Town seeks to annex airport

McCORDSVILLE — The town of McCordsville has announced plans to annex the Indianapolis Regional Airport at Mt. Comfort this summer, covering more than 1,900 acres in Buck Creek Township.

McCordsville officials said the proposal is essential for their growing area since the move would provide an economic benefit to the town. But Hancock County commissioners have expressed frustration about what they say is a lack of communication from McCordsville officials about the proposal, including how the annexation will affect planned county road projects in the area.

McCordsville Town Manager Tonya Galbraith said annexations are discussed regularly as the opportunities present themselves. The town council commissioned a study in 2012, which determined growth to the south was the most viable option for the area. Last fall, the council annexed 1,130 acres in that direction along County Road 600W to County Road 500N.

Extending that annexation farther south would allow McCordsville to claim the airport and nearby businesses as a part of its community, Galbraith said.

Because the airport does not pay taxes to Hancock County, losing the property does not present much fiscal harm, Commissioner Brad Armstrong said. The county will lose some tax revenue from businesses in that area, however.

McCordsville will be responsible for the streets that border the airport and the town limits. Armstrong said that could disrupt ongoing discussions of county road improvements, particularly a planned bypass for Mt. Comfort Road.

In 2011, the county approved plans to expand County Road 600N, looping the roadway east and north around McCordsville to reconnect it with Mt. Comfort Road north of State Road 67. The project could take 30 years to complete and is expected to cost $47 million, county officials said.

Now, who will be responsible for funding that portion of the project is in question.

“We put a lot of legwork in on that, spent time designing it and took a lot of the grief for it because we wanted to see a better-built road through there,” Armstrong said.

Town council member Larry Longman previously said that “protecting the corridor from I-70” is in the town’s best interest and that “if you look at what’s going on to the south of us the last 10 or 15 years, it’s been very active with development.”

Council president Tom Strayer said there’s a fiscal plan in place for the annexation, and he expects little push-back from residents since the area is entirely commercial.

A public hearing on the airport annexation is set for 6 p.m. June 16 at the McCordsville Municipal Building, 6280 W. County Road 800N. The McCordsville Town Council is expected to vote on the issue July 21. If it is approved, Galbraith said, she suspects the annexation will go into effect at the end of October.

If you go

What: Public hearing on the airport annexation

When: 6 p.m. June 16

Where: McCordsville Municipal Building, 6280 W. County Road 800N

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Scott Slade is community editor. He can be reached at 317-477-3229 or