HEDC Celebrates Our Successes and Our Communities

September 21 was a great night as Hancock Economic Development Council hosted an event to “Celebrate Our Successes and Our Communities”

The event was held in the clubhouse at The Preserve at Sugar Creek in New Palestine.

HEDC Executive Director Skip Kuker shared that over the last five years, Hancock County has seen $617 million in new real estate and personal property investment and 3400+ new jobs.

Community representatives who shared their accomplishments included Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell, Fortville Town Manager Joe Renner, Town of Shirley Clerk-Trasurer Teresa Hester, McCordsville Town Manager Tonya Galbraith, Cumberland Town Manager April Fisher and New Palestine Town Council President Jan Jarson.

Tonya Galbraith, town manager of McCordsville, called this “The Year of Collaboration,” in which Fortville, Cumberland, Hancock County and the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation, thanks to the generosity of the Hancock County Community Foundation, completed a unified sign project in Vernon Township, with signage identifying the school corporation and the name of the municipality.

The community also collaborated with Cumberland on a comprehensive study of economic development possibilities of the CR 600 West Corridor, also through a HCCF grant. The Town of McCordsville and Hancock County are working together on needed improvements to CR 600 W.

An additional HCCF grant project, in conjunction with Hancock County Tourism, is a county-wide trails plan that includes the county and every incorporated municipality.

A new Meijer store opened in McCordsville in May and will lead to other economic development opportunities along Broadway. Traditions at Brookside opened in the spring and offers independent living, assisted living and memory care.

Clerk/Treasurer Teresa Hester shared that the Town of Shirley has been able to use several local grant opportunities to improve their community park, historic district and Main Street facades, and they’re currently working on a mural for the downtown area.

The Town of Shirley is also working to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility. The fire department is celebrating 10 years of providing emergency ambulance transportation, a shared service with the Town of Wilkinson, and the police department recently added three K-9 officers to help the town’s “mostly volunteer” police force in their duties.

The Town of Cumberland was named as one of OCRA’s Hometown Collaboration Initiative communities. Cumberland’s second trail, Buck Creek Trail, is well underway.

“When finished, almost every Cumberland Community will be connected to our six-mile trail system,” said Cumberland Town Manager April Fisher.

An annexation to Mt. Comfort Rd. and 600 W was recently completed.

“This year we held our first Summer concert series, ‘Blues, Beers, and BBQ,’ which was quite a hit with our residents” Fisher said.

New housing developments are being built and populated in New Palestine.

“Our Justus community, Woodland Terrace, has filled all the “villas” they built and the Assisted Living and Memory Care building will be open very soon,” said New Palestine Town Council president Jan Jarson. “Our new condo/villa community, The Preserves at Sugar Creek, is selling very quickly, Stone Crossing has started construction on another phase of their community and will be opening another section next year. We have another new community, Sunrise Lakes at the Meadows, that has just started putting in infrastructure.”

Our Marsh store was bought and will be operating under the name of “Needler’s”. The Ricker’s Gas Station is moving along in their construction and we are gaining a butcher shop at the intersection,” Jarson said. “The Hancock County Library acquired land and announced that they will build a new branch on U.S. 52 in New Palestine.”

New Palestine is in the process of planning and construction of new state-of-the-art wastewater treatement plant.

“It is absolutely amazing to see the activity in our little town,” Jarson shared. “We’re all so proud and excited to see the progress.”

Fortville planning administrator Adam Zaklikowski shares that the town recently adopted the “South Madison TIF District Master Plan” which sets a blueprint for future light industrial, commercial, and residential areas between approximately State Route 13 and County Road 900 North.

“The Town is currently entering the approval process for “Connect Fortville”, a Thoroughfare Master Plan which will establish roadway cross sections and right-of-way dimensions necessary to accommodate new growth while also helping the Town to retain and enhance its small-town character,” Zaklikowski says. “Fortville has seen interest from a variety of residential developers interested in pursuing “neo-traditional/smart growth” development patterns to expand upon a solid historic district. The Town adopted Residential Standards as a template for new Planned Unit Developments intended to require high-quality planned developments, using many New Urbanist principals.
Business on Main Street continues to thrive as both Town residents and visitors from surrounding communities visit an ever-expanding culinary/entertainment scene, with Taxman Brewing Company opening during the summer. ”

In addition, communities in Hancock County will share in more than $2.4 million in road funding awarded through the state’s Community Crossings grant.

Those are just a few of the successes shared and celebrated on September 21.

See more photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Hancock Economic Development Council is proud to serve the communities of Hancock County, Indiana.

Let us put our resources to work for you. Call us at 317.477.7241 or e-mail executive director Nolan “Skip” Kuker today.