Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317-232-1622

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2005
Governor signs legislation authorizing NW Regional Development Authority, Colts stadium/convention center project

GARY, Ind. (May 11, 2005) – Projects important to economic development and growth for Northwest and Central Indiana will soon be underway now that Governor Mitch Daniels has signed HEA 1120 into law. Local officials, state lawmakers and federal officials joined the governor today at the Gary/Chicago International Airport for the bill signing that creates the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (NIRDA) and authorizes financing for a new Indianapolis Colts stadium and expanded Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.


The Regional Development Authority, which earned bipartisan support in the House and Senate, will be charged with developing and funding airport expansion at the Gary/Chicago airport, regional rail and bus transportation projects and facilities as well as shoreline and economic development capital projects. A bipartisan group of Porter and Lake County legislators led by Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, Rep. Chet Dobis, D-East Chicago, and Rep. Ralph Ayres, R-Chesterton, negotiated NIRDA with the governor’s office.


“This should jumpstart economic revitalization in Northwest Indiana. The success of this project is important not only to this region but to the state as a whole,” said the governor. “In two years, I hope that through local cooperation decisions have been made and the first earth moved on projects important to the region.”


A seven-member board will govern the activities of the Authority. Representation includes one person each from Lake and Porter counties appointed by the council and commission of both counties; one representative each from the cities of Gary, East Chicago and Hammond, and two representatives appointed by the governor. One of those appointees would serve as chair for at least the first seven years of the authority, and the other would be an individual recommended by the cities of Portage and Valparaiso, Porter County.


The state will contribute at least $5 million and up to $10 million in 2006 and 2007. Additional state money could be committed once a comprehensive strategic plan is developed and approved by the director of the Office of Management and Budget and reviewed by the Legislature’s Budget Committee. The cities of East Chicago, Gary and Hammond as well as Lake and Porter counties each would be required to contribute at least $3.5 million annually to NIRDA.


Construction on the $900 million Colts stadium and convention center project is expected to begin this summer. Last week, the governor made two appointments to the seven-member Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority that will oversee the design and construction of the project.


Two additional appointments to the Stadium and Convention Building Authority will be made by the mayor of Indianapolis, two will be recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President Pro Tempore and the other will be an individual from the seven counties adjacent to Marion County that provide the base for regional financial support of the project. In the next few months, local governments in Central Indiana will meet to act on the proposed local tax increases necessary to finance the project.


The bill’s author is Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale with co-authors Rep. Tiny Adams, D-Muncie, and Rep. Shelia Klinker, D- Lafayette. The Senate co-sponsor is Sen. Luke Kenley. House and Senate conferees were Rep. Pat Bauer, D-South Bend; Sen. Lindel Hume, D- Princeton, Rep. Espich and Sen. Kenley.




View the previous weekView this dayView this weekView this monthView this yearSwitch to the list viewSwitch to the grid viewView the next week
Statewide News Releases
Statewide Calendar

For releases from other state agencies, please select from the list below.

More Online Services »

Top FAQsI Want To...
  1. How do I find out if I have unclaimed property?
  2. Can I do anything about untrue statements that my former employer has made about...
  3. Can an employer terminate me while on Worker's Compensation?
  4. Can an employer terminate me for no reason?
  5. I want to write my legislator. How do I find out who he or she is? How can I rea...
  6. Insects are eating up my flowers, trees, yard…who do I contact for information/h...
  7. If I decide at a later date that I want to upgrade my subscription to inc...

More FAQs »

Top FAQs I Want To...
  1. Renew my license plates
  2. Track a legislative bill
  3. Contact my legislator
  4. Start a business in Indiana
  5. Check road construction in my area
  6. Check the status of my tax refund
  7. Get INshape
  8. Find a local BMV branch
  9. Provide feedback to make better
  10. Learn more about ethanol
  11. Find a recycling location
  12. Find an internship or fellowship
  13. Find financial aid for school
  14. Apply for temporary assistance