By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — TIPTON – A study of the future use of the intersection of Ind. 28 and U.S. 31 in Tipton County is being funded by both the city of Tipton and Tipton County.
Jeff Sheridan, director of the Tipton County Economic Development Organization requested $48,000 from the city and county to hire the Indianapolis based engineering firm of Development Conceptions to do the study.
Tipton County is providing $36,000 toward the cost and the city of Tipton has appropriated $12,000.
“The study will lay out the road map for the future development of the entire corridor,” Sheridan said of U.S. 31. “We want to have input on the final design of the intersection with Ind. 28.”
Sheridan said the Chrysler Transmission plant on the northeast corner of the intersection will serve as the anchor for future industrial development.
The Chrysler plant is scheduled to open in 2014 and will create up to 850 jobs when fully operational.
“We want space for industrial development as well as commercial and retail development at the intersection,” he said.
The study will not address specific changes in the zoning at the intersection, Sheridan said.
“We want to make sure there are certain areas for commercial and retail growth,” he said.
Sheridan said once the Indiana Department of Transportation completes the new intersection there will be recommended changes to the comprehensive plan with updates for that specific area.
The study is expected to be completed by Development Conceptions sometime in the middle of 2014.
“We’ve had discussions with the state and their engineering firm on what the interchange will look like when completed,” Sheridan said.
Tipton Mayor Don Havens said the scope of the work will include a traffic and marketing study of the area.
“We want to know the highest and best use of the land for the next decade,” he said. “Once that is determined we can start the planning process.
“We don’t want to just rely on local expertise,” Havens said. “We want to reach out to professionals who have been involved in similar projects in the past.”