the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairsannounced that submissions are open for communities to submit letters of intent for the Stellar Communities Program. Beginning in January 2018, the program evolved into to a regional partnership design which emphasizes collaboration in planning efforts between neighboring towns, cities and counties.
“I want to encourage all communities and counties to apply and especially those with past Stellar Designees and Finalists,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “We received positive feedback from the 2018 finalists that the regional approach allowed for more collaborative possibilities and growth opportunities and we’re excited to continue that in 2019.”
Overseen by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Stellar Communities Program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment initiative led by OCRA. This program works with communities in developing regional development plans, promoting local and regional partnerships and increasing economic development.
The letter of intent submission process is completed through an online grant management system. All regions must submit the required documentation in order to be considered. Letters of Intent are due by April 5, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. ET. A demonstration video is available to help familiarize applicants with the program.
Eligible participants include local units of government that are a county, city or an incorporated town that participate in the Indiana Community Development Block Grant program. Those that are considered a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized entitlement community are not eligible.
This collaborative effort brings together mentorships and partnerships to advance comprehensive solutions to regional and local challenges throughout rural Indiana. All participating communities must commit at least four years to the project.
Golden said to reach out to the agency to help provide assistance with the program.
The Stellar Communities Program dedicated program manager, Michael Sinnet, is also available for consultation and assistance. An informational video on the overall program will be available on Jan. 30. Click here for more information.