The Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority learned Nov. 14 of receiving $50 million in Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant funding.
The $50 million, which will span Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott, and Washington Counties, was the largest distribution of money for a region. Across 17 regions, representing all 92 counties, the state awarded $500 million in READI grants.
View plans for Our Southern Indiana’s use of funds at https://oursoinrda.org/.
Impacts to Charlestown include infrastructure investments, housing initiatives, and trails.
“The RDA and members of the presentation team including those from One Southern Indiana who helped put our regional plan together deserve our gratitude for helping to secure this grant for our region,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “It’s refreshing and encouraging to witness the collegiality expressed by so many of our community members across our five counties. This investment has given our region a chance to show everyone else what we already know, there’s no place quite like Our Southern Indiana!”
Increasing the Charlestown wastewater treatment plant capacity is underway, eventually boosting the levels to handle anticipated business growth at River Ridge and residential growth within the city. River Ridge receives frequent requests for information from companies looking to move to or expand in Charlestown.
On the residential side, included in the proposal is the Depot Street Revitalization Housing project. This is an eight-acre multi-family and retail/commercial development providing a pedestrian and bike-friendly environment at the southern gateway to downtown Charlestown. Retail space and high-end amenities are the goal of the Depot Street project, connecting neighborhoods with walking paths and sidewalks.
The Market Street Commons is another development near the entry of Charlestown from Highway 3, offering multi-family affordable housing.
Both residential projects are well-suited to serve the employees at River Ridge and new residents to Charlestown.
Among the trail projects proposed include expanding the Ohio River Greenway Trail to Charlestown State Park. Within the state park, adding trails and amenities are in the plan as well.
“The 17 regions submitted innovative, creative and visionary projects that will result in a positive economic impact on Indiana’s future,” said Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. “It took immense collaboration between communities as they put aside their own visions and worked together to present the best plan for the region. These plans will shape Indiana for generations to come and bring value to our state like nothing we’ve witnessed before. I want to thank the general assembly for having the courage and leadership to prioritize this initiative.”
The READI review committee, an external seven-member citizen committee, reviewed and scored the plans based on the established guidelines and against other relevant data, including historical population trends. All 17 regions presented to the external review committee, allowing each region to present an overview of its plan to distill its vision, goals and strategies to positively impact the area’s quality of place, innovation, entrepreneurship, talent attraction and workforce development. Following the evaluation, the READI review committee members proposed funding recommendations to the IEDC Board of Directors.
Regional leadership will collaborate with the IEDC to prioritize projects and maximize investment. More information on the READI review committee, as well as links to download each region’s proposal and presentation, is available at IndianaREADI.com.