The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation is proud of the numerous collaborations that it has been able to achieve. We realize that in order for us to be truly successful, we cannot be an island unto ourselves. The communities of LaGrange County are a part of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership consists of 10 counties of 92 in Indiana.
In that vein, we can celebrate numerous stories that detail the cooperation between the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation and our many regional partners.
LaGrange County is a member of the 10-county Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The mission of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is to promote business expansion and economic growth in the ten county region. LaGrange County contributes financially to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and works with Partnership staff to best represent LaGrange County on a regional basis. LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ryne Krock also serves on the 10 member LEDO Council (Local Economic Development Organization), which provides advice and input from the local level to the Partnership board of directors on local economic development issues.
LaGrange County is also a member of the seven county Indiana Toll Road Economic Development Corridor. This is a new start-up group that has been assembled to examine the many different ways the seven Indiana counties (in which the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90) passes through) can work together to resolve common issues, and explore new ways in which to collaborate in the future. The group also has a study in the works with a large regional university to delve more in-depth into these different potential collaborations.
In the last few years, LaGrange County has completed a joint land use study in conjunction with the City of Sturgis, Michigan, and St. Joe County, Michigan to examine and plan for growth in the Indiana State Road 9/Michigan State Highway M-66. The study examined a number of items, from proactive zoning to potential future uses and site plans for different sites. Out of this study, grew a desire to continue to work together with each other to jointly plan for growth, and the development of the Fawn River Crossing area.
One of the other results of this collaboration came in the form of marketing materials that highlight both LaGrange County, Indiana and the City of Sturgis, Michigan. These world-class quality materials are full of helpful data about the two communities and the Fawn River Crossing area as a whole.
The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation and the City of Sturgis also partnered together to develop the infrastructure at the Fawn River Crossing Industrial Park. The park, located at the southwest corner of the I-80/90 and Indiana State Road 9 interchange, was previously served only by wells and septic systems. LaGrange County recognized that in order to grow this area in the future, access to consistent water supplies and sewage service through municipal utilities was needed. As a result, LaGrange County installed a new 500,000 gallon water tower and water treatment plant, and reached an agreement with the City of Sturgis to extend sewer lines down from Sturgis to provide service to the park and surrounding area. This project will come online in the early summer of 2010.
LaGrange County also participates in the annual "Economic Development Forum" series that is a joint collaboration between the four northern most Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership counties. LaGrange County, in conjunction with Steuben County, Dekalb County, and Noble County, jointly organize an annual forum every fall aimed at educating local and regional elected officials in matters relating to economic development. In previous years, we have covered subjects such as community resource availability, the basics of economic development, what constitutes an attractive site, and different strategies for site development that have worked in other communities. In the fall of 2010, we will be presenting on the topic of business retention and expansion, and if previous years are any indication, it will be just as great.
The list could go on and on detailing the numerous collaborations both within LaGrange County and with organizations outside of LaGrange County. You can be confident that when you work with the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, the same spirit of collaboration will be brought to the forefront!