SOUTHERN INDIANA — Though no money has officially been allocated toward READI projects, Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) did approve a funding plan on Friday to disperse the federal funds.

Our Southern Indiana submitted $85 million worth of projects for its Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Init iative (READI) application but was awarded the maximum amount of $50 million.

The group was left with the challenge of determining how much funding each of the submitted projects will receive. A dollar amount of what each project will get from READI funds is necessary before the submitted projects can get final approval from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).

At the Friday meeting in Salem, River Hills Executive Director Cory Cochran presented a plan that would allow the projects to be funded in a tiered order. The RDA approved the plan unanimously.

“We’ve been talking about this for quite some time… It’s very exciting to see these project leads be able to move forward and hopefully we’ll see some actual progress and action items and we’ll continue to hear from those project leads,” RDA board chair Dana Huber said.

With the plan, submitted projects that requested $300,000 or less will be funded completely. The RDA gave the go-ahead for six of these Tier One projects.

While the RDA denoted a dollar amount for these projects so they can move forward in the IEDC approval process, they are not yet officially approved for funding.

The six Tier One projects are:

• READI Broadband Plan for $100,000
• Salem Municipal Airport for $253,800
• Lake Salinda for $280,000
• The ONE Fund for $125,000
• Align Southern Indiana Master Trails Plan for $70,000
• Southern Indiana Youth Sports Complex for $24,000 Jeff Boat Master Redevelopment Plan also falls within the Tier One group, but the RDA voted to review the project and await further information about it before approving it to move on to the IEDC.

In all, Cochran said that the Tier One projects are expected to use just over $1 million of the READI funds.

Tier Two projects include those with costs that fall within $300,000 and $5 million. These projects will add up to about $22 million of the READI funds.

Projects that requested more than $5 million fall under Tier Three and in the RDA-approved plan will receive 52% of their funding from the READI fund.

Tier Three projects will make up a little more than $24 million of the READI funds.

Combined, the three tiers make up the $47 million left of the $50 million READI fund after the administrative fees of $3 million.

Cochran said that he believed that the project leaders of all six Tier One projects were at the Friday meeting, and they should be aware that the RDA is moving forward with submission to the IEDC.

“We will keep them up to date with their project status as frequently as we can,” Cochran said.

While the projects with lower dollar amounts were not made to present to the RDA, Cochran said the project leaders seeking more funds will be asked to present their projects to the RDA and answer questions.

After projects pass through the IEDC, the RDA is responsible for the final approval.

Huber said that as these projects continue through the levels of approval the funding amount is subject to change.

The next scheduled RDA meeting is at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 8 at Mid-America Science Park in Scottsburg.

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