(INDIANAPOLIS) – Today, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced Marshall County Crossroads as the 2019 Stellar Communities Designee.
“I am so proud of Marshall County Crossroads and the work they have done to improve the quality of life for all their residents and to attract new visitors,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “This designation will further boost their continued development efforts, strengthen their regional partnerships and, ultimately, bring their innovative ideas to life.”
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, and is overseen by Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. The program works in coordination with communities to create regional development plans, promote local and regional partnerships and implement comprehensive solutions to regional challenges.
In April, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced a change to the Stellar Communities Program. Following a thorough review of the regional pilot program and with the goal to create the greatest transformational impact, the program now designates one region per year. While the majority of the available resources will be allocated to the designated region, the non-designated finalist regions are also eligible to receive a portion of $1 million, to be used towards the advancement of their regional development plans.
“These plans are the representation of partnerships and collaborations strengthened through core values, shared vision, and proactive planning,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “It is our hope that all participating regions benefit from this planning process.”
Marshall County Crossroads is comprised of the Towns of Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, Culver, LaPaz, Plymouth, and Marshall County. Their plan states that “Great hometowns are the mission and quality of life is the vision.” This will be accomplished by creating a quality of life plan that envisions Marshall County in 20 years; and by being more inclusive to include additional community organizations and initiatives.
Funding made available for the Stellar Communities designated region is derived from multiple existing state agencies and federal programs. Marshall County Crossroads has proposed projects involving public and private dollars and will meet with representatives from the state Stellar Team in the coming weeks to discuss details, including project feasibility, available funding, timeframes, and partner participation. Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development will also assist the designee with long-term sustainability efforts and project implementation.
Crouch and state team members will travel to Marshall County to participate in a local “Stellarbration” with regional committee members on December 19.
Golden said OCRA will continue to be a resource for the finalists, and encouraged them to continue moving forward with their proposed Regional Development Plans.
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. For more program information, visit www.in.gov/ocra/stellar.htm.
More information on the 2020 Stellar Communities program will be released on January 29, 2020.