City's entryways could be enhanced

Herald-Tribune (Batesville, IN), 2014-08-05


Aug. 05 --A new Indiana House Enrolled Act requires additional reporting by redevelopment commissions dotting the state, Trena Carter , Administrative Resources association, Columbus , municipal programs manager, told the Batesville Redevelopment Commission July 30 .

One report, due July 1 to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance , detailed activities within Batesville's two TIF districts.

Eleven future projects totalling $6.765 million are listed in the I-74 TIF district: upgrade wastewater line under interstate, $1 million ; pedestrian connectivity to I-74 north side, $1 million ; State Road 46 improvements, $1 million ; S.R. 46 pedestrian access, $1 million ; downtown trailhead and restrooms, $600,000 ; reconstruct frontage road southeast of I-74/State Road 229 interchange, $500,000 ; upgraded streetscape, $500,000 ; Walnut Street improvements, $500,000 ; city entry upgrades and enhancements, $350,000 ; Business Development Fund , $300,000 ; I-74 entry landscape improvements, $15,000 .

Right now the I-74 TIF fund contains $57,874 .

Just one project is listed in the Industrial Park II TIF district: shell building, with the anticipated cost to be determined. There is no money in that TIF fund yet.

BRC President Andy Saner said the wish lists will be tackled "once it's to the point we want to start doing some projects" and funding is secured.

Local taxing units have been notified, as required, that there are no excess property tax proceeds to be allocated to them with upcoming TIF projects that exceed the revenue.

Saner reported that parks superintendent Chris Bradford is proposing an update to the I-74 landscaping at both Batesville exits. Different colored stones, separated by metal edging, will spell out City of Batesville . Current shrubs and stones will be removed.

"Absolutely, we need to snazz that up," member Beth Meyers said. "That has got to be eye appealing ... to really sell Batesville ."

Before a Franklin shell building recently sold, officials received feedback the city's interstate exits were nondescript. "It was a factor. I think there's value" in bettering Batesville's entrance, Saner said.

Drainage must be considered, Mayor Rick Fledderman pointed out. He added, "We have to get INDOT's approval" for the new design.

Thanks to Bradford's masonry background, the $30,000 estimate could actually cost about $11,000 . Fledderman agreed, "Chris came up with a very cost effective way. He's pretty creative."

The mayor said the project could possibly be paid for with either TIF fund or Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing dollars or a combination.

Member Darrick Cox said, "I would prefer using Belterra funds if possible rather than TIF" and Meyers agreed. Both are also city council members tasked with allocating Belterra money.

"We all are agreeing this would be a big improvement," Saner concluded.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

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