The City of Crawfordsville, Indiana

Small City... Big Possibilities

December Stellar Update

MAYOR’S STELLAR ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Dec. 18, 2017
On Dec. 18, 2017,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 Tuesday Jan. 16 because of a City holiday on Jan. 15.

UPDATES ON MAJOR PROJECTS

POCKET PARK
At the November meeting, Catherine Puckett gave an update on Pike Place. The 90 percent design work is done by December. That would mean the project could be bid in late January. According to the information discussed at the December meeting that is still on schedule and the bid is expected to go out in January with work beginning in the Spring of 2018. It is projected that this project should be completed by the end of 2018.

The current design has restroom facilities located on the southwest corner of the park. It will consist of two unisex/family restroom facilities with the outside resembling a train depot design similar to the structure built behind the Public Library. The restroom 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 performance stage or as a place to gather and eat when no events are scheduled.

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

Decorative posts will be places along the south side (or Pike Street) which will contain electrical outlets for the Farmers’ Market to allow more booths to have electrical access. The design also calls for swing gates which will be used to close off both ends of Pike Street when events are going on. The overall design is being developed so the area can be flexible enough to be used for as many different types of events as possible.


FUSION 54
All of the tenants except for PNC are out of the building. PNC will continue to occupy the first floor.

The bid for the new roof has been accepted. However, the new roof will not be put on until the new HVAC system is in place which will likely be this spring. That project is expected to be bid in January with the delivery of the new unit in mid-March.

The bid for the top three floors was awarded to Hard Hats and Hammers. Demo work is expected to begin in January and should be completed by the end of that month. Work to build out the floors will begin on the fourth floor and will work its way down to the second floor. The first floor will be the last to be renovated and all the new occupants should be in their new offices by July or August of 2018.

 

The Visitors Bureau will occupy the set of offices on the east side of 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, Leadership Academy will all be on the fourth floor.

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.

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 parking lot to either be 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.

The OCRA for funding for this project has been secured. With bids being received in February and the scope of work minimal, the turnaround is expected to be pretty quick.


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 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 pretty much completed. 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

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.  The 90 percent design submittal plan is expected to be turned in in February of 2018.

The first phases of the trail is scheduled to receive INDOT funding in 2019, but it will be asked to be moved to 2018 if any funding is available as it is ready to go. If there is no additional funding available it will be funded in 2019.

BIG 4 TRAIL
Mayor Barton said there continues to be very positive meetings between the City of Crawfordsville, CSX and LSC Communications (formerly RR Donnelly).

Mayor Barton said a 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 that 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. 

This will be a top priority in 2018 according to the Mayor.


BEN HUR BUILDING
There is a significant deadline looming in December and January with the current developers. Should they miss that deadline the City is working another plan. If things do not move in a more timely manner the City and County may begin to apply pressure to force some action.

Mayor Todd Barton said it is unlikely the current developers will meet the upcoming deadlines.  At that point, the City and the County Commissioners (who released the property to the developer at a certificate sale) will re-evaluate next steps.

More movement on this project should done in early 2018 after the deadlines have pasted.

CRAWFORDSVILLE OWNER OCCUPIED REHAB PROJECT
The city is now collaborating with a new group on this project. That group is Administrative Resource associates who have been doing this type of work for nearly 30 years. They have also worked with other Stellar Committees with a great deal of success. This group will take a completely different approach and that has helped to regain some of the excitement about this piece of the project.

A total of 17 houses have been inspected. Bid for that work have gone out and came back. In fact, in an attempt to get local contractors on board with this project the bids went out numerous times. The local bids did not come back so ARa was asked to contact contractors it had used in other cities. Those have been secured and work could begin in the winter months and will be completed within 12 month. Each house can have up to $20,000 in repairs and upgrades at no cost to the homeowner.

Once these 17 houses have been completed another three to five will be added ass there will still be funding available.

PLENTY OF WORK TO BE GOING ON
Jim Rice informed the group that next year we will be in the building phase. As early as next spring there will be work going on at the Trailhead Park, Pike’s Place, Fusion 54, the Owner Occupied Reb House and Concord Road (a non-Stellar project).

He said the planning is done and next year the residents will see the efforts of the past couple of year’s  planning coming to fruition.

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.  These videos will available on the city’s website and social media. 

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Stellar Advisory Committee will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 16, 2017.