L’burg Council Narrowly Shoots Down Developer’s Proposal
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Lawrenceburg City Council voted 3-2 on Monday to decline a proposal from a company that owes the city $3 million.
Linkmeyer Development co-owner, Brian Bischoff, pitched city council members a deal on August 7. The proposal was for the company to fill approximately 17 acres along Tanners Creek Drive with dirt excavated from Waterview Commerce Park near Walmart, then sold to the city for $1 even though it would be valued at around $2 million. Proximo Distillers would also get land to build a 500,000-square-foot warehouse at the Waterview Commerce Park.
Linkmeyer Development owes the city $3 million from a 2009 loan. Co-owner Steve Linkmeyer blamed politics for causing his company to default on the loan.
“What I’m really interested in is reestablishing Linkmeyer Development’s relationship with the City of Lawrenceburg that was damaged in the fallout of the catastrophic Carr Administration,” Linkmeyer pleaded to council.
“You guys inherited a big mess and I’d like to finish the job I started 10 years ago and get things back on track with the city. With your help, the city will get back every dollar owed and create millions of dollars in tax base to benefit your kids, my kids, and their kids.”
Citing Proximo’s wish for a quick answer, Mayor Kelly Mollaun pushed for council to vote on the issue Monday. He said the city’s driving motivation should be making sure the local merchant, Proximo, gets what it needs to expand.
“Eventually we’re going to have to depend on the property tax revenue. These projects will develop into additional property tax revenue. We need to be looking out for what’s best for the City of Lawrenceburg. This isn’t a decision that any of us should be taking lightly,” said the mayor.
Councilman Mel Davis motioned to enter negotiations with Linkmeyer for the 17 acres on Tanners Creek Drive. His motion was supported by councilman Paul Seymour, Jr.
Voting against the proposal were council members Tony Abbott, Aaron Cook, and Randy Abner. They had concerns about whether the numbers would work and if the dirt excavation could be performed by Linkmeyer without the project first being put out for a bid. Cook also wanted to see a petition of what percentage of neighbors of the Waterview property would be opposed to a new, large Proximo warehouse.
Neighbors of the Tanners Creek Drive property, including the owner of land leased to Kroger and Lowe’s, shared their concerns about water drainage if the 17 acres were to be filled.
Another property owner spoke at the meeting, informing council of his willingness to sell part of 130 acres. Mollaun said he would inform Proximo Distillers of the opportunity.