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COMMUNITY VISION PLAN

City of

GREENSBURG Cultivating progress, rooted in community aspirations for a brighter future.


O R I G I N A L PA R T N E R S • Decatur County Community Foundation • Economic Development Corp of Greensburg/Decatur County • Greensburg/Decatur Co. Chamber of Commerce • Main Street Greensburg • Visit Decatur County

GOAL Development of a community vision plan to focus major planning efforts and provide common goals.

TA S K F O R C E

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Bob Barker, Recreation

Kristy Lowe, Volunteers

Wendy Blake, Downtown

Mayor Dan Manus, City Government

Melissa Bruns, Administrative

Angie Messer, Financial

Marc Coplon, Econ Dev. & Industry

Rick Nobbe, County Government

Jeff Emsweller, Business & Retail

John Pratt, Cultural Resources

Melissa Foist, Social Services

Bryan Robbins, Transportation

Dorene Greiwe, County Government

Scott Sanders, Natural Resources

Gary Herbert, Tourism

Alex Sefton, Youth

Jeff Hermesch, Agriculture

Linda Simmons, Health

Teri Hornberger, Agriculture

Donna Tewmey, Housing

Tom Hunter, Education

Tami Wenning, Philanthropy

Natasha Kellerman, Administative

Danny Wolford, Faith & Religion


TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S OUR VISION: PARTNERS & TEAM.............................................................................................. 1 INTRODUCTION: VISION PURPOSE.......................................................................................... 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.................................................................................................................. 5 PROJECT APPROACH..................................................................................................................... 7

Principles | Elements | Phases

DEMOGRAPHIC MAPS & DATA.................................................................................................... 9 PRIORITY FOCUS AREAS............................................................................................................. 13 Quality of Life | Economic Advancement | Phys. Infrastructure | Community Integrity | Effective Communication | Planning & Aspirations

THE FUTURE: NEXT STEPS........................................................................................................ 27

Recommendations | Initiatives

APPENDIX......................................................................................................................................... 29 Responses

CONTACT INFORMATION........................................................................................................... 35


A VISION Cultivating progress, rooted in community aspirations for a brighter future. Developing a compelling vision for the future is an important tool for any community that seeks to be more attractive and competitive. Greensburg’s community vision grew from this realization and the desire to rally residents around common goals, projects and themes. In the end, the effort was well represented by the chosen vision statement, “Cultivating progress, rooted in community aspirations for a bright future.” Community visions can be defined as “an intense alignment of goals, strategies and brands to create a preferred future, and advance the quality of life in the community.” Successful visioning efforts evolve from the collective work of private, public and nonprofit sectors to not only determine the future direction of the community, but to also successfully execute the plan. This type of planning does not replace other forms, but integrates and complements those, such as comprehensive planning, which typically has land usage as its primary target. Communities with compelling visions find they pave the way for fewer struggles, less political bantering and a greater feeling of ownership among residents and leaders. When the community is given opportunities to be engaged in establishing the future, there is less resistence to the initiatives required to implement the new direction. Most importantly, those communities that plan and vision strategically are more attractive to potential businesses and future residents. The most progressive communities recognize that there is great value in aligning organizational efforts, and providing a proverbial guiding star for all vested groups, as they develop their own strategic direction. With all key organizations headed in the same direction, there is a shared appreciation and excitement surrounding accomplishments and milestones. Typically, there are more resources available, because organizations find they can bring savings to the table through collaborative efforts. Smaller communities can have a more difficult time in accomplishing these unified visions. A less formalized communications structure can impede progress as “word of mouth” is relied upon to spread information and gather input. Secondly, they sometimes perceive they lack the necessary resources to pull such planning together. In Greensburg, five community organizations stepped up to recognize that it simply takes a convener to make the first steps and gather a core group to help implement the process. Successful integration of the visioning process required board and staff dedication with an outside force bringing varying perspectives in support of the effort. The decision to proceed in this direction represented a significant step toward engagement with the planning processes. The efforts served to build collaboration between those organizations and individuals who stood to impact, implement and support the resulting vision. To advance the Community Visioning and Unification project, David J. Fry, CEO/President of Effective Advancement Strategies of Greensburg, was engaged to lead the project. He performed community education and forum facilitation work, functioned as a liaison to the project team and advised the task force and leadership team.

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The consultant also conducted neighborhood focus groups, multiple surveys, one-on-one interviews, generational meetings and served as a key liaison for the Task Force during its community outreach. The branding of “Partners for Community Progress” was developed by the visioning team in conjunction with the consultant in the early stages of the process. Ultimately, the resulting vision plan focuses on the broader issues, their extensive review and anticipation for their advancement. For the purposes of the Stellar Communities program and a prospective application, efforts will intensify as the initial focus is given to those projects that have the propensity to impact the following Community Performance Indicators: • Increase Assessed Valuation • Grow Population • Increase Per Capita Income • Increase Educational Attainment • Increase Public School Enrollment The following sections, contain documentation of valuable data, important citizen dreams, and a plan that promises a stronger and more attractive community when implemented. The process has been documented for the benefit of governmental leaders, organizations, businesses and individual citizens. This final plan provides an important resource to intensify focus on key areas and engage the aforementioned groups in cultivating progress, rooted in community aspirations for a brighter future.


