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Indiana county planning to start aquaculture park

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A central Indiana county is working on plans for a 60-acre aquaculture park in hopes of attracting more business connected with fish production.

The site for the proposed park would be near the Delaware County town of Albany and next to Bell Aquaculture, which has the capacity to produce more than 2 million pounds of fish a year in its indoor tanks, The Star Press reported.

"It's the first aquaculture park in the state that we know of," said Terry Murphy, vice president of the county economic development alliance. "We've had some aquaculture companies come in and talk to us and some interest in aquaculture research and development as well."

Other facilities in the park about 10 miles northeast of Muncie and 70 miles from Indianapolis could include a fish emulsion fertilizer plant and a fish food mill. The Delaware Advancement Corp., an entity of the economic development alliance, has an option to buy about 40 of the 60 acres.

The plan proposed by the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission includes $2 million in road and drainage improvements and $850,000 for extending utility lines to the park.

The Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission is scheduled to vote on Aug. 7 on creating a tax increment financing district, which would finance the improvement projects.

A county zoning board this spring approved Bell Aquaculture's plans to build a feed mill as part of a $30 million expansion despite complaints by neighbors about the stench produced by the company's fish feces lagoon. That mill is expected to produce 2.2 million pounds of fish food a month, with the company planning to sell the surplus food to help fuel the Indiana aquaculture industry's growth.

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