Indianapolis – Today, Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb announced the six communities who are the division 1 and division 2 finalists for the 2016 Stellar Communities Designation Program (SCDP).
Established in 2011, the SCDP began as a collaboration between the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to support community planning and development initiatives by streamlining access to available funding sources and capacity building resources. Through the annual designation, the Stellar Communities Designation Program provides resources for transformative quality of place community improvements by utilizing previous planning efforts, leveraging existing assets, fostering regional investments and stimulating continued growth for long-term relevance.
“Cities and towns across Indiana continue to benefit from a strong business climate that makes them attractive places to live, work, and play, and the Stellar Communities Designation Program remains an important catalyst fostering local economic growth,” said Holcomb. “I congratulate this year’s six finalists for taking this pivotal step of identifying key projects in line with their assets and visions for the future. I look forward to visiting each of the finalist communities over the next few months to see firsthand the state and local collaborations helping our hometowns thrive well into the future.”
Finalist communities are separated into a division based on their population. division 1 is for communities with populations 6,000–50,000 and division 2 is for populations 5,999 and below.
Ten communities submitted proposals for the 2016 SCDP. After evaluating the letters of interest, the top six communities were chosen as finalists.
2016 Stellar Communities Designation Program Finalists:
- City of Rushville (Rush)
- City of Shelbyville (Shelby)
- City of Warsaw (Kosciusko)
- Town of Corydon (Harrison)
- Town of Culver (Marshall)
- City of Union City (Randolph)
As finalist communities, each will receive a planning grant to either create or build upon existing local Strategic Investment Plans, detailing projects, partnerships and proposed sources of funding. Site visits will then be conducted by the Stellar Team which is comprised of representatives from the partnering agencies who follow a standard agenda and set of questions. Later this summer, one community from each division will be named a 2016 Stellar Communities Designee.
Since its inception, the SCDP partnership has grown to include:
- Indiana Arts Commission (IAC)
- Indiana Bond Bank
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
- Indiana Finance Authority (IFA)
- Indiana Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE)
- Indiana Office of Tourism and Development (IOTD)
- Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA)
- Serve Indiana
While OCRA, INDOT and IHCDA have made financial commitments to the program, all eleven agencies will provide a high level of technical skills that will support leveraging the existing assets already within the community. Their efforts will focus on building human capital, supporting existing businesses, creating a spirit of entrepreneurship, redeveloping commercial property and infrastructure, preserving natural and cultural amenities and improving the health and well-being of residents, which fosters the creation of a vital destination.
Previous Stellar Communities:
- 2011 – North Vernon and Greencastle
- 2012 – Princeton and Delphi
- 2013 – Richmond and Bedford
- 2014 – Huntingburg and Wabash
- 2015 – Crawfordsville and North Liberty
Funding for the Stellar Communities Designation Program comes from multiple existing federal and state programs. For more information on past designees, timelines and contact information, please visit www.ocra.in.gov/Stellar.