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December 4, 2012

Logansport to explore port authority

Move would create five-member board to oversee rails, rivers

LOGANSPORT — Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin is hoping the City Council will consider his proposal for a port authority to oversee the city’s two active rail lines and two rivers.

He says the move would be part of an economic development project he has up his sleeve.

“In this case, the intent is to benefit our rail system,” he said after Monday’s City Council meeting. “There is great potential to develop the rail here in Logansport.”

Under Indiana law, Logansport is able to create a five-member board appointed by the mayor, with the consent and approval of City Council, to oversee the city’s rails and rivers. The area already has a port authority to oversee the Logansport Cass County Airport. Franklin said he hopes the port authority becomes available “very quickly.”

“There’s a lot of opportunity out there that I’m not free to talk about right now,” he said. “There is a reason for moving this forward at this time. There’s no guarantee. It’s definitely worth looking into. We would expect some activity if we’re successful in forming the port authority. It could lead to a lot of other good things.”

Franklin said one of the rail issues he hears quite a bit about is the rough travels over the 18th Street crossing near Main Street. He would hope the authority would tackle issues like that and even seek out matching grants for such projects.

“In the end, this is yet another economic development tool that would allow us to go after even more economic development opportunities,” Franklin said. “This would also qualify us to receive some federal matching dollars that would, again, further our economic development efforts.”

In other news, the council:

* Rejected the request to give the city’s elected officials a $1,000 bonus this year. Councilmen Charlie Hastings, Joe Buck and Bob Bishop voted for the bonuses, while Councilmen Chuck LaDow, Gary Fox, Teresa Popejoy and Jeremy Ashcraft voted against them.

* Approved a $1.5 million tax abatement for Myers Spring. The abatement was supposed to come before the council months earlier, but an oversight pushed it to Monday’s meeting.

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