NP to get funding for park

By Kelsey Kimbler -

NEW PARIS — According to Susan Laux with Mote & Associates, there will be money in the Capital Budget to help fund the removal of the old school building and the construction of a splash pad park. During the Council Meeting on Monday, March 5, Laux came to update council on their ongoing projects and applications.

She informed council that she had been notified that the Capital Budget (House Bill 529) had been drafted to include a funding line item for the park.

“At this point it is $250,000. It has yet to be determined where it will end up. It still has to go through congressional approvals, but hopefully we will be able to keep that there and build on that to make changes up there at the park, so we have a really neat place for everybody,” she said.

“Everybody keep your fingers crossed. What will happen is that will continue to move through the senate. They anticipate it will be approved in April or May. That money is basically appropriated through the 2019 budget, which begins on July 1 of 2018, because their budget year is half this year and half next year. We will have until June of 2020 to spend the money.

“So we have some time to try and use it to leverage other funds, get donations, to seek out other sources, and things like that. Just because we get the money, doesn’t mean we have to use it right away. We can try to get other funds, to limit the amount the village has to put forth.”

Laux also brought council quotes for the tree removal on East Cherry Street. The cost of the tree removal is covered under the grant, but due to that the trees must be down by April 15. Federal grant money stipulates that they must be considerate of the Indiana Bat’s roosting period, which starts on April 15 and ends on Sept. 1.

The project received three quotes and council chose one at a cost of $9,100.

Next, Laux brought up the Spring Street Bridge project. She explained, she’s become aware of an opportunity that they may have through the State. New Paris can potentially apply for grant money to cover their share of the project — roughly $80,000.

“So, there is no for-sure thing there, it’s just an opportunity. In order to pursue that I need you to make a motion to allow me to submit a pre-application so the State can review it and decide if they will allow us to submit an application for the funds. We’ll use the ODOT money that you have as a match,” she explained. “There is no cost to you for doing so.”

The Preble County Pork Festival sent the village a letter brainstorming ways for the local villages to get more involved in the annual festival. Their primary idea is to have New Paris display banners throughout town. However, the Pork Festival falls only a week before the Apple Fest, which would mean New Paris would not get to display their flags for as long as they normally do.

Council decided to show the proposal to the Apple Fest Committee, to see what their ideas are. Mayor Kathy Smallwood stated, she would like to do something for the Pork Festival, but not if it would take away from the Apple Fest.

In other news:

•In February, the police department handled 104 calls for service, made 23 reports, three arrests, issued six citations, and gave 13 warnings.

•The village has begun to work on patching potholes, but not all of them. They have been focusing on the major problem issues.

•Council is actively looking for a new council member to serve for two years. Their term will end in 2019.

•The new council president will be named during April’s meeting, if there are enough members present.

The New Paris Village Council will meet again on Monday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the Village Building.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH