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Marshall County leaders optimistic after meeting with the Indiana Communities Institute of Ball State University

May 31, 2018

Stellar Community meeting_1Nearly a hundred private, non-profit and government leaders from Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, Culver, LaPaz and Plymouth, met with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute and state representatives of Indiana’s Stellar Region initiative Thursday in Plymouth.

The meeting/workshop was designed to assist the Marshall County Region in understanding how best to spend time and resources over the next several months while developing projects and funding sources for their 2018 Stellar Region application. The large group of leaders from across Marshall County met at the Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth.

Stellar Community meeting_3Leaders from every town in Marshall County have been meeting regularly for the past several weeks in preparation for today’s presentation and workshop with the Ball State team.

“This is an exciting time for all of us in Marshall County,” said Jerry Chavez, President and CEO of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC). “Our towns have a history of working together and this process will strengthen the working relationships we’ve already formed.”

Stellar Community Meeting_2“The objective is to develop a plan that helps improve the quality of life and bring more people to live and work in our region,” added Kevin Overmyer, Marshall County Commissioner. “We’re working to enlist community input from every age group and every corner of our region.”

Six Indiana regions are competing as 2018 finalists in the 2018 Stellar Region initiative. Each region is receiving a Stellar planning grant.

Stellar community meeting_4Each finalist is required to submit local Strategic Investment Plans (SIPs). The SIPs detail quality-of-place and economic development projects, partnerships and proposed sources of funding that will help grow and sustain the future of their region. The SIPs are based on feedback and input from every community within their region.

Marshall County’s Crossroads Stellar committee will spend the next several months working with leaders in every one of the six towns to fully develop, promote and communicate its plans, partnerships and sources of funding in preparation for site visits by Indiana’s Stellar Team later this fall.  Stellar Region Designees will be announced later in the fall or early winter of 2018.


About Stellar Regions

Given the increased competitiveness within economic development, a regionalism trend has evolved as a popular strategy across the nation. Indiana is incorporating regionalism into one of our most successful programs: The Stellar Communities Program. Beginning in January 2018, the program evolved into a regional partnership design. A minimum of two or more communities are encouraged to partner to create a self-selected region. Any incorporated Indiana communities of any size that are not entitled to direct Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through U.S. HUD are eligible to apply.


Ball State and Purdue University Participation

Ball State University and Purdue University are participating in the program. Their involvement includes project support, guidance and data analytics. Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute will assist communities in the planning stages with project alignment and data analytics. Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development (PCRD) will assist communities’ post-designation with long-term sustainability efforts and project implementation.