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5/18/2018 - Greensburg Redevelopment Commission Meeting
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The Greensburg Redevelopment Commission met Thursday evening. City Engineer Ron May provided updates on multiple projects. In his update on the Project Status for Veterans Way, Phase II, he reported that land and right-of-way acquisitions continue to be the critical steps in moving the process forward. Acquisition of seven parcels is required for the project and, as of Thursday, one parcel has been purchased, one has a verbal agreement, one is pending refinancing, and four remain in negotiations. The projected acquisition completion date has been moved to August 24th, 2018 which would allow bid letting by January 16th, 2019 and a notice to proceed around March 1st, 2019. He reported that the Stage III Design Process has reached 90% completion.
Mr. May then provided an update on the Lincoln Street Rehabilitation Project. He stated that the street was closed on Thursday. No truck signs have been placed on East and Franklin Streets. Cross streets are currently open at Washington, North, Central, and Walnut Streets. The cross streets at Walnut and Washington Streets will close by the end of May. The cross streets at North and Central Streets will remain open until at least May 24th. Under the current plan, either North Street or Central Street will be open at all times based on the section of Lincoln Street under construction at the time. In addition, the commission voted to fund replacing five sections on Lincoln Street between Walnut and 1st Streets at an estimated cost of $18,000. The five sections have not been previously replaced.
Additionally, Mr. May provided an update on the Railroad Bridge Feasibility Study. The RDC had authorized up to $100,000 for the study. Strand and Associates was selected to conduct the study at a cost of $40,000. The study will evaluate several recommended locations to determine if and where the bridge could be placed. Mr. May reported that INDOT has made $125 million available for Local TRAX projects throughout the state. The local match for the project would be 20 percent of the total project's construction and right-of-way costs. The match can be made through any local partnerships including funding from the host railroad. Mr. May stated that letters of support should be solicited from local and state representatives, government agencies, businesses, and individuals. Some of the criteria that will be used to evaluate the project include the viability, financial match, hazard index at the crossing, average daily auto traffic, freight train traffic, number of crossing closures, and community population. The application must be received by August 31st, but the goal for Greensburg is to submit the application by the end of July.
Bryan Robbins, the Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation, provided a status update. He discussed the changes to economic development, moving from solely focusing on attracting businesses to attracting and encouraging people to live here while attracting businesses. He has initiated conversations with multiple companies, including major retailers, with a focus on development along Veterans Way. He has developed new marketing materials that he will use while attending the largest retail convention in the country next week. He reported that housing permits for the first quarter of 2018 were 600 percent higher than like quarters for the previous two years and Greensburg/Decatur County is one of the only rural areas in the state projected to have population growth. He stated that 2 projects related to the business enterprise park have been submitted to the state. The county RDC is funding utility work and is focused on expansion of high-speed broadband.
The RDC will hold its next meeting on June 21st at 6:30 pm at Greensburg City Hall.
Tom Flemming-WTRE News
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