EXECUTIVE S U M M A RY Greensburg’s visioning process began in early summer 2016 and featured the gathering of input from multiple sectors and individuals throughout the Greensburg community. In all, over 3,000 responses and comments were received via surveys, interviews, community meetings and focus groups. The process brought together diverse perspectives and allowed the community the opportunity to dream about the type of future they would like to experience as residents and visitors. Evolving from this broad-based input, the aspirations of the community focused in six primary areas: Quality of Life The comments in this area focused strongly around the needs for additional amenities, added recreational opportunities and a facility to help advance the offerings of arts and entertainment programs. The concept of an outdoor facility had support but most would yield to a year-round facility offering diverse programming. The addition and connection of multi-purpose paths was by far the most impassioned project and addressed as a Quality of Life and Transportation issue. Economic Advancement Issues facing the community, relative to economic advancement were evident in several areas, with an overarching desire to increase per capita income through a diversity of employment opportunities with higher wages. The retail environment should be strengthened, building on the community location and additional options that may include destination retail. Several projects had ties to increasing the impact of visitor dollars on the community and working with the hospitality and tourism aspects such as a large events center. Physical Infrastructure The community’s infrastructure is vital to being able to attract and retain new residents. The need to improve and maintain the aging infrastructure, in particular sidewalks and roads, was frequently highlighted. Multi-use paths are no longer simply a good idea, they are often a pre-requisite for location by a new resident. The need for mid-level housing was obvious and the lack of condo availability negates an entire market. The Educational component focused on adult education and the ability of residents to be trained in areas offering certificates and trades while increasing educational attainment. Community Integrity As rural communities struggle to evolve, capable leadership for initiatives is increasingly important. Greensburg is not unique in resident’s expressed need for new, emerging leadership and there is currently no formal means of mentoring or encouraging such leadership. An apparent segment stands ready to take on roles, but their perception involves an unwillingness of the “old guard to relinquish some control.” Cultivation of the volunteer pool, the need for nonprofits to share resources and addressing substance abuse in an aggressive manner were top of mind.

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Effective Communications The community has not adapted to the shift toward social media with no reliable means of communication which spans generations and the socio-economic classes. There is also no formalized communication with new residents that allows them to assimilate into community life and feel welcomed. It was often mentioned that the networking issues extend beyond the community, and that coordinated branding and image campaigns between existing organizations would provide positive benefits for all involved and the community at large. They saw those being focused on the regional draw Greensburg offers. Planning & Aspirations Residents of the community embraced the concept of establishing a unified vision with coordinated steps to the future. The final plan needs to be advanced through adoption by the appropriate governmental bodies, nonprofit organizations and the economic development community. The prime areas for investment as identified by participants are; Downtown, Rebekah Park, Decatur County Fairgrounds and Veteran’s Way. Properly promoted, all can benefit from marketing to the large population numbers that exist within an hour’s radius of Greensburg. The need for enforcement of codes and ordinances and the improvement of community gateways were given high priority for focus.

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VISION METHODOLOGY The commitment to this visioning process was shared among the five initial community organization partners. However, it was imperative that buy-in from other community leaders existed and that resolve was represented in the following principles adopted by the original partners:

• The commitment by City Government leaders to developing a shared vision was essential

• Insuring the process was valued and supported by all involved

• Broad community input was imperative and would require special efforts

• A strong community vision reflects its community, not merely its leaders

• Uncontrollable events influence direction — being prepared was essential

• Recognized that unification of direction and planning is paramount to success in the Stellar Communities program

With a foundation built on these principles and beliefs, our approach to visioning, and to the Vision Project specifically, included the following elements:

1) Formal review and commitment to the process by Community Leaders

2) Formalization of a broad-based Visioning Task Force to guide the process

3) Extensive community education and preparation for the visioning process

4) Developing broad-based community input through multiple avenues and interactions

5) Agreement on an adoption of resident recommendations and strategic initiatives

6) Identification and prioritization of vision projects in preparation for a potential Stellar application

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The visioning project was accomplished in four distinct phases: I. Development of Leadership, Commitments, Design & Implementation

Included development of initial activities to establish common understandings, direction, and agreement on deliverables within the context for subsequent activities.

II. Community Education and Awareness

Worked with media, social media and community networks to sell the “benefits� that accompany a community vision and fueled participation growth.

III. Community Feedback, Expression & Review

Utilizing surveys, existing assessments, neighborhood networks, sector focus groups, social media and others to drive identification of issues and potential projects. Determined the community vision beacons that can survive political and critical review and determine community rallying points.

IV. Analysis/Vision Plan Development Recognition and review of an accumulation of data by the Community Vision Task Force and community leaders. Vetting of draft and preparation for final presentation to the community with eventual adoption of Community Vision Objectives.

