Four local communities receive ORCA funding

Statewide— Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch along with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced that 17 rural Hoosier communities receive more than $10.5 million in federal grant funding.

“These collaborations between federal, state and local partners are improving the lives of Hoosiers across the state and strengthening community pride,” Crouch said. “ I applaud this round’s local leadership for their commitment to bettering their communities, as well as their tremendous use of partnerships to address a challenge.”

The state of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities, and economic development.

“We’re thrilled to support such a diverse array of projects in cities and towns throughout rural Indiana,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “Communities with reliable infrastructure are positioned for growth and an improved quality of life.”

Four communities in the listening area received funding from the federal grant.  They are as follows:

The Main Street Revitalization Program encourages communities with eligible populations to focus on long-term community development efforts. Eligible applicants have a designated active Indiana Main Street group in their community, and the project must be a part of the Main Street’s overall strategy. Main Street Revitalization Program projects include streetscapes, facade renovations and downtown infrastructure rehabilitation.

The Town of Hope is awarded $428,360 for a downtown streetscape project. This project removes blighted conditions around the town square by replacing existing streetlamps, adding accessible sidewalks and other improvements that tie the interior and exterior of the square together.

The goals of the Public Facilities Program are to improve the quality of place, generate jobs and spur economic revitalization through improving community facilities or historic preservation projects. Eligible community facilities include fire stations, community centers, daycares, libraries, museums, senior centers, and performance spaces.

Jefferson County is awarded $500,000 to replace the fire station used by the Deputy Volunteer Fire Department that was destroyed by fire in December 2018. The project builds an 8,254 square foot station with four bays, training and community rooms to meet the current and future needs of the community.

The Stormwater Improvement Program strives to reduce flooding, to cut stormwater treatment and energy costs, to protect rivers, lakes and vital landscape, and to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization. Types of activities that are eligible for this grant funding include stormwater improvements, as well as demolition and/or clearance.

The City of Connersville is awarded $600,000 for stormwater improvements. This project installs 2,710 linear feet of drainage, ten sewer manholes, 2,250 linear feet of curbs and grades as well as 500 linear feet of ditches in two areas of the city to address sewer overflows.

The goals of the Wastewater Drinking Water Program are to protect the health and environment, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate-income communities and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth. Eligible Wastewater Drinking Water Program projects include many aspects of wastewater improvements and drinking water system improvements.

The Town of Westport is awarded $700,000 for wastewater system improvements. This project replaces the packaged water treatment plant, replacement of intake, lake, clear well and high service pumps and improves the distribution system by connecting to Decatur County Rural Water.