Regional Cities Contenders Make Their Case

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If the early hours of formal Regional Cities Initiative presentations are any indication, one of the program's goals of boosting regional collaboration among towns, cities, businesses and organizations is taking hold. Seven regions are competing for funding from the two-year, $84 million effort. The initiative is designed to help market the regions on a global scale to attract talent and improve quality of life. Nearly 425 projects have been proposed, representing more than $3.75 billion in potential investment.

This morning's presentations included the north central region and the northwest region. The northeast and west central regions will cap off the day and the central, east central and southwest regions will pitch their efforts Wednesday.

The Strategic Review Committee will provide their recommendations in December to board leaders with the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Each region emphasized a unique focus with the total projects proposed ranging from $34 million to $925 million.Funding for the initiative will come from a month-long state tax amnesty program.

The initiative is targeting at least $1 billion in joint private and public investment over the next decade for the regions selected for a share in the finding. It has been one of the signature efforts of Governor Mike Pence's administration and received bi-partisan support in the General Assembly.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, representing the North Central Region, says the program has already helped build bridges.
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