INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 23, 2023) – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today announced 22 rural Indiana communities will receive more than $12.5 million in federal grant funding to create and expand community facilities, remove blight and improve water infrastructure.
“I am so proud of the leaders across Indiana that are committed to improving the quality of life of their communities,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I look forward to seeing the completed projects and the benefits they will have for years to come.”
The State of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities, which assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities and economic development.
“Congratulations to each of these 22 communities on being awarded this grant funding,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “Community Development Block Grants can have a transformational impact on a community, and I applaud all those taking advantage of this opportunity.”
The Public Facilities Program creates and expands community facilities that enhance the lives of residents in numerous ways. Eligible projects include fire stations, community facilities, libraries, museums, community centers and performance spaces that open doors to knowledge and ideas, culture, and enjoyment.
Projects receiving Public Facilities Program grant funding include:
- Jefferson County is awarded $500,000 for the rehabilitation of an existing 4,500 square foot historic building located at 601 West St., Madison. This will create a permanent site in Jefferson County for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeastern Indiana supporting child victims of several types of abuse. The center will allow a range of services to be provided to victims in a single location including family assistance and access to therapy services.
- The Town of Knightstown is awarded $500,000 to support renovation of the Knightstown Public Library. The funds will be used to construct a new ADA accessible entryway with an elevator unit, upgrade all mechanical systems to improve energy efficiencies and structurally rehabilitate the exterior.
- The City of Sullivan is awarded $500,000 to support construction of a new five bay fire station to replace the city’s current aging facility. The Sullivan Fire Department takes responsibility for fire protection services in the City of Sullivan and all of Hamilton Township.
- Vigo County is awarded $500,000 to support historic preservation of the Mary-of-the-Woods College Conservatory of Music building. Restoration work will be focused primarily on the exterior, including long-term structural stability issues within the foundation, crumbling limestone and brick.
The Blight Clearance Program strives to encourage Indiana communities with blighted properties to focus on long-term community development and revitalization through improving quality of place, generating jobs, and spurring economic revitalization. Eligible projects to receive grant funding through BCP are deteriorated or abandoned downtown buildings, or vacant and unusable industrial sites.
Projects receiving Blight Clearance Program grant funding include:
- The City of Attica is awarded $500,000 to address several buildings, including 126 N. Perry Street and five contiguous buildings on the east side of 200 S. Perry Street. These buildings, all located in the city’s downtown area, are vacant and blighted with crumbling facades and exterior walls collapsing due to severe structural issues. These issues include failing roof systems, interior asbestos and mold, broken windows, unrepaired vandalism, and growth of vegetation.
- The City of Logansport is awarded $490,500 to address bighted conditions by demolishing the concrete slab foundation of the Trelleborg site, located at One North General Street in Logansport. The building was originally constructed in the 1940’s as an automobile rubber tire and component manufacturing plant. The building operated as such until 2004. The approximate 234,300 square foot blighted site occupies half of the 11.05 acre property. The project includes removal of the concrete slab, proper disposal of the material, backfill and grade, and returning the lot to a public greenspace and a potential future trailhead.
- The City of Rushville is awarded $400,000 to address a blighted grain silo that has been vacant for over 20 years, located close to the recently restored downtown area. The main project goal is the removal of the abandoned grain silo located at 337 W. 4th Street to allow for future new housing to be developed in this area, as demonstrated in the Westside Redevelopment Plan. The plan is a partnership between the City of Rushville and the Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation.
- The Town of Winamac is awarded $252,440 to demolish a former grain elevator, located at 302 South Logan Street. The elevator ceased operations in 2007 and currently poses a risk to the community. The project will include demolition of the primarily concrete and metal structure, removal of debris, and conversion to urban green space.
The Stormwater Improvement Program strives to reduce flooding, cut stormwater treatment and energy costs, protect rivers, lakes and vital landscape, and generate jobs to spur economic revitalization. Types of activities that are eligible for this grant funding include stormwater improvements, as well as demolition and clearance.
Projects receiving Stormwater Improvement Program grant funding include:
- The City of Beech Grove is awarded $600,000 to make improvements to current stormwater infrastructure and improve stormwater drainage into McFarland Creek. This project will reconstruct a failing culvert and provide ditch stabilization, while also reducing stormwater impacts in residential neighborhoods.