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C O M M U N I T Y D ATA

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Per Capita Income Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table B19301: Per Capita Income in the Past 12 Months. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ Population Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table DP05: ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ Educational Attainment Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table S1501: Educational Attainment. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ School Enrollment Source: Indiana Department of Education. (n.d.). DOE Compass. Retrieved from https://compass.doe.in.gov/dashboard/enrollment.aspx?type=corp&id=1730 Assessed Valuation Source: Decatur County Assessor’s Office

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C O M M U N I T Y D ATA C O N T.

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INDOT Traffic Counts

Per Capita Income Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table B19301: Per Capita Income in the Past 12 Months. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ Population Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table DP05: ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ Educational Attainment Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey. (n.d.). Table S1501: Educational Attainment. Retrieved from http://factfinder2.census.gov/ School Enrollment Source: Indiana Department of Education. (n.d.). DOE Compass. Retrieved from https://compass.doe.in.gov/dashboard/enrollment.aspx?type=corp&id=1730 Assessed Valuation Source: Decatur County Assessor’s Office

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PRIORITY FOCUS AREAS DEFINED QUALITY OF LIFE Nationally, it was the concern with preserving and enhancing quality of life that advanced the development of indicators, beyond mere economic numbers, to try to measure a broader concept of quality of life. In fact, communities around the country have explored this expanded definition. Most often, the new indicators of well-being have embraced several areas such as: health, environmental issues, economic factors, the wellbeing of families and children and the amenities sought to improve the same. The expanded reach, as in this vision for the City of Greensburg, includes recreation, entertainment, amenities and the arts. ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT

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Communities that simply maintain their economic base are often losing ground as gross domestic product increases around the country. In this visioning effort, Economic Advancement is a term that more accurately captures the breadth of the organizations and community segments responsible for the vitality of Greensburg’s economic base. For the purposes of this vision plan we have chosen to include industrial, retail, service and tourism development in this discussion. Each of these segments have the potential to spur significant economic activity in the City and this knowledge requires responsibilities to emerge that extend beyond the typical economic development organizations. PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE Much like physical structures, the infrastructure for a community supports the rest of the development efforts that will eventually enhance the community appearance and future growth. Traditional infrastructure is included in this discussion, as are new housing opportunities, the development of components of a more walkable community and the need for maintenance of existing infrastructure. All are key to attracting new businesses and residents. COMMUNITY INTEGRITY The structural integrity of a building is defined in engineering terms and in terms of the quality of the construction practices and elements. This community vision is no different. Our community is strengthened and bound together by multiple elements; philanthropy, volunteerism, community leadership and engagement, social services and education. Each has the ability to impact the future stability of the community and needs to be nurtured to solidify progress.

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION The need for effective communication can’t be over stated. The visioning process uncovered opportunities for improvements in efforts both within the community and externally, to prospective residents and visitors. The need for effective communication extends to promotion of image and branding, which are integral to the ability to present the community in the appropriate light relative to other communities around the State and Nation. Finally, the communication section includes the assimilation of new residents and the extension of courtesies to the segment through communication. PLANNING AND ASPIRATIONS Desirable communities must have a sense of direction driven by the aspirations of their residents in order to remain competitive. Residents embraced and participated in the visioning process enabling their dreams to surface and significant discussion and concerns surrounded the outcomes of the process. This area holds the key to success of the process; where adoption, assimilation and key goals and objectives will advance the effort. The section also includes prime opportunities for investment and promotion with aspirations for making the community a more attractive option.

“Today’s employees will not relocate for a job.......but they will for a community.” ----Gerry Dick, Inside Indiana Business


QUALITY OF LIFE Participants in this visioning process, and rural communities in general, recognize the significant challenges presented by the lack of amenities. In fact, the shortage of amenities in the City of Greensburg is problematic for current residents. The shortage is perceived to contribute greatly toward the inability of the community to attract new residents, and the subsequent difficulty in increasing educational attainment levels. In addition to Quality of Life recommendations, new retail amenities that impact Quality of Life were desired, and are addressed in the Economic Advancement section. Citizen Recommendations A. Addition of Performance Venues & Entertainment 1. Development of a Small, Staged Theater The addition of performance venues received significant support across the data collection process. Most noted, a “small, staged theater of approximately 250 seats” would fill a void that currently exists. The facility would offer a more intimate setting for speakers, musical performances, plays, comedy events and present an open calendar for regular entertainment that could offer a regional draw and drive economic activity. The location of the facility in the downtown area would complement, and serve to benefit, the existing and future restaurants and businesses located there. It is not unusual for patrons of the arts to combine the activity with shopping and dining in the area. 2. Creation of an Amphitheater Venue An outdoor amphitheater received strong support in the visioning process. Locations discussed ranged from Rebekah Park, Decatur County Fairgrounds or most recently, the County Reservoir property being addressed in the Enhancing Public Spaces program administered by Purdue. It is possible that a small amphitheater/bandstand could co-exist with a larger venue appealing to different audiences. Many agreed that the seasonal nature of such a facility may make an indoor facility more viable.

