Business briefs: Board resolves issue for Mt. Comfort travel center

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Board resolves issue for travel center

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Hancock County Board of Zoning Appeals approved a signage proposal from a company planning to develop a travel center after it was left unresolved from the initial meeting on the subject.

Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum is pursuing the project on the east side of Mt. Comfort Road north of I-70 and south of Wendy’s. Plans call for a convenience store, separate canopies for diesel and unleaded fuel areas, a truck scale and truck parking lot with 39 spaces. 

The zoning board approved a special exception and variances needed for the development in May, but continued a discussion on signage to June, when it was approved.

RaceTrac communications manager Megan Shannon told the Daily Reporter that the company is seeking permits and approvals for the location and does not yet have a firm construction date.

Unemployment rises slightly

HANCOCK COUNTY — The county’s preliminary unemployment rate for June 2021 is 3.5%, up from May’s 3.4% but far below the 8.2% recorded in June 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt the economy.

On a list ranking preliminary June 2021 unemployment rates among Indiana’s 92 counties from highest to lowest, Hancock County ties for 67th. Howard County tops the list, at 9.4%, while Adams and LaGrange counties have the lowest rates, at 2.8%.

Preliminary unemployment rates for Indiana and the U.S. saw similar changes. The state’s rate was 4.1% for June 2021, 4% for May 2021 and 10.0% for June 2020. Nationally, the June 2021 rate was 5.9%, up from 5.8% in May and down from 11.1% in June 2020.

Real estate market active despite inventory drop

HANCOCK COUNTY — The county’s residential real estate market continued to be active in June, despite the continued decrease in available housing inventory, according to an area real estate firm.

Statistics from F.C. Tucker show housing sales for June 2021 were up 4.3% compared to June 2020. Available inventory continued its downward trajectory — down 43.4% compared to this time last year.

Housing prices in Hancock County continued to increase, up 14.5% to $267,817.

Energy firm grants $50K to vets organization

INDIANAPOLIS — INvets received a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to recruit veterans leaving the military to live and work in Indiana.

The INvets Ambassador initiative will allow the organization to employ representatives on two major military installations outside the state. The representatives will actively engage military service members nearing the completion of their service and connect them with career opportunities, communities and resources in Indiana through the INvets platform.