- The City of Lawrence is awarded $600,000 to improve stormwater infrastructure in the Brookhaven neighborhood. There are currently no storm sewers or inlets located on 53 Street or 54 Street and Kercheval Drive. The nearest storm sewer inlets are located at the intersections at the end of the streets. The stormwater pools in roadways, creating a risk to road-users. This project will seek to reduce the current impacts seen as a result of the current stormwater infrastructure.
- The Town of Rosedale is awarded $600,000 to improve drainage for the eastern half of the town. The project will extend storm sewers from a southeast subdivision, northward through an old railroad corridor to an existing waterway. Inlets and storm sewer extensions will also be provided at some of the key cross-streets to reduce flooding and infiltration into the wastewater system.
- West Terre Haute is awarded $600,000 to expand stormwater infrastructure into low-lying areas. The project will increase drainage capacity and improve the conveyance of flows by installing stormwater pipe, inlets and manholes to allow stormwater to be re-directed to existing trunklines. This will prevent stormwater from entering public roadways, sidewalks, residences and the town’s wastewater system.
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.
Projects receiving Wastewater Drinking Water Program grant funding include:
- The Town of Argos is awarded $700,000 to support the completion of a water utility improvement project. The project will extend the useful life of the town’s existing water towers, thereby helping to sustain water pressure and fire protection throughout the entire service area. In addition, the water main improvements will decrease the number of water outages and boil orders throughout the entire community.
- The Town of Chalmers is awarded $700,000 to make improvements to current water utilities. The project includes replacing all home meters, replacing the filter media and aeration media at the water plant, rehabilitating the water tower with minor repairs, adding a new potable water well, raw water line, and replacing an existing 6 inch water main.
- The Town of Fowler is awarded $513,500 to conduct a water system rehabilitation project. The project will focus on making improvements to current infrastructure, including well house demolition and reconstruction, detention tank rehabilitation, water garage, chemical storage building demolition and reconstruction, water tower rehabilitation, new fire hydrants, new fire hydrant isolation valves, and new water main valves.
- The City of Ligonier is awarded $700,000 to complete a wastewater treatment plant improvement project. This project involves extensive rehabilitation work at the existing plant site, located at 305 Bridge Street. The project centers around several malfunctioning mechanical components within the wastewater treatment plant that diminishes the city’s ability to adequately treat the raw wastewater before being discharged into the Elkhart River. The project will look to make long-term sustainable improvements to the current system.
- The Town of Milan is awarded $700,000 to improve the current water distribution system. The project includes the replacement of a 300,000-gallon standpipe storage tank, as well the replacement of seven sections of water mains. These water main replacements will also include the replacement of existing hydrants, valves and water service lines, currently served by the existing water mains.
- The Town of Milton is awarded $700,000 to support a water improvement The project includes installing new water mains, new tower radio communications, valves, meters and a bulk loading station. The overall goal of project is to improve the water quality for residents and reduce the high rate of watermain breaks currently being experienced in the community.
- Ripley County is awarded $700,000 to support a water improvement project. The improvements include three watermain replacement projects, the construction of a new 250,000-gallon elevated storage tank, valve and hydrant replacement throughout the current water system, decommissioning of the existing water storage tank, and service line replacements. These improvements will improve water pressure and water quality for residents, in addition to decreasing the number of water line breaks in the community.
- The Town of Rockville is awarded $700,000 to make improvements to their water treatment and distribution system. The improvements include the rehabilitation of the well pump, installation of LED lightings, a new moisture control system and filter tanks at the water treatment plant, and replacement of the electronic Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system. The project will help alleviate service disruptions to residents.
- The Town of Upland is awarded $700,000 to build a new north lift station and demolish the old lift station, increasing capacity to prevent sanitary sewer overflows. The town will also install 3,265 linear feet of 12 inch force main and three manholes. The project will make the necessary improvements to mitigate overflows and provide adequate flow for residents.
- The Town of Williamsport is awarded $700,000 to improve the existing water distribution and storage system. This project includes the installation of numerous watermains, fire hydrants and valve replacements, while also completing restoration of an elevated water storage tank. This project aims to improve water pressure in fire hydrants throughout the community, reduce water loss from current water main infrastructure, and increase the elevated water storage tank by an additional 15 years.
Funding for OCRA’s CDBG programs originates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program and is administered for the State of Indiana by OCRA. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/cdbg.
Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as the Secretary of Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development. For more information, visit ocra.in.gov.