NewsIndiana Governor Mike Pence will be in Elkhart (Tuesday-today) join area leaders of the North Central Region for the Regional Cities Initiative grant award implementation kick-off event at the Lerner Theatre.

The announcement that the 22 cities and towns in Marshall, St. Joseph and Elkhart counties, the North Central Region were awarded a $42 million grant last week as part of a statewide plan to address the stagnant population in the state by improving the quality of life for citizens and potential business development.

The $42 million will offer a 20% match to project that have 20% local public funding and 60% private funding.

Several regional projects are listed in Marshall County including the extension of the Metronet dark fiber project recently completed in Plymouth.  The proposal will take the enhanced bandwidth to Ancilla College, the towns of Culver, Argos, Bourbon and Bremen and then over to Elkhart County.  The proposed cost of the project is $11.2 million.

Project Lead the Way will support the implementation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum in all public and private schools in all three counties.  This is a $3.9 million project.

The Plymouth Community Schools in conjunction with the North Central Vocational Cooperative, Work One and the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation will build a job training center in the old Lincoln Junior High School.  Estimated cost for this project is $10.3 million.

An $8 million investment will bring an Entrepreneurship Center in Plymouth and Culver.  Both centers would utilize the dark fiber extension.

Projects more geared toward Plymouth are the Tennis Courts and Park Pavilion for $416,000; the Plymouth Aquatics Center for $14 million; another manufacturing shell building for $12.5 million; a water and sanitary sewer trunk line extension, electric distribution system improvements and roadway construction for industrial development for $14.1 million; a new Boys and Girls Clubhouse for $2.5 million; creation of a regional trail system linking the Lake Max bike trail to Ancilla and Plymouth and the Nickle Plate Trail in Rochester at a cost of $2.8 million; and a pilot co-operative project for the Neighborhood Center where clients would be invited to become members and contribute to the organization and help build a pathway out of poverty.