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Southern Indiana quality-of-life projects to receive $50 million from state grant

The Our Southern Indiana regional development authority includes Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott and Washington counties.

Southern Indiana counties were recently awarded $50 million as part of a new state grant program.

Gov. Eric Holcomb established the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, known as READI, to support local projects across the state. The grant program divided $500 million among 17 economic regions.

Our Southern Indiana, the region that includes Clark and Floyd counties, received the maximum allotment of $50 million. Only four other regions got the same.

Wendy Dant Chesser is the president of One Southern Indiana, the area’s chamber of commerce. She said she’s happy the region was recognized for its ambitious projects.

“We know the competition was stiff,” she said. “But we also know that we were prepared the best we could to compete for those funds. And I'm really, really thrilled that it turned out the way that it did.”

The grant will help fund several recreational and infrastructure projects.

Chesser said the investments could result in an economic boon for the entire region.

“The state grant of $50 million can generate a billion dollars of economic impact,” she said. “It's hard for people not to somehow be connected or benefit from that.”

The Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority comprises five counties near the Ohio River: Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott and Washington. The region included 54 projects in its pitch for READI grant funding.

Projects like Origin Park, a commerce road in Clark County, and a technology center in Floyd County were included in the top 10 proposals.

John Boyle is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. John's coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County, Community Foundation of Southern Indiana and Samtec, Inc.

John is News Editor for LPM. Email John at jboyle@lpm.org.