Ten Hoosier communities, including Batesville, will receive grants for downtown revitalization projects totaling $95,312, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann has announced.
Batesville Main Street and the city of Batesville was awarded $5,659 for a streetscape project that will include benches, planters and bike racks, according to a news release from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, which funds the grants.
“It’s a matching grant,” Batesville community development director Sarah Lamping noted. The $5,659 will be matched by the city and undisclosed dollars contributed by Margaret Mary Health.
Ellspermann pointed out, “Reviving and enhancing our downtowns are important elements in an economic development strategy. With these grants, Indiana Main Street communities can undertake projects that will make a big impact on their local downtown districts.”
Lamping explained, “We are going to create a bike parking lot in our downtown. We are working with a design committee” to finalize the location.
In addition to space to lock eight to 10 bikes, the 1,024-square-foot lot will contain a kiosk with a downtown map, plus trail and bike maps.
The idea was hatched when the Batesville Main Street Design Committee (Bill Giltz, Jim Fritsch, John Webber and Jaime Mustaine) formed in April. Lamping wrote the grant application in May.
She said, “A lot of what we learned through the Active Living Workshop (held by state officials in Batesville in April) is we have a very active community. When you take a look around, we really don’t have any bike racks in the downtown area.” She envisions individuals, friends and families parking their bikes, then going to the farmers’ market or out to dinner or running errands.
“We have 18 months to fulfill the grant requirements, but we are hoping (to complete the project) by the end of this summer.”
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.