Econ Development Strategic Plan and Timeline

Background: The county applied for a $40K grant to create an economic development strategic plan. Thomas P. Miller and Associates were selected as the contractor.  The RDC conducted eight (8) community Sept meetings in Sept and Oct to solicit input from the public.

2019 – County Economic Development Strategic Plan

Dec 17, 2019Debate punctuates redevelopment commission meeting By Sara Clifford

Dec 3, 2019. Brown County Democrat.  New county economic plan released By Sara

  • The entire 79-page plan first became public after a Nov. 20 public hearing with the Brown County Commissioners and Brown County Redevelopment Commission. However, neither group had read the entire plan by the time of the hearing, and the public hadn’t had an opportunity to see it yet.
  • Brown County Matters – FB Post of the article
  • Statement from Jim Kemp regarding the process for review prior to acceptance by the Commissioners 20191205 Statement

Nov 18, 2019. Plan accepted by Commissioners with the caveat that it can be changed after it is reviewed.  Brown County TPMA Executive  Summary and Plan EDP 11.20.2019

Scheduled Presentations at the Playhouse:

  • June 12, 2019– Jim Kemp & Thomas P. Miller review draft of Economic Plan

Mar 23, 2019. Survey of Residents.  The Brown County Redevelopment Commission is working with Thomas P. Miller & Associates (TPMA) a consulting firm based in Indianapolis that works nationally on projects in economic development, workforce development, and evaluation. TPMA is currently leading the development of the Brown County Economic Development Plan which will focus on economic development and growth strategies for Brown County. I encourage you to share on social media or with anyone whom you believe would benefit by having a voice on the subject of economic development in Brown County.

Mar  2019. ROI Ready Communities – Strategic Planning – Quality of Place and Workforce Attraction Plan (see appendix for facts and data on the county.

Jan 23, 2019. Update – Presentation by TPMA made at the Brown County Community Foundation – County-Wide Town Hall, Strategic Plan Unveiling

November 8, 2018.  Kick-off Presentation by Thomas Miller and Associates (TPMA).  County Office Building, Salmon Room 6:00 P.M. TPMA Brown County IN Kick-Off Presentation 

October 6, 2018. Next Sessions:

  • Oct 11, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  County Office Building, Salmon Room
  • Oct 18, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Van Buren Elementary
  • Oct 25, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sprunica Elementary

October 4, 2018. Next session tonight, 7-9 pm, Helmsburg Elementary

Sept 25, 2018.  Next session tonight, 7-9 pm, Sprunica Elementary.  We’ve conducted three of eight sessions (Nashville, Van Buren, Helmsburg). Comments from the meetings include the following:

  • Would be a good idea to identify vision, values, culture …
  • Appreciate the county-wide perspective and the fact that the presentations are available throughout the county and not just Nashville.
  • We are/have been a “bedroom community” – people travel outside the county for good jobs.  Expansion of broadband may lead to more people working from home or supporting more internet-based businesses.
  • County Comprehensive Plan does NOT provide the details needed to support small commercial businesses development.  Marketing the benefits of Brown County requires a “master plan” that provides potential investors with the detail needed to ensure their project will be successful.
  • County has a reputation for not being friendly to new developments and businesses.
  • We attract people to retire here but then they move out of the county when they reach age 80 or older. We do not have the desired assisted living and/or medical related support services that are needed.
  • Would like to see more employers and good-paying jobs. Why not more factories?  These could include small – 8-12 employees, advanced manufacturing companies that offer good wages.
  • We do not have affordable housing – identified in the 125K -200K range.
  • We are in an economic decline – Helmsburg, Bean Blossom, Van Buren not what they once were …. People recognize the decline – fewer gas stations, small grocery stores, etc.
  • Need for entrepreneurship – developing new ideas and ventures.
  • We do need to be aware of the impacts (positive and negative) of raising property taxes (as opposed to income taxes).
  • NOTE: Census data (slide 16) identified that we had 2,559 vacant housing units. These are defined as no one living in the home at the time and can include second/vacation homes.

Sept 25, 2018 UPDATED Presentation (corrected some typos).

Sept 20, 2018 UPDATED Presentation20080913 JKTC BCRDC Presentation Ver 6_3

Sept 14, 2018. Facebook comments discussing the presentation.

