PORTLAND — Potential funding for various projects in Jay County will have to wait at least another year.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs announced that the Stellar Communities program has been suspended for 2020 to allow more state funds to be directed to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Earning the Stellar designation opens the door for a community receive grants and other incentives from state agencies, including millions in federal Community Development Block Grants through OCRA. The Jay! region — Jay County and its municipalities — was one of four finalists for Stellar’s 2019 designation. The region was planning to apply again this year.

Though he’s disappointed but understanding of its cancellation, Jay County Commissioner Chuck Huffman said he expects the region to apply again next year.

Jay County Community Development’s Ami Huffman, who was on the call with OCRA when the news broke, said the county has to focus on what is in its control.

“(The cancellation) means that we continue to do the things we can do,” she said.

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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