Regional Agencies
Who are the decision making agencies involved in shaping the future San Pierre?

Small towns in America are increasingly governed by regional agencies, each with their own responsibilities, their own jurisdictions, and their own constituencies to whom they are responsible. School districts, library districts, state and federal congressional districts, economic development districts, tourism districts, regional planning districts - all have a significant impact on the future of the towns within their boundaries. Unfortunately, these district boundaries are not always the same, and often do not coincide with township or county boundaries. These multiple jurisdictions often overlap, and sometimes conflict with each other, creating a curious condition of conflicting interests guiding the decision-making processes affecting the towns they represent.

Some of the important regional districts with a decision-making role in the future of San Pierre are listed below:

San Pierre sits at the western-most edge of Indiana State House District 17. House District 17 is currently represented by State Representative Nancy Dembowski (D-17), of Knox. The areas directly north, west, and south of Railroad Township are represented by State House District 20. House District 20 is currently represented by State Representative Tom Dermody (R-20), of LaPorte.

San Pierre is located in State Senate District 5. Senate District 5 is currently represented by State Senator Ed Charbonneau (R-5), of Valparaiso.

San Pierre sits in US Congressional District 2 (shown in blue below). District 2 is currently represented by Congressman Joe Donnelly (D-02), of South Bend/Mishawaka. The entire State of Indiana is represented in the US Senate by Richard Lugar (R) and Evan Bayh (D), both of Indianapolis.

The US Census has divided Indiana and its neighboring metropolitan communities into something called Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs). CSAs are combinations of metropolitan and micropolitan areas that share close proximity in geographic, social, cultural and economic statistical categories. Other governmental agencies often follow these boundaries when determining the allocation of federal funds. San Pierre sits just outside the Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City IL-IN-WI area, a CSA which straddles three different states. Areas in white on this map are not assessed in the same manner as in the CSAs.

San Pierre is represented in economic development matters by the Northwest Region of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, located in Portage. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has identified this same region as one of 11 Economic Growth Regions (EGRs) in the state. The 7 counties in this region constitute 13.8% of the state's population, or 840,000 people. The Department of Commerce divides Indiana into 12 Commerce Regions. San Pierre falls within the boundaries of their Region 2. Note that the commerce regions and the economic development regions do not coincide with one another.

The Indiana Department of Agriculture divides the state into Resource Conservation and Development Areas. San Pierre falls within their 'Arrowhead Country' region. This conservation region includes only half of the Kankakee River watershed - those counties south of the River. Counties in the northern Kankakee watershed are represented by several different conservation regions.

Regional planning issues in San Pierre are guided by the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC), located in Monon, in White County. KIRPC's Region covers a six county area. Their programs offer a range of useful services including assisting with economic and community development, grant writing and grant administration, providing planning and technical assistance, and acting as a legislative liaison for communities in the region. KIRPC is one of 12 regional planning organizations in the state of Indiana.

The North-Judson San Pierre School District actually straddles two counties, covering the western portions of Starke County, and the northern parts of Pulaski County.

The San Pierre Public Library is part of the Starke County Public Library District, which covers all of Starke County except Wayne Township, where the North-Judson San Pierre Middle and High Schools are located. This example alone shows how the regionalization of small town America creates unforeseen difficulties - wouldn't it make more sense if the school district and the library district covered the same territory?

The State of Indiana Department of Health has organized ten separate Health Preparedness Districts. San Pierre falls in Health Preparedness District 2, a district which stretches all the way to South Bend.

The State of Indiana Office of Tourism Development Program and VisitIndiana.com divide the state into 6 tourism regions. San Pierre is in the North Tourism Region, a region adjacent to the State of Michigan and stretching all the way to Ohio.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) separates the State of Indiana into 6 districts and 32 sub-districts. San Pierre falls under the jurisdiction of the LaPorte District, and the Winamac Sub-District. The Winamac Sub-District includes none of the major highways (I-65, I-80, I-90 or US 30) that travel through the LaPorte District.

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© 2008 The Institute for Small Town Studies