Mayor Graham Richard today announced his support for proposed legislation in the Indiana General Assembly that would create a Regional Development Authority for Northeast Indiana. Mayor Richard made the announcement during his Report to the People speech at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

House Bill 1774 would create a Regional Development Authority to strengthen economic development opportunities in Northeast Indiana. A Regional Development Authority would serve as a source of funding to leverage state and federal dollars for capital improvements of regional significance.

Potential Regional Development Authority projects could include:

* Economic development projects deemed to have a regional impact

* Transportation infrastructure

* Regional airport development

* Public transit facilities and services

* Recreational trails and greenway projects 

 “We must be innovative in looking for new ways to bring private investment to Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana,” said Mayor Richard. “By working together, local and regional leaders can make a positive impact and coordinate efforts to make Northeast Indiana more competitive in the global economy. High trust, high performance partnerships can lead to new jobs and businesses.”

County economic development income tax funds from Fort Wayne and surrounding counties would be used to help finance major projects. A board would be created to oversee the authority. The board would consist of appointees from each city and county that voluntarily joins the authority. The authority would help attract potential jobs and businesses to the area by having the flexibility and funding sources to complete projects needed to bring private investment to Northeast Indiana.

The City of Fort Wayne will work with bill co-sponsor, State Representative Randy Borror and the Regional Marketing Partnership to host a meeting with elected officials from around Northeast Indiana to discuss the importance of the legislation and how cities, towns and counties can work together to increase economic development opportunities.