North Liberty is awarded multimillion-dollar Stellar Communities grant

After months of planning and proposals, North Liberty has been named as the 2015 Stellar Communities designee for an Indiana city with a population of fewer than 6,000 people, earning the city a multi-million dollar grant.

Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann made the announcement Monday at the Indiana State Fair.

Launched in 2011, the Stellar Communities Designation Program is a multi-agency partnership designed to recognize Indiana's smaller communities that have identified comprehensive community and economic development projects and activities as well as next steps and key partnerships.

Based on feedback from previous years, for 2015 the designations were divided into two divisions. Division I are communities of a population of 6,000 or more and Division II are communities with populations of fewer than 6,000.

As a Division II finalist, North Liberty’s proposal focused on continuing their significant population growth driven by the reputation of their award-winning schools and their ability to attract new business development.

Major projects include stonework in the Historic North Liberty Park, the expansion of their senior housing, building a trail to Potato Creek State Park and implementation of a Main Street façade program to make them more attractive and viable in an effort to increase tourism in their town.

Lt. Governor Ellspermann and state agency representatives will travel to North Liberty on Friday, September 18 for local “Stellarbration” events to commemorate the designation.

Crawfordsville was the Division I designee. A major component of their proposal focuses on broadening the immediate downtown area to include a co-working space, Fusion 54 as an asset for both local residents and Wabash College students to utilize for business start-up and development opportunities. Also included in the proposal are projects to create a pocket park, trails and other improvements to the city streets making Crawfordsville much more accessible to thousands of area residents and visitors to the city.