Ind. cell tower deal won’t immediately fund Potato Creek Park Inn

NORTH LIBERTY (BY MARK PETERSON, WNDU) – Plans to build a new inn at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty have advanced, but not as quickly has some had hoped.

“I don’t see here this is a grand announcement. I’ve got to be very conflicted” said Ind. Rep. David Niezgodski, (D) South Bend.

The proposed $25 million inn was among several “bicentennial projects” that were to be financed by leasing excess space on state owned communications towers to a private company.

Such a lease was approved today by the Indiana Finance Authority. Under the terms of the agreement, Ohio based Agile Networks will pay $50 million to the state up front and provide an anticipated $36 million additional dollars over the entire length of the 25 year deal.

“For us in particular, in St. Joseph County I’d say disappointment to say the least, because it does not include Potato Creek State Park,” said Neizgodski.

State Spokesperson Stephanie Hodgin said the lease would provide enough upfront cash to immediately cover the cost of a new State Archives Building, a Bicentennial Plaza, and a new Education Center, and enough ongoing revenue to eventually make the inn at Potato Creek a reality.