Delphi Mayor: 'Stellar' Program Paying Dividends

Posted: Updated:
Construction at the expanded Delphi Opera House began last year. Construction at the expanded Delphi Opera House began last year.
DELPHI -

As the city of Delphi prepares for the grand reopening of one of its signature landmarks, Mayor Randy Strasser says his city's designation as a 2012 Stellar Community has generated a "tremendous amount of interest." The Delphi Opera House was a key piece of the Stellar pitch and will welcome guests this weekend after a more than $4.3 million expansion and restoration. Strasser says the results of the program have far exceeded initial goals.

Delphi is one of the state's smallest cities with a population of just under 3,000. Strasser says, with a city utility and civil budget totaling around $5 million per year, the investments involved in Stellar Communities and other downtown revitalization efforts are significant. Along with the more than $4 million invested in the Opera House, approximately $8 million has been pumped into the Canal Commons housing project, adding with other work that Strasser says combined for a total of $25 million.

Strasser says the infusion generated by Stellar Communities came at the time of "a crossroad" for the Carroll County city. He says Delphi needed a "large influx" of capital in order to go forward with the kind of plans he and other leaders envisioned, particularly for downtown.

The projects have involved a number of Hoosier businesses, including Indianapolis-based HWC Engineering. The growing firm partnered with the city on the Opera House, streetscapes, facades, Gateway Trail and downtown apartment efforts.

The state says statewide Stellar investments to date from the Indiana Housing and Community Economic Development Authority, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana Department of Transportation total $58 million. The program is operated by the Indiana Lieutenant Governor's Office.

In all, communities have received the Stellar Communities Designation, beginning with Greencastle and North Vernon in 2011, then Delphi and Princeton, Bedford and Richmond, Huntingburg and Wabash, and last year's communities, Crawfordsville and North Liberty. The state says 21 strategic investment plans have been created as a result of 60 communities showing interest in the program.

The three-story Delphi Opera House is hosting its opening weekend festivities after the multi-million dollar investment nearly doubled its size. Improvements that we spearheaded by the Delphi Preservation Society include a fully-restored stage featuring original windows and wallpaper. The project's Stellar investment came to $2.6 million. The venue was originally named the Assion-Ruffing City Hall and served as a grand event hall, hosting its first event (a ball for returning Civil War veterans) in 1865.

Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser tells Inside INdiana Business downtown development is at the heart of the revitalization efforts that are beginning to bear fruit.
  • Perspectives

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of Taylor University)

      Taylor University President to Resign

      The president of Taylor University is stepping down. The university's board of trustees says Paul Lowell Haines has resigned from the position and will leave the Upland campus August 15. A specific reason for Haines' resignation was not given, however the Board Chair Paige Cunningham noted the move was "neither solicited nor encouraged" by the board. Haines graduated from Taylor in 1975. He later held various positions at the university including vice president for...

    • 1SI executives Matt Hall and Wendy Dant Chesser talked about the project on Inside INdiana Business.

      Momentum Building at 'Hot Spot' River Ridge

      As economic development officials in southeast Indiana welcomed news last week of Louisville-based PharmaCord's plans to invest $52 million and add up to 850 jobs at the River Ridge Commerce Center, they were quick to add there is more development on the horizon. River Ridge is a sprawling, 6,000 acre park located between Jeffersonville and Charlestown that was once home to the massive Indiana Army Ammunition plant and thousands of jobs. Today more than 50 companies call River...

    • "Wood" You Consider Investing in Timber?

      Looking for an untraditional way to diversify your traditional stock and fixed-income portfolio? If so, try thinking outside the typical realm of investable assets. Don’t know where to start? How about going against the “grain” and investing in timber? Why Trees? Investing in timber can yield a number of benefits. The main draw of having timber in your portfolio is its low, long-term correlation to traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. Low correlation...

    • (photo courtesy of Governor Eric Holcomb's office)

      Governor Meets with Ag Leaders on Delayed Planting

      Governor Eric Holcomb recently met with leaders from the state's agriculture sector regarding the impact of unusual weather conditions on farms and other ag businesses. The USDA says 84 percent of Indiana's corn crop and 64 percent of soybeans have been planted. Typically, both crops are at 100 percent planted by this time of the year.

    • Fairbanks Foundation Grants Funding to Marian University

      Marian University's Klipsch Educators College is set to receive $900,000 over a three-year period from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The funding will help with operating costs of Klipsch College's New Teacher Preparation Program, which will receive installments of $400,000, $300,000 and $200,000 through 2021. Fairbanks has awarded over $2.6M to the Klipsch College since 2016.