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2/20/2019 5:54:00 PM
Brookston's future may lie in housing for Greater Lafayette area, says White County EDC head
Randy Mitchell, president of White County Economic Development. Staff photo by James d. Wolf Jr.
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Randy Mitchell, president of White County Economic Development. Staff photo by James d. Wolf Jr.

James D. Wolf Jr, Herald Journal

BROOKSTON — The future of White County’s southernmost town lies to the south, according to White County Economic Development President Randy Mitchell.

It may also be in housing or in industry, but housing is a likely direction, he told the Brookston Town Council at their Wednesday meeting.

“Everybody is crying for housing. West Lafayette housing is very expensive,” Mitchell said.

Town Council Member Dawn Girard said that people always say they want Brookston houses.

Mitchell said Brookston may become more of a bedroom community for people who work about 15 minutes away in West Lafayette and Lafayette area.

The tax rates and the cost of living are much lower in White County, and housing in some areas is scarce.

Wolcott, he told the council, has no housing available, and when a house goes up for sale the, it goes quickly.

Brookston is getting to that point, he said.

The town’s new superintendent and water/wastewater operator, Josh Denlinger, said he had a difficult time finding a place to live in Brookston after moving to the area from Indianapolis.

Mitchell also noted that the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas have been getting more manufacturing lately.

Mitchell said his office isn’t funded by White County but is funded 60 percent from public entities like the county and Brookston, and 40 percent funded by private industry that sees the value of growth.

He described himself as a liaison between the White County Commissioners, the city and town councils, and the community.

And the biggest part of his job is business retention, he added.

He has seven to eight meetings per month with existing businesses, seeing what they need.

In Brookston, one business contacted him about moving during the 2017 reconstruction of Indiana 18, the main street through the town.

He convinced the business to stay because it would be better after the work was finished, and the business agrees that it is, he said.

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