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Greencastle Named a 'Stellar Community' in Inaugural Competition; Funds Will Support Community Development Projects

March 7, 2011

91772March 7, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and DePauw University President Brian W. Casey received word this afternoon that Greencastle will be one of two pilot cities for Indiana's new Stellar Communities program. State agencies will invest an estimated $31 million in Greencastle and North Vernon over three years, with the two communities kicking in an additional $9 million in local and private funds.  

The Stellar Communities program is a multi-agency partnership aimed at launching multiple 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.

A total of 42 Indiana communities submitted proposals to become a pilot community.  Mayor Murray (pictured at right) 91069and President Casey worked in tandem for months, along with a team of local leaders, to author and promote Greencastle's winning proposal.

Lt. Governor Skillman will travel to Greencastle for a celebration ceremony on Thursday.

Greencastle's plan will -- among other things -- revitalize the downtown area; link the city more closely with DePauw; and improve the quality of life through new initiatives in health, the arts, and technology.

"Stellar Communities will allow us to improve our city in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible," according to Mayor Murray. "With this help, we will create the next great college town in Indiana."

"I've said that DePauw is at its best when the City of Greencastle succeeds, and that is certainly the case today," says Dr. Casey.  "The Stellar Community program offers an incredible opportunity to further enhance the connection between our University and the town we call home.  This is the beginning of an incredible journey and we simply could not ask for better partners than Mayor Sue Murray and her team," adds DePauw's nineteenth president.

Main goals of Greencastle's proposal include: 

  • Revitalizing the courthouse square and central business district;
  • Improving streetscapes, parking options and facades, while preserving historical integrity of buildings;91771
  • A wayfinding program to support community visitors;
  • Enhancing housing options;
  • Community health initiatives including new community health center and new trail linking community to recreational area;
  • Creating a partnership with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra;
  • Making the commercial district a technology hub with wireless Internet access.

Lt. Governor Skillman says, "It's important for governments to stretch every dollar as far as possible. Stellar Communities has taught us to be intentional and strategic in the way we deliver grant funding to local governments. It will help our agencies collaborate more, be more efficient, and make a bigger impact with the dollars we have."

Details of Thursday's celebration will be announced soon.

Read this afternoon's announcement by clicking here.

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