CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco officials learned last week that the town did not receive the Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ Stellar Community Designation, which would have brought in about $6 million in grant money.
Despite not receiving the outcome they’d hoped for, the Town Council is staying positive and setting its sights on next year.
“I am not giving up. Churubusco is not giving up,” said Clerk-Treasurer Madalyn Sade-Bartl in a Facebook post last week.
Sade-Bartl took the lead in the campaign, spending the past five months preparing the application and preparing for the site visit — giving it her all.
“I want to thank Madalyn and the Stellar committee for all the hours and hard work they went to for this,” said Councilman Frank Kessler. “I think our presentation was as good as it could have been. We weren’t successful, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.”
The designation was given to the town of Culver. Grant money will be used for various projects, such as expanding a bicycle trail, renovating a local landmark Beach Lodge.
Churubusco planned to use the grant money to renovate the library, complete phase two of the Main Street Association’s revitalization project, complete downtown murals, repave streets, create trail signs and form an owner-occupied rehabilitation program for houses.
“Not receiving this funding is not going to stop us from achieving our goals,” Sade-Bartl said. “It merely prolongs our timeline of getting these things accomplished.”
Sade-Bartl said its the “stubborn” and “persistent” attitudes of Churubusco residents that has made is possible to do the seemingly impossible.
After not receiving state funding for Oscar’s Playland and not being funded on the first attempt for the Safe Routes to School grant — Churubusco persisted.
“We explored other options. We applied for other funding. We asked the community for its assistance. In the end, both projects were fully funded,” Sade-Bartl said.
“The library project will get done. The water main loop will get done. Repaving will get done.”
The program is expected to be restructured next year, and the town may apply again.
“Although we didn’t get it this time, please know we aren’t even close to being done with these projects and we will accomplish all we have set out to do,” she said.