Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced the finalists for the 2019 Stellar Communities Program.
After a thorough review of the letters of intent by the Stellar partner agencies, the following regions have been chosen as finalists:
- Constellation of Starke, which consists of Hamlet, Knox, North Judson and Starke County;
- Jay! Region, which is comprised of the Dunkirk, Portland, Pennville, Redkey and Jay County;
- Marshall County Crossroads, which consists of Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, Culver, Plymouth and Marshall County; and
- Safe and Welcome, which is comprised of Knightstown, New Castle and Henry County.
“Rural Indiana is comprised of so many burgeoning communities, and through this program they can really enhance the quality of life for the Hoosiers who call it home,” Crouch said. “During my travels of the state, it is truly incredible to see what some of the previous designees have done with the investments from the state. I am excited to see what the four regions that were selected unveil during this planning process.”
Launched in 2011, the Stellar Communities Program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment initiative led by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which is overseen by Crouch. The program works with self-selected regions on their vision for community and economic development, promotes local and regional partnerships and assists in implementing innovative solutions to challenges facing Indiana’s rural communities.
“To see so many communities recognize the need to work together and take advantage of the Stellar Program is exciting,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. “We are thrilled to see how the finalists come together and continue to work collaboratively on their Stellar Regional Development Plans.”
Finalist regions will receive a planning grant and will begin working with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute to discuss project alignment and continued planning efforts. The 2019 Stellar Communities Program designation will be announced on December 5, 2019.
Through the annual designation, the Stellar Communities 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. Visit in.gov/ocra/stellar for more information.