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Frankfort redevelopment commission to meet February 28

Frankfort, IN – Newly appointed members of the Frankfort Redevelopment Commission (FRC) will meet on Tuesday, February 28 to initiate the first part of the process for developing a long-term Economic Development Plan.

The five members of the new Redevelopment Commission are mayoral appointees Don Barnes, Nikki Beem and John Virtue and Council appointees Rick Gunyon and Robert Shaffer.

According to Mayor Chris McBarnes, the creation of the Redevelopment Commission and its designation of an economic development area and plan are the foundations of his economic development cornerstone.

“FRC members will take important steps in the near future to help promote industry expansion and attraction of new industries, job growth and secure our existing jobs – all designed to enhance Frankfort’s competitiveness in the marketplace. It’s time to put Frankfort on people’s radar,” McBarnes said.

Areas of the Industrial Park along State Road 28 will make up the proposed Phase I: Economic Development Area. Phase I of the Plan is intended to capitalize on investments made in the Industrial Park to improve Frankfort’s competitive position of local plants within their respective corporate systems.

“Because all property taxes are based on a March 1 to March 1 measurement of assessed value, as far as the State of Indiana is concerned, action taken by the FRC prior to March 1 is as if the FRC had been in place since March of last year. Being able to meet the March 1 deadline allows Frankfort to be more immediately competitive when attracting new economic development such as capturing new corporate product lines and production for future economic growth.

“Meeting this deadline also allows us to have an economic development tool in place when we communicate with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation,” McBarnes explained.

FRC members will review maps and plats showing the boundaries of the proposed Economic Development Area, including the location of various parcels of property, streets, alleys and areas devoted to public right of ways, sewerage and other public purposes under the Plan. The FRC also will review cost estimates of development projects in Phase I of the Plan.

A Declaratory Resolution will be presented at Tuesday’s FRC meeting, initiating the statutory process of presenting the concepts to the Plan Commission and City Council and then holding public meetings and hearings to receive community input.

Phase I is intended to be part of a larger and more comprehensive effort to create a single, integrated Economic Development Plan for the entire City, including other industrial and commercial areas. McBarnes is pursuing funding for the larger effort with a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) with a grant decision expected in the third quarter of this year.

The Frankfort City Council unanimously approved the creation of the FRC at its February 13 meeting. Pursuant to Indiana Code 36-7-14, the FRC will serve as the governing body of the City of Frankfort’s Department of Redevelopment. The FRC’s 8:00 p.m. Tuesday meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Council Chambers in the basement of City Hall.

For questions or interview requests, contact Mayor Chris McBarnes at 765-654-7332.

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