The Economic Development Perspective 
Message from Jerry:



I want to take this opportunity to extend a "thank you" to the Marshall County Council members.


At their last meeting, Mr. Jerry Faulkner approached the governing body with a tax abatement request seeking the County's support for his plans to invest capital and create more jobs in the area.  Council members availed themselves to project briefings all in an effort to take a broader understanding of the project that was scheduled for their consideration on July 13.


The clear message through these discussions and during the meeting could be summarized as "we (Marshall County) are interested in helping our local employers grow".   


The process of a tax abatement approval is basically a two-step process by the local governing body for the property where the expansion will occur.  The first step is to declare the area, where the expansion will occur, as an "economic revitalization area".   The second step is to "confirm" the area as an economic revitalization area through a public hearing.  Each step requires the passage of an ordinance with the second including the approval of a tax abatement with a defined term.


The Council completed the first step on July 13th and will soon meet on the second step.  Your council has once again availed themselves.  They have organized themselves to go through the process as quickly as possible, under time requirements set by state statue, to meet the needs of the business.


The MCEDC Board of Directors appreciate the support demonstrated through this process as well as the continued support for economic development from all our local governing bodies.  Whether we learn about business expansion through the Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program, through referrals or even word of mouth.... your MCEDC is here to help you.







Marshall County Participates in Regional Development Authority


Marshall County was the first in a three county coalition (Regional Cities of Northern Indiana (RCNI)) to take the necessary steps to establish a Regional Development Authority (RDA). Shortly after the County Council's approval of the RDA formation ordinance on June 8th, neighboring St. Joseph and Elkhart counties passed similar ordinances.


As a part of the RDA's creation, a five member Board will be established to provide administrative oversight and accountability, long term communication, agenda building, and performance tracking for the region. The RDA Board will include a representative from Marshall County, and two representatives from both St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties. (See below article regarding Marshall County's appointment to the RDA Board.)    

Establishing the RDA is a requirement to apply for a Regional Cities grant through the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Eight regions across the state are expected to apply for the grant in July. If successful, RCNI will access $42 million of state funds through the Regional Cities Initiative (RCI).  As well, each submitted project has a limit where by RCI funding can only be 20% of the total.  The region has the benefit from the planning process that brought community leaders together to discuss how to improve the future of the region.  


The application is being prepared with assistance from the Michiana Partnership, Inc., and Fourth Economy consulting. 


For more information, please visit the Regional Cities of Northern Indiana. 


Regional Development Authority Board Members Appointed


The Marshall County Commissioner's appointment of John DeSalle, Vice President of Manufacturing & Engineering at Hoosier Racing Tire, to the RDA Board of Directors is testimony to the support for the regional development plan. Plymouth's Mayor Mark Senter was consulted and involved in the selection of DeSalle as the city is also a signator for the appointment agreement.    


Mr. DeSalle will join Dallas Bergl, CEO, Inova Federal Credit Union; Pete McCown, President, Elkhart County Community Foundation; and John Affleck-Graves, Executive Vice President, University of Notre Dame on the RDA Board. St. Joseph County is expected to appoint their second representative in the near future.


From MCEDC's perspective, the appointment of DeSalle is strategic due to the intent of the Regional Cities Initiative (RCI) to transform the region and address population stagnation.  Mr. DeSalle's interest and insight in attracting talent is expected to be a driving force for the RDA.  Further, we believe Mr. DeSalle will bring a clear perspective on what employees across the region need to attract talent.     


Hoosier Racing Tire is an international company conducting  business worldwide.  As such, the company's employment needs and business model line up with the goals of the RCI.   


New INDOT Maintenance Facility Closer to Reality 


The Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation (PIDCO) finalized the sale of a 14 acre lot to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). The sale was preceded by several months of planning and design as the project went through the required development review process. In order to meet the lot specifications, as requested by INDOT, the lot was re-platted from the original lot approved by the Plan Commission in January 2015.    


INDOT plans to construct an $8-9 million state-of-the-art maintenance facility on the site located north of Dupont Pioneer and east of the recently completed Commerce building. The site is a prime location for such a facility as it is situated within an industrial area and will not be immediately adjacent to Pioneer Drive or U.S. 30.    


The sale of this lot would not have been possible without PIDCO's leadership and assistance from City of Plymouth department heads including City Attorney Sean Surrisi. The INDOT facility, together with the Commerce building, represents a total investment of approximately $11 million. Plans for future development within the area, including a Love's Travel plaza, are underway which will bring even more investment to the growing U.S. 30 corridor.


