3 NW Indiana counties land long-sought economic designation

The National Park Service has closed several portions of Indiana Dunes National Park after a chemical spill killed hundreds of fish in the area, according to a statement by Portage, Indiana, a nearby city.

MUNSTER, Ind. — Three northwest Indiana counties have earned a long-sought federal designation that’s expected to open the door for funding to spur economic development.

Officials say the U.S. Department of Commerce has declared Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties an Economic Development District. That designation is expected to open up the region that’s part of the Chicago metropolitan area to federal funding for economic development planning and projects.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission had pursued the federal designation for more than a decade.

Commission chairwoman Diane Noll says that many people “contributed many years of effort to achieve this designation.” She and the commission’s other members will now serve as the board members for the new economic development district.

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