OCRA Awards Seven Communities with Planning Grants

OCRA Awards Seven Communities with Planning Grants

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced it is awarding planning grants totaling more than $438,000 to seven Indiana communities. The grants will be used to develop a specific plan to implement community and economic development projects.

“This funding will support communities as they make important investments to enhance their local quality of life,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch. “Planning grants can lead to big differences in rural Indiana. These seven communities can work with their local leaders to find the best plan to boost local infrastructure that will benefit the Hoosiers they serve.”

The State of Indiana distributes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects. Planning grants are one type of grant offered through OCRA’s CDBG Program.

“The planning grants will provide a great investment for these seven Hoosier communities,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “They will be able to carry out a variety of projects to develop and advance their communities and improve the quality of life for those who live there.”

The Planning Grant Program strives to encourage communities to plan for long-term community development with the aid of subject matter experts and community input. The applications being funded this quarter are aiming to address water infrastructure and comprehensive community planning.

Water Infrastructure grants allow communities to complete a holistic study of potential issues and opportunities across their drinking, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. By completing this planning, communities will be able to make decisions regarding their most urgent water needs while understanding how each system works in context with other utility systems.

Two communities were awarded Water Infrastructure grants, with the Town of Colfax receiving $85,500 and the City of Jonesboro receiving $90,000.

Comprehensive Planning grants are designed to aid communities in assessing assets and identifying opportunities to address current needs in the following areas: land use, government capacity, public services, placemaking, economic development, housing, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, broadband access and historic resources.

Five communities received Comprehensive Planning grants for the following amounts:

  • The City of Connersville is awarded $60,000;
  • The Town of Galveston is awarded $48,600;
  • The City of Monticello is awarded $44,100;
  • The City of Oakland City is awarded $50,000; and
  • Owen County is awarded $60,000.

Planning Grant applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. Based on the number of Planning Grant applications funded for the third quarter of 2021, funds will be available to open applications for the fourth quarter. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/cdbg.

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