Wabash receives $1 million grant

By Joseph Slacian

The City of Wabash received a $1 million Community Crossing matching grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The money will be for roadwork on North Wabash Street near the site of the new Parkview Wabash Hospital.

Mayor Scott Long told the Wabash City Council on Monday, Dec. 12, that the city expected to receive the funds on Dec. 13. Street Department Superintendent Scott Richardson wrote the grant on behalf of the city.

“The max you could get was a million dollars, and we applied for the full million to rebuild Wabash Street,” the mayor said. “It’s kind of a 50-50 match, and anything we don’t use will be returned to the state. They’ll roll that over and put it into another grant program, hopefully in the coming year.”

North Wabash Street, near the hospital site, is currently a one lane going north and one lane going south.

“We’re working with Randall Miller and Associates to do the design on Wabash Street,” he said. “The intent is to widen the street to two lanes, making a passing blister at the entrance to Parkview’s new hospital. We’re also going to try to put new curbs, gutters, storm water and a new sidewalk on the west side of the street, as far as we can go”

In addition to helping traffic flow at the new hospital, Long said the changes also will tie into the city’s trail system.

“Parkview will have a trail potentially around their retention pond,” he said. “We can tie it in to the trail from O.J. (Neighbours Elementary School) to the Field of Dreams. It just increases that for us.”

The city will use funds it received from the state earlier this year from the sate as part of a special Local Option Income Tax distribution. The city received a total of $1,589,887, of which 75 percent or $1,253,479, was required to be set aside for infrastructure improvements. The remaining $336,408 was earmarked for the city’s County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) fund.

Of the money earmarked for infrastructure, about $1,192,415 is expected to be used toward the roads.

Long said if the city has to return any used funds from the grant to the state, he and Richardson will get together to discuss any other possible streets that might need repairs. If so, he said, the city would apply for another grant in 2017.

Posted on 2016 Dec 20