Prime for growth

Sourced from Ferdinand News

Although a chilly rain fell throughout the day last Friday, February 23, the mood inside Ferdinand Town Hall was anything but gloomy.

More than 30 people crowded into Council Chambers as Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) representative Jodi Golden presented the Ruhe family with a document designating their 72-acre tract off West 23rd Street, just past Industrial Park Road, as an Indiana Prime Site.

The Indiana Site Certified program identifies properties that are ready for economic development, with “Prime” being the highest tier. Indiana Site Certified properties are featured on  Indiana’s Site Selector Database and are included in the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s (IEDC) marketing materials. The Ferdinand (Mobel) Indiana Prime Site has now joined that prestigious list.

“It’s a pretty big day in Ferdinand,” commented Ferdinand Town Council President Ken Sicard before the presentation began. “It’s a tremendous step forward.”

It wasn’t just Ferdinand officials who celebrated the designation. County Councilmen Mike Kluesner and Elmer Brames were in attendance, as well as Jasper and Huntingburg representatives.

Dubois Strong President Ed Cole praised the “fabulous collaboration” that led to the Prime designation. It wasn’t just one entity. Dubois Strong, the county’s economic development engine, Dubois REC and Hoosier Energy, who helped fund soil testing and other necessary studies, the Town of Ferdiand and the Ruhe family all worked together to make the Prime site a reality.

Golden presented the certificate to Stan and Phil Ruhe. “On behalf of OCRA, we’re thrilled to be able to work with this community to help build a thriving community,” Golden said. “Our rural communities are the heart and soul of Indiana. When one of you succeeds, we all succeed.”

Pursuing the Prime Site certification was an illustration of the area’s commitment to growth in the region, Golden added. “Ferdinand can blend natural beauty with economic development,” she concluded. “You’re taking proactive steps to plan for the future.”