CROWN POINT | The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority on Tuesday joined the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District in an estimated $550,000 effort to create a strategic business plan for commuter transit in the northern part of the state.
The move is a "very significant step," RDA Chairman Leigh Morris said.
RDA board members unanimously supported selecting URS Corp, to develop the plan. The RDA and NICTD will split the cost, each contributing $275,000. The NICTD board agreed to the terms in March.
"This is a potentially giant leap forward," said RDA member Harley Snyder.
RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna said there is a strong desire to create this type of strategic plan, which could lead to major economic development in Northwest Indiana.
The plan, expected to be finished early next year, will address strategies for increased ridership, transit-oriented development, access to airports and recreational destinations, public/private partnerships and expansion of service, according to the RDA.
In other business, the RDA board voted unanimously to ratify Hanna's contract as CEO, effective Jan. 1 of this year. They also voted unanimously to re-elect the board's officers to the positions they currently hold.
Also, Matt Reardon from SEH announced that the Seven Peaks Waterpark, which will open at the shuttered Splash Down Dunes site, 150 E. U.S. 20 in Porter, will open to the public May 31.