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Posted on: October 23, 2017

Madison Designated 2017 "Stellar Community"

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Lt. Governor Crouch Announces the 2017 Stellar Communities Designees

INDIANAPOLIS – Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced today that the City of Madison and the Town of Culver are the 2017 Designees of the Stellar Communities Designation Program (SCDP).

Between May and October, representatives from the SCDP State Team visited all six finalist communities where they heard highlights from each local team as well as toured project locations from their local Strategic Investment Plans (SIP).

“The hard work, dedication, and passion the six finalist communities demonstrated throughout this process was clearly seen firsthand by the Stellar team during the site visits.” said Lt. Governor Crouch. “Each community demonstrated their capacity to strengthen local and regional partnerships in reaching transformative outcomes in their respective communities.”

Mayor Damon Welch, "We are ecstatic to be named one of the 2017 Stellar designees! This designation is a credit to the hard work of thousands of our community members over the last 5 years, who helped set the vision with Envision Jefferson County and then started putting it into action with America's Best Communities, our Comp Plan, and now Stellar. I look forward to working with our community over the next few years to carry out this extremely ambitious vision for our future. We had extremely worthy competition with Greensburg and Vincennes. Those communities put in a lot of hard work to make it to this point and I know they - like Madison - are better for it. I'd like to thank our consultant team, led by Ed Curtin, TSW, and Kathleen Weisenberger for their expertise and guidance to help us make it to this point. We also want to extend our grateful thanks to Governor Eric Holcomb, Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs, and all the Stellar State partners...we are excited to make you proud as "America's Stellar Hometown!" 

Launched in 2011, the SCDP is a multi-agency partnership designed to recognize Indiana's smaller communities that have identified comprehensive community and economic development projects and activities as well as next steps and key partnerships. The designations are separated into two divisions based on population size. Division I are communities of a population of 6,000 or more and Division II are smaller cities and towns with populations of fewer than 6,000.

Division I Designee -
City of Madison
Madison’s SIP includes the Madison Connector, a bike and pedestrian trail connecting Madison destinations; adaptive re-use of historic buildings; creation of a mixed-use facility in a former cotton mill; improvement of a riverfront park; overhauling the community gateways and neighborhood revitalization.

Division II Designee -
Town of Culver
Culver’s SIP focuses on creating workforce housing with the Sand Hill Farm Development, expanding the Lake Maxinkuckee bike and pedestrian trail, renovating the local landmark Beach Lodge, and improving the western gateway into Culver to create an appealing multi-modal corridor into the town.

Seven communities submitted letters of interest (LOIs) for the 2017 Stellar Communities Designation Program. Of those seven, six communities were chosen as finalists, received planning grants and were required to submit local Strategic Investment Plans. The SIPs detail the projects, partnerships and proposed sources of funding based on feedback and input from the local community. The next step was the site visits which were conducted by the Stellar Team, comprised of staff representing the partnering agencies.

On October 25th, a Stellarbration hosted by Lt. Governor Crouch, will be held at the Indiana Statehouse to celebrate the 2017 Designees. The event will include presentations from Madison and Culver.

The Lt. Governor and state team members will also travel to Madison and Culver later this fall to participate in local Stellarbrations with the local community members.

The SCDP State Team is comprised of the following agencies:
• Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
• Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA)
• Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)
• Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
• Indiana Finance Authority (IFA)
• Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD)
• Indiana State Department of Health – Division of Nutrition & Physical Activity (ISDH)
• Serve Indiana
• Indiana Arts Commission
• Indiana Bond Bank

Funding for the SCDP comes from multiple existing federal programs. Both communities have proposed projects involving public and private dollars; although they have been designated as a Stellar Community, the projects are proposals and no specific funds are guaranteed. Both communities will meet with representatives from the state Stellar Team in the coming weeks to discuss details of the proposed projects including feasibility, available funding, timeframes and partner participation.

The finalist communities will receive follow up from the state team to discuss details about their submitted SIPs and provide feedback on the SCDP process.

Eligible applicants must be a Local Unit of Government which includes a city or an incorporated town not entitled to direct Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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