B. Improve Recreational Facilities, Increase Options and Family Activities 1. Establishing Family Fun Zones Developing family fun zones is important to younger residents and their families. Efforts to develop family fun zones would make the community more attractive and build on the reputation of the community as a “safe place to raise a family”. Specific projects mentioned include: Splash Pad, Indoor Family Fun Park, Bike Rental and developing family friendly activities and upgrades within local parks and downtown.


2. Staging Purposeful Festivals & Events Community gatherings are important to building relations, communications and attracting people to the community. Process participants are interested in seeing, and willing to support financially, music and concert events, food and flavor events, wine and craft brewery events and comedy events. Success for these efforts is more likely when they are developed in collaboration with the proposed audiences. 3. The Enhancement and Connection of Downtown and the Fairgrounds Linking downtown with the fairgrounds property holds much interest from the participants. The Dreams and Vision committee that reviewed a number of projects saw a much larger project opportunity. “Bringing Back Main Street,” would include completing the remainder of the downtown streetscape project, investments in the Fairgrounds, and potentially linking the two sites with a trail. It was a concept that held an enormous amount of energy. West Main Street, like several others could benefit from improved drainage, in-fill projects adding to the tax base, the installation of curbs and a multi-use path on the north side of the street would in fact bring back economic vitality to the western gateway. Potential investments in the fairgrounds infrastructure would add to the marketability of the facilities. 4. Pursue Development of a Dog Park The establishment of a community dog park is strongly recommended. Past efforts to develop a facility were hampered by individual commitment. Strong support and previous estimates exist and should allow a project to advance relatively easily. Crowd funding may offer a surprisingly simple way of obtaining the financial needs of the project. 5. Invest in Park & Facility Upgrades The desire for additional upgrades to facilities was tempered with the realization that there has been a perceived lack of commitment or prioritization of budget expenditures by elected officials. It was noted that existing assets like the Allen Memorial Pool could benefit from upgrades as could some of the park facilities. While staff works to maintain these, there are limits to their capacities. A significant commitment to upgrades could make them more attractive and become part of the desired “family fun zones.” Discussion around new revenue sources and ideas such as a “Friends of the Parks” fundraising group or a Parks Foundation effort were aired.


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E C O N O M I C A D VA N C E M E N T

Economic activity takes on a number of forms and involves the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services at all levels within a community. The most successful communities generate prosperity through a mix of activity involving existing and new businesses both commercial and retail, offering attractions and events that encourage visitors and welcome new residents. The visioning process captured the desire for growth and prosperity on numerous fronts, the desire for Greensburg to become more attractive to younger residents and to become a regional draw, capitalizing on the stellar location between metropolitan areas. Citizen Recommendations A. Pursue Projects Generating Additional Visitor Revenues 1. Development of a Large Event Center A sizable and flexible event/convention center offers a unique opportunity for Greensburg to capitalize on its location. In addition to solving the local meeting space problem, residents see it as vital to promotion of Greensburg as a regional draw. It is anticipated this facility could serve to draw conferences and regional meetings being hosted by organizations around the State, generating additional tax revenue. Ideally, it could be divided into smaller venues to house local events, weddings and potentially multiple events on a single day. The pairing with a theater or event management and hospitality school holds merit. 2. Expanding Sports Complex Usage The youth sports complex has a reputation for offering some of the best amenities in the State, driven by its location near the park and other recreation options. Multiple discussions and responses encouraged expansion of its usage and potentially hiring staff to help ensure that the facility receives maximum benefits from hosting tournaments. Many communities are seeking to build similar facilities, but not all have the attractive options of the Greensburg complex. The facility has the ability to have a significant impact on area hotels, restaurants and businesses. Connection with downtown holds possibilities for both. B. Increased Retail & Commercial Options 1. Attraction of a Large Grocery and Department store The attraction of a large grocery was paramount on the minds of nearly all residents. While Kroger was most frequently mentioned, participants were also interested in the potential of an option such as

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Target or Meijer, that might offer more than produce options. Marketing of the opportunity here needs to include a regional slant, with a defined market expanding beyond the County borders. Promoting a population of over 104,000 within a 20-mile radius and 266,749 within a 30-mile radius makes it more feasible. Meijer does not have a store within either of those ranges. 2. Encouraging & Attracting New Restaurants New restaurants add to the quality of life, attract visitor dollars and contribute to community night life. Residents strongly recommend and support the addition of (in order of preference) a steak house, Italian restaurant, craft brewery and a chain grill and bar. Veteran’s Way provides a prime opportunity for eateries seeking I-74 visibility, but quaint offerings with the option for more private meetings are desired as well. C. Generate New Employment Opportunities that Increase Per Capita Income 1. Pursuit of Higher Wage Positions Residents strongly support efforts to attract positions to the community that feature opportunities outside of manufacturing. Information technology, engineering, education and health care were areas most frequently identified as attractive opportunities. An increase in educational attainment is necessary to provide the qualified workforce for these types of positions and needs to be addressed. 2. Attraction of a Corporate Headquarters The attraction of a corporate headquarters of most any size can bring an increased multiplier to a community. The establishment of a welcoming environment and quality of life that might be attractive to a corporate headquarters is an important piece of potential attraction. Developing a more walkable community with broad amenities and the expansion of the airport can all have dramatic impact on this goal. Significant community development, or the prospect thereof, can be the catalyst for headquarter’s opportunities, either organic or transferred, and is high on the list of priorities for residents. 3. Diversification of the Employment Base There was much concern demonstrated over the community’s dependence on the auto industry. This has driven the desire of participants to see a diversification of industry. The perceived best matches for the community, by virtue of its location and heritage, were: • agri-business, bio science • logistics companies

