Town Receives $500,000 Grant For Much Needed Storm Water Drainage

The flooding along Hominy Ditch, particularly in the west part to Crothersville may be alleviated later next year after it was announced that the town had been approved for a $500,000 grant to cleanout and enlarge culverts along the main east-west drain.
The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced late last week over $12 million in federal grant funding for 25 rural Hoosier communities.
“Several cities and towns throughout Indiana are dedicated to improving their quality of place and the amount of communities participating in this round of grants reflects that,” said Governor-elect Eric Holcomb.  “A key factor in establishing a good quality of life is ensuring a community can guarantee their residents the health and safety that they deserve, which is what Community Development Block Grants strive to accomplish.”
“Each city and town has differing needs for what will best contribute to the development of their community,” said Bill Konyha, OCRA Executive Director. “That is why there are a wide variation of programs under CDBG, so as to best cater to every community whether they are focused on improving water quality, developing public facilities or assisting their local workforce.”
Crothersville was awarded $500,000 for a stormwater project which includes replacing several concrete box culverts and ditch rehabilitation and debris removal. This will decrease the amount of back flooding from the ditch by restoring the ditch to a free flowing waterway. The improvements will allow the ditch to evacuate the flowing water more efficiently to ease capacity of the surface water flowing into the ditch.
“This is wonderful news,” said town council president Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson. “The work will ease the flooding through much of town during heavy rains.”
This is good news for the community,” said Trena Carter, grant writer with ARa. “We will be meeting sometime in the next couple of weeks to strategize, determine where the project stands and thoughts about moving forward so everything will be ready to proceed with OCRA gives us the green light.”
One of the factors which helped the community gain grant approval was the establishment of the recently implemented Stormwater Utility fee. A charge of $3 a month to residences will initially be used to purchase and install driveway culverts.
“The establishment of the Stormwater Utility Fee, showed that there is local effort to help alleviate drainage,” said Carter.
In addition to Crothersville, Jackson County has been awarded $250,000 for the Jackson-Jennings Workforce Initiative to provide problem-focused strategies including Life-Skills I, Life Skills II and Skills for Success.
“These programs address building the skills needed to find and maintain employment, professional development for those interested in a supervisory or management position and workforce issues in the manufacturing sector, accordingly,” said Jackie Hill, Workforce Development Director for the Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation. “Residents and employees within Jackson and Jennings Counties will benefit from the workforce trainings to improve employment opportunities, 51% of participants will be low-to-moderate income individuals.”
The goals of the Workforce Development Program (WDP) are to provide funds for workforce development and skills training activities, to increase local public and private partnerships and to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization. Types of activities that are eligible for grant funding from WDP are sector-based activities focusing on a specific need in the community and problem-focused strategies.
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.