Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness has joined mayors from five other central Indiana cities along with commissioners from Hamilton and Madison counties to apply for a Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative planning grant.
The READI program is one of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s initiatives to promote collaboration across neighboring communities aimed at “(developing) a bold vision for their future that, when implemented, will attract, develop and retain talent in Indiana,” according to a media release.
The grants, announced in May 2021, can be up to $50 million per region to support projects and economic pursuits. According to a media release, the state is looking for “regional development plans that outline strategies to make positive developments in the region’s quality of place and quality of life, quality of opportunity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development.”
The regions are self-defined by the applicants. Fishers is joining Anderson, Carmel, Indianapolis, Noblesville and Westfield, along with the two counties to create a region based on what unites them all: the White River.
“The White River is an incredible natural resource that has been underutilized as a driver for economic, lifestyle and workforce development,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness stated. “This collaboration brings together key stakeholders in the White River region that could see a real impact if chosen.”
Most of the members partnering to apply for the READI grant collaborated in 2019 on the White River Vision Plan, which aims to harness the river’s economic, lifestyle and ecological potential. The addition of Anderson and Madison County extends the core group’s reach east to Anderson and Mounds State Park.
Specific initiatives for each city have yet to be defined.
Applications for the grant are due by July 1. Funding decisions are expected to be made by the end of the year.