• distribution and warehousing • information technology

Concern was expressed at the prospect of attracting of additional low-wage and/or temporary positions and the social service impacts that result. 4. Establishment of Co-Working Options Co-working spaces or business accelerators provide outstanding opportunities to advance small businesses. There were numerous mentions of the option and a desire to develop this type of space locally to encourage small business development. The option could develop in concert with other projects downtown.

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PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE The infrastructure of a community is the foundation for its development. Basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer is necessary and having sites “shovel ready” will often make them more attractive to market. Other infrastructure, such as multi-use paths and housing have the ability to draw new residents to the community by making it more attractive and competitive. Residents saw shortages in several key areas and the need for upgrades and better maintenance in others. Citizen Recommendations A. Gateway Improvements, Development of Multi-Use Paths and Connections 1. Connecting Downtown to the Fairgrounds The linking of downtown to the fairgrounds via a multi-use path was without question, the project with the most energy and passion. The project length was determined to be 2.2 miles via Park Rd and 2.1 miles via W. Main Street. The Main Street route offered the opportunity to revitalize a community gateway, potentially deal with brownfields issues, and implement projects to increase assessed valuation. Park Road offers more barriers and property acquisitions, but meets transportation needs of residents in the area. A third option may exist through the former American Lifts site and offer a project link. The prospect of meeting the Park Road needs with seasonal public transportation was aired, and should be investigated. 2. Link Existing Trails for Connection Residents would like to see existing trails linked to other pedestrian options, e.g. Lincoln Street to existing trail via Barachel Lane. The path usage has been impressive but a pedestrian means of accessing them from other locations is needed and would be supported. The linking of the Veteran’s Way path via Freeland Road was also frequently mentioned and would afford access to the retail areas at Greensburg Commons. 3. Rehabilitate North Michigan Avenue Gateway A potential path along N. Michigan Ave, to connect Downtown to the YMCA, received significant support and was envisioned as part of a larger project to rehab North Michigan Avenue from the Fire Station to the Bypass. With approximately 9,000 vehicles utilizing the corridor each day, this project also contributes to the overall desire to improve gateways and major arteries, elevating the image and first impressions of the community. 4. Create Safe Pedestrian Access from SE Side The expressed need was significant, particularly among focus groups, for safe pedestrian access via South

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Michigan Ave/US421, which includes growing housing areas, a new church and school on Greensburg’s SE side. This corridor currently supports between 8,000 and 9,000 vehicles daily and represents another major artery and gateway into the community. Sidewalks currently end at S. Wilder and pedestrians and bicyclists frequently traverse the rest of the busy highway unsafely. 5. Advance Main & Lincoln Improvements Residents are supportive of visual improvements to the intersection of Main & Lincoln where 8,000 cars travel daily. The possibility of a community sign that would consolidate events, offer changeable, uniform panels or other options was desired to replace the current “sign garden” in the green space. The project would be in line with other beautification efforts and can be accomplished relatively easily. 6. Sidewalk Improvement & Replacement A major sidewalk replacement and improvement program is desired by the residents of the community and is multi-faceted. In conjunction with the path initiative, safe and modern sidewalks with curbing are an integral part of creating a more walkable community and create a more attractive environment. They were often cited as an example of where the need to maintain existing infrastructure should be weighed against adding new. A balance of both is needed since the aging sidewalk infrastructure also impacts the community image. B. Additional Housing Options & Maintenance of Existing Stock 1. Develop Additional Housing Stock There is general agreement among residents that a shortage of quality housing exists in ranges from $150,000 to $250,000 and under $150,000. A market exists for homes in these ranges in planned neighborhoods and often represent opportunities for “move-up” from rental property. 2. Encourage Condominium Development There was a notable void for those under the age of 55 looking for the possibility of property ownership in the form of condominiums. The option was attractive to those looking to build equity in property without taking the next step to own a home. Some younger individuals see home ownership as more time consuming and find the option of allowing an HOA to handle maintenance and yard work to be attractive. Several condo types were discussed but the townhouse options held the most interest, with downtown lofts or second story options mentioned by others. 3. Increase Rental Options The current environment offers little in the way of rental options for current or prospective residents. Waiting lists exist at all apartment complexes as of this writing. Residents encourage leaders to look at options to develop this market and offer an entry level option for those wanting to relocate to the community. 4. Enforce and Incent Housing Maintenance Broad ranging and passionate discussion surrounded the need to encourage residents to maintain property and to enforce or enact ordinances that will discourage blight. In some instances, programs were suggested to assist those with economic challenges that may prevent basic maintenance. The implementation of a volunteer assistance program such as the National “Paint the Town” program was recommended. An option of dealing with abandoned properties under grant programs was also encouraged. 20


