2016-12-06 / Front Page

How Cloverdale is using their assets to spur local economy

While most economic development strategies involve some recruitment activities, many successful small towns and cities compliment recruitment by emphasizing their existing assets and distinctive resources. (This is a quote from how small towns and cities can use local assets to rebuild their economies)

Assets might include natural beauty and outdoor recreation, historic downtowns along with businesses that offer a unique business such as C-Bar-C Expo (A 5 acre enclosed arena that hosts horse enthusiasts and other events that attract visitors from across the country), Poet Bio-refining and Putnam Plastics.

Exit 41 has two state parks with an easy travel time within 30 minutes of each other, and 30 minutes from other major cities like Bloomington, Indianapolis, Crawfordsville and Terre Haute.

Lieber State Recreation Hosts activities like boating, boat rentals, and fuel. People can enjoy water skiing, canoeing, fishing, swimming in the lake or the Aquatic center. If you are more of a land person they host camping with or without electricity. Bike trails and mountain bikes are welcome. Hiking and sightseeing of abundant wildlife like deer, wild turkey, eagles and bird watching as they migrate in and out of our community. Do you love history? Then go no further than the Interpretive Center where you will learn about Native American History like the Miami, Shawnee and the Potawatomi tribes whom all call Putnam and Owen County home. A stone’s throw from the lake is Cataract Falls (the largest water falls in Indiana). Here you will experience a visual overload from the changing colors of the leaves in the fall, to the ice covered waterfalls in the winter, to the spring thaw and the roar of high volume of water falling freely into the mist that surrounds the basin. Our favorite is the summer tranquility of hearing and seeing the gentle sounds of the water and the visitors having a picnic, playing, hiking and fishing along the river. The red covered bridge that stands as a reminder of days gone by is a perfect back drop for a photogenic opportunity for weddings, reunions, and family photos.

McCormick’s Creek State Park just southeast of Cloverdale will entertain the family with 10 plus miles of hiking trails that feature Wolf Cave, Twin Bridges and the falls on McCormick Creek. For equine enthusiasts, guided trails that wander under a canopy of mature trees and babbling brooks make their way throughout the park. For the younger visitors pony rides in the saddle barn will surely entertain the cowboys and cowgirls at heart. Picnic areas and shelter houses with and without fireplaces will shelter your family and friends no matter what the weather to ensure memories and future gatherings for generations to follow. All the campgrounds are open year round to the more modern Class A (electric) to the Class C (primitive) and let’s not forget about the youth area and group camps. If you are looking for a more comfortable stay, try the family housekeeping cabins or the best of the best by staying at the Canyon Inn that also has public dining and meeting rooms.

Cloverdale also hosts many smaller and community minded campgrounds for weekend retreats with others that share the love of a slower pace, campfires and sleeping under the stars. In no specific order they include Millgrove campground, Dogwood spring, Misty Morning, and Cloverdale RV Park. If a retreat is what you’re looking for check out Wasatch Lake! I am sure I have missed a special get-away but this will get you started in your exploration of Exit 41.

Cloverdale’s historic downtown has certainly seen better economic times, but amid new interest in historic office buildings, along with the convenient location of less than one mile from I -70, and an IOCRA (Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs) revitalization planning grant the Town was awarded this year (2016) and the town’s interest to apply for the façade grant in 2017 many of the empty buildings are being bought up. Cloverdale, along with Putnam County’s future, looks bright.

Cloverdale also has local heroes that this town honors and have included as assets to our community. Chad Collins, an American professional golfer, begin his career at Clover Meadows 18-hole golf course. Also, Pat Rady, the second highest winning high school coach in the State of Indiana. A documentary was made on Pats life called “Pat Rady- A Basketball life”. This is a short list of the Cloverdale heroes. Our School is rated A+ and is responsible for turning out students that are bright and contribute their skills throughout the country. We are a Town that is proud of our Veterans and the sacrifice they made to protect our way of life in this rural town. We are proud of our churches and the many different denominations that make Cloverdale home. Cloverdale Christian Church was established in 1936 and remains a strong foundation in the Town. Soul Harvest Church is the newest addition to our community of faith and the new addition to the building will serve many families for years to come.

Cloverdale was also awarded $948,160.00 from the INDOT community crossing grant to widen and install storm drains and sidewalks down Stardust road. The Town has been approached by businesses that have shown some interest in building in this area and the main concern was the issue of the road. The property around this area will be targeted with jobs in mind and scheduled to be completed in 2017.

A developer has also looked at property within the Town limits and is interested in developing 5 new homes in the price range of $150,000.00 to $200.000.00 and will begin construction as soon as their current projects are completed.

The Town Leaders have reached out to engaging residents, business owners and other visionaries to generate momentum for implementing change and at the same time keep the Cloverdale Hometown Charm of a small community. Cloverdale has also taken advantage of applying for any outside funding that is available to the town to spur private investment like the Putnam County Commissioners and the Putnam County Visitors Bureau. Cooperation to achieve jointly established priorities helps leverage the assets that each can bring to the table to make the most of our regions resources.

We would like to thank R & B Architects and Nancy Mark along with everyone’s participation in the community Planning Session. IOCRA, INDOT and all of our connection in Greencastle that share their knowledge with us in moving the town forward to a prosperous community.

Cheryl Galloway, Town of Cloverdale Clerk Treasurer

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