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Nashville/Brown County not Stellar this year UPDATED 12:11 p.m. Thursday
Updated on: 08.14.14

Wabash and Huntingburg were named the Stellar Communities for 2014 at a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair this morning.

Nashville was among the six finalists, but did not make the top two.

Those two communities now have access to a pool of federal funds from three state agencies to complete community development projects. In past years, awards have ranged from $9.9 to $20 million.

This was Nashville/Brown County's first try for the designation. Nearly every applicant in the award's four-year history has been a city.

"It's unfortunate," said Town Manager Scott Rudd from the state fair.

As the application process wore on, "We didn't expect to win," he said. "It was hard to compete with some of the larger cities."

In addition to hurdles because of its size, government structure and inability to raise matching funds from large, local corporations, the local Stellar committee faced skepticism and opposition from hundreds of town and county residents and property owners.

Up to 70 of them began meeting regularly under the name Concerned Citizens of Brown County.

Because early meetings of the local Stellar committee were not advertised, residents said they did not have adequate opportunity to give their opinions on the projects. Some of them, group members said, were downright wrong for Nashville.

They also did not agree about the ratio of local "match money" that would be required to complete the entire, four-year Stellar plan, compared to the federal dollars the projects might earn.

Concerned Citizens, through attorney Wanda Jones, filed formal complaints about Open Door Law violations against the town and Stellar committee, and won, the day before the state Stellar selection committee visited Nashville July 11.

Local Stellar committee members and Concerned Citizens participated in that meeting.

At its conclusion, state Stellar committee member Jacob Sipe commented on how many residents obviously care about the future of Nashville and Brown County. "I hope that you can continue to have some good dialogue about where Nashville is going in the future," he said.

Jones issued a statement after today's announcement. "We congratulate the Towns of Wabash and Huntingburg," she said. "We look forward to continuing the exchange of information and ongoing dialogue created by Concerned Citizens regarding future application for grants and the expenditure of public tax monies so that we have the best possible outcome for Nashville and Brown County."

Whether or not Nashville will try again for Stellar is up to town council, which acted as the lead government entity in the application.

Rudd said that decision might be on hold for a little while, as three spots on the council are up for election in November. At least one of them will change hands; incumbent council President Bob Kirlin is not running for re-election.

Read more in the Aug. 20 Brown County Democrat.

  • 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