KOUTS | The town wants to be more prepared the next time a major company like Urschel Laboratories comes looking for land on which to locate.
To be able to offer a suitable site, the Kouts Town Council wants to annex more than 100 acres on Ind. 8 on the town's west border. The land is owned by the Heinold family and is mostly used for farming. All of it is vacant, council President Tim Jones said.
"It's something we've talked to Sis Heinold about, and she would love to let the town annex it," Jones said. "Sis owns most of it, and the family owns the rest in a trust. The rest of the family is OK with (annexing)."
Jones said the property could be used as a speculative industrial park for light industry or could be developed commercially. The council agreed to pursue annexation at its Monday meeting, and Town Attorney Robert Schwerd said he would provide officials with an outline of the steps needed to do it.
If the Heinolds don't object, a friendly annexation could be completed in a few months.
"I don't know if we would do anything with it, but, if it's already annexed, that's one less step we have to take (if someone is interested in moving to Kouts)," Jones said. "That's probably one of the reasons Urschels didn't like it as much as the Chesterton site."
Urschel made the announcement last fall it wanted to move to a larger site from its longtime Valparaiso location. The company announced this year it had decided to build on about 160 acres in Chesterton.