Bainbridge discusses grants and community involvement

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BAINBRIDGE -- Grant money, bike racks, splash parks and tasers were just a few of the items addressed at the monthly Bainbridge town council meeting.

North Putnam High School Principal Jason Chew and Coach Bucky Kramer were in attendance Wednesday night to assess interest in Bainbridge participating in an alternating host-town status for a homecoming parade to take place the Friday before homecoming events.

"I love this idea," Board President Bonnie Osborn said, echoing the sentiments of the board and attendees alike.

Community involvement, student participation and bringing citizens together remained the central theme around which the parade idea was being pitched.

"I would like to have our youth programs, police department, fire department and any local businesses to have a float," Kramer said. "I'd love to sit down and talk about ideas."

Following the overall enthusiasm toward a homecomeing parade, the council received an update from the park board stating that its bike rack project was nearly complete. All that remains of the custom-made bike rack is the pouring of concrete. The council approved a release of funds so that the park board may receive contracts for the final step of the project.

The park board also brought it to the council's attention that the company responsible for creating the newly completed splash park in Greencastle, had contacted the town of Bainbridge to inquire about its possible interest in a splash park as well.

All three board members were in favor of the idea and asked the park board to pursue the matter further to discuss details of where the park would go, cost of installation and cost of maintenance.

The board pointed out that the town was most likely not in a position to pay for the park on its own but with its active seeking of grants for a variety of potential projects, knowing more about the park could help facilitate possible development.

The need for new tasers and batteries for radios were the crux of the marshal's report Wednesday night. The cost of the new devices would be $395 for tazer cartridges, $1,099 for a new tazer and new batteries for the radios used by the Bainbridge Police Dept. would cost $100 each.

The cost and participation of training sessions sparked debate by Osborn of the nature of training sessions. It was explained that the police department pays for a "session" of requisite training and invites several county deputies to participate at no extra cost. The county then does the same in return, paying for a training session and inviting the Bainbridge Police to participate in those sessions at no extra cost to the county.

This absence of this explanation made it appear that Bainbridge was paying for non-Bainbridge officers' training. Osborn still requested that the Bainbridge police provide the council with the billing documentation just to make sure everybody understood the process.

The board discussed the progress of a grant that would present up to $250,000 for home remodels and repairs, provided the town pay for 10 percent of the total grant issued. If homeowners were to receive the full amount, the town would need to pay $25,000, a fact that board member Chuck McElwee initially believed that the town should pull out of the grant.

Upon further conversation of the workings of the grant, it was made clear that with only four residents of Bainbridge interested in the program, that the grant amount would undoubtedly be significantly less than $250,000, making the town responsible for a smaller sum and thereby making the grant a more feasible option.

McElwee was still in favor of the grant at the end of the conversation, but expressed concern that ultimately the town would have a limit on what a feasible 10 percent would be based upon budget considerations.

In other business:

* The town adopted an ordinance that will place a two-month time limit for surviving relatives of deceases utility customers to pay the outstanding bill or provide a security deposit for the account of the deceased.

* The council discussed pursuing various grants, including an Envision grant that would be billed specifically for "legacy projects," but as a preliminary discussion no projects other than the splash park were immediately discussed.

Town meetings are held monthly at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at 201 N. Grant Ave. in Bainbridge.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

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