One Dearborn County competing for Indiana OCRA Stellar Pathways

Stellar program will encourage wide engagement, bring resources for the future of Dearborn County’s gateway communities.

 

(Dearborn County, Indiana.) – The City of Greendale, Town of Dillsboro, Dearborn County Board of Commissioners, and One Dearborn Economic Development are proud to announce their collaboration to pursue the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs’ Stellar Pathways designation.

Overseen by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Stellar Pathways program is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative led by OCRA. The program works with communities in a self-determined region on a shared vision for community and economic development, promotes local and regional partnerships, and assists in implementing sustainable solutions to challenges Indiana’s rural communities face.

Dearborn County’s Stellar region will be called One Dearborn County: Stellar Pathways for Indiana Gateways. The region’s vision statement focuses on investing in core assets including Dearborn County’s location, outdoor recreation, and community charm to improve quality of place and economic prosperity.

“We desire a catalyst which past iterations of the Stellar program have been shown to provide in other beautiful Indiana communities like Rushville and Madison. It’s not just about funds. It’s about fueling a movement towards sustainable and responsible growth and making Dearborn County not just a place on a map, but a beacon of quality communities recognized across all of Indiana,” said Dearborn County Board of Commissioners President Jim Thatcher.

“This is why our local government partners, private employers, and community institutions look forward to continuing that collaboration with the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs and other Stellar Pathways program partner agencies. Through One Dearborn Economic Development and other entities we are committed to working together and welcome OCRA to join our team,” added Greendale Mayor Vince Karsteter.

“The One Dearborn County partners complement each other through shared opportunities and challenges identified across much local and regional planning. Our new Stellar Pathways vision encapsulates this,” said Dillsboro Town Council President Doug Baker.

The foundation for the pursuit of Stellar Pathways was laid in 2018 with the formation of the One Dearborn County Regional Economic Development Action Plan. Clear progress has been made toward the action plan’s goals.

“Thanks to programs like Stellar, READI, and a growing spirit of working together for mutual benefit, collaboration across political boundaries is in a very good spot in Dearborn County. Elected officials, industry, institutions, and non-profits have been demonstrating this for some time. We think Stellar Pathways can supercharge our continuation of efforts to make this county the best it can be for all citizens,” said Mark Graver, President of the One Dearborn Board of Directors.

The Stellar Pathways program is competitive. One Dearborn County and other Indiana regions competing for Stellar Pathways expect to learn in June if they are selected as four finalists to receive planning grants to develop a strategic investment plan for their region. Wide and open community engagement across Dearborn County will be critical to ensuring success.

In early 2025, OCRA is expected to select two of the finalist regions as Stellar Pathways designees to receive set-aside funding from OCRA and several other state agencies for community development projects identified in the regions’ strategic investment plans. 

Learn more about the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs Stellar Pathways program at www.in.gov/ocra/stellar.