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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.

  • December 19
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • December 19
    Christmas sing-along at The Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 19
    Live band at dance barn
    6 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 19
    Live hip hop music at dance barn
    7 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 20
    Live band at dance barn
    6 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 20
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 20
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 20
    'Gone Girl' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 20
    Railroad museum features model Christmas trains
    1 to 7 p.m. BC RR Museum, 18 W. Three Story Hill Road, Fruitdale
  • December 21
    'Gone Girl' at the Playhouse
    1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • December 21
    Railroad museum features model Christmas trains´╗┐
    1 to 7 p.m. BC RR Museum, 18 W. Three Story Hill Road, Fruitdale
  • December 23
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 24
    Nashville government offices CLOSED
  • December 24
    Christmas Eve Communion service at Becks Grove church
    7 p.m. Becks Grove Christian Church, 8009 Becks Grove Road
  • December 24
    Candlelight service at Helmsburg church Christmas Eve
    7 p.m. Brown County Community Church, 2370 Main St., Helmsburg
  • December 24
    Candlelight service set for Christmas Eve
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Music Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • December 24
    Cordry church hosts candlelight service Christmas Eve
    7 p.m. Church of the Lakes, 8844 Nineveh Road
  • December 25
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • December 26
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • December 26
    Brown County Government Offices CLOSED
  • December 27
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • December 27
    Live band at dance barn
    7:30 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • December 29
    Jackson Township Board
    7 p.m. Jackson Township Board, Trustee's Office, 5765 Carmel Ridge Road