Indiana's forgotten corridor

March 21, 2008
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Draw a line from Richmond in east-central Indiana toward the Chicago area, and youâ??ll find some of the most depressed space in the state.

The stretch includes the once-mighty manufacturing centers of Anderson, Gas City, Muncie, Kokomo and Logansport. Factories and auto-parts plants are closing in these places and little is replacing them.

We donâ??t hear about this unrecognized region because thereâ??s no natural constituency to toot its horn.

It doesnâ??t have its own state economic development district. Several lap into the area, but those districts are tied to cities and towns, each with their own agendas. Culturally, the southern flavor thatâ??s detectable in Richmond and Anderson is foreign to the people in the northern end of the corridor.

Thereâ??s little to attract business to the area. Aside from Ball State University in Muncie, educational strength is minimal. Recreation also is scarce. Quick: Can you think of a good state park?

Should the state invest more of its resources in the area, if for no other reason than fairness to taxpayers who live there?

Or should the state direct its attention to growing places like Bloomington, Indianapolis and Warsaw, where businesses already are voting with their feet?

What do you think?
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  • Leave these outer Indianapolis corridors alone. Indianapolis has already merged Anderson into its MSA, and being fair, Munice is apart of its CSA, (a commuter rail line would be nice to munice/Ball St. *cough*) In the next 5-10 years as the fastest growing city in the midwest continues to grow, we will absorb the other cities as well. Keep the money centrally located and allow the center to grow, the outskirts will then follow.
  • Actually, the Indianapolis-Carmel MSA does not include Anderson or Madison County. The MSA is comprised of the following counties: Boone, Brown, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, Putnam and Shelby. Anderson is actually in the Anderson, IN MSA, which is comprised of Madison County.

    The Indianapolis-Anderson-Columbus CSA includes the Anderson, Columbus, and Indianapolis-Carmel MSAs, in addition to the Crawfordsville, New Castle and North Vernon ?SAs.
  • ^^^ Nothing more than a technicality. Anderson was apart of the MSA until they unanexed themselves from the MSA. Now it is the Carmel-Indianapolis MSA. I do not really care what the govt. reports as being the MSA, in all reality, Anderson is apart of the MSA and people from Anderson and Indianapolis transfer people every day. I honestly believe it is a conspiracy to keep indianapolis statistics as small as possible so we can continue to say Indianapolis is a small market. Which is false, and unanexing places like Anderson skews the numbers even more so that people like John can bring it up.
  • Cities and counties cannot unannex themselves from MSAs, and it's odd that you would suggest that the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis would bow to political pressures from small-town politicos.

    I'm not sure that you really understand what being a MSA, or a ?SA means. It actually has nothing to do with media markets, which is what you seem to be confusing them with. These areas tend to have commonality of labor markets and products, and they're based on commuting patterns and flow of capital. More important, MSAs and ?SAs receive more up to date labor and economic data. While some folks from Anderson undoubtedly work in Indianapolis (around 4-5% countywide, IIRC), the vast majority of Anderson's population does not. Further, Anderson's labor and commerce bases have little in common with those of the nine-county region.

    Finally, including the population of Madison County in the Indianapolis MSA would make a nearly imperceptible difference of two or three places on the list of MSAs ranked by size.
  • ^^^ look it up, Anderson did unannex itself. It used to be the Indianapolis-Anderson MSA.
  • I'm quite aware that the MSA was Indianapolis-Anderson for around ten years in the 90s and 00s; the desires of the City of Anderson had nothing to do with its exclusion from the MSA. The MSAs are defined by the economists in the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • John is right on all counts. The following are the counties that currently make up the Indy-Carmel MSA:

    26900 Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area
    26900 18011 Boone County, IN
    26900 18013 Brown County, IN
    26900 18057 Hamilton County, IN
    26900 18059 Hancock County, IN
    26900 18063 Hendricks County, IN
    26900 18081 Johnson County, IN
    26900 18097 Marion County, IN
    26900 18109 Morgan County, IN
    26900 18133 Putnam County, IN
    26900 18145 Shelby County, IN
  • I live in Anderson and the area is in need of dire help. The state does not seem to care enough for a big push for new jobs in the area described in this article. Anderson did land Nestle which was much needed, but that is just a prick on the finger of what is needed. The state and our community needs to address education issues as well as going after a wide range of different companies. The city is also to blame for part of this mess. The new Mayor does not believe in a global economy. As a community, I feel we are in for tough times unless we get help from the state. Lord help us...in every way!

    28,000 quality paying jobs gone in 25 years. Imagine what it is like living here now.

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