EPA Coalition:
Update on the Brownfield Assessment Grant


Six property owners in Plymouth, Bremen, Bourbon, and Argos have signed agreements allowing access to conduct Phase I environmental assessments.  These properties were identified as potential Brownfield sites to be part of a $600,000 U.S. EPA Coalition Brownfield Assessment grant.  


The funding opportunity was explained to the property owners in a public forum held last March and in ongoing conversations. Over 70 properties throughout the county were identified as potentially having environmental concerns.  The six properties currently under investigation are priority sites.  


The coalition will continue to discuss the grant with other property owners as additional funds are still available through the award.


Marshall County:
Job Growth Follows Capital Investment


Marshall County's unemployment rate dropped to 3.8% in April, which is the lowest and first time it has been under 4% in over 13 years, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate decreased from 6.2% in January and 5.3% in April 2014 signifying continual business growth by local employers.


The unemployment rate is anticipated to remain low as the manufacturing sector continues to expand operations and create jobs.  According to the MCEDC Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program, approximately 75% of the 40 local manufacturers surveyed in 2014 have plans to expand their operations and hire additional employees.  Manufacturing industries in Marshall County employ over one-third of the county's workforce. 


City of Plymouth:
Named 4th Best Place to Raise a Family


The City of Plymouth with its low crime rates and good schools has the opportunity to attract young families, which we believe may assist in developing solutions to creating a future workforce for local employers. Niche released its 2015 rankings which placed Plymouth at #4 of the "Best Towns to Raise a Family in Indiana" and at #94 of the "Best Towns to Raise a Family in America".  


Low crime rates and high quality public schools are the number one and two quality of life factors driving corporate decisions on expansions, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Area Development magazine.   


Niche placed Plymouth high in the list of the "Best Towns to Raise a Family" based upon crime and safety, education, and housing evaluations.  Plymouth was the highest ranked community in north central Indiana, and one of only four communities that made the national list.   


For more information on the rankings, please click here.


Town of Culver:
Focuses on Entry Level Housing


The Town of Culver's recognition of the need of additional housing led to the issuance of a Request for Proposal for the construction of low to moderate income housing.


The Entry Level Housing Committee was formed by the Town Council to explore the feasibility and options for developing additional affordable housing for the town's current and future workforce for local employers. Such increases in new jobs are expected to come from Elkay Manufacturing and Culver Academies. In addition to the creation of new jobs, Culver may benefit through residential growth by providing more housing options.


Town officials anticipate that the selected proposal and developer will seek state level tax credits to support the project. A tax credit application will likely be submitted to the Indiana Community and Housing Development Authority in November 2015.


Proposals for housing projects were due to the town by July 9th.



St. Joseph Valley Metronet Update....


Since the St. Joseph Valley Metronet broadband fiber was extended into Marshall County and throughout the City of Plymouth in late 2014, a total of 13 businesses and organizations at 27 separate locations have been connected. 

One of these businesses have added a mile to overall network.  As well, the City of Plymouth added additional routes to provide the advantage of redundancy to the Metronet and business subscribers.  

These businesses have access to a virtually unlimited width broadband placing Marshall County network speeds at par with cities such as Chicago, Indianapolis, and South Bend.


Update on the 2015 BEAR Surveys


Twenty-two businesses have been interviewed through the MCEDC Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program in 2015, adding to the 42 businesses interviewed in 2014.


Through the one-on-one interview process, local employers and manufacturers have identified several factors that make Marshall County a prime location to operate a business.  


These factors, which are strategic benefits of conducting operations in the County, include the following:

  • Prime location for access to key markets.
  • Excellent transportation systems including the crossroads of U.S. 30 & 31.
  • Positive and strong local business climate.
  • Low costs for business.
  • Low cost of living.
  • Strong business network throughout the County.
  • Supportive community leadership.
  • Excellent educational systems.

The BEAR program was launched in partnership with local government to assess the health and vitality of the local business climate, and learn which businesses are poised for growth.   


For more information on the BEAR program, please contact Jerry Chavez, Executive Director, at (574) 935-8499.



"Invest in Marshall County" Campaign Continues


The Marshall County EDC capital campaign members are building upon the early success of the first capital campaign launched just over two months ago. Members are continuing to reach out to local businesses, government, and organizations that directly benefit from economic development programs and diversification of the local economy.


