Communities and counties moored by the White River are collaborating to apply for the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative.
The mayors of Anderson, Carmel, Fishers Indianapolis, Noblesville, and Westfield and commissioners of Hamilton and Madison County have announced the joint effort for the $500 million program.
The organization says the coalition have previously collaborated on the development of the White River Vision Plan, which was released in December 2019.
This new campaign includes the addition of Anderson and Madison County.
The group says the grant program is an opportunity to transform what they call an “underutilized natural resource” into an economic, lifestyle and innovation driver.
“The White River is an incredible natural resource that has been underutilized as a driver for economic, lifestyle, and workforce development,” stated Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “This collaboration brings together key stakeholders in the White River region that could see a real impact if chosen.”
While the White River does not flow through Westfield, the city is part of the watershed and sees the opportunity to join forces with neighboring communities.
“Although Westfield does not touch the White River, this regional initiative will carry a vision and ideas to look at development downstream and infrastructure improvements east-west from the river to eventually I-65,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “We are lucky to have this kind of collaboration and vision.”
The regional group says it intends to formalize its partnership and submit its proposal for the planning grant by the July 1 deadline.
The members say the overarching theme of connectivity could include the creation of trails, environmental and green economy jobs, and water availability and quality.