Regional Stellar Desginee Press Release

Contact: Joanie Fitzwater. Adam Zaklikowski
Tel: 317-325-1329. 317-485-4044 ext. 105
Health & Heritage Region named one of two Regional Stellar Communities Designees

Fortville, Greenfield, and Hancock County formally created their Stellar partnership as the “Health & Heritage Region” earlier this year. After months of revising projects and putting the finishing work on a Regional Development Plan, the team is excited to continue this work as an official designee for Regional Stellar Communities.

The designation will result in millions of dollars invested across the region. As the City of Greenfield’s Mayor Fewell stated, “I am excited to see how working with the State agencies takes our efforts to the next level. We have devoted a lot of time to developing these plans and this is an important step toward accomplishing those projects.” Fortville Town Council President Michael Frischkorn stated, “This recognition enhances and builds on the momentum that we have seen in Hancock County. I look forward to seeing the impact that our regional cooperation will have on our communities as we continue to grow.”

The Stellar Communities Program was originally launched in 2011 with a purpose to recognize smaller communities in Indiana that have identified comprehensive community and economic development projects. This year, the program shifted to a regional approach, requiring at least two communities to partner on strategies to achieve community goals. Fortville and Greenfield have undergone extensive planning efforts in recent years with Stellar Communities in mind, and were pleased to welcome Hancock County to the team during the application process. “I think the collaborative aspect of Regional Stellar has already benefitted our communities greatly. It provides us with opportunities to share experiences and solutions,” said Joe Renner, Town Manager of Fortville.

“Regional Stellar Communities allows us to highlight the character and history that makes our area unique and a place where people want to be,” stated Adam Zaklikowski, Fortville Planning Administrator. The region will enter into a multi-agency partnership with state agencies and educational institutions that provide technical assistance as well as set-aside funding for qualifying projects that meet federal regulations.

Joan Fitzwater, Greenfield Planning Director also stated that she sees this as an opportunity to promote the best of what the region has done in revitalization efforts. “I think that we can continue to turn good opportunities in to great ones, like building on the Main Street Revitalization Program Grant with a Pitch Night competition. This is a great region for entrepreneurs,” said Fitzwater.

The overall vision of the Health & Heritage Region aims to improve local health and wellness, preserve and celebrate the heritage of the region, and strengthen regional partnerships. Top priority projects include streetscapes, trails, historic building renovations, housing opportunities and homeowner repair programs, and community spaces. “We are really focused on finding unique ways to accomplish our goals and creating a blueprint that other communities can use,” stated Jenna Wertman, Regional Project Manager. To keep up to date on information regarding the Health & Heritage Region you can visit the Facebook page (Health & Heritage Region).
Download the Health & Heritage Region_RDP from the link below.