By Leah Farris, Communications Director
Jeffersonville, Indiana – Friday, August 17th 2012: Mayor Mike Moore announced today that the City of Jeffersonville has been awarded a $250,000 Main Street Revitalization Grant.
The project to be funded calls for comprehensive redevelopment along West Chestnut Street between Pearl and Spring Streets, providing a link between the Big Four pedestrian ramp and Jeffersonville’s downtown district. The road will be reconstructed and widened, and will include components such as bike lanes, on street parking, sidewalks with accessible ramps and lighting, bike racks, benches, and a 4-foot wide tree trench.
The Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission previously passed a resolution in support of the project, committing matching funds from the Falls Landing TIF District for its completion.
The Main Street Revitalization Grant program is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), and federally funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The program’s primary goal is to encourage communities to focus on long-term community development efforts in downtown areas, creating sustainable communities and improving the quality of life.
“A thriving downtown business district is the heart of any rural community,” states Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who oversees the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. “By focusing on creating a better quality of life for residents, Jeffersonville is also shaping a stronger local economy.”
Mayor Mike Moore met early in the year with Governor Daniels to discuss plans for the Big Four pedestrian bridge and landing, and has worked with other state agencies on a regular basis to garner support for the project.
“The State of Indiana’s support of this project and increased attention to our community is a testament to the fact that Jeffersonville has established itself as a destination of choice – both in terms of economic growth and development, and as a city focused on cultivating strong quality of life and a business-friendly community,” Moore said. “Our proximity to downton Louisville, and the increased connectivity of our communities through projects like this strengthens our existing regional advantages. From Spring Street to River Ridge, Jeffersonville is uniquely positioned to support a sustained economic base downtown, and poised for explosive growth and development in other areas of the city.”
Jeffersonville applied for the same grant last year and was denied, however the city’s Redevelopment Department has aggressively worked in recent months to secure grants and funding sources for this and other capital improvement projects. According to Delynn Rutherford, Grant Administrator with the City of Jeffersonville, the process was a very competitive one. “We’re extremely fortunate to have been awarded this funding, and very excited about the positive impact the project will have on Jeffersonville’s downtown district.”
Rutherford is also currently seeking funding for other City projects and initiatives. She has recently submitted applications for funding through the EPA’s Green Infrastructure Program Grant, the CDC’s Community Transformation Grant, Port Security Grants, and several other funding sources.
Communities applying for a Main Street Revitalization Grant must also be accredited as an Indiana Main Street program in good standing. Jay Ellis, Executive Director of Jeffersonville Main Street, states that the organization is thrilled that Jeffersonville has been selected by the state in the competitive award process. He continues, “The improvements from this project are going to reinforce and enhance the connection between the Big Four Bridge and Jeffersonville’s historic downtown district.”
Members of the Jeffersonville City Council have also expressed their appreciation for the award.
“Receiving this grant from the state is a win for our community as a whole, and specifically to downtown business owners,” states Council President Ed Zastawny. “This funding will greatly help with the expenses associated with making our downtown more inviting to those crossing over to visit via the Big Four bridge.”
The communities of Batesville, and Franklin Indiana also recieved Main Street Revitalization Grants in this cycle.