Possibilities

Kendallville Main Street consultant John Bry points across Main Street to the Kendallville Auto Parts building, telling grant selectors from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and other agencies about the possibility of upper-floor development in the building that was once a downtown hotel.

KENDALLVILLE — Kendallville will have to wait a little longer before finding out whether it’s getting a $2 million state grant.

Officials from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs have postponed selection of the single winner of the $2 million PreservINg Main Street grant until Sept. 10.

The announcement was originally planned for Aug. 27.

“It must be really hard to put us No. 1,” Mayor Suzanne Handshoe ribbed at Aug. 24’s Board of Works and Public Safety meeting. “It’s taking a little longer.”

Kendallville is one of the five finalists vying for the new pilot program grant. After being selected as a finalist out of 25 initial entries, the city had a site visit with OCRA grant selects and other state partners on Aug. 11 to make its pitch.

The grant can be used to make historically appropriate renovations to building facades and the winner will also be partnered with organizations including Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Humanities to work on historic preservation guidelines and management, as well as cultural and humanities projects in the community.

Kendallville is in the running for the grant along with Jasper, a southern Indiana city a little bigger than Kendallville, and three other smaller communities including Attica, Brookville and Cambridge City.

If selected, Kendallville plans to use the $2 million to work toward goals including renovating one or more “demonstration blocks” of buildings in downtown as statement pieces for historic preservation renovations, spurring second-floor development of downtown buildings, establishing a cultural/historical trail highlighting famous Kendallville figures and city history, and running programming to help building owners carry on historic preservation and building upgrades long-term.

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