Frankfort creating economic development plan

Jan 24, 2013

A $40,000 grant is helping Frankfort map its future. The money from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs will finance the city’s Economic Development Plan.

Mayor Chris McBarnes says input from residents is needed to create the document and set the foundation for a healthy financial outlook.

"That will enhance our city's competitiveness in strengthening existing industries, attracting new product-lines to our city, and creating not only jobs for our citizens, but careers."

McBarnes says these workshops follow the creation of the city’s Redevelopment Commission, which promotes a Frankfort is open for business concept.

"Through the creation of our plan, our efforts will truly intensify around strategic economic growth, stability of our local business climate and our community as a whole."

He says there will be four public workshops to hear ideas and present the current economic development situation in Frankfort. Each meeting will focus on a different topic. Those are the downtown, neighborhoods, Eastside commercial area, and Industrial Park.

McBarnes says Frankfort’s positives include its good location, an industrial park with multi-national tenants, and a downtown with an 85% occupancy rate. He says the main challenge is connecting all the pieces together and sustaining the effort.

"How do we connect these economic development initiatives, almost as a pipeline to our schools, to get our young people engaged early and often, which will lead to a higher education, hopefully."

McBarnes hopes young people come back to the community with a college education and apply what they've learned to continue Frankfort's growth.

Each of the workshops will take place at the Frankfort Neighborhood Center, 259 South 3rd Street from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24 (topic:  downtown), Tuesday, January 29 (topic: neighborhoods), Thursday, January 31 (topic: Eastside commercial) and Tuesday, February 5 (topic: Industrial Park).