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Wabash, Rushville to mentor Edinburgh in pilot program

Staff Report

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) announced that the town of Edinburgh will be mentored by a partnership between the cities of Rushville and the Wabash, according to a Thursday press release.

The peer program’s goal is for local leadership to gather best practices and the necessary tools to advance an innovative vision through in-person assessments, stakeholder conversations and peer advisement.

“We want to continue encouraging collaboration and reward communities that not only work together but also mentor and help lift each other to even greater heights,” stated Crouch. “Hoosiers joining together can take our rural communities to the next level.”

Crouch stated these two strong mentors can each provide a different perspective that will ultimately help Edinburgh grow based on their goals and vision for the community. Through a guided process, each community will meet with Edinburgh to discuss unique community attributes as well as goals, expectations and steps of the mentorship process.

“Rushville’s strong community engagement, public-private partnership and the ability to achieve success through planning and dedication make them an ideal mentor,” stated Jodi Golden, executive director of OCRA. “We are excited Wabash has also agreed to help provide insight into downtown redevelopment, economic vitality and riverfront development.”

Edinburgh will host groups from Wabash and Rushville to showcase their town’s community assets, as well as highlight the community’s strengths and areas of opportunities. During the process, the mentorship team will include notes of the proposed strategies for collaboration and project areas from their combined unique perspective. Edinburgh will complete the process with action steps guided by OCRA. These will include specific ideas, identification of partners and a guide for future community development.

“Our downtown revitalization efforts will be enhanced by establishing a collaboration with a mentor community. Such collaboration efforts foster an insightful vision from a community that has already addressed their downtown revitalization,” stated JT Doane, Edinburgh town manager. “A mentor group will offer a unique perspective to create a vision that is unique and special to our community.”

Edinburgh will receive a $20,000 cash matched grant to implement a quality of place project based on recommendations from the process. For more information, visit www.in.gov/ocra/2999.htm.