Shelbyville and Shelby County are a part of a newly created I-74 corridor region seeking millions of dollars in state monies.
Governor Eric Holcomb announced the concept of READI in his State of the State address in January, and the Indiana General Assembly funded the program as a part of its new biennial budget.
Through this initiative, the state will encourage neighboring counties, cities and towns to partner to create a shared vision for their future, mapping out the programs, initiatives and projects that are critical for them to retain talent today and attract the workforce of tomorrow.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) will award up to $50 million per region to support the implementation of strategies focused on making positive developments in quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development.
Shelby County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Brian Asher appeared before the Shelby County Council Tuesday.
Asher’s resolution request to the county council was simply one of showing support. No funding from the council was requested at this time. He says they are seeking $50, 000 in grant money to aid the region’s efforts.
Over the next two months, Hoosier cities, towns and counties are being encouraged to coordinate and self-identify their proposed regions. The identified regions will then have two months after July 1 to create a regional development plan that "outlines the current state of the region, its vision for the future and a game plan to invest in its growth and prosperity."
Projects could include items such as infrastructure, workforce housing developments, revitalizing blighted or vacant properties, or cultural amenities. The funding could also be used for multi-year programs, including talent attraction initiatives, public-private partnerships to advance innovation, and small business support services.
Asher notes the recent announcement by Five Below further emphasizes that the I-74 corridor should be considered for growth.
The IEDC board of directors will form a READI review committee to evaluate regional development plans. Each region will have the opportunity to present its vision, goals and strategies. The committee will establish criteria to evaluate plans and will host a series of review meetings that will be open to the public.
The review committee will make funding recommendations to the IEDC board of directors. Once approved, the IEDC will award READI funding to selected regions to advance implementation of the projects and programs.