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Lt. Gov. Crouch, OCRA Announce 25 Communities to Receive $12.8 Million in Federal Grants

Thursday, September 9, 2021
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INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 9, 2021) – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today announced 25 rural Indiana communities will receive more than $12.8 million in federal grant funding to improve water infrastructure and to address blighted properties. 

“These grants are important for our rural communities to continue their economic and community development,” Crouch said. “Not only does this funding help address blight and water infrastructure issues, but also is an important investment to improving the quality of life and quality of place for Hoosiers.”
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. 

“We need to ensure our Hoosier communities have safe, reliable structures and water infrastructure,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “These grants will help towns and cities to make necessary, and sometimes critical, improvements to their water systems or remove blight property to help provide a safe and healthy community for its residents.”

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. For more information, visit in.gov/ocra/cdbg.

The Blight Clearance Program encourages 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 include the removal of deteriorated or abandoned downtown buildings or vacant/unusable industrial sites.

  • The City of Cannelton is awarded $500,000 to eliminate hazardous environmental conditions at the former Can-Clay Corporation property. This environmental remediation project includes the removal of hazardous materials including asbestos, drums and containers, brick debris, clay pipe debris, PVC pipe, scrap tires and sawdust to significantly improve a blighted area that is approximately 26 acres in the heart of the city. 
  • The Town of Francisco is awarded $75,000 for the demolition and clearance of the abandoned, deteriorated building known as the old “IOOF” building located at 84 S.R. 64 in Francisco. Removal of the building will protect the health and safety of residents and will be a key component to making the downtown area more marketable for future growth and development. 
  • The City of Knox is awarded $137,674 to demolish the former Moose Lodge building located in the downtown district of Knox. The proposed project will demolish the structure and includes the removal of approximately 6,900 square feet of asbestos-containing floor tile and approximately 5,100 square feet of asbestos-containing mastic, which was used as tile adhesive. The completion of the project will improve the downtown’s appearance and make it more attractive to visitors, residents and future developers. 
  • The City of Linton is awarded $324,450 to clear the old, abandoned Eagles Building located at 60 E. Vincennes St. in Linton. Once the asbestos is abated and the demolition is complete, the lot will be leveled and stabilized with stone and covered with a 6-inch layer of clean topsoil, graded and seeded. A small concrete pad will be located on the site and the historic carved limestone “Eagles” logo will be permanently placed. 
  • Miami County is awarded $333,070 to eliminate a blighted, unsafe structure that is known to have environmental issues with asbestos, a history of vandalism and a loss of structural integrity. Activities include demolition of the building, removal and proper disposal of materials, and remediation of any hazardous materials, which includes most notably asbestos and possibly lead base paint. Upon completion, the site will become local public greenspace. 
  • The Town of Patoka is awarded $100,000 for the demolition of the Old Patoka School, located at 200 S. Main St. within the Town of Patoka, White River Township. The project includes complete demolition of the building and the remediation of any needed environmental abatement. The resulting green space will improve the health and safety for all town residents, while providing an aesthetically pleasing place for nearby residents. 
  • The Town of Sharpsville is awarded $255,100 to eliminate a blighted structure, known as the Cheese Factory. The proposed project will address blighted and unsafe conditions through the demolition of the structure; removal of material and proper disposal of hazardous materials. Additionally, the project will remediate environmental contaminates, and backfill, level and return the lot to public greenspace.  
  • The Town of Silver Lake is awarded $350,000 to tear down the Lake Township School, which is commonly referred to as the Silver Lake Elementary School. The town will utilize the grant funding to tear down the building and re-purpose the lot into a green space and a community park. 
  • The City of Union City is awarded $500,000 for the complete demolition of four commercial buildings with full basements and one former gas station on a concrete slab with its paved lot. The project will help reduce health and safety threats associated with these sites and remove blight from the heart of the downtown business district.

