Westfield City Council votes to join central Indiana economic development group


Westfield is the latest central Indiana community to join an economic development group whose purpose is to increase regional collaboration and the ability to apply for grant funding.

The Westfield City Council on Monday night voted 6-0 to join the Central Indiana Regional Development Authority.

Westfield joins Anderson, Beech Grove, Carmel, Fishers, Indianapolis, Lawrence, McCordsville, Noblesville, Speedway and Zionsville in the RDA.

In 2020, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 350, which authorized counties and municipalities in the Indianapolis metropolitan area to create a new regional development authority.

There are also RDAs that cover the northern, southern, northeast and southwest regions of the state.

“The legislature has, I think wisely, for the very first time in Indiana history encouraged cities to gather together in a region, and the purpose of this is to create projects of regional significance that will attract a workforce and retain our young people,” Westfield Mayor Andy Cook told the council.

While most city and town councils voted quickly last year to join the Central Indiana RDA, the Westfield City Council tabled a vote last September after some members expressed concerns about potential future costs.

Cook told IBJ earlier this year he had doubts the city council would vote to join the RDA, meaning the city would lose opportunities for federal and state funding.

City Council member Scott Willis noted before Monday’s vote that Westfield was “missing out every day that we’re not involved.”

“I’d like to thank you for your reconsideration of this,” Cook told the council following the vote. “I think it will be very beneficial in the years to come.”

The Central Indiana RDA dissolved a previous development authority that included Carmel, Greenwood, Indianapolis and Westfield. It formed in 2015 in an effort to win millions of dollars in state grants for the IndyGo Red Line after the General Assembly approved the formation of RDAs.

The cities that make up the Central Indiana RDA, minus Beech Grove, McCordsville and Zionsville, were among the communities located along the White River that joined in 2021 to apply for funding through the $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative.

Gov. Eric Holcomb asked Indiana lawmakers this year for $500 million to fund a second round of READI grants. The first round of READI grants were funded with federal rescue dollars and provided money for economic development projects in all 92 counties.

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4 thoughts on “Westfield City Council votes to join central Indiana economic development group

    1. Eric M.

      You have a better alternative to regional cooperation??
      The metro region might benefit from our many municipalities cooperating
      with each other. Something called economic development and jobs.
      Most regions do this very thing.

      If you have a better solution feel free to put it pen to paper.

    2. Yes, you start your own charitable non-profit and get all the developers and law firms that write big checks to Fadness, Cook, and Brainard and tell them to send the checks to you instead of Friends of Brainard. Oh wait, economic development is just code for cronies mulcting the taxpayers. Regionally makes it worse. Didn’t really work out for the outer regions of Unigov suffering under the “governance” of Hogsett.