The Town of Plainfield has been named a 2017 Municipal Innovation Award winner by Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim) in the 30,000 – 60,000 population category. The Town received the award during the Aim Annual Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, October 11, at the 2017 Aim Ideas Summit in Evansville.
The town was honored for their creation of an Economic Improvement District as a means for helping workers connect with jobs in the Plainfield warehouse/industrial district by providing a mass transit option that links to Marion County’s IndyGo bus system. The North Connector and South Connector transit systems help Plainfield employers stay properly staffed and help the town attract new employers to the area.
“We are pleased to be recognized for using this economic development tool in a way that hadn’t been tried before,” said Robin Brandgard, Plainfield’s Town Council President. “Previously, creating an Economic Improvement District for transportation was primarily used in downtown areas looking to attract tourists and shoppers into their retail districts. We felt it would be appropriate to use in bringing workers to jobs, and the businesses agreed with us when they petitioned us to create the District. They have also used funding from the District to explore new ways to attract qualified workers to their businesses.”
In an Economic Improvement District, businesses from the area petition the Town to create the District and voluntarily assess themselves in a tax-like manner. They then use the assessment to fund specific projects. In this case, the projects include funding the Connector bus service. All businesses benefit from being in the District, but unlike a public project, they fund the improvements themselves.
Recognized along with the Town were the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority (CIRTA) which operates the bus system under contract to the Town, and Kelley and Associates, a consulting company which helped the Town with the petition to create of the District.
The Town of Plainfield is a community located southwest of Indianapolis near the Indianapolis International Airport. Known internationally as a world-class logistics center, the Town has more than 40 million square feet of warehouse/industrial space under roof. The community is also known for its highly ranked school system, its low tax rate, and for amenities such as its extensive parks and trails system, its recreation and indoor aquatics center, and for its 4.3-acre tropical themed Splash Island Waterpark which serves as a regional draw.