Office of Community and Rural Affairs designates Cass County Agribusiness Park locations Indiana Site Certified Gold and Prime

June 1st, 2016 by Christy Householder

For Immediate Release
May 31, 2016

Office of Community and Rural Affairs designates Cass County Agribusiness Park locations Indiana Site Certified Gold and Prime

Indianapolis – The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) recently celebrated the designation of two Cass County Indiana Site Certified sites; the Cass County Agribusiness Park Site 1 as Indiana Site Certified Prime and Cass County Agribusiness Park Site 2 as Indiana Site Certified Gold.

The Indiana Site Certified program is designed to assist Indiana cities and towns by validating sites that are ready for economic development and:

  • Illustrate the community’s commitment to economic growth
  • Mitigate risks for businesses who want to locate or expand their operations in Indiana
  • Serve as a marketing tool to promote sites that are ready for development

“Cass County’s Indiana Site Certified Prime and Gold designations illustrate their commitment to attracting businesses and jobs to the area, resulting in population growth, an indicator of economic success,” said OCRA Executive Director Bill Konyha. “We are pleased to partner with the community as they continue to explore ways to create and sustain a thriving hometown.”

The Cass County Agribusiness Sites are within a 2-5 mile radius from a state highway, fifteen minutes from US 31 and a thirty minute drive to Interstate 65; as well as located near the Hoosier Heartland Highway, a limited access highway connecting Lafayette and  Fort Wayne. Additionally, the sites have  duel access rail capabilities and are adjacent to the Winamac Southern and Norfolk Southern rail lines.

The Cass County Agribusiness Park sites are positioned to support advanced manufacturing, value-added agriculture, logistics, aerospace and renewable energy opportunities for the Cass County region.

“One of the keys to attracting new businesses or encouraging existing industry to choose Cass County as their location for expansion, is making the process easier for them.” said Cass County Commissioner Jim Sailors. “The site certification program will eliminate several steps for a business to locate in Cass County, ultimately increasing our competitiveness for business growth and job creation.”

The Indiana Site Certified Prime, which builds upon Gold by requiring 30 contiguous acres, (Gold requires a minimum of 20), location no more than 2.5 miles from a state highway, and an archaeological investigation. In addition, the Local Unit of Government, Local Economic Development Organization or Regional Economic Development Organization must own the property or an option must be held with the owner.

Indiana Site Certified is led by OCRA in partnership with the state’s Fast Access Site Team (FAST),  comprised of multiple state agencies including the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC).

For more information regarding the tiers and general programmatic parameters, please visit the Indiana Site Certified webpage.

Communities of any size may apply for the designation through OCRA. Applications for certification are accepted on a rolling basis. The first step is to contact your regionally based OCRA Community Liaison who will be able to offer current program details, evaluate readiness to proceed and provide application instructions.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state, and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development.

Media Contact:
Emily Duncan
Communications Director
Office of Lt. Governor Holcomb
eduncan@lg.in.gov
(c) 317-471-9048

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