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January 4, 2013

City preps for $600k in grants

Council to vote on creating funds.

LOGANSPORT — Logansport will soon be poised to accept a more than $246,000 grant from the state to build sidewalks and crosswalks around Fairview Elementary, and City Council members Thursday vowed to stay within the budget of the award.

The city’s finance committee met Thursday to talk about creating a fund for the Safe Routes to School grant it received to build sidewalks, reconstruct crumbled ones, and install crosswalks, curb ramps and a speed trailer near Fairview.

The $246,158 grant was part of 26 handed out late last year by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The program promotes walking and biking among children in grades K through 8 by investing federal transportation funds in approved construction, planning, training and encouragement activities, according to the department’s website.

The region, including schools in Galveston and Winamac, have received Safe Routes to School grants and some have had to seek additional funding to finish the project.

Councilman Jeremy Ashcraft said he doesn’t want to see the city get in that predicament.

“If the bids come in high, we do what we can with what we got,” he said.

Logansport has also received the grant before for Franklin and Columbia schools.

Ashcraft said it will be just a matter of time for this grant to turn from a nice amenity to an area of town that needs it to some residents questioning liability and maintenance of the sidewalks.

“I guarantee you somebody will be calling to see who is going to be taking care of these sidewalks,” Ashcraft said.

The committee also discussed creating a fund to accept about $330,000 the city received as its portion of a grant to study Brownfield properties, or abandoned, underused properties where redevelopment or expansion is hindered by possible contamination.

A coalition made up of Logansport, Rochester and Fulton County were selected to receive a $686,500 federal grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to pay for a study to investigate the cleanup of these properties.

The inventory lists 40 Logansport properties, including the former Exide battery plant on Water Street, Modine Manufacturing Company on Water Street and the former Trelleborg plant on General Street in Logansport.

The full City Council will consider creating the funds at its meeting Monday.

Jason M. Rodriguez is associate editor for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at jason.rodriguez@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117.

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