The future is bright for South Whitely. The town is seeing companies move in to impact their economic development, and citizens are taking it upon themselves to brighten their downtown.

As they saying goes, “location, location, location.” That’s why Bolt Custom Trucks & Manufacturing decided to locate in South Whitley.

The Fort Wayne sleeper cab manufacturer and designer announced last week they’ll be adding an additional facility in South Whitely.

“South Whitley is actually very strategic for us, because we have a partner company that is in Akron, Indiana, and South Whitley is halfway between here and Akron,” says Brian Callan, president of Bolt.

The new facility will take over the existing Dwyer Instruments building on West 1st Street.

Some employees will be transferred to this location, and Bolt says they will hire more. They’re hiring multiple positions right now. Head to for more information.

“When you have a community that focuses on trail systems, and their location on the river and other things that just have the amenities people want, it’s a great place to attract people, and if you have people to do the jobs the businesses want to be there,” says Jon Myers, president of Whitley County Economic Development Corporation. “From the standpoint of tax revenue for the county and our communities, because more people working here, more people paying taxes, they have houses, they pay property taxes, income tax. So, that allows us to do even more things.”

Bolt says they’re ready to embrace the South Whitley community.

“Well, we certainly hope to be part of the community. We’ve got a lot to learn about the community, a lot to learn about the people.  I’m sure we’ll learn a lot when we start drawing on more local employees. I’m sure they’ll teach us on what it is about South Whitley that makes things tick. Look forward to the process, look forward to the opportunities, and we’ll do anything we can to be a partner with the community of South Whitley,” says Brian.

The South Whitley community is ready to make the town a better place to live.

The South Whitley Parks Department with the Whitley County EDC announced Wednesday their plan to revitalize a lot in downtown.

“The project is a pocket park in downtown South Whitley to beautify the space, kind of bring community involvement to the town of South Whitley,” says Bri Sims, board member of the South Whitley Parks Department.

The park will be situated on the lot which was once the Kent Theater, which burned down in 2012.

Whitley County EDC and the parks department are crowdsourcing $30,000 to make the park a reality. Crossroads Bank across the street from the lot has already made a significant donation on the campaign’s first day.

The plan for the park is to feature a movie screen and benches for the community.

“I think a lot of people have the same idea, we’re trying to get South Whitley to be what it once was…We just need something to bring the community together. We need something that will spruce up downtown, make it a little more vibrant and just bring everybody in,” says Bri.

Click here to learn more about the Don & Vi LeBrun Gateway Park.