NewAllen Alliance gives Stellar pitch

November 19th, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

Representatives of the NewAllen Alliance and several east Allen County communities made a high-stakes pitch Friday in Indianapolis to unlock more than $17 million in quality-of-place improvement projects.

The money would flow to the communities if a proposal from NewAllen is selected as a winner of the state's Stellar Communities initiative.

NewAllen's East Allen Rural Revival Regional Development Plan was designated one of six finalists in April.

About 20 local representatives attended Friday's presentation before a panel composed of about two dozen representatives of state agencies, Kent Castleman, NewAllen Board president, said after the meeting.

Local proponents fielded questions on the readiness of the group to put plans into practice and what would happen if the projects were not funded, he said.

The meeting was closed to the media.  

“We probably fielded 10 questions. That's not as many as we thought, but that was probably because our presentation was pretty thorough,” Castleman said.

Panelists “commented we did an excellent job in the presentation, but they didn't indicate one way or another to us or anyone else” about the resolution, he said.

The result of the competition will be announced Dec. 10. 

Along with making the pitch, NewAllen also released a final list of projects being considered.

The list or proposed projects has changed several times during the group's Stellar Communities' participation.

New Allen Alliance comprisesLeo-Cedarville, Grabill, Harlan, Woodburn, New Haven, Monroeville and Hoagland.

Projects on the list:

  • Streetscape improvements in Grabill, Leo-Cedarville and Woodburn
  • East Allen County Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation program for assistance to homeowners who want to fix up their houses
  • Improvement of Forest Street sidewalks in Monroeville and Woodburn 
  • Monroe Street corridor improvements in Monroeville
  • New Haven/Adams Township Community Center Park development
  • New Haven Meadowbrook Trail
  • Development of Katy Gene Cove low-income senior housing tax-credit project in New Haven
  • Healthy Eating Active Living project to address obesity

An additional 29 complimentary projects with other funding worth $47.7 million are also part of the plan, which is worth more than $64 million.

The Stellar Communities program would provide about $5.8 million of the $17 million for projects, according to the application.