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February Stellar Advisory Committee Update


CITY OF CRAWFORDSVILLE
MAYOR’S STELLAR ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Feb. 20, 2018

On Feb. 20, members of the Mayor’s Stellar Advisory Committee met for its monthly meeting. This month’s meeting took place at the Montgomery County Emergency Center on Elmore Street. Mayor Barton noted that the committee would continue to schedule meetings at 10 a.m. on the third Monday of each month. Next month’s meeting is scheduled for Monday March 19 at the Montgomery County Community Foundation.

UPDATES ON MAJOR PROJECTS

POCKET PARK
The bid documents for both parks were sent out on Jan. 17 and the documents were opened at the Board of Works meeting on Feb. 7.  Bids were sent to OCRA and we are awaiting their approval to award the bids.

Brandy Allen stated the bids did come in a little over budget so there is work to try to trim some cost. It is hoped that construction could begin as early as March, weather permitting and if there are no issues with the bids on OCRA’s end.

The current design has restroom facilities located near the area where the temporary gazebo currently is found. It will consist of two unisex/family restrooms with the outside resembling a train depot style format similar to the structure behind the Public Library. The restrooms are located on the ends of the structure with a small storage and utility area in between them. 

The majority of the grounds will be green space, while a permanent stage will go along the north edge of the property. This stage are will be covered and will be able to be used as a place to gather and eat or just sit while no events are going on at the site.

The eastern side of the property (closest to South Washington Street) will have some trees to try to block out some of the noise from the street. Park Designer Catherine Puckett did say that has been a problem point, as they do not want to completely shut off the view of the park from the street area so some street noise will be heard.

Posts will be placed along the south side (near Pike Street) which will double as electrical outlets for the Farmers’ Market. The design also calls for swinging gates at both ends of Pike St, which will be used to close off the area when events are scheduled. The overall design was created so that the area can be used for as many different types and sizes of events as possible.


FUSION 54
Dale Petrie, Director of Operations, announced the demolition on the building had been completed. Some of the walls have already been framed on the third and fourth floors. The demo work was done by Hard Hats and Hammers.

The bids for remodeling were received on Jan. 10 and have been awarded. The project will be using three different contractors. Those contractors are:

  • Gibson Commercial (General Contractor)
  • Payne/Vaught Electric (Electrical Contractor)
  • Patterson Horth (MEP Contractor)

The bids came in under estimates, but over budget. The remodeling will begin on the fourth floor and work its way down. The first floor will be the last to be renovated and all the new occupants should be in their new offices by August of 2018.

The Visitors Bureau will occupy the set of offices on the first floor, while the second floor will be the space set aside for the co-working space. Wabash’s CIBE, WDPD, and Collaborative Performance Theater will occupy the third floor.  The Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, Main Street, and Leadership Academy will all be on the fourth floor along with meeting, training, and display space.

 

TRAILHEAD PARK
Like Pike Place the work at the Trailhead Park is expected to begin in the spring of 2018 and be completed by the end of 2018.

Bid invitations went out on Jan. 17 and were opened on Feb. 7 at the Board of Works meetings. The bid has been sent to OCRA for their approval and once it is approved work will begin. Like Pike Place, work is expected to begin on this project in March weather permitting.

The front part of the property (which is currently a parking lot) will continue to be a parking space for approximately 45 cars. The initial plan is for the property to either be milled and then resurfaced.

The back half of the property will be turned into a green space. A shelter type building will be placed in the middle of the property separating the parking lot and the green space.


DOWNTOWN TRAIL
Several meetings have taken place with INDOT regarding the Downtown Trail and those discussions have gone well. This will likely be the last project completed because of its complexity and scope.

The project is ready to proceed and the City has asked for funding to be moved up to 2018 by INDOT. That request was denied so the project is scheduled to begin in the summer 2019.

The Downtown Trail has been separated into in two phases. Phase I will be beginning at the railroad tracks on South Grant and head north to Wabash, then east to Walnut Street then north to Main Street

The Phase I part of the project is moving forward and the designs are complete. The Mayor also said that they have met with all the property owners along the way and they all seem to be on board.

The trail will be 10 feet wide and will be on the east side of Grant and Walnut streets and will end at Main Street for this phase. This project is actually running a little ahead of schedule as INDOT funding will not be available until July of 2019.

This project is being developed carefully as it is critical to the health and future of downtown commerce.  If done correctly, this will further enhance the Wabash and downtown Crawfordsville connection. The goal is to allow for recreation while having a positive impact on the businesses in the area.

BIG 4 TRAIL
Mayor Barton said talks between the City of Crawfordsville, CSX and LSC Communications (formerly RR Donnelly) are still lagging a bit.  He stated that this was one of his top priorities for 2018 and he needs to figure out a way to get it done.

Mayor Barton said an off-load site for LSC Communications has been found. Should this site be accepted by all the parties involved, action could be moved forward.

A local firm, B & L Engineering has been brought in to help with this project. Once this plans are agreed upon CSX appears to be ready to eliminate the line as soon as possible.

The shift to try to fund this trail using private funding sources is still on-going. A non-profit group will be created to help with funding this project as well as several other Park and Recreation related projects such as a possible Dog Park. They would be used to help secure grants for the Big 4 Trail and other park/recreational projects in the future. The objective of this project is to tie the existing Sugar Creek Trail and Downtown trails to the site of the Fusion 54 building and to Crawfordsville Middle School. 


BEN HUR BUILDING
On the day of the meeting, Mayor Barton had received a call that the original developers have agreed to back out since they were not meeting specific deadlines. The City is currently working with the County Commissioners to take the necessary action to find a new developer. The basic concept of the building will remain the same, just under a new developer. The developer could be named as soon as the next meeting.

CRAWFORDSVILLE OWNER OCCUPIED REHAB PROJECT
This project hit a bit of a snag as the person in charge of doing the lead inspection had let their license expire. That meant the houses had to be re-inspected. The re-inspections have taken place and things are now back on schedule.

A total of 15 houses have been inspected and those have been submitted to the state for approval. The contracts are expected to be signed at the March 7 Board of Works after which time work may begin on the houses.

These contracts are between the homeowners, the City of Crawfordsville and contractors. Once the contracts have been signed, the work must be completed within 12 months. Each house can have up to $20,000 in repairs and upgrades at no cost to the homeowner.

The project is also looking to secure three to five more homes to move into the inspection phase of the process.

OTHER PROJECTS
The Concord Road construction project should begin in either April or May according to Scott Hesler. In addition, the Sugar Creek Trail project will be bid in the second week of March and construction should take place this summer.

KEEPING THE PUBLIC INFORMED
The Mayor announced that everyone can keep up-to-date on the Stellar projects in a couple of ways.

The first is on the City’s website (www.crawfordsville.net) where a button has been placed on the left side of the home page. It has the overall Stellar proposal and will be where residents can go for updated information as the City moves though the Stellar process. Recently added is a quarterly report that the City does when it meets with all the state agencies involved. This includes a timetable and some updated plans on some of the projects.

In addition, there will be an update in the local newspapers every quarter. The Mayor said he would be supplying an update to the local media soon as he feels it is important to keep the public up-to-date. He said the response to his newspaper columns has been very positive.

Also, the city will begin producing a series of videos in late November that will update everyone on the different projects.  The committee viewed the first video which features the Mayor explaining the purpose and design of Fusion 54.  That video is now available on the city’s web page and on social media.  A second video covering the downtown parks is being edited.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Stellar Advisory Committee will take place at 10 a.m. March 19, 2017 at the Montgomery County Community Foundation.