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Open house set for ‘Stellar’ project

The Town of Corydon and the Stellar Steering Committee will host an open house tomorrow (Thursday) from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Corydon Town Hall to allow the public to ask questions and learn more about why the Stellar Community designation is being sought.
Attendees also can review the Letter of Interest that was approved by the Corydon Town Council, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners and the Harrison County Council.
The letter that defines Corydon’s vision and interest in becoming a Stellar Community will be submitted Friday.
Stellar Communities is a collaboration between 11 state agencies to provide dollars and consultation to selected communities for a four-year period. Each year, two communities are selected, one with a population of less than 6,000 residents and the other with more than 6,000 residents.
Corydon, which would fall into the smaller category, and the surrounding community has been involved in initiatives that local officials and others believe set it on the path to become Stellar.
Corydon’s new Comprehensive Plan, the Hometown Collaborative Initiative, the Downtown Focus Plan and the town hiring Main Street Corydon for economic development are believed to be key factors in being selected.
Finalists for the designation will be announced April 5.
Provided Corydon is chosen as a finalist, the Steering Committee will then proceed to work on the Strategic Investment Plan that is due July 1. Site visits will be made to the finalists during July.
‘This is funded by a planning grant, and we will get into the details of how projects will be funded and completed,’ Eva Bates, president of the Corydon Town Council, said. ‘This is a good exercise whether Corydon wins or not.
‘We will continue to follow the Comprehensive Plan to keep Corydon relevant in the 21st century,’ she said. ‘We have a rich history as the first state capital, beautiful natural resources, such as the state forest, caves and creeks, and potential to become the preferred place to live for all ages.’
Several groups are working on numerous projects to improve the quality of life and living in the community.
North cites among them the Bicentennial Committee, which has plans for celebrations throughout 2016 and the planting of red, white and blue flowers to be ‘Pristine in ’16,’ as Pam Bennett Martin, co-chair of the Bicentennial Committee, says. Also, the county has invested in a Discovery Center (county museum), new buildings at the Harrison County Fairgrounds and additional portions of the Indian Creek Trail.
The Harrison County Community Foundation invested in the Habitat ReSale Store, which is relocating from northwest Corydon to downtown, and many other community projects that support improvements in education and the quality of life in the county.
Main Street Corydon has spearheaded the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market that will have pavilions for vendors, and the proposed Bicentennial Park, to be funded by legacy pavers, is expected to be the capstone project that grew out of the Hometown Collaborative Initiative.
‘These are a few examples of how people from different backgrounds came together to study community development, connectivity and planning,’ North said.
North encourages everyone to stop by the town hall, located at 113 N. Oak St., to learn more about the Stellar Communities program.
‘Think about what this area will look like in a few short years,’ she said. ‘There is lots of hard work ahead and many people willing to do what is required to accomplish these goals. This is a community project that invites your participation, interest and input.’
Additional information about Stellar Communities can be found online at www.stellarindiana.org and www.in.gov/ocra/stellar.htm.

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