Allen County

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Main Street Project Success in Woodburn, IN

September 1, 2016

     The leadership of Indiana's smallest city, Woodburn, was discussing the vacant buildings on Main Street, the loss of businesses and renovations needed with the changing landscape due to the new US 24 development and enhanced interchange into Woodburn.  Vickie Hadley, HHS Educator with Purdue Extension in Allen County convened the major, chamber president, a chamber member, and a council member for a meeting with a representative from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to discuss funding opportunities through the Indiana Main Street project for their community and resources available to assist their strategic planning process and revitalization efforts in May of 2010. 

     In April, 2011, a group of community individuals interest in the Indiana Main Street project met and discussed the requirements to become a Main Street community.  They attended the community exchange meetings in October hosted by OCRA.  The completed the mandatory requirements and submitted the application in November of 2012.  Official certification was received from Lt. Governor Ellsperman on March 13, 2013, certifying the Woodburn Partnership for Downtown Revitalization as an Indianan Main Street community.  A $30,000 planning grant was received.  After many meetings and public input, the LandPlan Group, LLC - Planners and Landscape Architects submitted the final design plan and it was approved by OCRA.  June of 2014, a competitive construction grant of $400,000 was submitted for the downtown streetscape project.  One of the two grants available was awarded to Woodburn on August 19, 2014.  Bids were received on the project and on January 29, 2015 the contract was awarded to Malott Contracting of Kendallville, IN.  Construction began in March, 2015 and was completed in July, 2015, with the demolition of a long standing building, new sidewalks, paved road, curb cuts, streetlights, signs, and planters.  180 individuals attended the 'Dinner on Main Street' celebration with the completion of the downtown streetscape revitalization project hosted by the Woodburn Partnership for Downtown Revitalization.  This was also the 150th anniversary of the city of Woodburn.  Phase one is complete.  New members are being encouraged to join the committee to complete Phase two and Phase three with additional grants, support from OCRA, and new leadership.  A new business completed their construction  and opened in October.


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