April 26, 2023 — Accelerate Rural Indiana (ARI) has formed a Regional Development Authority (RDA) to further cement Interstate 74’s southeastern corridor as a top destination for talent. The informal coalition of Batesville, Greensburg, Rushville and Shelbyville along with Decatur, Rush and Shelby counties was formed in 2021. Forming an RDA creates the region’s first formal regional organization and accomplishes a top priority of the group’s regional development plan. 
ARI was awarded $20 million of Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) funding, the highest per capita READI award in the state. ARI will leverage the RDA to administer the region’s current READI funding, pursue potential READI 2.0 funding, and apply for other non-READI-related state and federal grants.
“Our region came together nearly two years ago with the goal of securing READI funding for our member communities. READI has been wildly successful for our region. We expect to attract over $400 million of private investment to the region by 2026,” noted Robbins, the newly elected ARI RDA Chair. “The formation of the ARI RDA signifies that our region is committed to regionalism and driving future investment to the region.”
The RDA was formed pursuant to Indiana Code 36-7.6, which allows two or more adjacent counties to form an RDA to develop and fund regionally significant projects. The ARI RDA will be governed by a Development Board of five representatives from the ARI region. 
The region’s executives appointed a slate of Development Board members with equal representation across the region. Bryan Robbins (Greensburg), Andy Saner (Batesville), Virgil Bremer (Carthage), Bruce Everhart (Waldron), and David Toll (Shelbyville) have been appointed to each serve four-year terms on the Development Board.
The ARI RDA Development Board held its first meeting at Greensburg’s City Hall on April 14th, 2023, where the board adopted its organizational bylaws, elected officers, approved a resolution to add Batesville to the RDA, and established a regular meeting schedule. The Development Board will meet regularly on the second Friday of each month at Greensburg’s City Hall. The public is welcome to attend Development Board meetings. 
HB 1001, the State’s biannual budget proposal, currently includes an additional $500 million for another round of READI funding. The ARI region hopes to leverage its success with READI thus far and the RDA to secure READI 2.0 funding. 
Launched by Gov. Holcomb and led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), READI encourages regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The $500 million READI fund was passed by legislation during the 2021 session and was divided among 17 regions. Through READI, 17 regions across the state that represent all 92 counties are moving forward with projects and programs designed to enhance Indiana’s regions for current and future generations of Hoosiers. Collectively, the state’s $500 million investment is expected to yield an additional $9.86 billion public, private and nonprofit dollars invested (19.72:1 investment leverage ratio) in enhancing Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity.


Please click here for RDA group photo.

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Mason Gordon