economic development

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

Crawfordsville's mayor plans to create a more localized economic development board after nixing an agreement between the city and a group that had been tasked with promoting it.

City of West Lafayette

It’s no secret the city of West Lafayette aims to look significantly different in the next few years.

The State Street redesign gets underway in earnest this year, with a major portion of the road set to close this summer. But what about the buildings along the road?

City leaders have approved several new mixed-use developments – some of them so tall they may need special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration before ground is broken.

 

Environmentalists around the state are gearing up for the 2017 legislative session, and some will make the case that greater environmental protection is crucial for economic development.

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, says one priority is to get increased funding for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Since 2007, state funding for IDEM has been cut by 25 percent. Kharbanda says that means less money for the agency to enforce regulations, monitor pollution or hire personnel.

A northern Indiana RV-maker will add more than 400 new jobs in LaGrange County in the next two years, as the region’s mainstay industry continues to rebound.

Forest River is one of northern Indiana’s leading recreational vehicle manufacturers, employing 11,000 Hoosiers in Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

It now plans to repurpose several empty factories in the small town of LaGrange and add 425 jobs. It’s receiving tax incentives from the town and state to do so.

Dan O'Connor / https://www.flickr.com/photos/doconnr/4152865395

A federal grant will let Indianapolis hire an economic recovery counselor to help put out-of-use industrial sites – and laid-off employees – back to work.

The city qualified for the $355,000 grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Agency after thousands of recent manufacturing layoffs – especially those at Navistar and, earlier this year, Carrier.

"We can't keep suffering these job losses and not try to mitigate it in the future,” says Indianapolis economic development administrator Brent Pierce.

City of Frankfort

To complete a new vision for Frankfort’s downtown, the city and county will have to find $10-20 million .

But first, say some consultants who recently completed a report on that redesign, the city has a number of cosmetic challenges to overcome.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we talk to Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes about where he hopes to get the money and what needs to be cleaned up first.

City of West Lafayette

The West Lafayette City Council is set to decide the fate of a 600-bed high-rise a developer wants to build just south of State Street.

It’d add more beds to the neighborhood, but might also raise concerns about urban sprawl and the culture of the area just off the Purdue campus.

This week on Ask The Mayor, we speak with West Lafayette’s John Dennis about what impacts he sees from the plan and whether they jibe with his vision for the city.

Also on this week’s show: a number of listener questions about roads around the city.

How can we get more bike lanes?

City of West Lafayette

Now that West Lafayette has hired a contractor to demolish the old city hall on Navajo Drive, what's next for the site, and why did it take two years to do something with the mold-contaminated building?

What does Mayor John Dennis want from the city's new Development Director, Erik Carlson? Dennis says Carlson is a "take charge kind of guy" who can recruit businesses to the city of roof tops and tree tops, not smokestacks.

The mayor explains why he's an ardent supporter of putting micro chips in pets.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The city of West Lafayette has hired a new development director to oversee the business investment the city will rely on to pay back the cost of its State Street overhaul.

Erik Carlson replaces Chandler Poole, who sat on the Joint Board that drew up the State Street redesign, but who left the city earlier this year to move back to his home state of Wisconsin.

Carlson has worked in economic development in Indianapolis and before that in Lexington, Kentucky, where he covered the beat as a reporter.

At this weekend's U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, leaders from cities big and small are brainstorming ways to collaborate on economic growth, rather than competing.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg says that approach is already catching on in Indiana.

Outside a session with the mayors of Boston and New York, Buttigieg said his city of 100,000 is just big enough to have all the problems of a major metro area:

 

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