A design of the planned Urban Park is shown, with the new apartment building on South Fourth Street and East Market Street and a flexible space for public use, including a stage and splash pad behind the property. Photo provided
A design of the planned Urban Park is shown, with the new apartment building on South Fourth Street and East Market Street and a flexible space for public use, including a stage and splash pad behind the property. Photo provided
Logansport and Cass County’s priorities for major developments are clear: continue improving quality of life for current residents, grow the population by attracting and retaining talent, and increase housing options at all levels of affordability.

The North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council (NCIRPC) recently submitted its application to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), and the county and city’s requests all focus on those three priorities.

NCIRPC — which consists of officials from Howard, Tipton, Miami, Cass, Clinton and Fulton counties — sent a 27-project proposal to the IEDC in which the nonprofit is seeking $50 million in READI grants to help complete the projects totaling more than $530 million in public and private investments.

The 160-page proposal is extensive and includes demographics of the region and details a variety of local quality-of-life, housing and talent development projects the NCIRPC is hoping the state will help fund, and, in turn, free up local money that would’ve gone to the projects but now could be spent on other things and allow for these ideas to come to fruition sooner than originally planned.

The county and city are asking for about $7.8 million overall to help fund five projects, including Hoosier Heartland, France Park Campground improvements, Urban Park residential apartment building, Lexington Square housing development and the start of a broadband initiative.

In total, 17 regional councils across the state submitted proposals. Each region is allowed to request up to $50 million in READI grants. The state has allocated $500 million to dole out, meaning not every region will receive the maximum $50 million allowed under the program.

What projects get READI grants and how much will be decided by the IEDC board by the end of this year.

Here are the projects that will impact Cass County:

Hoosier Heartland

Overall cost: $10 million ($2 million in local investment; $6 million in private investment)

Asking for: $2 million

Funding partners: Cass County, City of Logansport and Ivy Tech

Summary: Positioned at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Morgan Hill Road, the Hoosier Heartland project has gone through a visioning process that outlined various goals for the site, including the implementation of a community center, green space, affordable housing, a hotel, commercial development and auto-oriented facilities, such as a gas station. Currently located on the site is the main hub of the project: Logansport’s Ivy Tech campus. The planned amenities would provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs to cater to the influx of students on a daily basis and would ultimately bring more jobs to the region. The project will begin with a Phase 1 implementation of infrastructure and highway supportive commercial (gas station) to help build a framework and cornerstone for the overall project.

France Park Campground

Overall cost: $600,000 ($300,000 in local investment)

Asking for: $300,000

Funding partners: Cass County, Cass County Parks and Recreation Department

Summary: The county-owned France Park boasts over 27 miles of scenic trails, natural features such as a waterfall and swimming lake, a 24-hole disc golf course, quiet fishing areas and camping facilities. The camping facility currently offers 212 camping sites: 134 electric/water sites, 8 electric-only sites, 70 primitive sites and no full hook-up sites that include electric/water/septic. With facilities running at 100% occupancy every weekend and people being turned away, the project would create 20 full hook-up camping sites (that include 50 amp electric/water/septic) to accommodate more sophisticated camping units and travelers. A well, septic, pavilion with public restrooms, concrete camping pads and road will be installed to support camping sites. The restrooms will give public restroom access to the 24-hole disc golf course, and the pavilion can also be used to host disc golf tournaments, family picnics, reunions and other events.

Urban Park

Overall cost: $10 million ($2 million in local investment; $6 million in private investment)

Asking for
: $2 million

Funding partners: City of Logansport, Mizak Development

Summary: As part of a planned 30-unit market rate residential apartment in downtown, the city has created a vision plan for the adjacent parcels that incorporates a dynamic flex space for planned events and community gatherings. The residential apartment building will be located on the existing Heritage Park site in an effort to infill properties fronting Market Street with buildings. The amenity spaces will feature a stage and performance lawn, a splash pad, concessions, a covered pavilion and game court. The city envisions the space to host concerts, farmers markets, public art installations, winter activities, such as an ice-skating rink, and tournaments for bocce and cornhole.

Lexington Village

Overall cost: $16.4 million ($1.5 million in local investment; $13.4 million in private investment)

Asking for: $1.5 million

Funding Partners:
City of Logansport, Cass County, Park Development

Summary: Originally purchased by the City of Logansport in 2014 to help spur economic development, Lexington Village is located east of downtown Logansport and is a key development area for median market rate housing. With Chicago-based Park Development as a partner, the city is in position to move forward with the planned site, which includes 52 single-family homes. In order to make the site feasible for the developer, the city has earmarked money to help with sanitary sewer, water and road upgrades but needs additional assistance.

Broadband Phase 1

Overall cost: $4.5 million ($2.5 million local investment)

Asking for: $2 million

Summary: The North Central Region is prioritizing the accessibility of high-quality, reliable and affordable broadband. The first phase of the project will cost the region $18.6 million total, with Cass County accounting for $4.5 million. The region is taking a two-pronged approach to delivering broadband throughout the region — first to deliver on deployment plans that are already in place in both Cass and Howard counties. Cass County plans to build 203 miles of additional fiber in the county. This, along with the existing county fiber ring, would bring increase to 320 of total miles of fiber in the county. The regional plan asks for $2 million of READI dollars to match $2.5 million of local dollars to complete the project.

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