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Commissioners join ‘aerotropolis’ initiative


Commissioners join ‘aerotropolis’ initiative

Aleasha Sandley asandley@reporter-times.com
August 3, 2011


Morgan County will cooperate with other areas in central Indiana on an initiative designed to extend the economic development impact of the Indianapolis International Airport.

At its Monday meeting, the Morgan County Board of Commissioners voted to sign a memorandum of understanding involving the county, the towns of Mooresville and Plainfield, Hendricks and Marion counties and Wayne and Decatur townships in Indianapolis, all areas likely to be part of the airport’s efforts to become an “aerotropolis.” An aerotropolis is a network of economic development and transportation logistics centered around the airport and nearby highway and rail systems, said Morgan County Council member Jeff Quyle, who will represent Morgan County in the initiative.

Quyle said during long-term planning meetings last year at the airport, officials determined the aerotropolis concept could serve the region best in terms of economic development. Airports in cities such as Dallas, Detroit and Memphis, Tenn., have completed similar networks, he said.

The memo signed Monday by commissioners commits the county’s participation in a study committee in which county officials will have input into the development of the aerotropolis.

Mooresville Town Council President George Watkins said the town likely would approve its own version of the memo. He said he was trying to encourage airport officials to include the city of Martinsville in its planning as well.

Quyle said the airport’s new director, John Clark, wanted to make a statement with the aerotropolis concept.

“He sees this as something that can take the airport in a new direction,” Quyle said.

Morgan County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Joy Sessing said the aerotropolis development is an active and exciting time for the airport and surrounding communities.

“While they talk about a five-mile radius (of economic development impact), I’m positive it will go further than that,” Sessing said.

Copyright: Reporter-Times.com/MD-Times.com 2011


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