- Government: Wabash, Indiana – Stellar Community
The City of Wabash wanted to revitalize the downtown area to be more appealing as a destination and growing community. The Stellar Community program could provide that funding. The State of Indiana selects two communities per year to receive funding to drive a three-year revitalization plan. In addition to identifying focus areas and plans for improvement, a thorough financial model needed to be created to secure the award of the grant. The City had applied once before and while they were a finalist, they were not selected. This case applies to the second application.
How LWG helped
LWG performed a financial evaluation to identify the City’s ability to generate tax increment financing (TIF) and contribute their required share of funding for the proposed projects. Working with the Stellar committee members and other planners, the package highlighted the vision and strategy for Wabash including specific projects, partnerships, and financial commitments necessary to achieve the vision, transform Wabash and the region, and spur additional economic development and new partnerships.
Wabash received their Stellar Designation in August 2014. Today, many downtown storefronts are occupied and have improved their façades, an all-inclusive park for physically challenged children is being developed and general improvements to roads and streets along with the expansion for downtown housing opportunities are underway.
“LWG has worked with the City of Wabash on numerous programs in regards to economic redevelopment. The Economic Development group has relied heavily upon their expertise and financial analysis. In the case of the Stellar Community grant, the information that LWG prepared between the first and second application was critical to the success in securing this grant. LWG worked directly with us throughout the entire process,” said William Konyha, Former President and CEO of the Economic Development Group of Wabash County.
LWG’s role in securing the Stellar Community grant was critical to the success of the application process. Through careful review, the City of Wabash was in a position to put up $8 million of city funds (a condition of the grant program) and leverage it into $24million targeted grants and tax credits.