News Releases

RAATZ ROUNDUP: Improving the wellness of our communities

Submitted for use on Dec. 5, 2022
Word Count: 297

Improving the wellness of our communities
By State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)

Maintaining the health of our communities is important in ensuring prosperous, long-lasting homes that can support current residents and the generations that follow.

This is why I was pleased to see Wayne County and Franklin County recognized for their membership in the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs' (OCRA) Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP) by OCRA, their community partners and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch on Dec. 1 at the Statehouse.

The counties join the City of Connersville in the third cohort of the program, which will begin operations at the start of 2023.

The HELP is a 52-week initiative that creates a strategic investment plan focused on advancing e-connectivity, promoting community wellness and strengthening local economies.

The program supports communities by directly building leadership capacity, creating a peer network system between participating municipalities, developing a strategic investment plan and providing access to reserve funding.

Match funding from the HELP can be used for initiatives including responding to the public health emergency as a result of COVID-19, providing premium pay to essential workers and making necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.

In addition to this project, I was happy to join Franklin County Community Foundation Executive Director Shelly Lunsford, State Rep. Randy Lyness (R-West Harrison), representatives of Charter Communications, and several Franklin County commissioners in November to cut the ribbon on Charter Communications' (Spectrum Internet) project to expand broadband access in Franklin County.

As more local leaders take advantage of opportunities to improve the wellness of our communities, Hoosiers can continue to appreciate a greater quality of life and neighborhoods they feel confident raising families in. I am looking forward to seeing the impact these projects have on the recovery and advancement of our local communities.

For more information about the HELP, visit

State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond, third left from center) joins Franklin County commissioners, Franklin County Community Foundation Executive Director Shelly Lunsford, State Rep. Randy Lyness (R-West Harrison, third right from center) and representatives of Charter Communications to cut the ribbon on Franklin County's broadband expansion project.


State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) represents Senate District 27, which includes
Henry, Union and Wayne counties, and portions of Franklin County.
Click here for a high-resolution photo of Sen. Raatz.