Crothersville Awarded State Grant To Plan For Future

The Town of Crothersville has been awarded a $40,000 planning grant from the State Small Cities & Town Community Development Block Grant. The grant will allow the town to develop a Comprehensive Plan to address future community service needs.

“The planning grant program has proven to be an effective tool for community-based planning and research initiatives that improve local quality of life and economic opportunities,” said Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Last summer a group of local residents from public and private sector began meeting to formulate a Greater Crothersville Community Plan to make the community a more attractive place for business, residents and visitors and improve the local quality of life.

“This is great news for the community,” said Ardell Mitchell said of the grant award notification. Mitchell is president of the town council and organizer of the local planning grant committee.

Serving on the local committee in addition to Mitchell are Michele Teipen, Crothersville Clerk-Treasurer; Andrew Nehrt, Crothersville School Board and co-owner of Pro Form Plastics; Charles S. Murphy, Jackson County Councilman, a former Crothersville town councilman, and Jackson County Jail Commander; Curt Kovener, Vernon Township Trustee, publisher of the Crothersville Times and vice-president of Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation; Shelley Erwin, owner of McKain-Erwin, a web development & public relations firm with experience with other community plans; Linda Seal, representing the Crothersville Historical and Cultural Arts Association; along with Eric Fry and Trena Carter of Administrative Resources, who will develop the master plan following the group’s direction.

Among the questions the committee included in the planning process:

•What can we do to improve the looks of downtown?

•What can we do to improve our “front door” entrances to the town at the two interstate interchanges?

• What can be done to improve the business and residential areas which cause a bad reflection on the community?

•What can be done to create and connect green spaces with walkways and bike paths?

•How can we market the community to attract new industry & business and increase population and housing opportunities?

Because of the most recent housing grant administered by ARa, the group piggybacked on already completed surveys to hasten the planning grant process but the committee wants the plan to encompass not just the area inside the town limits but extending out in the township as well.

“Many people who do not live inside Crothersville still identify themselves as a part of the Crothersville community,” said committee member Andrew Nehrt. “Those people need to be considered as we formulate the Greater Crothersville plan.”

The town council previously approved the group’s mission and pledged to come up with a 10% match of the maximum $40,000 cost of the planning grant.

The grant will allow the town to develop a comprehensive plan for the community. A comprehensive plan is the first step in making the community eligible for other “bricks and mortar” grants that actually result in positive, visible change.

The town has a year to develop a comprehensive plan and submit it to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for approval or modification.