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  • Madison Named “Finalist” in Pursuit of Stellar Communities Designation

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    May 25, 2017

    Thursday, May 25, 2017


        Today, the City of Madison was named a finalist for the Indiana Stellar Communities Designation by the Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The other two finalist communities in “Division 1” are Greensburg and Vincennes.

    The Stellar Communities designation is given to two communities each year and signifies a community’s ability to identify “comprehensive community and economic development projects and activities as well as next steps and key partnerships.” (www.in.gov/ocra/stellar.htm) The designation lasts for three years and opens up grant funding possibilities.

        Mayor Damon Welch submitted a letter of interest to the agency at the end of April. The letter of interest details the community’s desire and preparation for the Stellar Communities designation, the types of projects that Madison hopes to accomplish over the course of a Stellar Communities designation, and potential costs and funding sources. Madison’s project proposals center around the Comprehensive Plan theme of “One Madison,” with projects throughout the City on the hilltop and downtown.

    Projects are based around a “MADISON” theme and include:

    M – Madison Connector

    A – Adaptive reuse of historic buildings

    D – Destination Development (improvements to recreational areas)

    I – Inviting Gateways (Adding gateway features near highway entrances into Madison)

    S – Student-Community Partnerships (partnering with local schools, colleges, businesses and industries to create job opportunities through entrepreneurship, technology, and training)

    O – Overhauled corridors (Reimagining portions of Clifty Drive and Main Street)

    N – Neighborhood Revitalization (fixing or adding sidewalks in targeted neighborhoods downtown and on the hilltop, helping homeowners fix homes in disrepair, and revitalizing 2nd and 3rd floor spaces downtown)


    “This is a validation of all the hard work and planning that our community has undertaken the last few years, beginning with ENVISION Jefferson County and finishing with our Comprehensive Plan last fall. I am grateful to the community for their feedback the last few years and I know Madison residents will stay involved and engaged the next few months as we pursue this designation that would take Madison to the next level in attracting people, businesses, and visitors,” said Mayor Damon Welch.

    As a finalist, Madison will receive a planning grant to create a strategic investment plan that will detail projects, partnerships, and proposed sources of funding. SIP’s will be submitted in August, site visits will be conducted in September, and final designee announcements will be announced in October.

    “We drew from the public’s feedback in ENVISION, the Comprehensive Plan and worked hard to make sure that the community’s vision for the future was implemented in the letter of interest. We have already proven that we are one of America’s Best Communities…now it is time to show that we are ready to be designated an Indiana Stellar Community!” said Andrew Forrester, project lead for Madison’s Stellar team.

    Madison submitted a letter as a part of the Division I cities, which include communities with a population of 6,000 and above. Other finalists in the Division I cities include Greensburg and Vincennes. Division II finalist cities are Churubusco, Culver, and Union City. Current and former Stellar Communities include North Vernon and Greencastle (2011), Princeton and Delphi (2012), Richmond and Bedford (2013), Wabash and Huntingburg (2014), North Liberty and Crawfordsville (2015), Rushville and Corydon (2016).

    Andrew Forrester
    (812) 265-8300