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Portland, IN Celebrates the Past While Focusing on the Future

Tap into Portland's blend of tradition and innovation.

By Livability on July 20, 2021

Arts Place Building Exterior in Jay Co. IN
Courtesy of the City of Portland, IN

There’s only one Jay County in the United States, and Portland proudly serves as its county seat. Founded eight years before its counterpart on the West Coast, Portland, Ind., stands apart with its small-town friendliness coupled with amenities typically found in much larger cities.

“It’s a very caring community where everyone knows everyone,” says Portland Mayor John Boggs. He adds it’s also a city with fiber optic connectivity, entertainment options ranging from the impressive Arts Place to a $2.5 million waterpark and the John Jay Center for Learning.

“Affiliated with several different colleges, you can go start to finish here to get your degree,” Boggs says of the unique educational center.

Aerial waterpark shot in Jay County, IN

As families prioritize quality of life, Boggs says Portland is an attractive solution.

“It’s a great place to raise a family. We have a very low cost of living. We have a fabulous school system, and we have a community center that’s just wonderful with programming for young children through seniors,” he notes.

Whether utilizing Portland’s robust Wi-Fi to work remotely or looking for local employment, Boggs says the city offers a strong industrial base.

“We’re going through a corporate renaissance right now,” he explains. “And with the low cost of real estate, it’s a great place to open a boutique business.”

Innovative in planning for the future, Boggs proudly notes, “We were the second city in Indiana to create a community foundation.”

Road full of Tractors traveling in Portland, IN

Doug Inman, executive director of the Portland Foundation, shares that excitement.

“We started with two gifts of $1,000 each to create the first two endowment funds and have grown to $43 million in endowed assets and 399 endowment funds to serve a population of 21,000,” he says.

Nearly $20 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded for community development, arts and culture, health and human services, youth and education.

“People are amazed at the amenities in a city this size,” Inman continues. “I think it’s due to the generosity of generations of people in this community.”

For more details about Jay County and the City of Portland, visit thecityofportland.net.

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