North Central Regional Planning Council announces READI Projects

Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council

On January 26, 2023, North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council (NCIRPC) and Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced the first round of Rural Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) projects to move forward.

Today at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus, NCIRPC, regional leaders and Indiana Secretary of Commerce, Bradley Chambers, highlighted the North Central’s success in the implementation of the region’s READI plan by recognizing 5 projects and committing $9.25 million of the awarded $30 million. These five projects will support an additional $82 million in private investment across the region.

“The North Central region has seen tremendous successes over the past 8 years and the READI investment enables us to rapidly advance that success, keep the momentum going and secure a bright future for our families,” said Paul Wyman, NCIRPC Board President. “Our community leaders work together for a larger purpose and as a result, we are now seeing unprecedented levels of private investment and job creation.”

The North Central READI plan identifies strategies to grow the region’s population base, improve quality of place and quality of life, increase and diversify the region’s quality of opportunity, spur innovation and entrepreneurship all to attract and retain talent.

North Central Indiana READI projects:

Industry 4.0 Training Lab – Ivy Tech Kokomo

Ivy Tech Kokomo will receive $1 million in READI funds to prepare the region’s workforce for the future of advanced manufacturing. Industry 4.0 makes factories “smart”. As the advanced manufacturing sector become more reliant on 4.0 technologies, North Central Indiana is proactively developing an educated workforce pipeline and upskilling the current workforce.

Riverfront Development – City of Peru

The multi-faceted development located along the Wabash River is a unique opportunity for redevelopment and reuse. The revitalization of the riverfront property includes a new YMCA and construction of a 170-multi-family housing unit complex. The City of Peru will receive $2.75 million in READI funds to enhance the streetscape and improve infrastructure along Forrest and Maple streets.

US31 & SR28 Infrastructure – Tipton County

To facilitate further development at the US31/SR28 interchange and support residential development along the SR28 corridor, the City of Tipton, Tipton County and Tipton Municipal Utilities have partnered to extend water and sanitary sewer services. The project will receive $3.5 million in READI funds which will lead to an additional $60 million in private investment.

Broadband – Cass County

Cass County has actively worked to resolve the “digital divide” by previously investing in a 117-mile fiber ring within the county. The Broadband project will receive $1 million in READI funds to build an affordable, reliable fiber network supplying upload and download speeds of 1G to approximately 2,213 households.

Broadband – Howard County

Howard County will build a fiber backbone with an estimated 300 miles of service laterals to reach rural communities. The project will receive $1 million in READI funding to reach approximately 3,000 households, 5 schools and 250 businesses.

“We’re excited to see our READI plan in action. Our elected officials and community leaders have worked to build stronger local communities and a thriving regional economy. READI has accelerated those efforts,” said NCIRPC Executive Director Steven Ray.

North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council (NCIRPC) is a non-profit agency serving the communities throughout Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami and Tipton counties. NCIRPC will serve local communities with the purpose of building stronger local communities and regional economies by enhancing the quality of life throughout the region. For additional information please contact Steven Ray at 765-689-4026.

SOURCE: News release from North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council