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  Carson named redevelopment head


By Curt Slyder, Journal and Courier


Lafayette's new redevelopment director will not leave his current position to head the city's redevelopment office.


Instead, the Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association will be folded into the city office along with its executive director, Dennis Carson.


Mayor Tony Roswarski announced Carson's hiring at Tuesday's board of works meeting. A brief press conference followed.


"There is a limited pool of funding sources out there for all the different organizations," Roswarski said. Bringing the LUEA into the redevelopment office, with Carson to run both, "we think, is a tremendous step," the mayor said.


"We think this is a very good fit for us," the 44-year-old Carson said, referring to the new partnership.


A graduate of Ball State University with a wife and three children, Carson has lived in Lafayette since 1986.


Lafayette's Urban Enterprise Zone covers all of downtown Lafayette, with fingers extending as far north as the Landis + Gyr plant on U.S. 52, as far south as the Cargill plant on Wabash Avenue, and as far east as Menards and Arnett Clinic on Greenbush Street.


According to its Web site, LUEA's mission is, "To enhance, revitalize, and encourage the businesses and neighborhoods of the enterprise zone through partnerships, incentives and cooperation."


During his 10 years running LUEA, the agency helped fund the creation of the downtown Tippecanoe County Childcare Center in 1998 among other projects. 


LUEA also was instrumental in helping find employees who live downtown to work at the Holiday Inn Select City Centre on South Street, which opened in 2003. The agency also helped create the WorkOne Express site at the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy in 2003.


LARA executive director JoAnn Vorst had nothing but praise for Carson, describing him as a leader and a visionary who "is here for the long haul."


"The mayor couldn't have done a better job," Vorst said of Carson. "The hat he will be wearing fits perfectly with the hat he is wearing now."


"Dennis understands the system," said attorney Bob Reiling, LUEA's board chairman, calling Carson "an outstanding choice."


Roswarski said the idea to bring LUEA into the city evolved during brainstorming sessions with outgoing redevelopment director Jenny Bonner.


Bonner will take over as the city's engineer on Monday, replacing Opal Kuhl. Kuhl will become Tippecanoe County's new highway director, replacing Mark Albers, who resigned last month.


Bonner's and Dennis' combined knowledge of development, engineering, permits and other related issues will make Lafayette "a one-stop shop for creating business," Roswarski said.


Dennis Carson file


Occupation: New director of Lafayette Redevelopment Department.


Education: Bachelor's degree in management and marketing with a political science minor as well as a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Ball State University.


Hobbies: Architecture, automobiles, photography and reading.


Family: Wife, Diane, a registered nurse, and three children: Nicholas, McKailey and Benjamin



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Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association
Greater Lafayette Commerce | P.O. Box 348 | 337 Columbia Street | Lafayette, IN 47902-0348
phone: 765.742.4044 | fax: 765.742.6276 | e-mail:


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