Zinc Mill Road improvement project the next step for city
With the long-awaited South Street project under way to create a new east-west corridor between Zinc Mill Road and Bloomington Street, Greencastle city officials are focused on what's next.
And with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) issuing a call-out for project proposals carrying a construction timetable of 2021-22, city officials offered an easy answer to that question.
Upgrading Zinc Mill Road itself.
Or more specifically, the section of it that runs south of State Road 240 (Veterans Memorial Highway) and intersects with South Street, which is in the midst of another INDOT improvement project that was delayed several times by state funding priorities.
Acting on the recommendation of Mayor Bill Dory at its May meeting, the City Council approved submission of a letter to INDOT requesting $2,716,800 in federal funds for the Zinc Mill Road improvement project.
That would include $1,712,000 in federal funds for the construction phase, along with federal funds for preliminary engineering ($342,400), right-of-way acquisition ($325,600) and utility relocations ($80,000).
Local match for the entire 80/20 federal-local split project is estimated at $679,200, Mayor Dory said.
"With our successful completion of project development, and now on-going construction on the South Street project, we feel it is the opportune time to continue improvements with the next phase," the mayor's letter states.
The city would utilize its TIF revenues and EDIT revenues as the funding source for the local match portion, Dory said.
Reminding the Council that securing the grant money will be a competitive process with other communities, Dory said, the Zinc Mill Road project nonetheless falls in line with the projected INDOT construction timetable.
Dory said if grant funding is successful, construction could start in late 2021 but is more likely to occur in spring 2022.
Councilman David Murray made the motion to approve submission of the INDOT-ticketed letter, which was met with unanimous approval from the other six City Council members, Adam Cohen, Stacie Langdon, Steve Fields, Tyler Wade, Mark Hammer and Gary Lemon.
Meanwhile, in another grant-funding matter, Mayor Dory reported that the city will return more than $110,000 in Stellar Grant funds to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).
Those grant funds were targeted for the proposed loft housing project around the square. However, those lofts ultimately became a virtual impossibility to accomplish due to major monetary contribution needs from property owners and a requirement for elevators as part of the second-floor developments.
Both Dory and former Mayor Sue Murray have tried to get IHCDA officials to redistribute those grant funds for use elsewhere in the city but that request has been denied.