ANDERSON — The City of Anderson and Madison County have joined communities from Hamilton and Marion counties to develop the White River corridor.

The mayors of Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Noblesville and Westfield and commissioners of Hamilton and Madison counties joined in regional collaboration to apply for Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) planning grant and funding.

Applications for the state grant are due by Thursday.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will award up to $50 million in grants per region to accelerate the implementation of regional development plans.

The grant program is building on the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and 21st Century Talent Initiative to encourage neighboring communities to work together to attract, develop and retain talent in the state.

The communities have begun identifying key programs, initiatives and projects that will accelerate local, neighborhood economies, quality of place experiences and innovation as well as develop, attract and retain talent.

The regional group is a coalition of communities that have previously collaborated on the development of the White River Vision Plan, which was released in December 2019. The addition of Anderson and Madison County expands the region further east along the White River through Anderson and Mounds State Park, terminating just before reaching Interstate 69.

“This regional collaboration builds upon our connected resources and mutual visions of sustained economic growth and quality of life initiatives that enhance the lives of our citizens,” Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said in a press release. “Our team intends to present a transformative plan that will take advantage of our resources and strengths to advance our region.”

The White River connects each community participating and provides an opportunity to transform this underutilized natural resource into an economic, lifestyle and innovation driver.

The committee is organizing to contribute to the development of a proposal for the Indiana READI initiative. These communities are united as part of the labor and recreation shed of the White River region.

Noblesville initiated early coordination and planning efforts by contracting with Fourth Economy to guide the development and planning of a READI Grant submission.

The regional group will focus on an overarching theme of connectivity with supplemental focus areas possibly including trails; transportation; infrastructure; environmental and green economy jobs; workforce and employment centers; and water availability and quality.

The White River connects more than 10,000 acres through central Indiana that includes numerous parks through the three counties.
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