Duke Energy to help prepare Rush County industrial building for potential industrial development

Jordan Manufacturing

Duke Energy Indiana has selected 100,000 square feet of available space at the Industrial Jordan Manufacturing Building in Rush County for the utility’s 2015 Site Readiness Program. The building is located at 1250 Commerce Drive in Rushville.
The Site Readiness Program is a key component of Duke Energy’s economic development model. It identifies, evaluates, and improves sites in the company’s service territory for potential industrial development.
“We see distinct potential for this available building space to attract businesses that can bring economic growth to this area,” said Cathy Wenning, Duke Energy Indiana community relations manager for Rush County. “Helping promote economic development is an important part of our commitment to serving our customers.”
As part of Duke Energy’s evaluation of the Rushville location, site-selection consultant InSite Consulting will conduct a comprehensive assessment. Based on consultant recommendations, Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for increasing the industrial building’s marketability and help prepare the space for future businesses.
Schmidt Associates, an architectural firm in Indianapolis, will produce conceptual drawings and site plans.
“The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program reinforces our work to attract jobs and industries to this area,” said John McCane, executive director of the Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation. “We appreciate Duke Energy’s partnership and collaboration, and we look forward to seeing the consultant’s final recommendations.”
The recommendations from the site consultant will be presented to local officials in early summer. Duke Energy will also present a check for $10,000 to help the community implement the recommendations.
Other sites selected for the Duke Energy Indiana 2015 Site Readiness Program include properties in Clark, Howard and Vermillion counties.
Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are 60 acres or larger, served by the utility, or a vacant industrial building at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in a community.
Duke Energy Indiana’s overall economic development program has also been consistently named by Site Selection magazine as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs.” Since 2008, the company has participated in the creation of nearly 20,000 jobs and total capital investment of approximately $4.5 billion.
For more information about Duke Energy Indiana’s economic development programs, visit www.locationindiana.com.
Duke Energy
Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 810,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.


The Rush County Economic and Community Development Corporation announced today that Rush County is now certified as an ACT™ Work Ready Community (CWRC). The process of working toward this goal began last April when they publicized participation in the program.
The CWRC is an initiative that showcases the highly skilled workforce that businesses require in a competitive economy. The foundation of a community’s certification is based on individuals at the county level across the current, transitioning and emerging workforce earning a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and employers recognizing the NCRC. The NCRC is a portable, industry-recognized credential that clearly identifies an individual’s WorkKeys® skills in reading for information, applied math and locating information. These workplace skills are highly important to the majority of jobs in the workplace.
“Being a certified work ready community helps make our county more competitive when it comes to attracting new business”, said John McCane, Executive Director of the ECDC. “Rush County is leading our state to close the skills gap and provide skilled workers to our employers. Focusing on these initiatives helps Rush County grow and prosper. We are the first county in Indiana to achieve this designation”.
“Meeting the goals was a combined effort of many entities”, said Carolyn Bunzendahl, Client Services Manager of the ECDC. She cited the leadership of individuals on the K To Success Education committee, encouragement of the ECDC Board of Directors, and hard work of the WorkOne agency, especially Business Services Representative Leslie Shaul, as being paramount in reaching those goals. “We want to congratulate those 281 individuals who have earned a National Career Readiness Certificate, and over 19 employers who have signed up as being in support of the program. They are the ones who are most important to this initiative”. Now that the county is certified, maintenance goals will be set to ensure an ongoing supply of skilled employees.
For more information about this program, go to http://www.workreadycommunities.org/IN/139,; www.rushecdc.org or call the ECDC at 938-3232.

RUSH COUNTY / RUSHVILLE named FINALIST for Hometown Collaboration Initiative!

Lt. Governor Ellspermann sends official announcements to Hometown Collaboration Initiative Finalist Communities.

INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann electronically sent congratulatory announcement videos to the six newly designated finalist communities for the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI). The program, in its inaugural year is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) in partnership with Ball State and Purdue Universities and was unveiled by Ellspermann at regional conferences held around the state last fall.
“Congratulations to each of the HCI finalist communities. As Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, I am a strong proponent of growing rural Indiana. That means ensuring our communities provide quality of place where residents and talented people choose to live, work and raise a family. I am confident the HCI program will assist the communities in further developing opportunities for growth and prosperity,” stated Lt. Governor Ellspermann in the recorded messages.
2015 HCI Finalist Communities include:
• The Town of Corydon
• The City of Lebanon
• Perry County
• Pulaski County
• Rush County/Rushville
• The City of Seymour
This initiative is open to communities of fewer than 25,000 people that want to expand their pipeline of local leaders, strengthen and expand jobs by building on existing economic assets and improve the attractiveness and quality of life of their hometowns. A core principle of HCI is that broad-based input and buy-in is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of all community development initiatives.
Eligible applicants were asked to choose between three building blocks:
• Economy – Strengthening our Hometown Economy
• Leadership – Developing our Hometown Leadership Pipeline
• Placemaking – Focusing on our Hometown’s Natural & Built Resources
The application consisted of six open-ended questions that demonstrated the community’s ability and need to participate in the program as well as identified the current strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they were asked to explain why their community was prepared for this program.
After semi-finalist communities were announced in early December 2014, the HCI team conducted site visits at each of the local communities who were able to further elaborate on their need for the program and allow the team to experience each community.
The congratulatory videos from Lt. Governor Ellspermann are available on You Tube.
For further information on the Hometown Collaboration Initiative or to contact a regional Community Liaison with questions, please visit http://www.in.gov/ocra/2732.htm or http://www.in.gov/ocra/2330.htm.

Wind Farm a real possibility for Rush County

A proposal for a three-county (Fayette, Henry and Rush) wind farm project gained local support earlier this week. A similar project a few years earlier never got off the ground following a number of meetings with the counties involved. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, is looking into placing eight wind turbines in Henry County, 60 in Fayette County and 25 in Rush County.

According to Rush County ECDC Director John McCane, as proposed, the local wind turbines would be located on rural property in Washington and Union Townships with construction beginning in 2016. Earlier this week, a public meeting was held on the proposed project with members of the county council and the Rush County Commissioners and representatives from NextEra Energy Resources in attendance. Following an explanation of the proposed plan in which NextEra would invest $82 million in equipment and real estate improvements, they requested a 10-year property tax abatement.

A number of individuals voiced their concerns and thoughts on the project prior to the county leaders rendering a decision. County commissioner Bruce Levi said that this week’s decision is only one of the numerous steps necessary for the project to move forward. “Essentially, we have opened the door to the possibility of this becoming a local reality. It all depends on if they (NextEra) can sell the power they generate,” Levi said. The county leaders agreed to an economic development agreement, which, once set in place, Rush County would receive $12,000 per megawatt of electrical power generated by the wind turbines. The county leaders then turned their attention to an agreement regarding drainage and county roads issues. McCane said that any damage to Rush County roads or drainage infrastructures due to size and magnitude of placing the turbines and gaining access to the rural property will be replaced and would be covered by Whitewater Wind, LLC.

A decommissioning agreement was the third agreement the county leaders agreed to. If the project is decommissioned, Whitewater Wind, LLC would be responsible for the cost to remove the turbines and up to four feet of the base they rest upon. In a final matter, a majority carried the vote by the county council to grant 10-year property tax abatement for the project. Commissioner Mark Bacon said that roughly a single acre of land is necessary for each turbine, a plot that includes roadway access and a station and the tower itself. “I’m not so sure I wouldn’t put one on my property if I was asked to do so,” Bacon said.

McCane agreed with the county leaders in that Wednesday’s decision was just one step in the process with similar proposals and meetings being held in Fayette and Henry counties. “Rush County made the first step in the process today. I see it as a win-win in a number of areas. If the project is realized, the county will see financial growth by the workers placing the turbines, the property owners will be compensated for their rural ground and the county will receive funding from the energy provided,” McCane said.

Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.

City of Rushville adopts new Comprehensive Plan

CityBy Kate Thurston, Reporter/Photographer for Rushville Republican.

Tuesday night before city council, there was a public hearing on the comprehensive plan for Rush County.

The plan was completed and adopted at the meeting.

Cory Daly with HWC Engineering along with Scott Burgins of SDG spoke to the council and those who attended.

“Over the last 12 months or so, we have went over the plan. This has really been a publicly fed process. When you look at how this was structured, it was led by a steering committee. This community held the entire process together and hung together throughout all the meetings. Beyond the steering committee, the most important thing to think about is how it was a publicly driven process. This plan is a guide for the city with short and long term goals. There are two basic fundamental questions that were asked,” Daly said. “‘What do you want to change and what do you want to protect?’ The comprehensive plan is a guiding document, but that does not mean you have to do what it says. This plan reflects the public’s opinion and what they want to see happening down the road. It is important to remember this was a community driven process. There were a series of public meetings and we tried to include as many people as possible during the process.”

The plan conducted a survey between March and April to get feedback from the community. Information was collected through a public survey, steering committee workshops, focus group workshops, individual stakeholder interviews, public meetings, community website and press releases.

“The public survey was a main catalyst for some of the big decisions that were made. Rushville can pat themselves on the back because there were over 1,000 responses for the survey. This showed many people were interested and wanted to see this happen. This helped give people some say and speak their opinion. We found that overall agriculture is a large identifier of the community and community growth was essentially important along with improving existing neighborhoods. We also heard quite a bit about downtown and what it could be along with the small businesses. Long story short, we found people really love Rushville. People also thought that there needed to be better opportunities in Rushville.”

Mayor Mike Pavey commented, stating the plan was a great way to start making improvements.

“We can take a lot from the plan,” Pavey stated. “There are many items we can work on, starting with short term. The plan helps because we can work at our own pace and it does act as a road map to reach our goals. We would like to start on some of our short term goals right away.”

RUSHVILLE awarded Blight Elimination Grant! This is great news; supports Economic Development efforts.

Great news for the City of Rushville. $230,000 to help clean up our neighborhoods. Congratulations Mayor Pavey and all of your staff who helped to put this successful grant application together. One more step to building a stronger Rushville and Rush County.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced two rounds of awards from Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Blight Elimination Program (BEP). The 23 successful Indiana applicants from Divisions Five and Six received a combined total of nearly $12 million to help prevent avoidable foreclosures by eliminating blighted and abandoned homes in those communities through the BEP.

The 18 successful Division Five applicants receiving awards totaling $8.2 million include:

Cass County:
-The City of Logansport – $925,000
-The Town of Walton – $25,000
Clay County:
-The City of Brazil – $215,000
Daviess County:
-The City of Washington – $459,000
DeKalb County:
-The City of Auburn – $100,000
-The City of Garrett – $75,000
-The Town of Waterloo – $236,000
Henry County:
-The City of New Castle – $700,000
Jackson County:
-The City of Seymour – $72,000
Knox County:
-The City of Bicknell – $415,000
-The City of Vincennes – $390,000
Miami County:
-The City of Peru – $813,000
Shelby County:
-The City of Shelbyville – $304,000
Greene County – $945,000
Gibson County – $1,440,000
Posey County – $617,000
Noble County/The City of Kendallville – $487,000

The 11 successful Division Six applicants receiving awards totaling $3.7 million include:

Blackford County:
-City of Dunkirk (Jay/Blackford) – $176,000
-City of Hartford City – $507,000
-City of Montpelier – $61,000
Carroll County:
-City of Delphi – $68,000
Fayette County:
-City of Connersville – $125,000
Ohio County:
-City of Rising Sun – $161,000
Rush County:
-City of Rushville – $230,000
Spencer County:
-Town of Richland City – $144,000
Starke County:
-City of Knox – $187,000
Pulaski County – $147,000
Sullivan County – $1,914,000

“The cities and towns receiving nearly $12 million in BEP funds for Divisions Five and Six will be able to demolish over 550 blighted properties, which will stabilize property values and help prevent foreclosures for neighboring homeowners,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “The recipients, with the help of their program partners, will be able to provide much needed revitalization in their communities.”

