OCRA awards ’Busco $10K grant for alley park

Staff reports

CHURUBUSCO —Churubusco is getting the green light for its downtown alley park after receiving a $10,000 downtown enhancement grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

OCRA announced last week that Churubusco, the town of Greentown and the city of Attica will receive the grants, which are intended to improve quality of life, spur economic development and advance avenues for increasing private investment and employment in downtown areas.

The grants total $27,056 with the communities providing a total local match amount of $58,570.

“Revitalizing our local communities and helping boost their economy not only helps our state get to the Next Level, but inspires Hoosiers to provide forward thinking investments in their areas,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “I am excited to see how the inventive ways local leaders have worked on are encouraging more people to visit and explore these beautiful downtowns.”

The DEG program, which accepted applications in November, is designed to foster innovative approaches to activities that support and promote community based planning, broad partnerships and beautification. Qualifying projects are those which promote economic development in the downtown areas and will enhance the quality of life in the community; applicants must be a designated Indiana Main Street community.

The Town of Churubusco is receiving $10,000 for an alley activation project. The community matched its request with $26,505 of local match. The lead applicant is Main Street Churubusco and the partners include the Town of Churubusco, Churubusco Elementary School, Churubusco Chamber of Commerce and local business Ashley Johnson Realty. The project includes the project titled the “Franklin Promenade” walkway, a name chosen through a Facebook campaign to name the project. The project will feature a mural to depict the naming of the town (named at the time after a recently won battle in the Mexican-American War titled the Battle of Churubusco), transformation of a dark and ill-maintained alleyway through adding lighting, sidewalks, benches, trash receptacles and landscaping and will feature a 2003 completed mural by a local high school student.

The City of Attica is receiving $10,000 for a community streetscape project. The community matched its request with $21,481.20 of local dollars. The lead applicant is Attica Main Street and partners include the City of Attica, Historic Landmarks of Fountain County Inc. and Western Indiana Community Foundation. The project will include adding benches, planters, trash containers and bike racks throughout downtown to create a warmer, friendlier and more inviting place to be. It is the hope that through these small projects the community will inspire more individuals to further utilize the downtown.

The Town of Greentown is receiving $7,056 for wayfinding signage. The community matched its request with $10,584 of local donations. The lead applicant is the Greentown Main Street Association and partners include the Town of Greentown, Howard County Government and regional designer Kaley Harness. The community wayfinding signage will include community destinations such as the Eastern County Schools, fairgrounds, the Comet Trail, Eastern Howard Performing Arts Center, City Hall and the local glass museum. The sign design will complement the community as well as meet all Indiana Department of Transportation requirements.

The downtown enhancement grant is a component of OCRA’s Indiana Main Street Program, which is founded on a four-point approach to downtown development: organization, design, promotion and economic vitality. Across the state, 130 Indiana Main Street communities work on these four main aspects of their downtowns in order to drive restoration and revitalization efforts.

For more information about the Downtown Enhancement Grant and Indiana Main Street programs, visit in.gov/ocra/mainstreet.htm.

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