Sep 13, 2018 “First” Community Presentation –  20080913 JKTC BCRDC Presentation Ver 6_2

EIGHT (8) Public Sessions: 

  • Sept 13, 2018 –  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  County Office Building, Salmon Room
  • Sep 18, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Van Buren Elementary
  • Sept 19, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Helmsburg Community Church, 2370 Main Street
  • Sep 25, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sprunica Elementary
  • Oct 4, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Helmsburg Elementary
  • Oct 11, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  County Office Building, Salmon Room
  • Oct 18, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Van Buren Elementary
  • Oct 25, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sprunica Elementary

Sep 4, 2018. What do you want Brown County to be? RDC to host series of input meetings What does Brown County mean to you?  What do you want it to be, and how do we keep or make it that way? This isn’t the first time Brown Countians have been asked those questions, but a local volunteer group is hoping people will come out and talk about them this fall. The answers will help guide an economic plan for the county.

Aug 28, 2018. GUEST OPINION: What do you value about Brown County? We agreed to create a fact-based, countywide presentation that will provide a broad overview of where the county currently is and what possible challenges we may face in the near and distant future. The purpose of this presentation is to foster a communitywide conversation from those who are willing to take the time to create clarity around the basic facts, and the opportunity to voice their concerns and vision for the county. Our intent is to listen to understand.

As of August 23, 2018. Meeting Dates and Times:

  • Sep 13, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. County Office Building, Salmon Room
  • Sep 18, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Van Buren Elementary
  • Sept 19, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Helmsburg Community Church, 2370 Main Street (Changed – original date was Sept 12).
  • Sep 25, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sprunica Elementary
  • Oct 4, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Helmsburg Elementary
  • Oct 11, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  County Office Building, Salmon Room
  • Oct 18, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Van Buren Elementary
  • Oct 25, 2018 – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sprunica Elementary

August 9, 2018, RDC Meeting.  We discussed the initial draft of the community presentation.  Jim Kemp, President of the RDC, doing a great job getting input from all the various government groups in collecting the data and the overall economic situation of the county.  We are working to have the final presentation done by the end of the month. The rough outline of the presentation below:

  • The Why – Community Vitality Indicators (CVI) identify a declining tax base
  • The Strategy – Planning Grant
  • The Facts –  Trends – Revenue, Debt, Taxes
  • Decisions that will have to be made – What do need, What do we want and What do we not want?
  • About our County – Townships, Population, Demographics, Housing …
  • About our Neighbors – Info on the surrounding counties
  • About Our Community – Government, Schools, Businesses, Non-Profits
  • Our Way Ahead? Document the input from the public. Our contractor reviews the economic data, assimilates the input provided by the citizens, identifies options that are then presented and discussed at public meetings.  The final plan has to be approved by the commissioners at a public meeting.

July 16, 2018, Initial Draft – Timeline

  • Develop a plan for public meetings – by August 31.
  • Conduct public meetings (8) in September/October.
  • Public meetings are also required during the development of the plan. This provides citizens with feedback regarding how their input is being addressed.

July 13, 2018Economic Development Strategic Plan – Links to References.   Provides context on history, economics, current and past studies,

  • The Plan will represent the voice of the citizens, e.g., what people want and do not want. 


July 12, 2018. Brown County Democrat Facebook.

  • Tonight, the Brown County Redevelopment Commission discussed organizing a series of meetings to gather ideas on what Brown Countians need in order to help them continue living here. The commission is getting a grant to start forming an economic plan, and they decided that a “grassroots” approach is essential as the first step — asking residents what they want first, rather than asking community leaders first. No meeting dates have been set yet; they may be in September or October. More info to come as we receive it.
  • Democrat Facebook Comments
  • Brown County Matters – Facebook Comments

July 12, 2018.  RDC Meeting.

  • I volunteered to help support this project. With respect to full disclosure, I was a member of the RDC in 2016-2017.   I was involved with helping to put together the application and selecting the contractor – Thomas P. Miller and Associates.
  • Background
    • The grant administrator was selected in Feb/Mar of 2017.
    • We had to conduct a countywide income survey that began around May and ended in September 2017. The survey determined that we qualified for the federal grants through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).
    • The application for the economic development strategic planning grant was ready in Dec/Jan but delayed due to the Van Buren issue.

Nov 22, 2017County leaders differ on economic planning views, by Staff Reports.

  • “If there’s any question about Brown County’s need for economic development and redevelopment, we need all the help we can get,” county commissioner Jerry Pittman told the audience at the Nov. 1 commissioners meeting.
  • He cited a study of six area counties that predicts the population will decline in only one of them by 2050. That one county is Brown County, and it’s projected to lose 9 percent of its population. Four other counties are projected to gain population and one to stay the same, he said.
  • “With declining population, that creates a lot of problems for a lot of areas,” he said, mentioning schools, county government, and a reduction in the tax base, which could lead to higher taxes per resident just to maintain current services. “Keep up the good work,” he told Tim Clark and the rest of the redevelopment commission. “We need all the help we can get.

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