The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding for two community projects in Wells County. The IEDC says the projects, which include a new outdoor plaza in Bluffton and amphitheater in Ossian, will help enhance the region’s efforts to attract investment and talent.
The projects have a total cost of $2.1 million and the newly-approved funding will cover more than $423,000. The IEDC says both projects will serve as access points and quality of place assets along the regional Poka-Bache Connector, which is part of the Indiana Visionary Trails System.
The Parlor City Plaza in downtown Bluffton will be located near the Wells County Courthouse and feature several pieces of art, as well as a stage, outdoor movie screen, electric hookups for food trucks and green spaces. Construction is expected to be complete in September.
The amphitheater in southeast Ossian will serve as an event and concert venue at Archibold Wilson Park. It will also feature a new trail, five acres of green space, an ADA-compliant playground, and an 18-hole disc golf course. Construction is expected to begin in late September and be complete by August 2020.
"With these projects, Wells County and all of northeast Indiana will gain major cultural and economic amenities that help spur investment and enhance the quality of place for current and future residents," IEDC President Elaine Bedel said in a news release. "We’re excited that regional development plans are continuing to forge ahead through the Regional Cities Initiative, and look forward to working hand-in-hand with communities in other regions to promote the same goals under the program."
To date, nearly $120 million has been awarded statewide through the Regional Cities Initiative.