Fortville and Greenfield comprise the Health and Heritage Region, which recently received one of two Stellar Communities designations.
The Stellar Communities Program is organized by the state of Indiana, Indiana Dept. of Transportation, the Indiana Housing and Community Economic Development Authority and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. It grants approximately $14 million to be split within the region. The grant focuses on transportation, community development and housing.
Fortville Town Council President Mike Frischkorn said the grant will speed up the process for developments the town previously planned to complete.
“With the Stellar designation, we are going to be getting some funding on a number of projects,” he said. “The Stellar Communities funding is going to help in some ways make the funding we are providing as a town to do these projects go a bit farther and do a bit more. That’s part of our process right now is figuring out how best to use the funds to maximize the benefit for the whole community.”
Fortville’s projects include putting in new sidewalks, installing trees and lighting on Main Street and enhancing pedestrian safety. Pedestrian safety also will be enhanced near Ind. 67 and Broadway Street with high-visibility crosswalks and creating sidewalks.
“That way we can better connect the north side of 67 to the southside of 67, which right now is not particularly well connected,” Frischkorn said.
Frischkorn said the process allowed the Town of Fortville to work as a team with the Town of Greenfield.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Greenfield on other issues, even if they aren’t Stellar Communities related,” he said. “We have a lot of similarities and a lot of similar goals.”