INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) announced Northeast Indiana would be among the next round of $50 million grant winners as the state spurs economic development.
Only 10 of the 17 regions who submitted were planned to be awarded the money. However, the state split some of the award money between regions to help all 92 Indiana counties. The total money requested was triple the $500 million budgeted.
“The seventeen regions submitted innovative, creative and visionary projects that will result in a positive economic impact on Indiana’s future,” said Holcomb. “It took immense collaboration between communities as they put aside their own visions and worked together to present the best plan for the region. These plans will shape Indiana for generations to come and bring value to our state like nothing we’ve witnessed before. I want to thank the general assembly for having the courage and leadership to prioritize this initiative.”
Holcomb created the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) program to spur public/private partnerships. Northeast Indiana represents 11 counties: Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.
“We’re thankful to the IEDC for their continued trust in Northeast Indiana and the Growing with Vision plan. Thanks to this critical READI funding, we will accelerate Northeast Indiana’s economic growth and transform our region into a globally-recognized magnet for the best businesses and talent,” said Gene Donaghy, president of the Northeast Indiana RDA.
The $50 million will make a significant impact in the region, accelerating Northeast Indiana’s workforce growth, downtown revitalization and entrepreneurship and innovation.
“As elected officials, we understand the importance of working collaboratively to ensure the growth of our region. We are thankful the IEDC believes in the Growing with Vision plan and for funding this strategy,” said Steve McMichael, Mayor of New Haven and president of the Mayors and Commissioners Caucus of Northeast Indiana.
Once the agreement between the RDA and the IEDC is finalized, the RDA will begin hearing project proposals for funding.
Highlights of the 308-page Northeast Indiana proposal include multiple new housing projects, support for Southeast Fort Wayne, a Fort Wayne arts campus, along with downtown projects in Churubusco, Kendallville, Huntington and Auburn.
The announcement was made at Butler University as part of the quarterly meeting of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
The READI program builds on the Regional Cities initiative, which helped fuel numerous projects, including renovations of The Landing and The Clyde Theatre, new trails across the region and the new aquatic center in Columbia City.