Redevelopment Commissioner Rob Moore explains what Clay County is lacking and what can do about it
Constructing gas stations across from gas stations, mismatched downtown signage and even the ability for a business owner to paint their building hot pink.
To most Clay County residents, and especially Rob Moore, these ideas don't sound like ones that would improve the economic and overall quality of the county, but Moore said that if basic planning isn't established, all of these things can happen.
"Planning benefits everyone in the community," said Moore, a member of the Clay County Redevelopment Commission.
It benefits business owners, farmers, home owners and even renters, he said.
Developing a plan for the county to bring new businesses in and improve its overall quality was attempted once before, however, it was poorly presented, Moore said. "It's a train that got off the track early and never got back on."
Interested parties misunderstood what was being proposed and rejected it, but Moore said now the Redevelopment Commission is working on a plan of public education to avoid a repeat. Residents need, "to understand what is planning really and what are its benefits."
When businesses are searching for new locations to develop they are looking for planning, land, utilities, water, sewage, fire protection, healthcare and quality of life, to name a few, Moore said. The county doesn't have a problem with most of those issues. Moore is glad to be in a county that has good land citing the opportunity for growth near I-70. He also cited the high quality of life in the community, churches and doctors.
However, without planning these positive qualities just stand still, he said.
"For companies, planning is one of their criteria," he said adding that they need assurance when they're planning on investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new area.
"It's like a home owner," he said. Maybe a consumer likes the house they're looking at, but if they don't like what the neighborhood has to offer, they'll move on to their next option.
Developers want to like the neighborhood, "It's critical," he said.
"I want to see people in the community seriously consider this," Moore said.
Moore said Clay County can learn much from other Indiana towns and cities who have already established planning and watched their areas develop.
The Redevelopment Commission's next meeting is scheduled for March 22 at 7 p.m. in the County Commissioner's Courtroom in the Courthouse.