HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials of McCordsville brought a proposal of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to the Redevelopment Commission of Hancock County on Nov. 9 for discussion at the Annex building.

Tim Gropp, manager of McCordsville, shared with the RDC board that they had presented the MOU at the commissioner meeting on Oct. 31 and had made revisions to the MOU as requested and also wanted to bring the MOU before the RDC.

“This kind of just let’s the people know we’re working together, not working against each other at the end of the day,” said McCordsville Town Council President Greg Brewer at the Oct. 31 meeting.

Gropp said the MOU would essentially serve as an agreement between the county and the town to let the other know if and when development is to come to each other’s area that would be close within each other’s jurisdiction since both the town of McCordsville and the county is growing.

Hancock County Commissioner Bill Spalding said at the Oct. 31 meeting that with the growth that McCordsville is experiencing, “it would be nice to have that interaction.”

Commissioners motioned and passed to enter into the MOU with McCordsville.

However, when the MOU was presented at the Nov. 9 RDC meeting, there were some questions raised as to why the MOU was brought to the RDC.

RDC members Kent Fisk and Keely Butrum are also on the county council board and spoke with the remaining members the day before in regard to the MOU going to the RDC. Fisk said that the council was not in favor of the council representatives signing the MOU.

Fisk has been on the RDC board for more than a year and said during his experience, the board hears about projects after everything has already been done.

“We just handle the existing scenarios, we don’t have anything to do with the preliminary scenario,” said Fisk at the meeting.

Fisk said that he believes that, for projects, Hancock Economic Development Council is “the first phone call,” then the commissioners and so on. Fisk later said the only time they get involved with a project is if they are doing something with a bond.

Butrum said at the Nov. 9 meeting that the more appropriate group to fill the intent of the MOU would be the HEDC because they get that first phone call. However, they are not a government entity.

Gropp said that while the HEDC does get leads on projects, they won’t enter an agreement with a non-government entity.

Butrum also said at the meeting there was also some concern expressed by the council with appointees on the board changing in the future, they don’t have to put any obligations on them.

Gropp later said that at the Nov. 9 meeting is where he learned that for Hancock County the RDC is toward the end of the list of people in the know for projects. Before his position as manager for McCordsville, Gropp served as redevelopment director for the RDC in Speedway — where the RDC knew early on about developing projects.

Gropp said when they originally proposed the MOU, they wanted to make sure that the county and town are working together and want to make sure that they aren’t being played against each other.

The MOU is set to be on the agenda at the next RDC meeting for signature, but Gropp said that they are fine if the MOU ends up being between the town and the commissioners.

“We want to make sure we’re communicating those projects, so we’re working together to find the best development growth for the whole area,” Gropp said.