COMMUNITY INTEGRITY Education, volunteerism, leadership, nonprofits and social services are building blocks in ensuring the integrity of the community and supporting future growth. Investments in these areas are typically preventative in nature, resolving community issues and providing a significant return on the dollar. Their activities bring residents together and provide an exponential return from human capital investments. Residents saw a need to address a number of areas in order to strengthen the human infrastructure available. Citizen Recommendations A. Develop Emerging Leadership, Volunteers & Collaborative Partnerships 1. Focus on Leadership Evolution and its Development Many communities, large and small, are faced with the challenge of developing leadership to undertake roles for service in elected positions and on boards, committees and as chairs for activities and events. There was concern among participants about the lack of new leadership evolving in Greensburg. Ironically, the implementation of this vision is dependent on delegation of responsibilities to leaders and finding collaborative relationships that can advance the plan. Effective leaders need to be trained to develop these skills and unlock their volunteer and public service potential. A single session could advance the comfort level of some who may hesitate to become involved. 2. Foster Partnerships & Collaborative Efforts Throughout the visioning process, residents saw the potential and power that could exist within the community if all organizations aligned to focus efforts on vision initiatives. While turf issues derail projects and force additional effort, working collaboratively will avoid delays and expand opportunities. Participants emphasized that it is important specific efforts be made to find appropriate partners and launch efforts without regard for who receives“credit.” 3. Cultivate Increased Volunteer Engagement Appropriate volunteer matches can advance projects and enable significant progress toward the community’s vision. At the present time, there appears to be a disconnect between residents and multiple volunteer opportunities. A centralized repository for volunteer opportunities could serve in facilitating matches and would increase engagement. The number one reason people will volunteer is “because they were asked.” Additionally, there needs to be much discussion around the current structure of volunteer programs and the opportunities to attract those individuals seeking flexibility in scheduling. B. Aggressively Address Social Issues 1. Pursue Actions to Decrease Substance Abuse The issue of substance abuse is rampant in the American society and according to feedback this community is no exception. The issue leads to illness, lost earnings and costs associated with crime and accidents.

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There appears to be no community-wide coordination of efforts or tracking of outcomes related to current segmented offerings and existing efforts are overwhelmed. A community summit to discuss those factors would be beneficial and could serve as a springboard to additional initiatives. Making approaches to outside organizations, for assistance through their programming or use of their models, would also be wise. 2. Increase Parent & Youth Mentoring Opportunities Intensive mentoring programs were often mentioned as an effective antidote to the decline in family units and parental engagement. Existing programming appears to be overburdened or under publicized. Several surrounding communities have successful programs and may be willing to partner or expand to provide service to the Greensburg/Decatur County area. National programs such as Positive Parenting Program, Strengthening Families, All Pro Dads and others were mentioned and may be appropriate for assimilation into the community culture. 3. Facilitate Co-Location of Nonprofits With a number of social issues requiring additional investments and limited resources available, there was frequent mention of the potential of co-locating nonprofit organizations that provide services to a population in need. This action would conserve resources for agencies, allowing them to share staff, office equipment and increase communication. Most importantly, it would enable those with transportation issues to visit a single facility to conduct business. Co-location could also serve to cultivate and move collaborative projects forward and potentially provide unified management for new pursuits. C. Address Educational Attainment 1. Focus on Efforts to Increase Educational Levels Respondents recognize, statistics validate and employers experience, an educational deficiency present within the existing population and it provides a barrier to attracting a qualified workforce. Jobs paying at higher levels demand educational attainment that mirror the expected level. Attracting residents with those educational levels requires planning, promotion and commitment to quality of life initiatives represented in this report. Locally, initiatives aimed at increasing the appreciation of the value of education would be helpful in impacting attainment, as would the raising of awareness of and assistance for local opportunities. 2. Adding Certificate and Adult Interest Courses Networking meetings and generational meetings surfaced a desire for continuing education courses that are not necessarily degree oriented. The lack of persons interested in pursuing trades is evident in the community with many of the current providers retiring within the next ten years. The ability to gain certificates locally could benefit those launching their career or seeking to make a career change. Baby Boomers expressed a desire to participate in enrichment classes that are not currently offered at the Learning Center. As noted, they are not interested in simply retiring to “sit around.� Visioning projects could also benefit from this attitude.


