Wabash named Stellar Community

Wabash was one of six finalist in the Stellar Communities Program.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – Wabash is one of two Indiana cities chosen as one of Indiana’s 2014 Stellar Communities. Being named a Stellar Community will allow the city access to funding opportunities for its redevelopment plans.

Indiana’s Stellar Communities Program chooses two communities a year to help out. Funding for Stellar Communities comes from existing federal programs. Stellar Communities are not guaranteed any specific funds, but will soon meet with representatives from state agencies to further discuss redevelopment plans and potential funding partners.

Wabash mayor Robert Vanlandingham said it took a collaborative effort to put the plans together to present to the state.

“We’ve had a good hard working committee. I know that everybody done the same thing,” said Vanlandingham. “But we had a good mix between the young professionals and the older people. And it’s been great.”

Wabash has put together a $28.3 million redevelopment plan with a funding gap of $12.7 million. The plan includes enhancing streetscapes, improving gateway corridors, and extending pedestrians and bicycle connectivity. Wabash also plans to increase downtown housing opportunities

See the complete Wabash application to the Stellar Communities program here. 

Mayor Vanlandingham said the Stellar Communities initiative helps communities like the city of Wabash get their projects started and finished much faster.

“Instead of taking 15 years, maybe we can do it in 4 or 5 now,” he said.

Huntinburg was the other city designated a Stellar Community. Huntinburg’s still needs $10.3 million for its $40.7 million redevelopment plan.

The city of Decatur was also in the running, but didn’t win. Mayor John Schultz, community members and city leaders were at Thursday’s announcement. He told NewsChannel 15 that the city will apply for the program again next year, but for now, it will take a little longer to get the projects done.

“Instead of getting it finished in 3 or 4 years, it might take 8 to 10 years, but we’ll get all the projects finished,” said Mayor Schultz.

The two winners were chosen from a field of six finalist cities. The three cities that did not get chosen were Marion, Mount Vernon and Nashville.

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