Six regions have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Stellar Communities Program. The initiative, which is taking a regional approach this year for the first time, involves support from the state to help boost strategic planning efforts in participating communities.
Stellar Communities is driven by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and previously involved smaller cities and towns. OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden says "the responses we received demonstrates that our communities understand our vision for the program and the importance of regionalism. Communities are stronger when they partner with one another in planning for the future, determining economic development investments and improving the quality of life for residents."
The finalists are:
- "A Region Plus," which includes Knox County and the cities of Vincennes and Bicknell
- "Health and Heritage Region," which includes the city of Greenfield and the town of Fortville
- "Eastern Indiana," which includes the cities of Richmond, Rushville and Union City, as well as Randolph County
- "Marshall County Crossroads," which includes Elkhart and St. Joseph counties, leaders from Marshall County and from the towns of Argos, Bremen, Bourbon, Culver, LaPaz and Plymouth
- "Mt. Comfort Road Corridor," which includes the towns of Cumberland, McCordsville and New Palestine
- "New Allen Alliance," which includes Allen County, the cities of New Haven and Woodburn and the towns of Grabill, Leo-Cedarville and Monroeville
Winners, which will be announced at the end of the year, will be set up to receive financial support from the state for their regional plans, resources to boost quality-of-place improvements and initiatives and access to the Ball State University Indiana Communities Institute for project alignment and further planning efforts. You can connect to more about Stellar Communities by clicking here.
A study released earlier this year says the program, which was launched in 2011, has involved $100 million in support from OCRA and its partners and led to another $135 million in contributions from community partners. Last year, the city of Madison and the town of Culver won the designation.