Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) on Thursday announced 13 rural Indiana communities will receive more than $8 million in federal grant funding to create and expand community facilities, remove blight, and improve water infrastructure.

The State of Indiana distributes Community Development Block Grant funds to rural communities, which assist units of local government with various community projects such as infrastructure improvement, downtown revitalization, public facilities, and economic development.

The goals of the Wastewater/Drinking Water Program are to protect resident and environmental health, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate income communities, and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth.

The City of Plymouth has been awarded $700,000 to rehabilitate the city’s elevated water storage tank and upgrade various water mains. This project will improve water quality for residents and enhance firefighting capabilities throughout the city.

The Town of Walkerton was awarded $700,000 to replace sewer line force mains in the Sunset/Grissom neighborhood. Replacing sewer lines and addressing flow issues will reduce sewer backups experienced by residents and ensure long-term sustainability for the collection system.

Funding for OCRA’s CDBG programs originates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program and is administered for the State of Indiana by OCRA.

Other projects receiving Public Facilities Program grant funding include:

  • Decatur County, with the Decatur County Family YMCA, is awarded $500,000 for the completion of necessary building improvements to the YMCA. This project will entail the structural replacement of the roof over the original 39,000 square foot YMCA facility in Greensburg. This project will benefit the residents of Decatur County by stabilizing the structure so that continued public health and social services can be provided, improving the quality of life for Decatur County residents.
  • The Town of Vevay is awarded $459,410 for the exterior rehabilitation of the Vevay Hoosier Theater. Rehabilitation of the building will include brick, concrete masonry, roofing, window restoration and door rehabilitation, along with addressing issues caused by water infiltration.

The Blight Clearance Program strives to encourage Indiana communities with blighted properties to focus on long-term community development and revitalization through improving quality of place, generating jobs and spurring economic revitalization. Eligible projects to receive grant funding through BCP are deteriorated or abandoned downtown buildings or vacant and unusable industrial sites.

One project is receiving Blight Clearance Program grant funding:

  • The City of Tell City is awarded $500,000 to demolish and clear the site of the former Perry County Memorial Hospital. All environmental hazards will be remediated prior to demolition, including the abatement of identified asbestos and the removal of an underground storage tank. The building and surrounding debris will be cleared and voids will be filled to give the site a uniform slope. The project will reduce health and safety hazards for residents.

The Stormwater Improvement Program strives to reduce flooding, cut stormwater treatment and energy costs, and protect rivers, lakes and vital landscapes. Types of activities that are eligible for this grant funding include stormwater improvements, as well as demolition and clearance.

Projects receiving Stormwater Improvement Program grant funding include:

  • The Town of Selma is awarded $600,000 to make necessary improvements to its stormwater system. The project will install new inlets, catch basins and a retention pond. Improved stormwater infrastructure will reduce flooding concerns for residents.
  • The Town of Fillmore is awarded $600,000 to reduce flooding and sanitary inflow and infiltration. The proposed project builds on a 2019 OCRA-funded Utility Study Plan to install stormwater infrastructure along North Main Street.

Projects receiving Wastewater Drinking Water Program grant funding include: 

  • Dekalb County is awarded $700,000 to build a new wastewater treatment plant for the St. Joe Spencerville Regional Sewer District. The project consists of demolishing the existing treatment facility and the construction of new tanks and treatment facility.
  • The Town of Colfax is awarded $600,000 to upgrade the town’s collection system. This wastewater project includes rehabilitating 70 manholes and lining sewer mains to extend the life of the infrastructure. As a result of a previous OCRA Planning Grant for a Utility Study, the project will reduce inflow and infiltration in the wastewater system.
  • The City of Scottsburg is awarded $700,000 to line portions of the wastewater system and upgrade a lift station. The upgrades will reduce inflow and infiltration during rain events and prevent sewer backups.
  • The Town of Worthington is awarded $700,000 to enhance the wastewater treatment plant’s capacity to remove ammonia from wastewater and to improve conditions for operator and resident safety.
  • The City of Clinton is awarded $700,000 to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant and reduce overflows for the community. The project will include the installation of new sewer pipes and manholes as part of the city’s long-term control plan.
  • The Town of Kingman is awarded $700,000 to perform a comprehensive rehabilitation of its water system. Upgrades will include improvements to the water treatment plant, water storage facilities, and distribution system.