Monday, September 23rd, 2019

OCRA honors rural communities for efforts

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) are celebrating more than 70 rural communities. OCRA says the communities are receiving recognition for how they “collaboratively shaped and executed their vision for their communities in 2018.”

Mayor Brooks Fetters and Steve Kimmel, executive director of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, accepted the recognition at the Statehouse where $300,000 was awarded for the UB Block Building. The UB Block Building will house 37 market share apartments along with a Pathfinder Creative Arts Studio and the entrepreneurial program from Huntington University. Plans call for the UB Block Building to open late spring of this year.

Crouch says more than $41 million was provided by local communities and combined with $22 million from OCRA. The funds were used to complete a variety of quality of place improvements, such as water system enhancements, new public facilities, revitalizing main streets, restoring historic buildings and enhancing downtowns.

“By working together, these communities provided unique and impressive changes to their local parks, walkways, main streets and economic developments,” Crouch said in a news release. “In partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, local leaders were able to utilize state funding to incorporate the plans to further their community development.”

Each community was honored Wednesday as part of OCRA’s 2018 awards ceremony at the Statehouse. The event also marked the office’s 13th anniversary.

Shown in the photo, from left, are Suzanne Crouch, Lieutenant Governor; Mayor Brooks Fetters; Steve Kimmel, executive director, Huntington County Chamber of Commerce and Jodi Golden, executive director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs.