Mayor Mike Bettice told Batesville City Council members Feb. 10 he received "kind of a surprise today" when he was notified that the city received $1.5 million in Federal Highway Administration funds to construct a sidewalk on State Road 229 (Walnut Street) from Franklin Avenue to the new park on Six Pine Ranch Road off of S.R. 229.
The funds, which are administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation, are expected to be made available in 2023 and will cover up to 80% of the construction and inspection costs, while the city will fund 20%. Once completed, the project will feature crosswalks for pedestrians to safely cross State Road 46 and the I-74 bridge. Please see a detailed news release on page A4.
Tim Macyauski, the city's director of operations who oversees buildings and streets, and Mike Wells, code enforcement officer, "have been working on this for years. I want to thank both of them for getting us to the point that we can make it a reality," the mayor said.
In a press release the following day, he pointed out, "This funding is a huge step forward in advancing our priorities for walkability and connectivity as it essentially connects downtown Batesville to the north side of the city .... I am extremely grateful for Gov. Eric Holcomb and (INDOT) Commissioner Joe McGuinness for their commitment to building and improving infrastructure across the Hoosier State as well as our local officials for the time and dedication to this project."
A coordination meeting between the city and INDOT is expected to take place by the end of February.
Bill Flannery told his fellow council members that the Batesville Area Historical Society is housed in a home that was built in 1910. In 2008, it had a complete restoration and became the Batesville Historical Center. However, the siding had a manufacturing defect, which caused it to shrink, causing gaps and cracks where moisture can penetrate the building.
"We did get $10,000 toward replacement from a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer," revealed the BAHS vice president. But it will cost $53,558 to replace the siding, which needs to be done as soon as possible. "The longer the building is left vulnerable to the elements, the greater the chance there will be structural issues that will be cost prohibitive to repair."
"We have applied for grants from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and William A. and Martha H. Hillenbrand Foundation."
Curator Carolyn Dieckmann reported, "Over 3,000 people visited the museum in 2019 .... We work with all the area schools throughout the year, as well as nursing homes and churches to provide tours."
"We are currently holding a fundraising campaign." She asked BCC members if they would be willing to help the BAHS by allocating Belterra funds. "Any help you can give us would be appreciated."
Clerk-Treasurer Paul Gates said the riverboat revenue-sharing fund has $49,954 available.
With Flannery abstaining, members unanimously agreed to give the organization $7,500 to show the city's support when applying for the other grants.