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Elkhart, Ind., may soon be receiving state funds to rehabilitate aging industrial clusters, but not without a little “skin in the game,” according to State Rep. Doug Miller. 

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, state lawmakers are considering a five-year pilot program allowing four cities to create entrepreneur and enterprise districts. Senate Bill 514 would enable cities to request grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation that could be used to revitalize aging business centers, according to Miller.

The two areas that Elkhart wants to improve encompass nearly 8,000 acres of land on the east and west sides of the city’s downtown. Within these business clusters, there are approximately 1,700 acres in need of redevelopment. The areas identified in House Bill 1155 were along S.R. 19, downtown and east of the downtown area along Middlebury Street.

Four cities — Layfayette, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Elkhart — would be part of the pilot program. As part of the pilot, the mayor of each city would have to establish a board of directors of the district, which would include seven people appointed by the mayor. The board would have to submit an annual report detailing what money the district had spent and why it was spent.

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