E F F E C T I V E C O M M U N I C AT I O N Effective communications are at the forefront of any successful effort. The ability to reach the appropriate markets and disseminate information to all segments of the community is paramount. Attraction of visitors and potential residents, to drive additional community revenue, requires an understanding of the available media and identification of the channels utilized most effectively. Residents voiced concern over the lack of communication through newer channels and the ability to connect with new and potential residents. Citizen Recommendations A. Develop Consistent, Uniform and Proactive Branding 1. Creation of a Unified Message The advantage of a single, community message is clear to the participants in the visioning process. A unified culture, message and logo would help to reinforce the efforts of each responsible entity to promote the community. The stated desire to promote Greensburg’s great location and become a regional draw, along with the history and attraction of the tree on the courthouse tower, should offer insight into the direction of a new branding message. 2. Promotion of a Welcoming Community Respondents generally feel the community is friendly but yet there is concern about the ability to be perceived as “welcoming” and the outward impact that may have. a. Development of a Community Ambassador Corps The suggestion of forming a “Community Ambassador Corps” was well received and should be investigated further. The group would be trained and serve to welcome groups and potentially individuals to the community. Coordination among leading organizations and in providing hospitality training to first-contact positions would also advance the welcoming spirit. b. Establishment of a Newcomer’s Group The revival of the potential social interaction of a “newcomers” type group, that meets informally to network and provide information, was valued and can help assimilate new residents. c. Strategically Place Additional, Welcoming Signage New “Greensburg” Interstate signage at the exits could take advantage of approximately 23,000 impressions per day. Consistently branded wayfinding signage should start at the exit ends and extend through town, serving to get visitors to where they need to go rather effortlessly. 3. Implement New Potential Resident & Visitor Campaigns Once the support system is in place and the messages are clear, community residents would like to reach out to potential new residents in a more proactive manner, highlighting unique aspects of the community. Social media campaigns and video snippets can provide opportunities to reach the desired audience with minimal expense and would satisfy the community’s interest in marketing to younger potential residents and visitors. The use of content marketing can also be effective at peaking interest in the community

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as can frequent Statewide press releases and other proactive initiatives. B. Improve Intra-community Communication 1. Increase Online Communication Options While the evolution of new media channels has moved at lightning speed, the participants in the visioning process feel efforts to adopt those has been slow in the Greensburg networks. While the community and many organizations have relied on the traditional forms of newspaper, radio, flyers, e-mail, etc. there is a large segment who do not see these as their primary information sources. As a result, this group is unaware of many offerings and are not drawn to certain organizations. Efforts to reach out to the broader audience using means including the following should be employed: a. Develop and Maintain an Interactive Website Residents need a reliable source for information that is timely, comprehensive and reputable. While a community calendar has seemed to be elusive, it would serve a number of purposes and resolve scheduling conflicts that can inhibit event success. b. Create a Strong Social Media Presence A central repository for volunteer opportunities, events and ongoing discussion would be valued. Regular announcements and postings, keeping “followers� abreast of information and activities is key. This may require additional staff allocations or a shared staff arrangement. c. Consider Offering Potential Text Alerts Several participants mentioned they would be interested in receiving text alerts about local events and volunteer opportunities. This could be an effective and efficient way of reaching a significant audience.


P L A N N I N G & A S P I R AT I O N S A strong community vision grows from the planning efforts and aspirations of the residents. Participants in this process felt strongly about the previous lack of effective long range planning. They believed it had forced project delays and hampered the ability to unite residents around opportunities for advancement. A growing distrust of the process was obvious and while some organizations completed strategic planning efforts, they are not aligned with an overall community direction, often making them less impactful. Residents expressed a variety of thoughts and opportunities for effective advancement into the future. Citizen Recommendations A. Prime Opportunity Areas for Investment & Planning 1. Downtown While support existed across generations, younger residents in particular, recognized the opportunity that exists in the downtown district to capitalize on its unique architecture and sense of place. Successful models exist in other communities where vibrancy has returned with a mix of housing, retail, restaurants and entertainment. Many people participating in the surveys, focus groups and interviews saw this type of potential in Greensburg’s downtown. A few key components have started to emerge downtown and three strategic pieces of real estate with sizable square footage and acreage were identified in the process. They could have transformative impact and all are currently being marketed. Those properties are the former St. Mary’s campus, the KB/Johnston building on S. Broadway, and the former Amercian Lifts site. All have significant redevelopment potential and can offer a connection to downtown with infill opportunities. 2. Enhancing Rebekah Park While the prospect of a larger amphitheater was envisioned for Rebekah Park, something smaller in nature may be appropriate for smaller activities. A facility similar to the one erected at Lake Santee may be the best choice for the Rebekah Park area. In addition, ideas such as bike rental, Frisbee golf, a dog park and physical activities along the trail to Freeland Road were mentioned and all could represent good fits for Rebekah Park. The establishment of a more formal “gateway” could help develop a sense of place in the park. 3. Decatur County Fairgrounds While not within the City limits, the Fairgrounds drew much discussion throughout the process. Participants recognized the potential of the facilities and the areas surrounding it. Master planning for the entire area, and the potential of establishing an overlay zone or district held significant potential. This would coordinate the planning, development and promotion of the area and ultimately help generate significant revenue from its usage.


