Marshall County Commissioners Recommend Major Grant Effort

The Marshall County Commissioners have given their endorsement to a grant that could attract more people to the region.

During Monday morning’s Commissioners meeting, the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative was discussed. The program is designed to avoid the risk of losing population by attracting new residents to the area.

Regina Emberton with the Michiana Partnership says major projects could be undertaken through the initiative.

“We’re working on prioritizing a list of those 45 projects and that is going to be part of our application that is submitted to the state so they would have expectations that we’re executing on those particular projects,” says Emberton.

To do this, Marshall County is expected to partner with other counties to for a Regional Development Authority (RDA). The group would provide oversight of millions of dollars in grant funds for any projects that are constructed.

Likely, Marshall County will be partnering with St. Joseph and Elkhart counties for the RDA. They will be competing with a handful of other regions from around the state for one of two $42-million grants. Those funds would be spaced out over two years.

Emberton says the RDA does not have any taxing authority.

“It’s a mechanism to take in the grant money and distribute it throughout the region as projects come up,” says Emberton.

The Indiana General Assembly approved the funds in their two-year budget to fulfill the grant promise.

Marshall County could hope to retain some of its population while looking to grow its base and complete some major projects if selected for the funds. The grant application is due by July 1st.