MUNCIE — An ambitious slate of projects including Mayor Dennis Tyler's downtown riverfront development was handed a setback on Tuesday when Muncie and its regional group failed to win any of millions of dollars being handed out by the state.

The East Central Indiana group, one of seven regional groups around the state, was not among those approved for Regional Cities Initiative funding by state economic development officials.

Instead, the state increased — pending legislative approval — the $84 million it awarded on Tuesday to earmark $42 million each for North Central, Northeast and Southwest regional groups.

East Central was named along with three other regions for a possible second phase of "support" that "may include assistance in identifying public or private funds for planning in order to encourage and enable the continued development of their regional plans. The amounts of any planning funds would be determined based on availability," according to a state press release issued Tuesday.

Tyler expressed some disappointment but also encouragement in an interview with The Star Press later Tuesday.

"Our East Central plan wasn't successful as a grant recipient in this funding round," Tyler said. "But it's encouraging to us the value and importance of continuing to build and implement an innovative economic development plan.

"Those opportunities to improve quality of place and life are critical to our growth and prosperity. Our plan will continue forward. Building strong public-private partnerships, I'm convinced we will enable our vision to be bold yet achievable."

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