Government group honors two HamCo communities

October 7, 2013
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Two Hamilton County communities are being honored Monday at the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns’ annual awards luncheon.

A member of the National League of Cities, IACT is a coalition of municipal officials who seek to improve the quality of life in Indiana through effective government.

Fishers is set to receive the Community Achievement Award in its population category (30,001-100,000 residents) for its efforts to nurture entrepreneurs at Launch Fishers.

The town invested $350,000 to get the membership-based coworking space off the ground last year.

Located on the ground floor of the Hamilton East Public Library (close enough to Town Hall that its wifi works there), Launch Fishers is billed as an idea incubator. Its goal is to create a startup-friendly environment, attracting high-potential businesses.

It has more than 200 members, including mobile-app developer BlueBridge Digital, which already is outgrowing its space there. As IBJ reported last month, economic development officials are working on a deal to keep BlueBridge in Fishers.

Munster and Evansville won the community service awards in their population categories.

Westfield, meanwhile, is being named a 2013 IACT Green Community of the Year. The association’s Green Communities initiative aims to help municipalities find potential cost savings, promote quality-of-life efforts and protect the environment.

Nominees filled out a 49-question survey that covered areas like purchasing and operations. Westfield’s score earned it the top spot among communities with 10,000-49,999 residents. Evansville and Whiting won in the other size categories.

Other central Indiana communities that won Green Communities designation include Carmel and Cicero.

IACT also is handing out its Local Government Cooperation Award today, honoring the efforts of the towns of Avon and Plainfield and Hendricks County Commissioners to build Ronald Reagan Parkway between Interstates 70 and 74.

Also Monday, Cicero resident Dan Strong is set to get the association’s Civic Service Award. Strong, who owns the McDonald’s franchise there, has helped the community in various ways—including helping the local baseball league win a grant to upgrade its fields and equipment. He serves on the Fire Department Merit Board, the Plan Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Redevelopment Commission, in addition to his board membership at the not-for-profit Hope Clinic.

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