Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann is lauding the national recognition of a group of Hoosier cities. She says eleven cities are in the quarter-final round of the national America's Best Communities competition. April 30, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann congratulates municipalities throughout Indiana who are in the national spotlight for their hard work and planning for current and future community and economic development opportunities. Indianapolis was selected as the site for a National Promise Zone and eleven other communities were named quarter-finalists in the America's Best Communities competition.

“This is an exciting time for community planning and economic development activities taking place in small towns and larger cities throughout Indiana. This national recognition is evidence of the collaborative work,” said Lt. Governor Ellspermann. “I congratulate the twelve communities on the local leadership's hard work and dedication to ensuring Hoosiers continues to have thriving cities and towns to work, live and raise a family.”

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service was in town earlier this week to announce that Indianapolis' Near Eastside was designated a Promise Zone.

The Promise Zone designation is designed to assist long-struggling pockets of major cities and small suburban towns cut off from regional economic engines to collaboratively plan the next steps and long term goals. Indianapolis was one of eight to receive the designation from a total of 123 applications.

For Indianapolis, the lead applicant is the John H. Boner Community Center who, in partnership with a number of local organizations, will welcome five new AmeriCorps volunteers who will move into the Near Eastside to focus primarily on educational efforts. The team also will be paired with workers in federal agencies who will assist local groups to ensure they have an understanding of available grants and how to apply.

Eleven Indiana cities and towns were among the 50 communities across the country who have advanced to the quarter finals of the America's Best Communities competition. Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, The Weather Channel and CoBank, the national competition gave over 400 communities a chance to share their hometown pride and dreams for the future.

Quarter-Finalists from Indiana:

-Angola

-Greencastle*

-Jasper

-Lafayette

-La Porte

-Madison

-Richmond*

-Terre Haute

-Valparaiso

-Wabash*

-Westfield

*Cities who have received an Indiana Stellar Communities Designation

The Quarter-Finalists will each receive $35,000 and support to define their vision and to develop a plan to put into motion and a GoPro camera to capture and share their stories throughout the process. Each team will then need to raise $15,000 in matching funds and create a Community Revitalization Plan focused on economic development as well as a budget proposal of $100,000 for possible 11-month implementation of the plan among other requirements.

“The overarching theme for both of these honors is the impact that the cooperative work of strong partnerships as the catalyst for progress,” continues Ellspermann. “I look forward to the impactful results of these community partnerships and challenge others to assess their local stakeholders and invite interested parties to these transformative conversations.”

The Lieutenant Governor statutorily serves as the President of the Indiana Senate and chairs the Indiana Counter Terrorism and Security Council.

Source: The Office of The Lieutenant Governor

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