Indiana’s new lieutenant governor says the Regional Cities Initiative will pay dividends beyond the counties that are part of the coalition. Eric Holcomb has been on the job for two weeks, following Sue Ellsperman’s resignation. He spoke yesterday in LaPorte at one of four regional Office of Community and Rural Affairs symposium. He says the three grants will pay dividends beyond the participating counties by investing in quality of place.
“Our research confirmed just how important quality of place was, for not just folks looking for places to live but for folks looking for places to invest in their business,” Holcomb told the crowd. “We are on that like a dog on a bone, that quality of place theme. I’m so pleased the legislature has affirmed its support for this initiatve, the Regional Cities Initiative, by approving the governor’s request for a third Regional City plan.”
That funding was in jeopardy until lawmakers finally reached a compromise on a road funding bill last week. Holcomb said after his speech he wasn’t concerned.
“I’ve been around the statehouse in one way or another for a decade, and typically a lot gets done in the last 72 hours, almost by design. So you’re almost wired to be calm when the waters seem a bit rocky.”
Holcomb says lawmakers managed to set their differences aside and accomplish quite a bit this year.
“We’re getting things done, and we’re moving forward. We’re not having sessions where we don’t accomplish something. So for that reason alone, I was honored to be just a very small part of it at the very end of the session.”
The North Central Indiana Region was one of the three selected for Regional Cities funds. It includes Marshall, St. Joseph and Koscuisko Counties.