The city of Bedford has been designated a Stellar Community and will receive grants to improve its streetscape and parking, build a new trail and renovate facades on downtown businesses.
The proposed improvements would cost $19.8 million, but the grant program does not guarantee the state will cover the total cost.
Still, Bedford Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Jamie Medlock says the funding the city does receive should stimulate economic growth.
“Our goal is to be competitive with other communities other sides but also within the region, and really just improve the quality of life, the quality of place for people that live here, and hopefully this will help businesses want to invest and grow,” Medlock says.
The Stellar Communities program began in 2011 under the watch of then-lieutenant governor Becky Skillman. Skillman, now the president of Radius Indiana, says the grants provide benefits to state government as well as the individual communities.
“The Stellar Communities program was to encourage state government agencies to collaborate as they fund community project,” Skillman says. “In other words, there were numerous state agencies that funded projects individually and without thought to what other state agencies where doing, so now it’s a much more efficient collaboration. ”
Bedford will start receiving money in January 2014 and is expected to continue receiving funds for the next three years.
Richmond has also been designated a Stellar Community.