PRINCETON — Gibson County Commissioners Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposed $14 million apartment complex project in Fort Branch, forwarding the developer's request for use of up to $1.5 million in Toyota Tax Increment Finance District revenue to the Gibson County Redevelopment Commission for consideration at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2.

CWK Investments proposes investing $12.2 million to build 144 apartment units off Coal Mine Road on the south side of Fort Branch. Wayne Kinney and Reinbrecht Homes and Construction owner Kenny Reinbrecht attended Tuesday morning's special session, where commissioners agreed to endorse the project.

Reinbrecht said last week that his company will supervise the project but has no financial interest in the investment.

The apartment complex would include one, two and three-bedroom apartments on the 12 1/2 acre parcel.

The request for use of up to $1.5 million in TIF revenue is for road infrastructure that includes adding lanes to Coal Mine Road (CR800S), streets in and out of the apartment complex and within the complex, that would eventually be transferred to the Town of Fort Branch.

"We have been discussing very many facets of housing in our community," Board of Commissioners President Alan Douglas said.

Commissioner Gerald Bledsoe said he received several calls with comments about giving money to the "apartment side" of the project, clarifying that the TIF request is for road infrastructure, not the apartment construction.

Bledsoe offered the motion to endorse the project and pass the request on to the redevelopment board next week.

"I think this project is great," Patoka Township Trustee Bruce Fisher told commissioner. But, he reminded them of a request for use of TIF revenue to provide infrastructure for a housing development at Sandy Ridge Estates property west of Princeton that wasn't forwarded to the redevelopment board for consideration.

"The current project assures that they immediately will build," said commissioner Steve Bottoms. "The other project had no guarantees of the number of houses or a timetable," Bottoms told Fisher. The Fort Branch apartment project work could start in 30 days, he said.

"There's a big difference in apartments and houses," Fisher said, noting that there's no way to guarantee full occupancy.

"We know we have a need," said Bottoms.

"If I can get a coalition together (for the Sandy Ridge Estates subdivision), will you guys take another look?" Fisher asked.

"Yes, we would take it under advisement again," County Attorney James McDonald told Fisher.

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