Duke Energy awards $5,000 grant for Pike Lumber Development Project at Milan

Wanda English Burnett


Last week officials from Duke Energy, Pike Lumber, Ripley County Economic Development and Milan Town Council, gathered at the Milan Town Hall for the presentation of a $5,000 grant. Duke Energy awarded the grant money for the Pike Lumber Company project in Milan.

“The grant will help make this site shovel-ready for Pike Lumber’s expansion into Ripley County,” said Pat More, Duke Energy east area manager. “This lowers the cost of site development and improves the efficiency of permitting. We’re proud to do our part to bring economic development to the cities and towns we serve.”

James Mulligan, Director of Corporation Development for Pike Lumber Company told the Osgood Journal, “We are anticipating start-up to be the end of October or early in November this year.”

They hope to break ground and be pouring concrete at the site the first of June.

Mulligan has been interviewing for positions at the new facility and is quite pleased with the selection of applicants. “We chose Milan because of the people,” he noted. He said they have received a warm welcome from the beginning stages and are pleased to have their third operation in Ripley County. The company presently runs state-of-the-art facilities in Akron and Carbon, Indiana.

“Our hope is that as the lumber company’s operations begin late this summer, we will attract other businesses that can make use of the lumber mill’s by products, creating even more jobs,” noted Gary Norman, director of the Ripley County Economic Development. He went on to say that Pike has already grown from the $4.6 million project to an $8 million estimate, creating more jobs than originally anticipated. “We are very pleased to have them here,” he noted.

The $5,000 grant is made possible through Duke Energy’s Community Growth Partnership Grant Program and is aimed at generating new jobs and capital investment in Indiana. Duke has awarded 15 of these grants totaling more than $198,000 over the past three years to various economic development organizations in Indiana.

Historically, Duke Energy has been strongly committed to economic development throughout its service history. As a result of their leadership in this area, Duke has received Site Selection Magazine’s Top Ten Utility Economic Development Award for 11 consecutive years.

Duke Energy is the state’s largest electric supplier providing 6,800 megawatts capacity of electricity to approximately 780,000 customers. The company is one of the five largest electric power holding companies in the United States.

Pictured from left are: Mike Heaton, Economic Development Regional Manager for Duke Energy, Pat More, Area Manager Community Relations & Economic Development for Duke Energy handing a check to Paul Hildebrand, President of the Milan Town Board, James Mulligan, Director of Corporate Development for Pike Lumber, Gary Norman, Ripley County Economic Director, and Matt Huffman, Milan Town Board member.