A Greencastle industrial park has been named one of the first sites to receive the Shovel Ready certification from the Indiana Finance Authority.
The pilot program is geared toward helping companies identify sites that can be rapidly developed which plays a vital role in the state economic development. For a site to be considered Shovel Ready, it has to undergo an environmental process and qualify for expedited permitting with state regulatory agencies to allow quick investment and expansion plans.
Greencastle's Sgt. Cunningham property located northwest of Lear Corp. has already received approval from Greencastle's Redevelopment Commission for application to the program. The board has proposed constructing a shell building and doing site work to make the property more appealing to companies who want to quickly locate operations in the community.
The Shovel Ready program lowers the cost of site development, improves efficiency of state permitting and enhances the marketability of the site. Since site information is available before development, potential risks of investing and improving new land are reduced for businesses.
"In business, time is money. More and more companies are looking for sites where they can have a shovel in the ground as quickly as possible," said IFA Director Ryan Kitchell. "Governor Daniels wanted a program that would help give Indiana an advantage when it comes to competing with other states for new investments and new jobs. This program will cut permitting time by up to 30 percent."
A maximum $10,000 matching grant is available for eligible expenses to certified sites. Certified sites will be highlighted on the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's Site Selection Database, which is an online resource that allows site selection consultants and businesses to research available commercial and industrial properties.
"This is another vital tool in our economic development toolbox that will help give Indiana the edge when attracting new and promising investment to the state," said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Michael S. Maurer. "Timing is key in any business decision and this program is essential for creating the most business friendly environment in Indiana we possibly can."
Other sites named by the IFA include the cities of Fort Wayne, Columbus, and Greensburg and the counties of Boone, Greensburg/Decatur and Miami.