Frequently Asked Questions Print

What is Stellar Communities?

The Stellar Communities program is a multi-agency partnership designed to fund comprehensive community development projects in Indiana’s smaller communities. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and Indiana Department of Transportation, along with the State Revolving Fund, are participating in this innovative program.

What is the intent of Delphi’s Stellar Communities project?

With the Hoosier Heartland Highway slated to open between Delphi and Lafayette later in 2012, truck traffic will finally route around the community instead of through the downtown. By eliminating this traffic, the community can “take back our downtown” – and realize its long term vision of having a walkable, vibrant downtown with new shops and restaurants, outdoor dining, upper story residences and restored buildings.

With Stellar Communities funding, these long term plans can be implemented now through a three year structured program – instead of doing the work little by little over 10 or 20 years.

How will Stellar Communities benefit Delphi?

The direct result of the Stellar Communities program will be significant state and federal grant dollars being invested into the downtown business district. The funding would be used to improve downtown streets, make the downtown friendlier for guests and pedestrians, incorporate new lighting and streetscape amenities, improve facades on downtown buildings, improve inadequate downtown water and sewer utilities, restore the Delphi Opera House as a community center and performing arts venue, and to provide parking solutions.

There are indirect benefits as well. In the first year of the Stellar Communities Pilot Program in North Vernon and Greencastle, the cities have already seen new businesses open, existing businesses reinvest in their operations and numerous properties bought and sold as investments are being planned.

How much funding will the City receive?

The final amount is being determined. The City’s application proposed almost $20 million in projects.

How much match will the City provide?

The City proposed a match of $3.3 million in their application. $2.3 million would be from the City, and $1.0 million would be from Delphi Preservation Society for the Delphi Opera House project.

What will Stellar Communities money be used for?

Ten projects were proposed in the City’s application. The City is now working with state agencies to confirm the eligibility of these projects. The projects include:
  • Downtown streetscapes improvements
  • Downtown facade restorations
  • Development of a “quiet zone” along the railroad through town.
  • A multi-use gateway trail along Washington Street
  • Owner-occupied housing improvements
  • Construction of a solar house in cooperation with Purdue University
  • Development of downtown loft apartments
  • Water and sewer improvements downtown
  • Restoration of the Delphi Opera House
  • Construction of new parking downtown.
How were projects selected?

The projects were identified by the general public and community leaders during previous planning projects. This included the 2012 Safe Routes to Schools Master Plan, 2011 Hoosier Heartland Highway Development Plan, 2007/2010 Delphi Visioning Initiatives, 2008 Carroll County Comprehensive Plan and a 2002 downtown development study.

Did the City get a $20 million check?

No. Each specific project will be funded from an existing state/federal grant program.

When will construction begin?

Most likely in the spring of 2013. Work will extend into 2014 and 2015.

How can I find out more about Stellar Communities?

After we have confirmed the projects to be included in the program, there will be public meetings to present the projects. A public webpage will also be created to keep the public up to speed with the work.