City of Seymour officials joined executives from Cummins Inc. and other dignitaries today to announce one of the largest industrial investments ever in Jackson County.

Cummins officials announced plans to invest nearly $100 million over the next five years at the Cummins Industrial Center (CIC). The investment also will create 200 jobs.

“This is, obviously, great news for the entire region,” said Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman. “We are pleased that Cummins selected Seymour for this new project, and we have pledged to work with them as this project unfolds.”

Cummins officials are scheduled to appear before the Seymour City Council Monday evening to request tax abatement on $17 million, which is the scheduled investment through the end of 2010. That number is expected to increase to $36.4 million in 2011, with the investments to continue through 2015, totaling $96 million.

“The impact and benefit by this investment will not only be felt with the new jobs created, but by the investment,” added Luedeman. “We have started calculating the impact to the local tax base, and it’s tremendous.”

During the site selection process and in working with the City of Seymour and Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation (JCIDC), Cummins inquired about the availability of the property at 1100 East Fourth Street, which currently houses the city’s Department of Public Works and Recycling Center.

“Basically, Cummins is land-locked, and will need additional space for the new project,” said Luedeman. “Ironically, we had been talking about the city’s need to expand our Recycling Center, so we feel this is the proverbial ‘win-win’ situation and we are continuing these discussions to finalize this part of the project.

“Since this project extends more than 5 years, Cummins has indicated they will not need additional property until 2013, so we are beginning to discuss a new location for the Department of Public Works and Recycling Center and putting together a timeframe for the move.”

In regard to Cummins current facility, there have also been discussions involving Third Street, which extends in front of the Cummins building and between the manufacturing center and employee parking lots. With additional employees and increased truck traffic, the City has been asked to study by the construction of a cul-de-sac near the Cummins property which would eliminate through traffic.

“We will be working with the Plan Commission, Board of Works, City Council and the Third Street residents,” said Luedeman. “It is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.”

Cummins expects to begin hiring later this year and continue to grow the work force by 200 by 2015. CIC currently employs 434 in Seymour.

Additionally, there will be a need for new infrastructure, and earlier this week the City of Lawrenceburg, through its Regional Economic Development Fund, agreed to grant the City of Seymour $1.75 million to help fund the improvements.

“Time and time again, Lawrenceburg has stepped up to assist communities in its 10-county region, and Seymour-Jackson County certainly has been a great beneficiary of that program,” said Jim Plump, executive director of JCIDC. “Plus, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is participating with the granting of $2.4 million in tax credits, so this truly has been a partnership to make it happen.”