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IDA to consider work on its industrial park site
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With one of its few available sites drawing interest, the Effingham Industrial Development Authority is looking at how best to get that tract for any potential clients.

The former sprayfield for Springfield at the Effingham Industrial Park off Highway 275 has been reclaimed, and the IDA is exploring what to do with it to make it a viable tract, and a competitive one, too. The IDA’s property and finance committees are expected to take a look at what the board wants to do and how much it wants to spend on the tract in the next few weeks.

“We’ve got a really nice site,” said IDA CEO John Henry. “That’s our next good, marketable, large-acreage site. We know what our competition is; we are up against some pad-ready sites. We need to get this site ready against those.”

There are several alternatives for the 66 acre parcel, dubbed the Governor Treutlen site by the IDA. The site has been shown to a couple of prospects already, according to Henry.

“It depends on how much money we want to spend,” Henry said. “We need to say this site is ready for you to build on. How far we get with that is up to us.”

Chance Raehn of Thomas and Hutton said the IDA could spent $1.4 million in filling in nonjurisdictional wetlands and putting in access roads to the site. That would take care of about 50 of the 66 acres. The IDA also could fill in about 20 acres of nonjurisdictional wetlands but not grade the entire site for about $1.1 million. Grading the entire site will give the IDA fill material much cheaper — for the smaller site, the price for hauling in fill material would be higher.

“There are pros and cons to each alternative,” Raehn said. “With doing the entire site, you open up a much larger site.”

Since the current market is geared toward manufacturing sites, those buildings need a deeper foundation, as opposed to the warehouse and distribution operations that have been built in recent years. Also spec buildings have fallen out of favor, according to Raehn, because of the specific needs of manufacturers in their buildings.

“In my opinion, we need to get 15 acres graded and leveled,” Henry said. “A 15-acre site, right now, is very much needed.”

IDA project manager Ryan Moore said the Effingham IDA  has the money to accomplish the work, but those funds have not been directly allocated to Governor Treutlen site work.