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

  • The City of Clinton is awarded $441,387 to rehabilitate failing drainage systems and reduce flooding. The project will improve the conveyance of flows and increase capacity to redirect/eliminate stormwater that is currently able to enter the city’s combined system through the construction of a new bioretention area, replacement of the 4th Street dry well, and the rehabilitation of dedicated stormwater outlets in the project area.  
  • The Town of Fountain City is awarded $600,000 for improvements to the town’s storm water system. The improvements will benefit all residents of the town. The project will consist of installing more than 8,000 linear feet of stormwater mains, and the addition of 80 new inlets and manholes to help prevent flooding.
  • The Town of Oolitic is awarded $600,000 to reduce flooding. The project includes the replacement of collapsed or failing culverts and the construction of a new storm sewer collection system for areas that do not currently have any infrastructure. In addition, channels will be stabilized with products to minimize erosion and will reconnect all active storm piping connected to the existing storm sewer.  
  • The Town of Walton is awarded $509,155 to improve stormwater flow throughout the community by reducing field run-off through the installation of new 12”, 15” and 18” storm sewer pipes. The project will eliminate standing water through the construction of a new headwall and by-pass connection and includes the construction of 11 new manholes to reduce inflow and infiltration, and overflow conditions. 

The goals of the Wastewater/Drinking Water Program are to protect the health and environment, reduce utility rates for low-to-moderate income communities and improve rural infrastructure to enable long-term economic growth. Eligible Wastewater/Drinking Water Program projects include many aspects of wastewater improvements and drinking water system improvements. 

  • The Town of Cambridge City is awarded $700,000 to make necessary improvements to the water distribution system. This project consists of replacing undersized aging water lines, eliminating dead-end lines, replacing non-functioning water valves and non-functioning fire hydrants in high priority areas of the town.  
  • The Town of Dale is awarded $700,000 to upgrade and improve the wastewater collection system. The project includes manhole rehabilitation, collection system rehabilitation, replacement of an existing gravity sewer, lift station improvements and rehabilitation, lift station control panel and electrical improvements, and wastewater treatment plant improvements.   
  • The Town of Dillsboro is awarded $700,000 to upgrade the town’s drinking water system. The drinking water project includes upgrades to the 200,000- and 75,000-gallon water tank, new water mains, water main replacement, SCADA improvements and the replacement of all residential meters.  
  • The Town of Edinburgh is awarded $700,000 to construct a new dual-media water treatment plant. As well as new variable frequency drives at wells, new motors and pumps at all four well sites, and the construction of a new water well.   
  • The Town of Elizabethtown is awarded $700,000 to improve the town’s wastewater infrastructure. The project includes collection system improvements, equalization tank improvements and wastewater treatment plant improvements.   
  • The City of Greencastle is awarded $700,000 to rehabilitate an at-risk trunk line, which will include the installation of new fire hydrants and new valves that will increase fire protection and system isolation capabilities. The project will also include water treatment plant expansion of electrical capacity to allow the plant to function properly and decrease the possibility of water system failure.  
  • The Town of Hazleton is awarded $700,000 to provide upgrades and improvements to the wastewater system. The areas of focus for improvements include manhole rehabilitation, collection system rehabilitation, replacement of an existing gravity sewer, lift station rehabilitation, lift station control panel and electrical improvements, and wastewater treatment plant improvements.  
  • The Town of Kingman is awarded $700,000 for wastewater infrastructure rehabilitation. The project will include a full rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant and the collection system’s lift stations. This will provide long-term reliability and address insufficient capacity.  
  • The Town of Kingsford Heights is awarded $700,000 to replace a water main, 24 hydrants, and 550 water meters. The project also includes water filter tank improvements and water treatment plant rehabilitation.   
  • The Town of Patriot is awarded $487,011 to replace one lift station, rehabilitate one lift station and remove one lift station. The removed lift station will be replaced by a gravity sewer main connected to the newly replaced lift station.   
  • Randolph County is awarded $600,000 for water infrastructure improvements in and around the towns of Modoc and Losantville. The project will eliminate small water mains, eliminate dead-end water lines, replace all fire hydrants and water valves, and replace all water meters. The project will resolve water pressure issues in the Town of Losantville.   
  • The Town of Trafalgar is awarded $700,000 for wastewater improvements. The project includes the rehabilitation and expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, lift station improvements, manhole rehabilitation and force main replacement.   

Under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, who also serves as the Secretary of Rural Development, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ (OCRA) mission is to work with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to assist communities in shaping and achieving their vision for community and economic development. For more information, visit ocra.in.gov.

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