Zionsville considers joining new regional development authority


The Town of Zionsville is considering joining the Central Indiana Regional Development Authority, a new group formed in part to collect and distribute state READI grant funds in the short term and unite neighboring municipalities in addressing regional issues.

RDAs primarily exist to allow communities to work together in a coordinated effort on matters such as attracting major business relocations or improving a transportation network.

Noblesville, Carmel and Fishers have already joined the new RDA, and McCordsville, Hancock County, Marion County and other communities are expected to vote on it soon.

In a May 16 presentation to the Zionsville Town Council about the new RDA, Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen said the need for the group became apparent when the Central Indiana team pitching White River-based projects for the READI grants found a more cohesive approach from other regions that sought funding as an RDA.

“We were doing it among city staff and town staff, so we saw an obvious shortcoming we had in Central Indiana by not having a formed RDA in place,” Jensen said.

The White River READI grant partnership, which included Zionsville, requested $50 million in funds and received $20 million. Jensen said additional READI grant funds could become available in the future, and he believes the RDA will allow Central Indiana to better pursue them.

“The goal here is to get everyone in the same region going toward the same mission and get everyone around the table to start looking at long-term opportunities,” Jensen said.

Zionsville is still waiting to learn how much funding it will receive through the READI grant. Town officials said they hope to know by June.