Hamilton County plans $41.5M project to add utilities at Bakers Corner

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Hamilton County is planning a $41.5 million project to install water and sewer utilities in the area of Bakers Corner, in the northeast part of the county, at U.S. 31 and East 236th Street.

The economic development effort coincides with the Indiana Department of Transportation’s ongoing plan to make U.S. 31 a free-flow highway from Indianapolis to St. Joseph County by eliminating stoplights and building interchanges at key intersections.

County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt said utilities project will use $25 million in funds the county received through the American Rescue Plan Act, while $10 million will be financed through bonds and another $10 million will come from the state.

“It puts us in a position to be able to do this type of a project that’s going to be transformational for economic development along this whole corridor,” Heirbrandt said of the ARPA funding.

Hamilton County would need about 1,000 new homes constructed in the Bakers Corner area to break even on the project, which Heirbrandt said should happen quickly, especially as interchanges are built at East 236th and East 276th streets as part of the U.S. 31 project. There are currently 48 homes near Bakers Corner, he said.

County commissioners are also working with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the Indiana Finance Authority for potential funding to extend the water and sewer project four miles north to East 276th Street. The county would need to first create a water/sewer utility before the extension could take place.

Heirbrandt said county commissioners have spoken with about 50 developers since a plan for the Bakers Corner project was announced in March 2021.

An Indiana National Guard armory is scheduled to open at the northeast corner of U.S. 31 and East 276th Street in 2024.

“There’s a huge demand,” Heirbrandt said. “You’re going to see probably a lot of housing go up in this area as well, but we see part of that corridor opening up to the commercial market, and our goal is really to be able to add jobs and economic development here in Hamilton County.”

Heirbrandt said the county commissioners recently put out for a build-operate-transfer request to select a provider to help with the construction and development, and to operate the wastewater treatment facility. Proposals are due Friday, he said.

“This is a prime area for development, especially with Hamilton County being built out the way that it is,” Heirbrandt said.

Bakers Corner is an unincorporated community in Adams Township. It got its name from members of the Baker family, who served as postmasters at a post office that operated there from 1873 to 1900.

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3 thoughts on “Hamilton County plans $41.5M project to add utilities at Bakers Corner

  1. There was no evidence presented to indicate demand exist to spend $40M dollars on this project. It seems County Commissioner Heirbrandt is pushing this project for another reason.