The Starke County Economic Development Foundation will be holding a community retreat at their office in Knox on Tuesday, March 20th from 7:30 a.m. until noon CT.
Interim Executive Director Larry Wickert spoke to the North Judson Town Council members about the session during their meeting Monday night. He cleared up some confusion about the focus, stating that the event will be open to all municipalities in the area and will not solely be about development in North Judson.
“I decided to try and make it all the communities in the county who would get together to talk.” Wickert explained, “We’ve got some great speakers to talk and then we’d have break out sessions where each group could get together to talk about what was just presented and how we might do things in our community like that.”
Wickert said community leaders in Koontz Lake, Knox, Hamlet and Bass Lake have also been invited to attend this informational retreat.
According to Wickert, the event will feature a few different speakers who will talk about economic development and why quality-of-place matters. The Executive Director of KIRPC Edwin Buswell and OCRA Community Liaison Gerry White will present information about programs and grants that are available for community development.
An economic development official from Ball State University will also be in attendance, providing information about the importance of community presentation when it comes to drawing in new businesses.
Wickert added that a representative from Rushville, Indiana will also be one of the speakers. He will provide a first-hand account of how particular grants and programs assisted with community development in his city.
Wickert told North Judson town council members that he’d be willing to arrange a follow-up meeting after the retreat. He said a follow-up meeting would allow members the opportunity to discuss the material presented during the community retreat as it specifically relates to the town of North Judson.