Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch recognized the town of Hope and more than 85 other individuals and communities at a statehouse ceremony last week for those who partnered with the state's Office of Community and Rural Affairs .

The Town of Hope is receiving $428,360 to upgrade the Town Square from OCRA's Main Street Revitalization Fund.. That includes local matching funds of $144,765.

Crouch said the communities worked throughout 2019 to collaboratively shape and execute their vision for local community and economic development opportunities.

"By working together, these communities applied innovative changes to their public buildings, parks, walkways, main streets and economic developments," Crouch said. "In partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, local leaders are able to utilize this funding to incorporate the plans to further their economic and community development."

Crouch said more than $56 million local community dollars were combined with the $35 million OCRA funding to complete quality of place improvements like water system enhancements, building of public facilities, main street revitalization, historic renovation and downtown enhancement.

“Today is a great day to celebrate all the successes, collaborative efforts and planning our Hoosier communities have achieved over the last year,” said Jodi Golden, OCRA Executive Director. “Our office was fortunate to help our rural cities, towns and counties grow and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for all of them as they continue to develop.”

The 2019 awards ceremony marks OCRA’s 14th anniversary since the agency’s creation in 2005. State legislators, mayors, local elected officials, grant administrators, community development organizations, community partners and businesses were present at the awards ceremony and celebration.