DELPHI – There’s a saying that goes “if you build it, they will come.”
But the opposite is what Carroll County is currently experiencing – people have already come, so now the community needs to build homes so they have places to live.
And that’s why Carroll County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jacob Adams is calling for a community meeting. At 6 p.m. May 5, in the Delphi United Methodist Church, an information session will be held to address the current need for residential development and how the county is positioned to meet those needs.
“We’re seeing a lot of migration with the sales of pre-existing homes to Lafayette and Kokomo workers,” who don’t necessarily want to reside in an urban setting, said Adams. In fact, “we’re out of pre-existing inventory, and we want to capitalize on the growth that’s going on around us. We feel we bring growth and value to this region.”
The working plan would be to use residential tax increment financing (TIF) to encourage and foster residential growth in the county, he added, explaining that Warsaw was the first place in the state to take advantage of residential TIF monies. He hopes Delphi and Flora could be the next.
Due to the proximity to Logansport, Lafayette, Kokomo, and Frankfort, Flora and Delphi are the towns highlighted for any development. Most people commute within a 20- to 25-minute radius from where they reside, and Flora puts folks right within the timeframe for any of the surrounding areas, according to Adams.
“We feel like people who work in those areas inherently choose Carroll County because of our quality of life. Not everyone wants to be crammed up in stop lights,” Adams said. “Rural growth will be the greatest advantage.”
Along with open spaces, he said the community’s 14-mile trail system and Lake Freeman are big recreation draws.
Of course, any plans would have to be approved by city officials. But before reaching that stage, Adams wants to garner community input, which is the purpose behind the upcoming meeting. “Residential development is a key component to economic growth and is a point of emphasis in our strategic plan,” he said in a news release. “We are looking to engage the public in all the resources available to spur residential growth.”
Baker Tilly, an Indianapolis-based financial advising company, will be at the meeting to provide details regarding TIF and how to utilize these funds.
If the plan moves forward, Adams said this will be the first major residential development in more than a decade. The current goal is to build 50 homes over the next five years.