North Vernon and Greencastle will use about $30 million over three years to redevelop their downtowns. Both cities have been selected for the state’s “Stellar Community Program.” Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray says being a small community benefited Greencastle in this case.
“This is an initiative that came from the Lieutenant Governor’s office,” she says, “and the initiative was to look at non-entitlement communities only, so those of us who don’t typically get a piece of federal and state dollars that filter down and through because our population is under fifty thousand.”
Murray says Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman wanted to provide an
opportunity for small communities by gathering funds from four entities: the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Housing and Urban Development, the state Department of Transportation, and the State Revolving Fund.
North Vernon Mayor Harold Campbell says he’s concerned about his city’s downtown deteriorating, including a factory across the street from his office he hopes to purchase and tear down.
“The Stellar Grant we have received for our community it really addresses 8 points here in our community,” he says, “with the funding coming from the INDOT and the Indiana Housing Authority and the OCRA, it’s able to address many different types of issues and the ones that we’re addressing is a deteriorating downtown.”