An engineering firm working with the city of Columbus needs to sit down and talk with shareholders about the test track at the former site of the Walesboro Airport.
The Columbus Redevelopment Commission met Monday night to discuss the development of that site. Doug Pacheco, who serves as a consultant for the city through the end of this year, says that HWC Engineering, based in Indianapolis, needs to talk to representatives of Cummins, Faurecia and others, who utilize the track for various reasons. He says that the discussions will help the city determine how the area should be marketed and how critical the track is to the site.
Redevelopment Commission member Russ Poling, who works at Cummins, explained that the track is very important to the diesel engine manufacturer. He explained that the track, an oval with a straightaway in the middle, allows Cummins to test engines a variety of ways and in a variety of conditions. Poling also told the body that Cummins had recently went to considerable expense to resurface half of the track. Talking about its overall importance, he opined that the company would prefer the track was even bigger.
Poling went on to say that along with Cummins and Faurecia, other groups also utilize the track. He said these include the Columbus Police Department, who uses it for officer training, as well as defensive-driving for area teens, and the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. BCSC uses the track to test its buses, said Poling.
Pacheco said that meeting with stakeholders is scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon. The Redevelopment Commission is expected to hear an update at its next meeting, scheduled for November 16, though it is possible that a special meeting will be called prior to that.