rail line to connect with Highway 21. The cost for that, however, is considered well out of reach.
Some of the tract, about 10 acres, already lies within Rincon’s city limits, and the tract is within its service delivery area.
“We just see it as such a great opportunity for Rincon and the county,” Rincon Mayor Ken Lee said. “We think it’s time to move on it. We see it as beneficial to the city and the county. We’re willing to do whatever is reasonable.”
The city is expected to accept the IDA’s industrial zoning as it is currently worded. Under the IDA’s plans, tract D would be reserved for commercial and light industrial operations.
But the tract lacks access and also does not have the requisite water and sewer lines. Rincon would provide that service.
“We haven’t had the finances to develop that site. There has been talk about annexation, about what we could do to provide service to that area,” Webb said. “I think it’s time for us to move on with it.”
Said Lee: “Right now, nothing is happening and we’d like to get something happening, so it can be shown and marketed.”
Any at-grade crossing into the tract also is expected to tie into a proposed east-west connector bisecting the entire 2,600-acre tract. That eventually would provide a road from Hodgeville Road to Highway 21.
IDA discussions Thursday may include access to the site, how to provide water and sewer and land uses and marketing.
“Let’s decide what we’re going to do with this property,” said IDA member Charles Hinely.