WARSAW — Scanning the website for Patronicity’s projects across Indiana, one can find dozens of projects that communities have opted into in a trendy way to finance small projects that bring people together.
Among the proposals funded through Patronicity in Indiana and other states are splash pads, murals, gardens, dog parks, plazas and artwork.
The latest Patronicity project was celebrated in Warsaw Monday, June 10, where private donations combined with a state grant set the stage for construction of a public plaza on the southeast corner of the Kosciusko County Courthouse lawn.
Last year, the county and Warsaw Community Development Corp., succeeded in generating $30,000 in donations from 51 people and used that to obtain a matching grant from Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to fund the project.
Grass near the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn near Buffalo and Center streets that surrounded a replica cannon from World War II was replaced with decorative brick and a small wall designed for seating was constructed along the arching perimeter of the plaza. A flower garden has been added, and picnic tables normally placed on the lawn will soon be moved to the plaza.
“This represents the best in class partnerships in our community. When we come together, we can get really cool things done,” said Rob Parker, executive director, who noted that it does not rely on local tax dollars.
County Commissioner Cary Groninger welcomed the improvements.
“It’s gonna be good for the whole community, not just the county, not just the city,” Groninger said.
He said the county has been working to stress its wellness program for employees and that the chance to get outside and enjoy lunch fits well with that goal.
Heavy spring rains delayed construction of the project by several weeks, Crews for Anderson Lawn Care and Landscaping, Warsaw, were fitting in the final specially cut bricks shortly before the ribbon cutting. The final few bricks were fitted into place after the celebration.
“It looks great. Anderson’s done a great job and we can’t think the sponsors and donors enough,” Parker said.
The plaza marks the second time local officials used the Patronicity program. The first involved the spruced up alley south of city hall that was completed more than a year ago.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said he’s glad to see the county build on what has become a trend across the state.
“It kind of expands that downtown intersection where we all kind of congregate the most when it comes to First Friday and the Farmer’s Market,” Thallemer said. “I’m certainly appreciative the county was willing to look into Patrtonicity and the ICDA match grant … now we’ve got two neat spaces in the downtown.”
Officials said they hope to use the program again, but have not identified another specific project.