The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs has unveiled a revamped version of its shovel-ready program. The initiative, now known as Indiana Site Certified, aims to boost economic development opportunities through gold, silver and prime certification levels.
OCRA says the programs goals are:
- Illustrate the communities’ commitment to economic growth
- Mitigate risks for businesses who want to locate or expand their operations in Indiana
- Serve as a marketing tool to promote sites that are ready for development
A working group comprised of multiple economic development, real estate and site planning experts from throughout the state advised the process. OCRA Executive Director Bill Konyha says the group helped the program "evolve by enhancing the criteria, messaging and goals to raise the visibility of our Indiana communities who are ready for business growth and development."
The state says the three readiness tiers are:
Silver: defines boundaries with a clear title, establishes a price, demonstrates executive level local government support, defines utility capacity and distance, and provides documentation such as Phase I environmental assessment, ALTA, topographical and property layout.
Gold: builds upon Silver by requiring a minimum of 20 contiguous acres, a location no more than 5 miles away from a state highway, a completed geo tech study, a seismic hazard map, proper zoning, a desktop archaeological investigation, utilities be located to the property line or future build be located in public right-of-way and area be free from recognized environment concerns.
Prime: builds upon Gold by requiring 30 contiguous acres, a location no more than 2.5 miles away from a state highway, and an archaeological investigation. In addition, the LUG, LEDO or REDO must own the property or an option must be held with the owner.
The office offers resources and technical assistance to communities through local, state and national partnerships.