Three towns in Hancock County are moving forward on what they call the logical outgrowth of continued collaboration. Leaders from Cumberland, McCordsville and New Palestine are joining forces to roll out "smart" technology and initiatives throughout the Mt. Comfort Corridor, which include integrating high-tech pavement sensors into the trail system and continuing the build-out of fiber. In January 2017, the towns released an economic development study keying in on the corridor and laying out potential scenarios to grown the Hancock County economy.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, McCordsville Town Manager Tonya Galbraith said broadband access is vital. "Business want the speeds, they want the connectivity, so it’s vital. It’s as important as roads and water infrastructure was and, you know, are speeds are globally competitive."
The corridor includes businesses along Mt. Comfort Road between U.S. 40 and County Road 1000 North, a thoroughfare connecting the three communities. Past collaborations among the towns include land use design standards for the corridor. New Palestine Town Manager Dave Book adds "it is not enough to just share a road. We want to share our vision for what that road will look like, what the street lights will look like, and what types of development fit the area best."
The communities are working with Greenfield-based NineStar Connect on "smart" technology strategies along the corridor. The aforementioned study, which was conducted by Indianapolis-based Thomas P. Miller & Associates, involved participation from the communities and assistance from the Hancock County Community Foundation. Officials say the information presented in the report will inform technological, marketing, land use and business outreach decisions as it targets industries including advanced manufacturing, logistics and life sciences. The towns are also putting final touches on a proposal for the state’s Stellar Communities program, which has evolved into a regional focus.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, McCordsville Town Manager Tonya Galbraith said broadband access is vital.