|WCSI Local News|
Construction efforts continue in North Vernon since the city was named a "Stellar Community" in 2011.
Cory Whitesell is a Partner with HWC Engineering, the group serving as the project manager for the city's Stellar Community Initiative. He says the initiative as a state pilot program that combines the resources of several funding agencies to "make a three-year initiative to make a significant impact in a community." Whitesell explains that the overall goal of the program is economic revitalization of downtown areas throughout the state.
Whitesell says a great deal of work has already been completed in North Vernon, including the opening of a new city government building, the Carnegie Government Center. He notes that street and sidewalk restoration has also taken place in a neighborhood connected to downtown. He adds that other work scheduled to be done includes a two-phase street scape project, facade restoration for downtown buildings and a trail project that will connect downtown with the Muscatatuck County Park.
Whitesell says that by being named a Stellar Community, North Vernon has been granted access to large sums of money already set aside for community redevelopment across the state. He adds that while the city has not been given a "blank check," much of the "red tape" in obtaining community improvement funds has been swept away since the Stellar Community designation.
"It opens up a direct dialog between the funding agencies and the city about how to enact the vision that the community is working on," said Whitesell. He added that this cooperation is the hallmark of what makes the Stellar Communities Program successful.
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:54:53 PM
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