French Lick – Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim) announced Evansville has earned an Aim Community Placemaking Award for Sunrise Pump Station and Cascade. The city was honored with this award on Wednesday, August 23rd during the Annual Awards Luncheon – presented by Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC during the 2023 Aim Ideas Summit in French Lick. Evansville won in the greater than 75,000 population category.

Faced with a federal mandate to comply with the Clean Drinking Water Act and nearly eliminate combined sewer overflows, Evansville engaged the community as it looked for creative solutions to solve the problem and enhance the Downtown riverfront. At the most basic level, Sunrise Pump Station is designed to move up to 40 million gallons a day of treated effluent from the East Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Ohio River through a series of small waterfalls. The top of the cascade features amenities such as swings, benches, and an overlook. In addition, a popular playground had to be moved for the Station. The new playground, Mickey’s Kingdom, was community funded and is one of the largest all-abilities playgrounds in the Midwest.

The pump station itself has approximately 45,000 square feet, part of which goes 40 feet into the ground. The building includes a laboratory with a wall of windows so visitors can see lab techs at work, and public space with year-round restrooms inside and outside, and an observation deck on the second floor. In addition, the site houses an Evansville Police Department substation.

Aim CEO Matt Greller said, “Regulatory requirements can easily be seen as burdensome, and sometimes they are. More and more, however, communities are leaning into these requirements and finding creative ways to both solve problems and create multifaceted assets for their residents. The Sunrise Pump Station and Cascade in Evansville is a great example of the basic requirements of government intersecting with innovative thinking and placemaking. I’m thrilled to see this project held out as an example for all Hoosier cities and towns.”

The Placemaking Award highlights programs or projects that have been implemented and demonstrate new approaches for solving municipal challenges. Placemaking projects also exemplify the positive impact of planning, regeneration, or economic development work on the physical quality of a place, as well as the economic and social well-being of a community. Nominations must have a physical aspect. Awards are presented in multiple population categories based on nominations received.

In its 47th year, the Aim Annual Awards program, presented by Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors LLC, recognizes communities and individuals in municipal government for excellence and outstanding achievement. A seven-member panel of qualified judges selected this year’s winners from a competitive field of nominees from around the state.

Conference Facts:
2023 Aim Ideas Summit
August 22-24, 2023
French Lick Resort
Attendance: 1,000 (pending final registration count)

The Terminal