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April Stellar Advisory Committee Update


CITY OF CRAWFORDSVILLE
MAYOR’S STELLAR ADVISORY COMMITTEE
April 16, 2018

On April 16, members of the Mayor’s Stellar Advisory Committee met for its monthly meeting. This month’s meeting took place at the Montgomery County Community Foundation. 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 May 21 at the Montgomery County Community Foundation.

 

UPDATES ON MAJOR PROJECTS
POCKET PARK
Ground was broken for Pike Place on April 5. More work will be seen at the site as soon as the weather begins to cooperate.

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 this project continues to be on schedule.

Originally, the plans called for the building to be done floor-by-floor, but now it has been decided that similar kind of work will be on each floor at the same time. Painting on all the floors should be done next week.

There was a meeting with the interior design in early March to work through some questions and coordinate work. It was decided at that meeting that the ceiling on the second floor would continue as planned with an open ceiling concept, however the exposed ceiling would not be painted black as the decorator team really liked the raw industrial look of the bare ceilings .  The only painting will be the air handling ducts will be painted to make them a uniform color.

 

The old roof has now been removed as well as one of the roof top heating and cooling units and the roof structurally changed to accept the new unit. The new roof will begin being put on in about two weeks. Once the new roof has been put on the new heating and cooling system will be put into place on the roof.

Work on the ductwork is being done on the second floor. The drywall and some electrical work is being done on the third floor and painting is taking place on the fourth floor. In addition, the restrooms on the third floor are being completed.

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 this month and the ground-breaking ceremony took place on April 5.

It was also announced that the new park will carry Phil Michael’s name in some fashion. The exact name has not been worked out but the family will be at the ground-breaking and then when it is completed an official dedication in the former’s mayor’s name will take place.

 

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.  American Legion Post 72 has donated a flag pole to be erected in the park.


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 nothing had really changed on this front in the past month but he is confident that things will get 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. Mayor Barton said a couple of potential donors have been found and talk with them are 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
Mayor Barton announced that the past owner of the property has given up its rights and gave the property back to the County Commissioners. He said this is a good thing as it could have taken months to get the property back under the original contract.  Now the county will go through the needed steps to give that property to a new developer who will continue down the path of the original intent for the building.

The plans still call for a restaurant on the ground level and hotel space on the upper floors.

CRAWFORDSVILLE OWNER OCCUPIED REHAB PROJECT
Work has begun on the first house at 1009 S. Washington Street. This house is now under construction and will be a showcase of what can be done. Once the siding was taken off this house some electrical issues were discovered and those issues are being taken care of before the siding will be put back on.

A total of 15 houses have been inspected and those have been submitted to the state for approval. The contracts have been signed and work is expected to begin as early as next month. The contractors will have 12 months to complete the work on the houses. 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.

 

PLANNING NEWS
City Planning Director Brandy Allen talked about a new Bike/Pedestrian Planning Advisory Group has been formed. This group came out of an action plan. The group is made up of those dealing with biking and walking as recreation as well as those who see it as a needed way of transportation to and from work.

The next meeting of the group will take place at noon at Bonzel Hall – Franciscan St. Elizabeth Hospital in the Crawfordsville Library on May 22. A group from Lafayette will talk about the steps needed to actually create this committee. It will eventually be taken to the City Council for approval.

Mayor Barton said three areas will be the main focus of this group to start with. Those areas are:

  • On State Road 47 by the high school
  • The area around State Roads 32E and 47N
  • On the east side of town from the area of the new fire station out to the all the apartment complexes

 

OTHER PROJECTS
The Concord Road construction project should begin in either late April or May according to Scott Hesler. In addition, the Sugar Creek Trail project construction should take place this summer.

 

There were also a number of Arbor Day activities discussed as Main Street and the City will collaborate in at least six tree plantings during the week. One of these activities calls for the kindergarten class to plant a tree at the high school. This is hopefully going to be an annual event with each kindergarten class planting a tree and watching it grow as they progress through their 12 years of schooling.

 

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 has begun producing a series of videos update everyone on the different projects.  The first video featured 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 and should be released very soon.

 

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Stellar Advisory Committee will take place at 10 a.m. May 21, 2018 at the Montgomery County Community Foundation.