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Our Experience

How do you describe in a list of services all the steps it takes to assemble an economic development package just right for your community? How do you briefly explain what it takes to start with just the need for a new school building and get it financed and built? You can’t. Every project is different.

You can, however, learn from the experiences of others. In the Umbaugh case studies below see how we helped.

Building a Town Hall/Police Station in Walkerton, Indiana Without Raising Taxes or Utility Rates

Previous Town Hall & Court (Police station in back)

Located in northern Indiana, Walkerton had operated its Town hall, court and police station out of an old store front on highway 6 (pictured below) for decades. The space was so small the Town’s clerk-treasurer had resorted to using an old jail cell to store Town records! Faced with a lack of space and dozens of needed improvements, the Town had a…

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Annexation in Washington, Indiana Benefits Economic Development

Annexations can happen for a variety of reasons. Washington, Indiana annexed 1,234 acres adjacent to an interchange for the new section of I-69 connecting Evansville and Bloomington, because the City wanted to have some influence on the zoning and development that was bound to ensue at the new interchange.

Washington is a half-way point between Bloomington and Evansville. The I-69 section from Evansville to the…

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Starke County Uses Creative Financing for Jail Expansion

Starke County, like many counties in Indiana, struggled to fund a jail expansion at a time when it was already struggling to provide essential services with less money.

Indiana changed its A-D felony sentencing to a six-level grid in July of 2014, reserving state prisons for high-level offenders and keeping lower-level offenders at county jails for treatment-oriented rehabilitation or serving them locally with community-based correction programs and probation. Experience tells us that when county jails become overcrowded, the…

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Patoka Lake Regional Water & Sewer District Makes Major Water System Upgrades with No Rate Increase

Having a long-term plan for maintaining and upgrading your water utility system is an excellent idea. But sometimes Mother Nature forces you to reexamine even the best of plans.

The Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District (PLWSD) had a multi-phase plan to upgrade its water supply system and had just completed upgrades to its water treatment plant when the drought of 2012 occurred. A water system that was adequate under normal conditions suddenly was put to the stress…

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Lebanon Upgrades Storm Water System While Keeping Property Taxes Unaffected

Cities everywhere are struggling to maintain aging infrastructure and meet requirements for handling storm water. The City of Lebanon issued its third set and final of storm water bonds to fund storm water drainage and storm sewer improvements along streets throughout its storm water district. The final project will improve storm water management along Lafayette Avenue, Grant Street and South Meridian Street.

The City was having issues with storm water and was frequently receiving complaints about basement flooding, particularly…

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School District and City Cooperation Benefits Both Parties

Lebanon Community Schools was planning a comprehensive renovation of Lebanon High School. The City of Lebanon, with its growing business park, lacked a place to host major meetings, events and conferences.

Good timing and creative thinking led to a solution that benefits both the school district and the city.

The City of Lebanon, through its Lebanon Redevelopment Commission, proposed a cooperative venture. Funded by a $500,000 contribution of TIF funds from the Lebanon Business Park, a planned…

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Public Outreach and Transparency Earn Approval for LaPorte County Public Library Renovations

LaPorte County Library has embarked on a multi-year program to improve each of the seven libraries in its county-wide system. The library received approvals for $12 million in funding in early 2015, but the groundwork started long before.

In 2012 the library began a strategic planning process by listening to library users through community meetings and user surveys regarding how well the library system was meeting patrons’ needs. Library staff attended community meetings by other organizations as well.

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A Long Wait Followed by Rapid Action:  Fort Wayne Purchases Investor-Owned Water Utility Assets

It took ten years of protracted negotiations and litigation, but Fort Wayne City Utilities completed its acquisition in December 2014 of assets owned by an investor-owned water utility in north and southwest Fort Wayne in a negotiated transaction. The acquisition also settled ongoing litigation regarding the price Fort Wayne paid for the assets it acquired in the northern part of Fort Wayne.

Umbaugh was hired in 2013 to assist Fort Wayne with the economic evaluations proposed during negotiations…

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Delphi:  The Planning of a Stellar Community

The elimination of most semi-truck traffic from downtown Delphi when the Hoosier Heartland Highway was completed presented a window of opportunity for this Carroll County community to realize a long-term vision of creating a walkable, vibrant downtown, including new shops and restaurants, outdoor dining, upper-story residences and a restored 19th-Century opera house. As a result, the City of Delphi was selected as one of Indiana’s Stellar Communities.

Becoming a Stellar Community allows the City to accelerate its plans instead…

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