These local governments and their non-profit partners are the successful applicants in the fifth and sixth rounds of the BEP. The BEP provides an opportunity for local units of government in all 92 Indiana counties to compete for a total of $75 million available for blight elimination funding to prevent avoidable foreclosures through the removal of blighted, vacant and abandoned homes.

“Cities across Indiana have been struggling with the damaging effects caused by vacant and blighted properties and will soon see the benefits of these federal funds,” said Sarah Bloom Raskin, Treasury Deputy Secretary. “Removing blighted properties is important in the fight to reduce foreclosures and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the State of Indiana to help stabilize hardest hit communities.”

The BEP funds are drawn from the $221.7 million in Hardest Hit Funds allocated to Indiana. In February 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the use of $75 million of Indiana’s Hardest Hit Funds by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) for successful BEP applicants. The partnership between IHCDA and Treasury allows for funding to eliminate blighted properties and offers a variety of end uses for the newly cleared parcels, such as green space or redevelopment.

“We’re excited about with the neighborhood-enhancing projects scheduled to take place around the state,” said Mark Neyland, IHCDA Director of Asset Preservation, who manages Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Program. “This program will assist scores of Indiana communities in their efforts to prevent avoidable foreclosures and keep property values stable for many years to come.”

The State of Indiana is divided into six funding divisions. The first round application deadlines have closed for all six divisions. Second rounds are currently open in Divisions Three through Six. Lt. Governor Ellspermann previously announced awards for successful applicants in Division One on May 22, 2014, Division Two applicants on June 26, Division Three applicants on July 24 and Division Four on August 28.

IHCDA estimates that approximately 4,000 blighted and/or abandoned homes in Indiana will be eliminated through the Blight Elimination Program. Visit www.877GetHope.org/blight to learn more.

Source: Office of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann

RUSHVILLE / RUSH COUNTY visited by Senator Donnelly

The Rush County ECDC was excited and honored to have U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly stop by our office yesterday.  We had the opportunity to visit with Senator Donnelly for more than a half hour.  We discussed issues that are important for Rushville and Rush County and ways where we could partner with the federal government to bring these projects to fruition.  Thank you Senator Donnelly for taking the time to listen.

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RUSHVILLE wins 2014 Primacy of Place Community Award!

Building Better Communities (BBC), the outreach and engagement division at Ball State University, announced Thursday that the Riverside Park Amphitheater in Rushville is one of four recipients of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards. The awards, presented at an awards ceremony luncheon at the Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie, recognize Indiana communities’ exemplary approaches to improving quality of life for their residents, visitors, and businesses. Fellow winners include Big Four Bridge and Big Four Station in Jeffersonville, Nickel Plate Arts Initiative in eastern Hamilton/southern Tipton counties and the Read to Succeed program in Greater Lafayette/Tippecanoe County.”Riverside Park is an extraordinary venue for our community that brings local people together and people from out of town, who come here and enjoy our community, spend their money. And when one considers the fact that the venue was built with very little taxpayer dollars and that the shows are put on every year without a penny of taxpayers dollars, it is an amazing thing that our community has come together for a common cause. It is humbling that Ball State and Building Better Communities recognized that we are doing something great here,” ECDC Executive Director John McCane said. “A community’s investment in quality-of-place is one of the top-drivers of economic development within that community,” Bill Davis, executive director of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs, one of the organizations partnering with Ball State to present the awards, said. “It helps attract a talented workforce as well as cultivate increased interest for new businesses to move to the community. These communities are among those that are truly focused on determining their economic futures.” The city of Rushville (pop. 6,204) was recognized for its Riverside Park Amphitheater and free summer concert series, which has hosted more than 65,000 concert-goers over the last five years. – See more at: http://www.rushvillerepublican.com/local/x1927913361/Rushville-wins-2014-Primacy-of-Place-Community-Award#sthash.oqal9ZkW.dpuf

RUSHVILLE named finalist in Primacy of Place Award!