Funds committed to the campaign, which to date total over $73,000, will be used to implement the countywide economic development plan. Additional funding allows for the execution of increased marketing of the available sites and buildings, strategies to recruit a workforce demanded by our local employers, and the development of an entrepreneur program linking resources to attract entrepreneurs and business start-ups.


A successful economic development program benefits the communities, the County, and it's residents......  your pledge ensures success!  


For more information on the capital campaign and the economic development plan, please contact Jerry Chavez, MCEDC's Executive Director, at (574) 935-8499.



Thank you for Securing "Invest in Marshall County" Pledges


The capital campaign committee, which includes representatives from all of the cities in towns in Marshall County, has been leading the first countywide campaign to raise funds for supporting economic development.


Special thanks for the capital raised and for your continual efforts to ensure our funding goal is reached.  


The committee members are listed below:  


Town of Argos

  • Mark VanDerWeele - Town Council & Business Owner
  • Todd VanDerWeele - Business Owner 
  • Julia Campbell - Business Owner
  • Ginger Calhoun - Redevelopment Commission
  • Mark Umbaugh - MCEDC Board & Business Owner

Town of Bourbon

  • Bill Keyser - MCEDC Board
  • Brian Kitch - Bates Corporation
  • Donna Burroughs - Triton Public Schools Superintendent
  • Les McFarland - Town Council

Town of Bremen

  • Bill Davis - MCEDC Board
  • Dave Bailey - Community Hospital of Bremen

Town of Culver

  • Kevin Berger - MCEDC Board
  • Ginny Munroe - Town Council

  City of Plymouth

  • Jim Condon - MCEDC Board
  • Francis Ellert - Coca-Cola
  • Dan Tyree - Plymouth School Corporation Superintendent
  • Dale Cramer - Lake City Bank
  • Connie Lemler - 1st Source Bank
  • Sam Goebel - Re/Max Oak Crest Realty
  • Loretta Schmidt - St. Joseph Regional Medical Center
  • Joe Martin Jr. - Country Auto Center
  • Roger Umbaugh - MCEDC Board
  • Jeff Houin - Easterday & Ummel
  • Chris Collins - Collins & Company Realtors 

  Town of LaPaz

  • Don Balka - MCEDC Board



Thank you for "Investing in Marshall County"


The Marshall County EDC Board of Directors and the capital campaign committee would like to say "thank you". 

Area businesses and organizations that have pledged financial support to the "Invest in Marshall County" campaign are listed below.

  • Centier Bank
  • First Farmers Bank
  • First Federal Savings Bank
  • First National Bank of Monterrey
  • 1st Source Bank
  • iAB Financial Bank
  • KeyBank
  • Lake City Bank
  • Teacher's Credit Union
  • Collins & Company Realtors
  • Masterson & Associates, Inc.
  • McKesson Title Corporation
  • Meridian Title Corporation
  • RE/MAX Oak Crest Realty
  • Schoberg Appraisals
  • Steve Harper Appraisal Services
  • City of Plymouth Redevelopment Commission
  • Marshall County REMC
  • Indiana Municipal Power Agency 
  • Community Hospital of Bremen
  • St. Joseph Regional Medical Center
  • South Bend International Airport
  • Banner Electric
  • Easterday Construction Co., Inc.
  • Garmong Construction
  • Majority Builders
  • SRKM Architecture
  • County Auto Center
  • Graphix Unlimited
  • Harmony Marketing Group
  • Hoosier Racing Tire
  • Plymouth Foundry
  • Swan Lake Resort
  • Vanadco Signs
  • Bremen Chamber of Commerce - non-cash member
  • Marshall County Community Foundation - non-cash member
  • United Way of Marshall County, Inc. - non-cash member

The Marshall County EDC Board members Include:
  • Mr. Jim Condon, Vice Chairman - City of Plymouth
  • Mr. Bill Davis, Chairman - Town of Bremen
  • Mr. Kevin Berger, Secretary-Treasurer - Town of Culver
  • Mr. Don Balka - Town of LaPaz
  • Mr. Bill Keyser - Town of Bourbon
  • Mr. Roger Umbaugh - Marshall County
  • Mr. Mark Umbaugh - Town of Argos
Contact Information
phone: (574) 935-8499
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