10-year plan for city improvement to be revamped

PLYMOUTH — Mayor Mark Senter will be sitting down to re-do the city’s 10-year comprehensive plan May 31 with Ratio Architects, the company that helped create the plan about eight years ago.
The comprehensive plan needs to be strengthened, said Senter Wednesday, in order to increase Plymouth’s chances of receiving the Stellar Communities grant in 2013. The grant, a collaboration between Indiana Department of Transportation, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, was set up in 2011 by Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. Indiana cities Delphi and Princeton were awarded the grant this year and are splitting the total amount of $20 million. The grant is designed to fund community development projects in Indiana’s smaller communities.
Senter explained that any third-class city or town — those with a population of less than 35,000 people — is eligible to apply for the Stellar Communities grant.
“(The selection process) is pared down to seven cities or towns, and then each of the seven gets $10,000 each to come up with a bigger presentation (to explain why they should receive the grant),” said Senter.
Senter said Plymouth did apply for the grant this year, but did not make it to the final seven finalists. One of the criteria for the grant, according to Senter, is a strong 10-year plan. That’s why he asked the city’s plan commission in April for approval to meet with Ratio Architects and talk about changing the plan.
“Our plan is about eight years old, and it was time anyway,” noted Senter.
If Plymouth were to receive the grant money next year or in future years, it would be used to continue projects already planned by the city, such as River Park Square, the South Gateway Project, sidewalk and street improvements, and downtown revitalization.
Senter also mentioned that the city would seriously consider using the grant money for a MetroNet — high-speed broadband internet access for the Tech Farm industrial area.