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Whitestown forms Economic Improvement District (EID) to pay for workforce transportation

Dec 19, 2019 | News

The Whitestown Town Council last night passed an ordinance to create
an Economic Improvement District (EID) to help fund a commuter
transportation service.

Property owners within an estimated 2,000-acre area straddling I-65 in
Whitestown will pay into a fund that will cover the cost of the
Whitestown Connector, which provides service between IndyGo’s
northwestern-most stop to the dense employment center in
Whitestown. Riders access the shuttle from the IndyGo stop at the
Trader’s Point shopping center on West 86th Street. Riders can use
IndyGo routes 37 or 86 to access the transfer point.

Even with Whitetown’s growing population, job availability is outpacing population growth.
Approximately 650 people rode the Whitestown Connector from Indianapolis to get to jobs in
Whitestown in November.

To create an EID, property owners in an area petition their municipality to assess themselves in a tax-like
manner in order to generate funds for specific projects. More than half of property owners in the
proposed district must support an EID proposal before it can go before a municipality. More than 65% of
the Whitestown district’s property owners representing more than 63% of the total Assessed Value
signed the petition to establish the district. The property owners include such firms as Duke Realty, PTS
Diagnostics Real Estate Holdings, Strategic Capital Partners and Indiana Becknell Investors.

The EID will be governed by a board of owners and Town representatives and address common
workforce concerns, including transportation and attracting a new skilled workforce. The Town of
Whitestown contracted with Kelley and Associates to investigate the feasibility of and work through the
process of establishing an EID.

The Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) began operating the Whitestown
Connector in 2015 via a three-year, nonrenewable federal grant and a local match. The grant expired in
2018, at which time businesses within the district and the Town of Whitestown pooled resources to
continue the service and sought to identify more sustainable funding.

“This is a great example of how transit supports job growth,” said Bill Ehret, CIRTA board chair and
principal/managing director of Avison Young. “Without reliable transportation, businesses can’t hire
enough workers and people have tremendous obstacles in getting to job opportunities.”

“This EID is a long-term public-private partnership between the owners within the district, the Town,
and CIRTA that secures transportation linking metropolitan Indianapolis and the fastest growing
community in Indiana,” said Ehret.

The cost to ride the Workforce Connector is $1 each way. CIRTA also operates Workforce Connectors in
north and south Plainfield

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