The Stellar Communities program is a multi-agency partnership designed to fund comprehensive community development projects in Indiana’s smaller communities. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and Indiana Department of Transportation, along with the State Revolving Fund, are participating in this innovative program.
The Stellar Communities program embodies collaborative government partnerships and successfully leverages state and federal funding from multiple agencies to undertake large-scale projects. Through this program, Indiana is doing more with current resources and making a bigger impact in communities, even with a slimmer budget.
Mayor Mark laid out this year’s application. The first Stellar project on the list is the total renovation of the historic Old Firehouse with the repurposing and dedication as a permanent veteran’s center. Senter noted, “Age and weather have taken its toll on the building and it’s time to fix and repair this icon of Plymouth’s past while giving veterans a place to work and show off their hobbies.”
The second project on the Stellar application is to improve streetscapes in the quadrant of blocks of the downtown giving definition and a town square feel to the area. Senter said, “Our new town square will celebrate our State’s coming Bicentennial. With this project the City intends to attain Legacy Project approval from the Indiana Bicentennial Commission.” The mayor said his Youth Council will take a leading role in engaging young people in the planning of this project and will fulfill their pledges by adopting a portion of the streets to provide ongoing care and upkeep.”
The third project is an outreach to the Nickel Plate Neighborhood unifying it with the downtown and fostering housing development. Thought to be one of the most blighted parts of the city, Mayor Senter plans for remediation and clean up. Senter said, “The City plans, through continued cooperation, to assist with rehab of properties or to demolish and replace them with new infill housing.” He indicated that he would like to see local developers create a senior villa housing addition in the neighborhood along with improvements to the streetscape.
The fourth and final project on the city’s Stellar application is completion of the second phase of River Park Square along with construction of a new mixed-use building at the city’s South Gateway. The River Park Square project returns the remainder of the flood plain to green space. With the second phase of the Greenway Trail being funded, this project would include an additional footbridge to the South Gateway ultimately creating a trail system linking five of the city’s parks and creating over four miles of trail. Mayor Senter said, “The project includes carrying out recent engineering plans to refurbish the existing historic footbridge, which was originally constructed in 1898.” The project also includes the addition of a kayak launch, formal gardens in the park and the opportunity for urban gardening with the expansion of the City’s existing Community Garden.
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter closed his State of the City Address with the following statement, “We have a Stellar community already here in Plymouth, but let’s take it to the next level and a positive direction.”