Another Tri-State town trying for a Stellar Award - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Another Tri-State town trying for a Stellar Award

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Princeton won the Stellar Award last year, and now another Tri-State town in trying for the grant.

In Warrick County, Chandler's completed the first step in the Stellar Award application. 

14 News had a chance to look through the town's extensive plan on Monday, a plan that's very different than Princeton's.

Chandler's focus is improving the quality of life for all residents, but mostly those on low or   fixed incomes.

Chandler officials are hopeful the Stellar Award could transform the town. A large percentage of people who live in Chandler are either low income or on a fixed income.  

The Stellar Award would primarily be used on home improvements for people who can't afford them.

"You know the little fix up things, roofing and siding and things like that would really improve their chance of staying in their home, their life, and improve their well being," said Brian Lucas, Chandler Town Board President.

Once awarded, communities have to find matching donations. Princeton had Toyota. The good news for Chandler is they could find "in kind" donations, something like hours worked or good deeds.

"In today's economy, not everybody has the dollars to put into their homes. I know they would like to. This is a way to do it. Where you don't necessarily have to have the money per say, but can do work for it," Chandler Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lemmons said.

With a growing aging population, the town would use the much needed grant money to build their first 55 and older housing complex. There is also a large parks plan and a new emergency center.

"We are turning our community center into an emergency management center, a 100 bed facility for emergencies for the county," Lucas told 14 News.

The plan also includes walking trails that would connect the new housing, parks and the rest of the town, which is now divided by State Road 62.

"There is a lot of communities vying for this. It's just a first step in a very, very long journey, but we are very proud that we are in fact having the opportunity to do this for our people," Lucas said.

Chandler will find out on March 15 if they've made it to the next round. There are 400 communities in the running, only two will be awarded the grant.

But Chandler officials say applying for the Stellar, whether they win it or not, opens the door to grant money and future improvements.

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