City’s Stellar projects in final stretchDecember 11, 2018
By CANDY NEAL
Huntingburg will complete six of its nine Stellar Communities-designated projects by the time its Stellar funding ends next year. But the city plans to seek other state funding to help with leftover projects.
The state named Huntingburg a Stellar Community in 2014 and the designation ends in 2019. The program provides the city with state funding for various projects.
Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner updated the Dubois County Council Monday on the city’s progress on Stellar-designated projects, including the street department’s move from a flood area into the Fox Metal building on 19th Street. That building will include space that can be used by the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency for emergency situations. Contractor Lindsey Construction is working on the building now, doing demolition work and installing walls, Spinner said.
The Heritage Trail is one of the city’s Stellar projects. The goal is to eventually have a linked path that runs from the north to the south side of town that pedestrians and bicyclists can use. The $5.9 million railroad overpass, which includes a section of the Heritage Trail, opened last month. Spinner mentioned that during the Nov. 14 opening, a train happened to pass underneath, emphasizing the need for traffic to get across town without being stopped by a train.
Part of the trail will also be included in the redesign of Fourth Street between Jackson and Geiger streets. Milestone Contractors will start the improvements project in January, Spinner said. In addition, the city street department will conduct the stormwater work underneath the street.
Market Street Park, which has been called the city’s signature Stellar project, opened in October. The park has many features, including a performance pavilion that can be used as a shelter house, a market pavilion with a walkway in the middle and curbless parking on either side, a legacy court and legacy wall, a pergola, community swings, a lawn terrace, tables and seating.
Spinner said that permits have been issued for the redevelopment of the Huntingburg Wagon Works site, at the southeast corner of Fifth and North Washington streets, to become a 56-unit apartment complex. Developer Paragus is analyzing soil samples now, with plans to start working at the site this winter, Spinner said.
The former St. Joseph’s Hospital campus now has senior housing, the St. Joseph’s Lofts. Part of the site is scheduled to become a behavioral health center, with hopes of that opening in 2019, Spinner said.
Although the city won’t be able to use Stellar funding to create a senior center, it will be able to apply for funding from the Indiana Office of Rural and Community Affairs once the city’s Stellar designation time period ends in 2019. Spinner stressed that the city is committed to doing that and constructing a senior center for its residents. OCRA funding may also be sought for community gateway signs that will welcome people to Huntingburg.
After the council heard the update, it agreed to release $125,000 to the City of Huntingburg, which is part of the $500,000 the county committed to the city for Stellar projects.
The council also:
• Selected Greg Schnarr to be its attorney, to replace a retiring Art Nordhoff. Schnarr will take over the position, as well as become the Dubois County Commissioners’ attorney, on Jan. 1.
• Heard a synopsis on the hazmat exercise the Dubois County Emergency Management Agency held Oct. 6 at Farbest Foods. Tammy Humbert and Pat Todd of EMA told the council that various emergency agencies and some members of the public were involved in the exercise, and all learned from the activity.
• Learned that a meeting will be held with RQAW about the jail feasibility study on Thursday. The public meeting will start at 11 a.m. in the conference room on the first floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St., Jasper.
• Was reminded that its next meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, in the commissioners/council room, on the second floor of the courthouse annex. The council also set its January council meeting for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28.
• Appropriated $150,000 from its cumulative capital fund to cover the cost of repairing the Dubois County Security Center’s chiller, which is part of the center’s heat/air condition system.
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