Andrews will again support county-wide development efforts

The Andrews Town Council has renewed the town's contract with Huntington County United Economic Development, in which HCUED tries to develop the town's economic base in exchange for funding.

The contract was approved during the council's meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.

Mark Wickersham, executive director of HCUED, said that in 2009 in all of Huntington County, nine new industrial projects were developed, 450 new jobs were created and the county increased its tax base by about $34 million.

"We're very encouraged by the number of companies that stuck their necks out," Wickersham said, in light of the recession.

Wickersham cited a company that HCUED had helped draw from Allen County, and also mentioned that during the calendar year, 3,655 unique servers from 35 different countries visited the HCUED Web site, www.hcued.com.

Though Wickersham said that HCUED had not succeeded in bringing any companies to Andrews during 2009, he said that the organization is continuing to push for Andrews in other projects.

Councilman Ray Tackett agreed.

"Anything you bring to Huntington will indirectly benefit Andrews," he said.

The Andrews/Dallas Township Library Board also came before the council to discuss their construction plans for the current library building.

However, during research for the project, the board discovered that the library and the land on which it sits are actually owned by the town of Andrews, instead of jointly with Dallas Township, as previously thought.
Nancy Disbro, librarian and member of the library board, explained that the library has transferred hands several times since its creation, from being privately-owned in 1926, to being tax supported first by Andrews in 1936, and then also by Dallas Township in 1973.

The library board requested that the town look into transferring the ownership of the library to the seven-member board. However, board members acknowledged the red tape involved in doing so.

Disbro also said that eight architects have visited the library and are interested in to project.

Town Manager/Marshal Van Juillerat briefed the council on the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development's proposed changed to the Section 360 fee schedule for zoning, construction and other related activities. Similar discussions exist in other towns, and the county has already approved the amendments. The Andrews council agreed to table the changes until the council is made aware of the actual increase of those fees.

The council also agreed to donate $250 to the canine unit of the Huntington Police De-partment for its services in light of budget cuts in the city.