Constellation of Starke has come a long way since the Letter of Intent to participate in the Regional Stellar Communities Designation Program was submitted back in April and region-wide support is apparent.
In addition to creating connections across the county, an element of the Stellar process has been identifying which potential grant-funded sources would be able to help facilitate particular projects as well as securing local match commitments to make them happen.
Certain projects involving park improvements, streetscapes, façade upgrades, and other beautification efforts would likely benefit most from a partnership with the Office and Community and Rural Affairs.
Meanwhile, it would be most advantageous to seek help from the Indiana Department of Transportation for the county-wide connectivity project.
There are also a few projects which would receive the most assistance from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
While those agencies have been listed in the Regional Development Plan, as required, Constellation of Starke Executive Committee members understand that not all projects will necessarily receive funding from those sources for associated projects, even with the Stellar Designation.
When it comes to monetary contributions that will help make projects identified in the RDP a reality, multiple local entities that have provided their support through funding commitments.
To name a few, the Starke County Community Foundation has committed $25,000 per year for the next four years and the City of Knox committed a maximum of $400,000 for that same time frame.
Oregon-Township officials and the Koontz Lake Association have promised one-time contributions of $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.
The donor advisor for the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund, which was initially established by James “Jim” Hardesty, has offered to provide a total of $100,000 over the course of four years.
The advisor happens to be Hardesty’s nephew and he mentioned in his commitment letter that he believes his uncle would “wholeheartedly support the Constellation of Starke, particularly its efforts to make a transformative impact on his hometown of Hamlet.”
Additionally, Starke County Commissioners committed to providing a maximum amount of $437,500 per year for a total of approximately $1,750,000 between 2020 and 2023.
The North Judson Town Council is expected to consider a resolution related to the Town’s proposed matching commitment when members meet on Monday, September 16th.
All of the commitments are contingent upon Constellation of Starke receiving the Regional Stellar Communities Designation this year.