Category Archives: Latest News

OCRA announces new phone numbers for Grant Services

Grant Services has new phone numbers

Recently, the Grant Services team received new phone numbers. Please update your information since the previous numbers will be shut off starting the week of April 15.

  • Adam Servies: (317) 760-5097
  • Adam Moschell: (317) 760-5644
  • Emily Brackemyre-Conwell: (317) 760-5801
  • David Dessauer: (317) 760-4962
  • Megan Hruska: (317) 760-5344
  • Tammy Butts: (317) 760-5821

Stellar Community Program Finalists Announced

Crouch announces 2019
Stellar Communities Program finalists

STATEHOUSE (April 18, 2019) – Today, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch announced the finalists for the 2019 Stellar Communities Program.

After a thorough review of the letters of intent by the Stellar partner agencies, the following regions have been chosen as finalists:

  • Constellation of Starke, which consists of Hamlet, Knox, North Judson and Starke County;
  • Jay! Region, which is comprised of the Dunkirk, Portland, Pennville, Redkey and Jay County;
  • Marshall County Crossroads, which consists of Argos, Bourbon, Bremen, Culver, Plymouth and Marshall County; and
  • Safe and Welcome, which is comprised of Knightstown, New Castle and Henry County.

“Rural Indiana is comprised of so many burgeoning communities, and through this program they can really enhance the quality of life for the Hoosiers who call it home,” Crouch said. “During my travels of the state, it is truly incredible to see what some of the previous designees have done with the investments from the state. I am excited to see what the four regions that were selected unveil during this planning process.”

Launched in 2011, the Stellar Communities Program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment initiative led by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which is overseen by Crouch. The program works with self-selected regions on their vision for community and economic development, promotes local and regional partnerships and assists in implementing innovative solutions to challenges facing Indiana’s rural communities.

“To see so many communities recognize the need to work together and take advantage of the Stellar Program is exciting,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. “We are thrilled to see how the finalists come together and continue to work collaboratively on their Stellar Regional Development Plans.”

Finalist regions will receive a planning grant and will begin working with Ball State University’s Indiana Communities Institute to discuss project alignment and continued planning efforts. The 2019 Stellar Communities Program designation will be announced on December 5, 2019.

Through the annual designation, the Stellar Communities Program provides resources for transformative quality of place community improvements by utilizing previous planning efforts, leveraging existing assets, fostering regional investments and stimulating continued growth. Visit for more information.

Grant applications are now open: Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

Community Development Block
Grants now open for applications
INDIANAPOLIS (March 25, 2019) – The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs is announcing the first round of Community Development Block Grants for 2019 is open.
The following programs are accepting applications this round:
• Main Street Revitalization;
• Public Facilities;
• Stormwater Improvements; and
• Wastewater/Drinking Water.
The complete application, which includes the instructions, proposals/application template and sample documents can be found at A video overview of the application can be accessed here.
New guidelines from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on LMI census data and income surveys requires OCRA to make adjustments to the income survey policies and procedures.
Effective April 1, applications must use the new census data and income survey process. Communities must use the HUD LMI Map tool to source the LMI data. An income survey would only be necessary if a community has an LMI percentage lower than 51 percent. In those cases, the community must seek permission from OCRA before moving forward with an income survey. Additionally, income survey certifiers will no longer be required to verify an income survey. A webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2 to provide more detailed information on this change.
Round one proposals are being accepted until Friday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m., ET. Final applications are due by Friday, June 28 at 4:00 p.m., ET with funding awards announced on Thursday, August 15.
Funding for all of the CDBG programs comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is administered by OCRA. The state of Indiana distributes CDBG funds to rural communities to assist units of local government with various community projects like: improving infrastructure, downtown revitalization, public facilities improvements and economic development.
For further information on these programs, contact the assigned Community Liaison for your region.

Commonwealth Engineers; New Business Development Manager; Melanie Radcliff Douglas


INDIANAPOLIS, IN – March 20, 2019

Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. (Commonwealth) is proud to announce and welcome Business Development Manager – Ms. Melanie Radcliff-Douglas.
Melanie’s primary responsibility will be spearheading Commonwealth’s efforts to create and maintain client relationships in Southeastern Indiana.
Prior to joining Commonwealth, Melanie served as the regional director and primary point of contact for stakeholders and elected officials in nineteen (19) counties in southern Indiana. She also has past experience as a Director of Business Resources, Marketing, and Communications for a member-service organization. Melanie is dedicated to service excellence and plans to continue building relationships in Southern Indiana communities.
Melanie holds a B.A. in Communications and Advertising from Indiana University, New Albany, Indiana.
We are pleased to have Ms. Radcliff-Douglas on board and look forward to a prosperous partnership.