EDC Appoints New Officers and Board Members

The monthly meeting of the New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) staff and board of directors included updates to the board for 2024-2025. The board approved the slate of officers and board seats unanimously. Jennifer Fox, Henry County Community Foundation, is serving as board chair with Brian Ring, Henry Community Health, serving as Vice Chair. Jon Madison of DeFur Voran continues as Treasurer and Kirby Purciful of Citizens State Bank takes on the Secretary role.

Re-appointed board members are Scott Frost of Frost Framing, retired attorney Scott Hayes, community volunteer Paulette Lees, Adam Lingle of Boar’s Head, and John Pidgeon of Draper. Brian Mayne of South Henry Regional Waste District replaces Nancy Harmon and Sam Petty of New Lisbon Telephone Co. takes on the board seat previously held by John Greene. Trent McCormick, Superintendent of Blue River Valley Schools, is stepping aside from the education representative seat, which will now be held by Dr. Kyle Barrentine, Shenandoah Superintendent.

Attendees at the meeting also heard from the Shenandoah FFA Ag Issues Team, under the direction of advisor Tammie Starkey. Moderator Landon Barr led the discussion surrounding the topic of Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and the Clean Water Act. The students will be competing with this presentation at the state level.

The EDC President’s update included a review of the EDC’s work over the past four years and recognition of Penny York’s efforts with EPA grants.

“These grants are a phenomenal tool for commercial property owners, providing them with the information they need to move forward in reuse or to support a sale,” EDC President Corey Murphy explained.

Murphy also discussed possible projects for READI 2.0, which included two housing developments, mixed use property development near Spiceland and I-70, infrastructure projects, and redevelopment of the Courthouse Annex. Murphy noted that the Lilly Endowment announced its largest distribution, and the grant funding will focus on blight reduction and arts/culture.

New Castle Mayor Greg York shared that dozens of vendors are at the Henry County Farmers Market every Saturday and that the Memorial Day Parade is coming up soon. Steve Dellinger and Kenon Gray’s updates from Henry County included the transfer of ownership for the Courthouse Annex is moving forward, county building renovations will be underway soon, and Hagar’s Hope transitional home for women is now open.

Darrin Jacobs from Spiceland provided a report about the Spiceland Cares project which included helping the Spiceland Library and providing large dumpsters in partnership with Big B for community clean-up work. Brianna Chapman from Middletown was fresh from the National Main Street Conference and reported that the Middletown Main Street group is working on a grant for a downtown revitalization plan. Chapman also invited the group to the Lion’s Club Fair in Middletown during the first week of June. Trent McCormick, providing the education update, congratulated Tri High School for its Project Lead The Way program and Blue River Valley’s soils team, which won a championship recently.

Nate LaMar encouraged the community to consider a torch run to commemorate the 250th anniversary of signing the Declaration of Independence. Justin Helman, Career Coach Liaison updated the group on the Career Day that happened on May 3. More than 50 businesses engaged nearly 800 students in career exploration activities.

The next EDC board meeting will be held on Thursday, June 6, at the Henry County REMC. For more information about the EDC, visit growinhenry.com and follow them on Facebook and LinkedIn.