Roanoke Economic Development Organization (REDO)
The Roanoke Economic Development Organization (REDO) was organized to work on both long term and short term projects for economic development in the Roanoke and Jackson Township area.
Comprised of volunteers, the group began in an effort to redevelop a former brownfield site located in Roanoke - the C & M Plating lot. The group has since begun discussions on other possible development projects for the area.
C & M Plating operated in Roanoke until 1987, when its owners were charged by the State of Indiana with violating numerous hazardous materials regulations. Ensuing legal problems eventually forced the company to close and ultimately led to bankruptcy for the company. The site sat vacant for ten years thereafter.
In 1988, the EPA spent almost $900,000 removing hazardous materials from the open vats, barrels, and storage tanks on the site. That action was in response to the public outcry in which an outside storage tank containing hydrochloric acid developed a leak.
As time went along, the three buildings comprising the operation continued to deteriorate and posed a public hazard.
In 1995, an effort was launched to raze the buildings and clean the site of any remaining contamination.
In a landmark action, a joint effort between the EPA, IDEM, Huntington County, Jackson Township, and Roanoke officials resulted in the building being demolished and hauled away. The EPA then funded a cleanup of the contaminated soil beneath the building location, spending almost $800,000. For its efforts, the EPA would like to see the site redeveloped, and once again put back on the tax roles, making a positive contribution to the community. It was from that effort that REDO was formed and is deemed a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization.
REDO aggressively marketed the property after taking possession of it in a tax sale and ultimately sold the 2.5 acres to a local business for use as parking. With the proceeds from the sale, REDO plans to continue its goal of promoting economic development and planning for the Roanoke area.
REDO is one of several local economic development groups in Huntington County which are served by an umbrella organization, the Huntington County United Economic Development Organization (HCUED), which recently hired a full-time economic development director.
REDO is comprised of a nine member board and has recently become a partner with the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce as a special committee. REDO will continue to operate with its own board and enjoy its 501c(3) status as it continues to play an active role in the economic development.
The current President of REDO is Mr. John Klingenberger. He can be reached at (260) 758-3155 during the day and at (260) 672-8765 in the evenings.