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Stellar Communities effort picks up $20,000 in support
Updated on: 04.07.14

Nashville/Brown County’s quest to become a Stellar Community has picked up thousands of dollars in financial support.

The Nashville Town Council and the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau each kicked in $5,000 toward the presentation the local Stellar committee must make to state officials in six to eight weeks.

The county added $10,000 at a special joint meeting of the county commissioners, county council and county redevelopment commission April 2.

With that money, plus the $10,000 the state gave all six Stellar finalists, the local Stellar committee intends to hire a marketing firm and a design engineering group; produce a video; and illustrate to the state Stellar committee how each project will impact Nashville, Brown County and the surrounding area.

Town council President Bob Kirlin has been calling the three-hour site visit by state Stellar officials our “Super Bowl presentation.”

The example he gave was from Bedford, one of two Stellar winners in 2013. To show what a historic depot would look like if it were moved to a different site, the city rented a semitrailer, placed a giant picture of the depot on it and pulled it into the lot where it was to be moved.

“It’s a very costly thing to put this together if we want to compete with the big boys and do it professionally,” he said.

If all the work pays off, Nashville/Brown County will be rewarded as one of two Stellar Communities for 2014 and have access to millions in federal funds for three years, pooled from state agencies. The contributing offices are the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Department of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

That money would go toward a variety of projects: repairing water lines in Nashville; updating the Brown County Courthouse to meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements; helping develop a 62-unit retirement apartment complex at the Blue Elk site on State Road 46 East; building a community activity building and three softball fields at Deer Run Park; subsidizing essential repairs to private homes near downtown Nashville; installing a metal leaf sculpture downtown; finishing the main line of the Salt Creek Trail; improving the look and traffic flow downtown, and; redoing the facade on the Brown County Playhouse and producing a play about Brown County there.

At the April 2 county meeting, Kirlin explained that town and county leaders chose those from a list of about 40 potential projects. The group had 10 days to put together its Stellar letter of intent.

All projects on the list are ready to be implemented, have partial financial backing and fit into one or more of the following categories: quality of life, economic development or tourism, he said.

Since then, he’s learned about others that would have been a good fit for the Stellar application. He said the list is not set in stone.

The local Stellar committee and the Brown County Chamber of Commerce are planning a public forum at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Brown County Inn.

In addition to gathering input, the meeting’s aim is to gather volunteers. The Stellar committee is trying to get 800 people to sign up to serve on a variety of committees to help prepare for the state committee’s visit. The details of that visit will be set this week.

Though Nashville/Brown County is the smallest community among the six Stellar finalists, Kirlin and other committee members remain hopeful.

He said it was suggested multiple times at state economic development meetings that Nashville apply for the designation.

He said the town council decided to try this time because it secured the cooperation of the county, something that hasn’t always been easy in recent years.

The Stellar committees

Fliers are posted at public buildings to gather volunteers for a variety of committees to help prepare for the site visit:

  • "800 Team": Help pick up and distribute committee sign-up sheets and perform other logistical tasks.
  • Advertising: Create ads, distribute posters and write news releases.
  • Public relations: Meet with and inform the public about the Stellar program and gather letters of support from residents, businesses and community organizations and leaders.
  • Community cleanup: Set a date to clean up the community before the site visit by the state committee.
  • Fundraising: Work to raise money for projects in the Stellar Communities letter of intent besides government dollars.
  • Youth involvement: Make sure all projects involve youth.

The time commitment for committee members is flexible.

To donate to the cause or ask questions, call Bob Kirlin at 988-2227 or Brenda Young at 988-7064.

Hundreds of letters of support also are needed from government boards, clubs, community organizations and individuals. Contact Kirlin or Young for more information about writing a letter.

  • September 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 1
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • September 1
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • September 2
    Woodworkers Club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 3
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 3
    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
    6:30 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 Schoolhouse Lane
  • September 3
    Future of rural places subject of talk
    5:30 p.m. Brown County Inn, 51 State Road 46 East
  • September 4
    Farmers market in Bean Blossom
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 4
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • September 5
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • September 5
    BCHS class of 2005 reunion slated
    3 to 6 p.m., 8 p.m. Deer Run Park; Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • September 6
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 8
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • September 8
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. BCCF, 209 S. Van Buren St.
  • September 8
    Retired teachers
    noon Hotel Nashville, 245 N. Jefferson St.
  • September 9
    Nashville Town Council
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • September 12
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • September 12
    Bible camp planned
    8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 5802 Old Settlers Road behind Brownie's restaurant
  • September 17
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 18
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    4 to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 18
    'A Miracle for You' services with evangelist Jerry Holland
    7:30 p.m. The Pentecostals
  • September 19
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    8 a.m. to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 19
    'A Miracle for You' services with evangelist Jerry Holland
    6 p.m. The Pentecostals
  • September 20
    'A Miracle for You' services with evangelist Jerry Holland
    2 p.m. The Pentecostals
  • September 28
    American history DVD to play at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • October 4
    Read to a dog at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane