Stage 1. Initial Planning.
The first year of the program consists of project planning, property acquisition, procurement, grant and contract approvals by all three state agencies, as well as starting project design.
Stage 2. Transitional: Planning to Implementation.
The second year of ISCP entails executing design and environmental assessments. This involves communities shifting from planning into implementation of projects in the target areas.
Stage 3. Implementation and Continuum of Support.
The third year and final stage of the program consists of full implementation and construction of improvement projects in target areas.
Wabash's Planning & Implementation
After a community is awarded the Stellar designation, it enters into the next phase of the process. This phase consists of three stages from initial planning toward implementation in a three-year timeframe.
Wabash has completed Stage 1. Initial Planning and Stage 2. Transitional Stage and has begun Stage 3. Implementation. The transitional stage involves executing design and environmental assessments while the final phase entails project construction. For instance, in the summer of 2015, the Board of Directors of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) approved the City of Wabash Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Phase 1. This project is a multi-agency partnership including City of Wabash, Wabash Marketplace, Living Well in Wabash County, Northeast Indiana Housing Partnership (NIHP), and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Additionally, Wabash was awarded tax credits through the state's Rental Housing Tax Credit (RHTC) program in February 2015 for the Rock City Lofts project. Design and property acquisition are underway.
Source: Wabash, Indiana - Wbabsh Stellar webpage available online at http://wabashstellar.cityofwabash.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Wabash-Strategic-Investment-Plan-2014-Plan.pdf Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, 2016.
Additionally, other projects are also underway. For instance, the SR 13/15 Corridor Improvements are in the design phase. Also, the Eagles Theatre project has surged forward as the City hired a Grant Administrator to administer the project through the Community Development Block Grant process. The Grant Administrator has worked with the City and Eagles Theatre team to review proposals, interview and select an architect/engineer to design the Eagles Theatre project. Design should begin early 2016.
Moreover, Phase II of the Façade Program continues to provide local grant funds for projects in Downtown Wabash. As of December 2015, the program (funded locally via tax increment financing) has awarded almost $475,000 towards 15 building owners and projects totaling over $1,200,000 in investment in downtown Wabash.
In June 2016, Wabash faced cuts in its Stellar budget, requiring a revision of projects. The proposed Paradise Springs Historical Park Amphitheater was put on hold when an engineer firm found that the site rested in a floodplain. Along with the amphitheater, plans to turn Market and Canal streets into two-way streets were put on hold in fear of accidents and collisions. The hiatus status on these projects was done in collaboration with the state agencies as an effort to focus on the rest of Wabash's SCIP. Other projects on indefinite hold include the trail project and the John Drook Memorial Park Inclusive Playground project.
The research is following Wabash’s efforts as it shifts from planning toward implementation and construction through 2016. Research results are forthcoming.
Click here to learn more about Wabash's Stellar Projects.