Town seeking paving grant

CROTHERSVILLE

To continue making improvements to town streets, Crothersville officials are applying for funding from the state.

The Community Crossings matching grant program, which started in 2016, provides funding to Hoosier cities, towns and counties to make improvements to local roads and bridges. It’s a partnership between the Indiana Department of Transportation and urban and rural Indiana communities.

This year, there is a 75 percent state match for communities with less than 10,000 residents. Each local government unit is eligible for up to $1 million. The program has been expanded to also include curbing, sidewalks and storm drainage along the streets that will be paved.

Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. said it’s up to the town council to determine how much money the town wants to put into the program. He said the money can be transferred from one of the town accounts if desired.

The past couple of years, Crothersville has spent around $60,000 on paving.

The grant application is due July 14, and the recipients will be notified by the end of August.

“I think your odds are good. Everybody that applied last year got money,” Bender told the council. “They really want to see the small communities from the 25-75 program get a big impact. It’s a competitive program statewide, and they are really pushing hard at small communities like Crothersville to participate and go for as much as they can. That’s why they did the 25-75.”

If small communities don’t take advantage of the opportunity, Bender said the state legislature may decide to give the money to larger cities.

“This is your chance to do all you can,” he said.

Bender said if the town receives grant funding, the work has to be under contract by April 2018.

If the town decides it needs to pave this summer, it could turn that cost in as a reimbursement, but there’s no guarantee it will be reimbursed, Bender said.

Council President Lenvel “Butch” Robinson said there are a few streets that are in “pitiful” shape, and the town may consult with a paving company to determine the cost to pave them.

Bender said he recommends not doing any work this year and banking money for next year.

FPBH also recently wrapped up its work on a five-year plan, which included working with Street Superintendent Chris Mains to determine the streets to pave in the coming years. That had to be completed to apply for the Community Crossings grant.

The council unanimously adopted the five-year plan.

At its next meeting, set for 6 p.m. July 11 at Crothersville Town Hall, the council will finalize its Community Crossings application.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.