Chelsea Schneider, Municipal Innovations Specialist
Ferdinand residents are enjoying a safer walk to the community’s amenities thanks to a state infrastructure grant, which provided key support in boosting the connectivity of the town’s sidewalks.
The funding through the state’s Community Crossings Grant Program allowed Ferdinand to add new sidewalks and repair existing walkways throughout town. The project means a person can safely walk between the town’s two parks and the greater Ferdinand community campus where the Tri-County YMCA and Ferdinand Branch Library is located.
The improved sidewalks come as the town is seeing growth, Town Manager Chris James said. A new apartment complex is being constructed, and the town partnered with the developer to extend sewer and water lines out to the site.
“We are trying to encourage development in Ferdinand,” James said. “We will think outside of the box. It’s not ‘OK, you want to develop, do ABC and you are on your own to do it.’ We are willing to work with the developer to help them come in, and if it means we put in part of the infrastructure as kind of our buy-in, we will do that if that helps seal the deal…We are very open to exploring all options and not just the ones that are always in the book of how to do things. We are looking to find new chapters in that book.”
The town is focusing on its quality of life – with improved walkability and diverse selection of festivals – as Dubois County’s strong business environment draws in residents, James said.
“We are fortunate with the economy of the county as it is there are opportunities here for the young people to come back to,” he said. “They can go to Purdue or IU and get an engineering degree and apply that degree at one of our factories around here and put that to good use. It’s a win-win situation for us.”