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Funding rule could affect some READI projects

The READI grant recipients were announced during a December 2021 meeting of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors. (IIB Photo/Gerry Dick)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Officials throughout the state are having to reevaluate some of the projects in their Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative plans. Our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal report specific requirements in the federal funding for the READI program may make some projects ineligible.

The $500 million program awarded funding to 17 regions last December. The federal portion of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which is specifically focused on pandemic-related recovery, not general economic development, according to the IBJ.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the final rules for ARPA funding were not known until they were released two months ago by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

IEDC Senior Vice President of Community Affairs Mark Wasky says the agency is working with regions to determine which of their projects are eligible for READI funding. He says while regions were not originally told their projects had to adhere to ARPA rules, they were told limitations might be added later.

“We didn’t want to, I guess, hit the reset button on what the intention of the program was,” Wasky told the IBJ. “We encouraged regions to continue down the path that was originally set, and that we would work on figuring out the details. Our commitment is to be able to find some way … whether it be through these federal dollars or through other means, to help them implement their plans. Because that is, you know, the reason why this initiative was created originally.”

You can read the full story from the IBJ’s Emily Ketterer by clicking here.