Churubusco is a Stellar finalist!

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced the six communities who are the Division 1 and Division 2 finalists for the 2017 Stellar Communities Designation Program last week — which includes Churubusco.

Established in 2011, the SCDP began as a collaboration between the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and Indiana Department of Transportation to support community planning and development initiatives by streamlining access to available funding sources and capacity building resources.

Through the annual designation, Stellar Communities provides resources for transformative quality of place community improvements by utilizing previous planning efforts, leveraging existing assets, fostering regional investments and stimulating continued growth for long-term relevance.

Finalist communities are separated into a division based on their population:

• Division 1: 6,000 – 50,000

• Division 2: 5,999 & below

After evaluating the letters of interest, the top six communities were chosen as finalists.

2017 Stellar Communities Designation Program Finalists:

Division 1:

• City of Greensburg (Decatur)

• City of Madison (Jefferson)

• City of Vincennes (Knox)

Division 2:

• Town of Churubusco (Whitley)

• Town of Culver (Marshall)

• City of Union City (Randolph)

As finalist communities, each will receive a planning grant to either create or build upon existing local Strategic Investment Plans, detailing projects, partnerships and proposed sources of funding. Site visits will then be conducted by the Stellar Team, which is comprised of representatives from the partnering agencies who follow a standard agenda and set of questions. Later this summer, one community from each division will be named a 2017 Stellar Communities Designee.

Since its inception, the SCDP partnership has grown to include:

  • Indiana Arts Commission (IAC)
  • Indiana Bond Bank
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)
  • Indiana Finance Authority (IFA)
  • Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA)
  • Indiana Office of Tourism and Development (IOTD)
  • Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (DNPA)
  • Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)

While OCRA, INDOT and IHCDA have made financial commitments to the program, all 10 agencies will provide a high level of technical skills that will support leveraging the existing assets already within the community. Their efforts will focus on building human capital, supporting existing businesses, creating a spirit of entrepreneurship, redeveloping commercial property and infrastructure, preserving natural and cultural amenities, and improving the health and well-being of residents, which fosters the creation of a vital destination.

Projects included in Churubusco’s application include the following:

  • Expansion and renovation of Churubusco Public Library
  • Owner-Occupied Residential Rehabilitation grants
  • Reconstruction of Mulberry Street and its feeder roads
  • Phase 2 Main Street Revitalization
  • Trail signs at Churubusco Park
  • Mural on the side of Churubusco News building

Funding for the Stellar Communities Designation Program comes from multiple existing federal and state programs. For more information on past designees, timelines and contact information, visit


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