Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 21, 2014

New comprehensive plan gets funding

Peru, Miami Co. to update economic, development strategies.

By Carson Gerber Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — PERU — The Miami County Council Tuesday appropriated $55,000 to pay for a new comprehensive plan that will set long-term economic and development goals in the county.

County commissioners last month selected American Structurepoint Inc., a company based in Indianapolis, to begin developing the plan, which was first completed in 1998 and updated in 2003.

The plan will address a wide range of issues, including land use, economic development, zoning ordinances, education, recreation, transportation, health and safety.

American Structurepoint is charging $74,000 to develop the plan. The city of Peru intends to appropriate $19,000 to the project.

Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority, said much has changed since the county last updated the plan a decade ago, and officials need to develop a new strategy that takes those changes into account.

“It’s extremely important,” he said. “A comprehensive plan really lays out the plan for the future growth and development of the entire county.”

One of the plan’s biggest purposes is preparing for a limited-access, freeway-style U.S. 31 running through the county.

Tidd said American Structurepoint already has started to collect data on the county, Peru and other towns to prepare for the project.

“They want to have a good basis of knowledge for what’s going on before they get started,” he said.

The next step will be forming a steering committee made up of area residents, public officials, business leaders and other locals to help guide the project.

Tidd said he hopes the new plan will be finished by the end of the year.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @carsongerber1.