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Cummins will help Seymour change itself

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CUMMINS Inc. soon will change the face of Seymour’s version of Main Street with its recent announcement of a $219 million investment at its Seymour Engine Plant campus off East Fourth Street.

The Columbus-based diesel engine maker will enlarge its footprint south of the CSX Transportation rail line, extending from Jackson Park Drive on the east where a Big Blue store formerly operated and reaching south to Tipton Street, occupying land once used as a salvage yard and the former Indiana Department of Transportation garage.

Much of that land has sat fallow since the Big Blue store was moved to Village Center (it’s now an Orscheln Farm & Home Supply store) and the former salvage yard was cleaned up.

Ridding East Tipton Street of the INDOT garage — which became an eyesore soon after the state moved its operations farther east off Agrico Lane — will be a welcome improvement and bring the presence of a Fortune 500 company to Seymour’s main street.

The development also will put that acreage that once housed INDOT back on the tax rolls as Cummins’ anticipated tax abatements wind down, incrementally adding property tax revenues to local coffers.

We’ll also hope that it can lead to the development — or repurposing — of the former Indiana State Police post property on the west side of Arvin Avenue.

That repurposing could take the form of converting it to a county community corrections headquarters if efforts to save the property are fruitful.

In addition, Cummins is expected to help the city of Seymour finance its proposed Gateway improvements at Interstate 65 and East Tipton Street as well as build the proposed Gateway Park in the downtown area.

Like the education initiative, the Gateway funding is expected to come from state incentive funding that Cummins chose to forgo in favor of the city’s projects.

It’s exciting and welcomed news for our community.

The Cummins expansion and its affiliated projects offer an opportunity to enhance our community and make changes to our appearance and fabric of our lives, improving our lifestyle and helping to lure those new workers and future industrial and commercial investments from yet others.

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