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City Council Pledges Support for Stellar Projects with $760,000 over 4 Years

September 10, 2019
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The Plymouth Common Council pledged financial support to several local Stellar projects if the Marshall County Crossroads Stellar Initiative is successful in their application to be designated Stellar by the state later this year by approving a resolution.

Monday evening, City Attorney Sean Surrisi detailed the projects involving the city.  Since the Rees Theatre project wasn’t successful in obtaining an OCRA grant last month their project will be moving into the Stellar application.  Their local match has been satisfied by the Redevelopment Commission.

Plans to create an Entrepreneurial Hub in the Old Fire House have been floating around for a couple years.  Conceptual drawings of what the building may look like have been shared with the city council.  The local match for this project is $240,000.

Also on the application will be the third phase of the Greenway Trail and the second phase of River Park Square.  Surrisi said the trail will meander along the yellow River in the park with areas for sit and relax.  The proposal also includes lighting this section of the trail.  The second phase of River Park Square would be additional landscaping with a playground area.  The trail project would be eligible for INDOT funding while the next phase of River Park Square would qualify for OCRA funding.

A Streetscape project is planned for South Michigan Street near the railroad viaduct.  While the plans shown are from several years ago, if the Stellar designation is awarded to Marshall County new plans will  be drawn up for the area.

A residential housing project is also in the city’s portion of the Stellar application.  Riverside Meadows at Baker Street, Dora Lane and Richter Road would create a large apartment building and a series of townhouses working with Dr. Stillson who owns the property and Kevin Berger the contractor.    This project would be part of the IHCDA’s low-income housing tax credits program.  Surrisi said this project wouldn’t require a local match although they may ask for a tax abatement.

Surrisi then introduced member of the Stellar subcommittee for Arts & Culture.  Randy Danielson, Cori Humes, and Lindy Rippy presented a project for the northeast corner of Michigan and Jefferson Streets, the old site where subway was.

Danielson said while the site is at the entrance to downtown, “it’s not a very welcoming gateway to the city.”

Crossroads ParkHumes called the area a “blighted corner” that could be more welcoming with a pocket park….that would have green space, public art and even a place to sit and have a bite to eat.

Rippy said the project would be a collaboration with the Purdue Extension Master Garners program who would assist with all the plantings.  She also said the location sits at the intersection of two historic crossroads, the Lincoln Highway and Michigan Road.

The resolution of support for the Stellar applications includes financial support in the way of local matching funds for the various projects.  In all, the estimate was $760,000 from the city.

Councilman Gary Cook said they are all great projects but wanted to know where the funding would come from.  He also commented that they had just cut over $500,000 out of the 2020 budget saying, “I don’t know how we could pay for this.”

Other council members were supportive and understood that funding would be over the next four year.  They felt that funds could be budgeted once it was determined if the county is Stellar.

The final vote was 5 yes votes, 1 no vote from Councilman Cook and Don Ecker was absent from the meeting.

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