Hospital plans millions in road improvements

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The entrance to Hancock Gateway Park is off Mt. Comfort Road south of Interstate 70.

HANCOCK COUNTY – Hancock Health is preparing for millions of dollars in road improvements at its business park in the western part of the county.

The enhancements are slated for CR 200N, which traverses Hancock Gateway Park at Mt. Comfort Road and Interstate 70.

Projects for the road include traffic circles at Mt. Comfort Road and CR 700W, an additional lane, a center boulevard, road realignment and utilities and infrastructure to serve an approximately 56-acre parcel Hancock Health recently added to the park at the southeast corner of CR 200N and CR 700W.

Ron Pritzke, a lawyer with Greenfield-based Pritzke & Davis representing Hancock Health, said the improvements will make the road safer as it draws more traffic from developments at the business park and the Heron Creek neighborhood that’s developing south of CR 200N.

“It’s our view that there’s now an opportunity to do more in the way of public safety and to further promote high-end development in this end of the county,” Pritzke said at a Hancock County Redevelopment Commission meeting earlier this month.

The improvements are estimated to cost $7 million to $9 million. Hancock Health wants to issue bonds to fund them, resulting in no risk to the county and allowing the projects to complete faster via the private sector. Rob Matt, senior vice president of Hancock Health, said the bonds would be paid off with taxes generated by the new developments.

“This will spur development, which will spur taxes, which will spur tax increments that will then be provided back to the hospital to pay back this road improvement project,” Matt said.

County officials would need to approve the plan.

The approach is the same one county officials approved in 2019 for Hancock Health and NineStar Connect to fund infrastructure improvements to the business park.

Hancock Gateway Park kicked off with a Hancock Health property providing medical services that opened in 2019. Since then, development has started on an aging-in-place campus and a Starbucks. Development on a pediatric oral surgery office is slated to start development this fall.

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