Governor Holcomb and state economic experts sat down to discuss the controversial LEAP District in Boone County on Thursday.

The project has been the center of a lot of pushback from Hoosiers and community groups in Boone and Tippecanoe Counties, all because of the potential of having to pipe in water from the Wabash River to sustain the district.

The state is currently in the midst of a water study to look into the feasibility of doing that. Holcomb is urging Hoosiers to let those running the study do their jobs and wait for the results.

“Water is a utility that is regulated for growth whether it be residential or commercial,” Holcomb said. “And specifically, to the LEAP District, not one drip or drop of water will be piped until we know what volume is needed. Not just for that region, but for a greater region throughout Indiana.”

Lebanon mayor Matt Gentry has said that piping in water will solve a future water shortage for Hoosiers in central Indiana.

Holcomb recently shifted control of the water study from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation to the Indiana Finance Authority. The IEDC has taken some heat from many over the project. Eric Doden, a candidate for governor, said this week that the IEDC is overstepping its bounds with the project.

“We’re taking stock of our inventory, if you will, statewide and it would be premature, and we would be unable to lock in certain businesses that will require up and beyond what we know we have,” Holcomb said. “That’s the whole point of the study.”

In the meeting at the NCAA Hall of Champions Thursday, experts highlighted what they said would be $58 billion worth of potential projects that could come to the LEAP District. For now, Eli Lilly is the only business to announce plans to build on LEAP land, but the meeting also highlighted seven other potential investments.

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