Dale Petrie, who was appointed by Mayor Todd Barton to oversee the projects, reports that all the projects are moving forward.
“We believe the projects are moving along as we suspected they would,” Petrie said. “We see activity with each project and continue to be excited about the changes that are coming to our city. The best thing about the projects continues to be they are all ‘pay-as-you-go’ and there is no need for bonding.”
The newspaper outlined the status and progress on each of the relevant projects:
Design for the the 20,000 sq. ft. building in the 500 block of South Washington St. has been completed. It will house “several entities working toward economic development to accommodating visitors.”
The city knows the budget will be slightly higher than the original $4 million estimate, and officials are working to secure a $2 million grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. “The remainder of the funds needed for the project will come from those already in the hands of the city’s Tax Increment Financing Fund. Petrie said residents could see construction begin in 2017.”
Construction will begin this spring after the project is let for bid in February. The newspaper reports that the city has recently secured $20,000 to help fund the project — a $10,000 gift from the Indiana Water Company and a $10,000 grant from Tipmont. The rest of the funds needed to complete the project will come from the Montgomery County Community Foundation, Wabash College and the city.
Big Four Trail
This initiative, which will connect the existing Sugar Creek Trail, is making progress as the city negotiates with CSX about the South Washington St. railroad crossing. Petrie says construction is possible within one year, with support from a non-profit organization that would seek funding for the work.
Historic Whitlock Area Rehabilitation
The city has partnered with Administration Resource Association, a development company that primarily has completed successful projects in southern Indiana, to made significant strides with the owner-occupied home rehabilitation project.
City officials have expanded the program to include properties near any of the other Stellar projects. Originally the project was just for owner occupied houses near the newly opened Historic Whitlock Place. However, a majority of the properties in the area are rental homes and not owner occupied residences. Petrie said the project is “picking up steam once again.”
Downtown Loop Trail
The second Stellar trail project is presently being designed, and preliminary work has been completed. Construction should start in 2018 for the trail, travelling along the east side of Grant Ave. to Water St., then along the north side of Wabash Ave. to the east side of Walnut St, and end at East Main and Walnut streets.
Ben Hur Life Building Rehabilitation
John Anderson Consulting is developing and financing of the project to turn the building will become a quality downtown hotel. Petrie expects inside rehabilitation to commence sometime this spring.