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Work continues on Stellar projects

The Harrison County Council Monday night heard a Stellar Communities update from Corydon Town Council president Eva Bates North, who said all 10 Stellar projects are underway.
Last year, Corydon was designated a Stellar Community by the state of Indiana, which creates a relationship with multiple state agencies and opens the door for millions of state dollars to be invested in the town.
North said the Stellar dream was born through the Hometown Collaboration Initiative when the team concluded Corydon could compete for the Stellar designation.
‘The Hometown Collaboration Initiative that Harrison County was awarded several years ago enabled this community to identify valuable resources in our area,’ North said.
The capstone project of HCI ‘ Bicentennial Park ‘ is near completion, North said.
‘It is fine example of community collaboration,’ she continued. ‘The donors, designers, park committee, construction team, town employees, artists, Harrison County fourth graders, gardeners and more should be proud of the quality product they’ve created for our community. From the very start, the people involved in the project gave their hearts and themselves to making this a beautiful place for all to enjoy.’
North said the park will have a ‘soft opening’ this weekend in conjunction with the Art at the Old Capitol festival.
A grand opening will take place in mid-July, when the Judge Carlton and Sue Sanders Pavilion is complete.
‘You’ll be able to walk in there this Friday,’ North said.
The 10 projects in focus are: renovations of the Stonecipher and J.J. Bulleit historic buildings, facade improvement program, downtown enhancements, Corydon School Senior Lofts, housing rehabilitation at the Harrison Center, owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, Indian Creek Trail connection, Keller market-rate housing, Keller Park and Capitol Avenue Gateway and urban trail.
‘Everyone involved is full of excitement and expectation as we move forward,’ North said.
North said the Stonecipher and J.J. Bulleit buildings projects (in downtown Corydon along East Chestnut Street) are under construction with expected completion by November.
‘The facade and Indian Creek Trail projects are moving forward,’ she said. ‘This place will truly be transformed in four years. To imagine this is only the beginning of our journey forward. Your input is welcome, and, through communication and sometimes disagreement, creativity is born. As we search for a common and greater good, we accomplish great things in our community.’
As examples of those great things, North mentioned the Talmage Windell Memorial Agriculture Building at the county fairgrounds, the Harrison County Discovery Center, the Habitat for Humanity ReSale Store and Bicentennial Park, all in downtown Corydon.
‘We are no longer a quiet town, but greater Corydon, with hundreds of homes, businesses and restaurants to whom we provide utility services beyond our own town borders,’ she said. ‘Downtown Corydon is an extension of this activity with our historic preservation providing a place for people of all generations to live and enjoy their surroundings that our landscape and restorations provide.’
North said Stellar’s success is measurable through increases in five performance indicators: assessed value, population, resident income, educational attainment and school enrollment.
‘As you know, everyone is involved in all of those processes to make sure that does occur,’ North said.
The update was the second one of the year on a quarterly schedule. North said during the next quarter the community will make progress on the urban trail and gateway, Keller Park and housing development, owner-occupied rehabilitation, housing rehabilitation and downtown enhancement.
Other than asking when Bicentennial Park would open, the council had no questions for North.
Council Chair Gary Davis thanked her for the update.
The council’s next meeting will be Monday, June 26, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.