The town manager of Culver says Wednesday’s "Stellarbration" will serve as another opportunity to spotlight the community’s goal of bringing more business, affordable housing and permanent residents to an area best known as a leisure destination. Jonathan Leist says being named a 2017 Stellar Community is a "huge deal" and could help attract millions of dollars in new investment. He says the town’s home prices are very high because of the second and summer home market, creating challenges for some of the area’s larger employers. Following a visit last month to the Statehouse, Leist told Inside INdiana Business about the projects at the center of Culver’s vision.
The festivities Wednesday in the Marshall County community include groundbreaking on the Sand Hill Farms housing development, a multi-million dollar project designed to create more living space for middle income families. It’s considered the signature piece of Culver’s Stellar Communities playbook — themed "Stellar Town Year-Round." It has already received support from the statewide Regional Cities Initiative that was secured by north central Indiana.
Other potential works associated with Stellar Communities include:
- more work on the Lake Maxinkuckee Bike and Pedestrian Trail
- renovations to Culver Park’s Beach Lodge on the lake
- creating a new western gateway to the town
- additional sidewalks and connecting trails
- a new Culver Community Schools sports park
- boosting recreational access and programming on Lake Maxinkuckee
Leist discussed some of the momentum already rolling in the Marshall County town. "We’ve got 200 new residents, 80 new students going to our schools, our schools are doing well — the doors are full — Culver Academies is doing well, Elkay Manufacturing has hired 200 new people that are living in town," he said. "We have a beautiful trail around that lake that we’ve completed two phases on and a beautiful beach lodge on the lake, as well, that has year-round programming for our residents, but lots of fun stuff to do during the summer, too." In June, the town was also added to the Indiana Main Street program.
Wednesday’s "Stellarbration" in Culver is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. and will involve Culver’s Stellar Committee, local, state and regional officials and Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch at presentations at the Culver Park Beach Lodge.