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The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs is awarding nine planning grants to communities to develop a variety of plans that will help improve the quality of life for their residents.

“Planning grants are invaluable tools that can help rural communities shape their vision for the community and economic development,” said Matt Crouch, Interim Executive Director of OCRA. “I applaud the foresight by the community’s leaders and residents taking the time to plan for these significant investments within their communities.”

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

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 take a holistic view of potential issues and opportunities across the drinking, waste, and stormwater infrastructure. By completing water infrastructure planning, communities will be able to make decisions regarding the most urgent water needs while understanding how each system works in context with other utility systems. The following seven communities are awarded the following grants:

  • The Town of Brookston is awarded $58,500;
  • The Town of Brownstown is awarded $50,000;
  • The Town of Center Point is awarded $35,000;
  • The Town of Chalmers is awarded $60,000;
  • The Town of Earl Park is awarded $69,300;
  • The City of Hartford City is awarded $90,000; and
  • The Town of Hebron is awarded $35,000.

Comprehensive Planning grants are designed to aid communities in assessing assets and identify opportunities to address current needs. Each comprehensive plan includes a holistic view and potential opportunities to improve in the following areas: land use, government capacity, public services, placemaking, economic development, housing, transportation, agriculture, natural resources, broadband access, and historic resources. The Town of Hudson and the Town of Otterbein are each awarded $40,000 grants.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. The next quarter opens Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, with applications due Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/2371.htm.