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Vermillion County Project Overview

Project Director: Sharon Canaday


Vermillion County Economic Development PlanThe Vermillion County Economic Development Council (VCEDC) has taken a proactive approach to distinguishing Vermillion County by recognizing that quality of place and life matters to people and businesses and that the attraction and retention of talent build a strong base for economic growth and community development.  Working with Ball State University’s Building Better Communities, the VCEDC launched a county-wide strategic planning process to build a road map for future community economic development of the county by engaging community residents, business, the public sector (local and county government), non-profits, and education and training as key stakeholders in the process.  The planning process focused on aligning expectations of these key stakeholders with the reality of the economic environment, resources, time, the impact of outcomes, and a return on investment.  

Rural Vermillion County, located on Indiana’s western border with Illinois, is over 37 miles long and averages seven miles in width, spanning 260 square miles bordered by Interstate Highway 74 on the north and Terre Haute to the south.  Challenges include the location of its largest incorporated community, the City of Clinton, at the southern end of the county while the county seat, Newport, lies in the central part of the county.  Five smaller incorporated communities lie scattered throughout a county which is bisected into north and southern areas by U.S. Highway 36.  

Vermillion County has a unique opportunity in the former Newport Chemical Depot that is being transformed under the management of the Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority (NeCDRA) into Vermillion Rise, a business and industrial park.  Integration of this site and its development with that of the communities throughout the county became a focal point in planning based on talent development and attraction, the communities’ capacity for development and growth, and resources and funding.  Vermillion County is second only to Lake County in having the lowest local option tax rate in Indiana.  While this is an asset it also presents a challenge in providing adequate levels of funding for development.  Intrinsic to the planning process was determining the will of both the public and elected officials to increase the County’s only local option income tax (County Economic Development Income Tax) to fund future economic development throughout the county.