by Ashley Flynn
Indiana American Water joined the Wabash community leaders and partners in a ribbon cutting ceremony last week for a new 750,000-gallon elevated water storage tank at the city’s Wabash Business Complex.
This $2.2 million project was a collaborative effort between Indiana American Water, the City of Wabash, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Group of Wabash County, and is part of a larger $6.2 million initiative to place necessary infrastructure to the new complex.
“The placement of the new tank here was the result of a beneficial alignment of parallel interests. We were looking to add elevated storage capacity to our Wabash system and we were aware through our relationships with the Wabash EDG and the Mayor's office that the City was pursuing development of the business park at this location,” Joe Loughmiller, Indiana American Water External Affairs Manager told The Paper.
Inside the 121 foot echoing tower filled with leaders and project partners, Indiana American Water Co. President Alan Deboy commended the efforts and dedication of Wabash Mayor Robert Vanlandingham and EDG President and CEO Bill Konyha to Wabash County.
Mayor Vanlandingham continued by stressing the importance of partnerships.
“We are in this together,” he said while mentioning that there are two names on the water tower: City of Wabash and Indiana American Water.
Mr. Konyha thanked Indiana American Water for their investment, saying it will save approximately $4 million in taxpayer money.
The cost of the tank and related infrastructure was funded by Indiana American Water, M.S. Wabash Residential Rehabilitation and Senior Care Facility, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Wabash City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for the Wabash storage tank in 2011, which is an estimated value of $400,000.
Konyha went on to say that Indiana American Wabash is the fifth largest taxpayer in the City of Wabash.
The tower, located in the Wabash Business Complex, is expected to attract more businesses to the area.
“The completion of construction of this new tank and related infrastructure in the area is a big step forward in expanding our local economy and attracting new investment and jobs to the area. We are already seeing the fruits of our investment with an expansion of Living Essentials operations expected to open here this fall. We are also talking with other companies that are considering building at the Wabash building Complex,” said Mr. Konyha.
“The water tower serves not only the Wabash Northeast Business Complex but everything north of U.S. 24. Eventually as development happens along the U.S. 24 corridor towards Cass Street, the systems from this tower and the existing tower in the Wabash County Industrial Park will close the loop and provide increased flow, pressure and fire protection for the entire area north of U.S. 24,” he said.
Mayor Vanlandingham said, “We appreciate the cooperation of everyone that was involved in making this project a reality.”
“As the first city in the world to be entirely lit by electricity, we understand and appreciate how important it is to invest in the necessary infrastructure to ensure our future economic success. The quality jobs that result from these investments will pay dividends for decades to come for our local economy and the quality of life here in Wabash.”