4. Veteran’s Way Despite the development of Veteran’s Way there appeared to be a lack of understanding or appreciation of the need and/or potential. During the Neighborhood Networking meetings, an opening educational effort relayed the potential for commercial development and prior lack of Interstate visible property, which is paramount to many large chain businesses. The area is prime for some of the commercial and retail amenities residents desire. B. Pursue Aspirations for a More Attractive Community 1. Enforcement or Establishment of Ordinances & Codes The current state of many residential properties was concerning for many of those in attendance or responding to surveys. The lack of existing ordinances or enforcement was discussed often and the desire to see progress in the areas was top of mind. These properties impact the overall image of the community and the willingness of businesses and individuals to locate here. The prospect of developing a “Paint the Town” type program was well received and holds potential, but other properties might not be impacted by such a program and those would need to be addressed. 2. Improvement of Community Gateways Communities, like individuals, “never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Participants saw a great need to improve the gateways to our community and prioritize the main arteries. The thousands of individuals driving through the community each day, retain that memory of the State highway drive thru town, as their only impression of the community. It would be wise to focus efforts on those main arteries as a priority and partner with the State to make the efforts more tolerable financially. 3. Convenient, Quaint & Caring Without question, the number one promotional point discussed in all groups was Greensburg’s convenient location mid-way between two major metropolitan areas. The following radius estimates reflect the significant opportunities for promotion to potential visitors, residents and prospective businesses: Within Total Population Estimate* • 20 Mile Radius................... 104,863 • 30 Mile Radius................... 266,749 • 40 Mile Radius................... 723,349

• 50 Mile Radius................ 1,754,974 • 60 Mile Radius.................3,617,694 • 90 Mile Radius.................7,008,600

*Source: NASA Socioeconomic Data & Applications Center hosted by CIESIN at Columbia University

Convenience and the existing culture is a key part of branding, and residents honed in on two additional themes that they feel are important to cultivate and expand. The quaint and historical nature of the community’s downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods are selling points groups saw that could be broadened. The unwavering commitment to rally around causes demonstrates the caring nature of the community, which is an appealing trait in a technology driven age. Both can be marketed in variations of “Growing in the Heart of Southeastern Indiana,” “History in the Heart of Southeastern” and others. 4. Welcoming Progress & Change Substantial comments were made about the community welcoming progress and change. A significant number of residents would like to see projects advance; such as the airport expansion, Veteran’s Way, additional arts involvement and activity such as potential public art. They are willing to think progressively and see the need for the community to do so in order to remain competitive. This visioning process provides a unique opportunity for new task forces and projects to emerge with passionate leadership. 26


VISION - NEXT STEPS Large strategic initiatives often put forth great effort to develop the plan and then follow up with very little in execution. The five community partners that launched this work, recognized from the start that this effort had to be different. Important data has been gathered with the community speaking loudly, and sometimes passionately. As a result, leaders of government, businesses, and nonprofits have a duty to be certain that this information is used to guide future efforts. In fact, “Cultivating progress, rooted in community aspirations for a brighter future,” must be more than a simple vision statement, it describes the catalyst role this project should and will take, and the outcomes it expects to produce. PHASE I - Prioritization and Identification Prioritization of projects should take place in early 2017 and include identifying potential “quick hits” that could be accomplished before the end of the year. When considering the larger projects, this will include obtaining estimated costs and identification of potential financing options. In addition, this phase will need to identify, educate and engage potential initial partners in the process, while marketing the benefits PHASE II - Engagement and Vetting Deep dives into the projects and their execution will need to take place prior to the commitments to pursue. Additional interested parties from the visioning process may be likely partners, advisors and volunteers for these projects and should be identified in this phase. Efforts should be made to utilize existing structures and organizations whenever possible, however some efforts may require the formation of a task force that meets briefly to initiate action.

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PHASE III - Communication and Reporting Regular reporting, communication and updates need to be designed and implemented. The aspirations that were expressed are important to those who hold them and they need to be able to monitor the progress on their recommendations and proposed initiatives. The establishment of a Community Advancement Map could help provide this tool. PHASE IV - Recognition and Celebration When initiatives are accomplished, recognition of that fact is imperative. Celebrating the achievements, allowing those responsible, and the community at large to be a part of this progress and raising awareness that the group has cultivated progress will encourage additional action.

“The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It!�

---Peter Drucker

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APPENDIX*

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*Over 2,500 responses were received from five surveys during the feedback process. They were analyzed with other input from eight Neighborhood Networking meetings, four generational meetings, one-on-one interviews and two public draft meetings. Reviews were also conducted of the City’s comprehensive plan and five other planning efforts conducted by various community organizations.


APPENDIX

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APPENDIX

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION MEANS Social Media Interactive Website Text Notices Broadcast (Radio, TV, Community Channel) Direct Mail (Community Newsletter)

82% 42% 40% 34% 32%

RESPONSE DEMOGRAPHICS Age 14-35 (Millenials)

23.60%

Age 35-51 (Generation X) Age 52-70 (Baby Boomers) Age 71 & up (Traditionalists)

38.38% 34.80% 3.22%


C O N TA C T I N F O R M AT I O N

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Visionplan11217  

Five community partners engaged Effective Advancement Strategies to lead a community Visioning effort during 2016. Those Partners were: Dec...