Amphitheater 1
Building Better Communities (BBC), the outreach and engagement division at Ball State University, today announced nine finalists of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards Program (PoPCAP.)

The program, launched in 2013 by BBC and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, recognizes Indiana communities making innovative strides in improving quality of life for residents, visitors and businesses.

Finalists will be honored at the Primacy of Place Community Awards Luncheon on Aug. 7 at Minnetrista in Muncie. Winners will be announced and receive an original award designed by artists in Ball State’s Marilyn K Glick Center for Glass, a 30-second promotional video highlighting the winning community’s dedication to primacy of place efforts and two complimentary tickets to the 2014 Primacy of Place Conference on Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.

The 2014 finalists are:

City of Rushville (Population 6,204): Each summer since 2005, Rushville has offered a free concert series at its Riverside Park Amphitheater, featuring a diverse lineup of local, regional, nation and international performers. The amphitheater has hosted more than 65,450 concert-goers, with up to 40 percent coming from out of town.

City of Madison (Population 12,049): More than 100 churches, nonprofits and social service organizations have come together to create “the Clearinghouse,” a one-stop service center for southeastern Indiana families in need of services. The facility includes office space, classroom and multipurpose rooms, a computer lab and information referral center.

City of Jasper (Population 15,309): The Jasper Downtown + Riverfront Master Plan sets forth strategies for redevelopment and reinforces – and celebrates – Jasper’s unique character and inherent strengths. It builds on the cherished assets of Jasper to attract and keep the next generation of citizens.

Perry County (Population 19,558): The Perry County Quality of Life Committee was formed to enhance perceived and actual quality of life for residents and visitors. The committee focuses on walking and biking trails, beautification efforts, shopping and natural highlights, and festivals and special events including a New Year’s Eve celebration, Silvesternacht.

City of Westfield (Population 33,382): The city hopes to establish a flagship recreational venue, niche industry and economic development anchor for future growth with the completion of the $35 million sports campus at Grand Park. This facility will include 400 acres with 31 soccer/multipurpose fields, 26 baseball/softball diamonds, and 10 miles of interconnected walking trails.

City of Jeffersonville (Population 45,929): Jeffersonville has dedicated substantial efforts and resources to open the Big Four Bridge connecting the city to Louisville, Ky., across the Ohio River for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. In addition to downtown revitalization, Jeffersonville will unveil Big Four Station, a new $5 million park at the foot of the bridge, in October.

City of Lafayette (Population 70,373): MatchBOX Coworking Studio is a co-working space in downtown Lafayette for entrepreneurs, strategists and artists interested in starting or growing businesses. The space, created with help from more than 20 community and corporate partners, offers 24-hour secure access, complimentary refreshments, flexible space, conference rooms and Internet.

Eastern Hamilton/Southern Tipton Counties (Population about 150,000): Nickel Plate Arts supports, promotes and provides outstanding arts experiences in the six communities along the historic Nickel Plate Railroad. The group works to integrate visual and performing arts, support local professional artists, and connect communities, artists and residents.

Greater Lafayette/Tippecanoe County (Population 180,174): Lafayette’s Read to Succeed program motivated hundreds of community volunteers to spend one hour per week in local classrooms helping third-grade children develop and enhance essential literacy skills.

The PoPCAP awards are one part of Ball State’s Primacy of Place initiative to help Indiana communities put human interests at the center of economic development by nurturing wellness, happiness and prosperity. The initiative’s website (primacyofplace.com) includes best practice resources for community leaders in six key areas: arts integration, educational excellence, community design, community well-being, municipal governance and readiness for change.