updated: 3/19/2013 9:44:18 AM
Six small cities are still in the running for this year's Stellar Communities grants. The state program is designed to help fund community development projects. Stellar Communities officials will conduct site visits in May before the two winning communities are selected this summer. Greencastle was named a Stellar Community in 2011 and Mayor Sue Murray and Audra Blasdel of DePauw University discussed the impact of the program during an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television.
This year's finalists are Angola, Bedford, Frankfort, Petersburg, Richmond and Wabash.
March 19, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Lieutenant Governor Ellspermann today announced the six finalists for the 2013 Stellar Communities program, a state grant program designed to fund comprehensive community development projects in Indiana's smaller communities.
It is the third year for the Stellar Communities awards, which is a joint endeavor between the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
The finalists are: Angola, Bedford, Frankfort, Petersburg, Richmond, and Wabash, which will now participate in additional workshops and planning sessions to further fine tune their submissions.
"Our Stellar Community finalists are working hard to create effective community and economic development," said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. "Their intense planning and collaborative efforts strive to attract additional investments and improve the quality of life for their hometown residents."
In February 2013, Lt. Governor Ellspermann asked for "Letters of Interest" (LOI's) from communities who believed they were ready to take the next step and benefit from the Stellar Communities program. Participants completed a variety of comprehensive planning and integration steps prior to submitting their LOI's. For many communities it was the culmination of a multi-year preparation effort.
In May 2013 each of the six finalists, who were selected from the 24 LOI's submitted, will receive a site visit before the two available Stellar Communities awards are made early this summer.
"The quality of the 24 LOI's was excellent and it was a difficult decision to narrow the field to six finalists," said Dax Norton, Executive Director of OCRA. "Many communities diligently worked to improve their prior applications, and new communities stepped forward to be considered."
"We are excited for the next phase of the multi-agency partnerships brought together by the Stellar Communities program and look forward to the upcoming visits where the six finalists will showcase their local partnerships and present the visions for their communities," said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of IHCDA.
"One of INDOT's many roles is assisting local elected officials in achieving the transportation vision for their community," said Michael B. Cline, INDOT Commissioner. "By combining the resources of many agencies under Stellar Communities, it has a greater combined effect than if we worked separately."
Funding for the Stellar Communities program is provided by OCRA, IHCDA, and INDOT.
Previous Stellar Community designations have been awarded to Greencastle, 2011; North Vernon, 2011; Princeton, 2012; and Delphi, 2012.
The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs was created by legislation in 2005, making rural Indiana a major focus for the first time. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit www.in.gov/ocra .
For updates from the Lt. Governor and the agencies she oversees, please visit www.in.gov/lgov .
Source: Office of the Lieutenant Governor