First Quarterly Board Meeting 2024: Recap

The ECI Regional Planning District convened for its first board meeting of 2024 on Tuesday, February 13th, to address organizational changes and upcoming plans. The session began with the introduction of changes to the executive board, which now includes James King as President, Randy Dunnuck as Vice President, Ron Stewart as Secretary, and Brian McGalliard as Treasurer. Following the announcement of the current executive board, the minutes of November’s board meeting were approved, and James King presented the President’s Report, highlighting recent economic development leads secured by ECIRPD.

Guest speakers presented exciting announcements for East Central Indiana, notably the $200 million proposal for a Village Revitalization Project led by Ball State’s Vice President of Development, Ray Allen. The project, partially funded by a $35 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., aims to enhance community engagement, improve connectivity between Ball State’s campus and downtown Muncie, and retain post-graduation students. Additional locations will be added to the Village, including a performing arts center, a Tapestry by Hilton hotel with a rooftop bar, new retail and dining options, and residential properties.

Another presentation led by Geoff Schomacker— Associate Director for Strategic Development at Ball State, Annie Cruz-Porter—a community and regional development specialist at the Purdue Center for Regional Development, and Brian Long—Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Regional Councils, focused on filing for ECIRPD to become an economic development district (EDD), aiming to facilitate locally-driven economic planning and collaboration. The proposed plan seeks to address economic distress criteria, including low per capita income and above-average unemployment rates. More about this will be discussed in future meetings and community forums.

Updates on ongoing projects and grants were provided by Executive Director Bill Walters, Project Manager Brad Bookout, and Angie Moyer, including a broadband expansion plan approved by the Jay County Council and commissioners. The meeting concluded with a brief roundtable discussion covering various topics, including IRS standard mileage rates.



Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Forums:  

Grant County

Wednesday, March 6th 

5-7 pm 

Annex Building 

Council Chambers 

401 S Adams St. 


Delaware County

Tuesday, March 12th 

5-7 pm

Innovation Connector 

1208 W. White River Blvd. 


Blackford County 

Wednesday, April 3rd

5-7 pm

Blackford County Fairgrounds

310 E Park Ave

Hartford City

Jay County

Tuesday, April 9th 

5 – 7 pm 

Public Library 

315 N Ship St.