The Economic Development Perspective 
  North Central Region Wins $42 Million in Regional Cities Initiative

Governor Mike Pence has announced that the North Central Indiana Region, consisting of St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall County, is one of three regions that has been awarded $42 million grant through the Regional Cities Initiative. Our region's winning proposal consists of 39 projects aimed at creating talent-attracting environments in our communities, including expansion of the Metronet fiber-optic network throughout the three counties. Of these projects, 10 are specifically dedicated to improving Marshall County.
An advisory board for the Regional Development Authority has been formed with Roger Umbaugh, Tim Harmon, and Bill Davis representing Marshall County. The goal of this board is to develop strategies beyond the existing Regional Cities projects. Our community will also need to secure additional funding. The $42 million grant can only be used to cover 20% of each project's cost, meaning we must generate the remaining 80% from private and public funds. Our communities have worked hard to win the Regional Cities grant, now it is time to leverage our success to attract additional funding and bring these projects to life.
MCEDC Board of Directors Appoints New Chair

With a New Year comes new leadership for the MCEDC Board of Directors. Former Chair and founding member, Mr. Bill Davis, has announced his departure from the Board. Board members unanimously elected Mr. Roger Umbaugh as MCEDC Board Chair for 2016. He will begin serving in his new role this month. The Town of Bremen appointed Greg Miller to replace Mr. Davis's position as Town's Representative. We thank Mr. Davis for his many years of service to the MCEDC and welcome Mr. Miller to the board. 
Small Business Workshop Energizes Local Entrepreneurs

MCEDC and SCORE Michiana, a South Bend based mentoring program for small business owners, recently partnered to provide a workshop for local, aspiring entrepreneurs. The workshop was held in Plymouth on January 6th, and was attended by seven residents: some aspiring or new small business owners and some interested in learning more about SCORE. The workshop addressed the fundamentals of running a small business and how to access valuable resources to become and stay profitable. MCEDC hopes to continue working with SCORE to provide additional workshops and mentoring services in the coming year.
Small Business Mentors Needed
Marshall County's history of entrepreneurship and building local businesses from the ground up is one to be proud of; and engaging aspiring business owners will help continue that tradition. With that goal in mind, MCEDC is looking to establish a SCORE chapter in Marshall County. Our first step in this process is finding successful business representatives willing to volunteer their time and knowledge to cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit in Marshall County. If you or someone you know has a demonstrated history of success in the business world and is interested in mentoring aspiring Marshall County entrepreneurs, contact to get involved.
Upgrading US Highway 30 
On January 8th, the US Hwy 30 Coalition established a Board of Directors and began organizing efforts to upgrade US Hwy 30 into a free-flowing thoroughfare across northern Indiana. This change will be necessary as projections estimate a 30% increase in truck traffic on US Hwy 30 in the coming years. The coalition is made up of Allen, Whitley, Kosciusko, Marshall, LaPorte, Porter & Starke counties. Mayor Mark Sentor and Jerry Chavez have been elected to represent Marshall County as board members.
  Progress Across Marshall County
Argos Adopts Incentive Policy
The Argos Town Council unanimously approved the adoption of a new Incentive Policy which will direct the MCEDC in marketing and client response regarding the town's new development, the North Central Indiana Rail Park. The policy addresses the following:
  • Land pricing
  • Use of Economic Development Revenue Bonds
  • Utility rates for the development
Bourbon Develops Comprehensive Plan
The Town of Bourbon is creating a framework for community growth by developing a Comprehensive Plan. Bourbon's plan is unique in that it is funded by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and complies with state code in order to establish a guide for community development over the next 20 years. The Town has already taken its first step, which involved sending out RFQs to developers. The second was taken on January 18th, as the Town conducted interviews with DLZ Company, Jones Petrie Rafinski, and the Michiana Area Council of Government (MACOG) to assess their qualifications and select one to develop their Plan.
Bremen Moves Forward with Main Street Program
The Town of Bremen has had several successful preliminary meetings with OCRA to discuss implementing a Main Street Program in the town. Main Street is a national movement aimed at creating preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Its participants believe that a community is only as strong as its core, and by investing in downtowns, we invest in the community as a whole. Bremen officials believe this program will be a benefit to their community. Argos and Culver are currently also working to implement Main Street Programs.
Culver Infrastructure Projects Underway
The Town of Culver is looking forward to the completion of several infrastructure improvements this year. A new storm sewer is being installed on Lakeshore Drive, which will help decrease flooding to the area and improve drainage around commercial establishments, residences, and town properties. Just to the east, the town is also constructing a new water tower. At the other end of town, a new water plant is being built. Both projects are funded through the $400,000 OCRA grant the town received last year. These projects will be of great benefit to Culver residents and businesses through improved storm water collection and safe drinking water for years to come.
Plymouth Supports Business Expansion
The Plymouth City Council recently approved a personal property tax abatement for WestRock Company, which will provide relief to in the form of 50% tax liability for a seven year period. WestRock, which has operated in Plymouth since 2011, plans to invest approximately $5.2 million for new equipment at their Plymouth location, which will increase the company's efficiency and profits, retain over 100 workers, and strengthen the local economy. Thanks to the City of Plymouth for supporting local business expansion through this tax abatement.
Invest in Marshall County Update                                  
The Marshall County EDC would like to say "thank you" for your commitment in supporting the "Invest in Marshall County" campaign. The campaign was launched in April to increase private sector support for economic development, and has already surpassed one-third of its goal.
New and retained investors for 2016 pledging funds to the campaign, or partnering with the MCEDC, include:
  • Marshall County
  • Town of Argos
  • Town of Bourbon
  • City of Plymouth
  • Town of Bremen
  • Town of Culver
  • Culver Redevelopment
  • St. Joseph Regional Medical Center
  • Construction Management & Design
  • First Federal Savings Bank
  • Plymouth Chamber of Commerce (In Kind)
  • Swan Lake (In Kind)
Thank you, together we will strengthen and grow Marshall County's economy.

2864 Miller Drive, Plymouth, IN 46563

(574) 935-8499

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