Governor Mike Pence says Indiana needs to help its cities invest a billion dollars over the next decade to make themselves more attractive to businesses and talent. He is calling it his “billion dollar cities” plan.
Pence says young professionals are increasingly deciding where they want to live before looking for a job, meaning it’s become more important for Indiana’s mid-size cities to improve what he calls “quality of place.” And Pence says that covers a wide range of issues.
“Some of it has to do with recreational activities; some of it has to do with entertainment options. The quality of schools is an important part of it; open space is an important part of it. And also in many communities it was about reclaiming that had fallen into disrepair.”
The governor says his plan to spur investment in the state’s mid-size cities would include an initial investment from state government.
“But then the idea would be that local communities, with public and private dollars, would seek to make the kind of investments over the next decade that we could have…we could have billion dollar cities in Indiana.”
Pence says, as a first step, he’s directing the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to determine what quality of life improvements are most needed.