(BEDFORD) - Bedford officials took the first steps in applying for a 2013 Stellar Grant and City Council members gave their support Tuesday night.
The grant is a multi-million dollar program that constitutes a partnership between three state agencies Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The grant money can be used for housing, infrastructure needs, street and roadwork, street-scape and lighting needs, community centers, revitalization projects, and other quality of life issues.
The council agreed to approve the use of $100,000 of the Economic Development funds to help land the grant. Gene McCracken, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Growth Council says they too have set aside $100,000 toward the grant.
A year ago, community leaders invited citizens to the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce to make suggestions on how to revitalize the downtown area.
Many residents requested the development of walking trails, while others would like to see the buildings downtown renovated. Another idea was to have a connecting route from GM Drive to Tunnelton Road which would steer heavy truck traffic away from the downtown area
Bedford failed to make the list of finalists in 2012. Princeton and Delphi were last year's winners. As a Stellar Community, Princeton is expected to reap approximately $18.6 million in grants over the next three years.
Members of the Bedford Redevelopment Commission voted to allocate $50,000 from TIF funds to hire a pair of consultants to assist in the application process. Sheryl Sharpe, development manager for Milestone Ventures Inc., will lead the project with assistance from Ed Curtin, a planning consultant from Columbus.
Letters of intent are due March 1.
In other business the city council passes an ordinance to approve $82,086 from the general fund to
* Passed an ordinance for a grant received from The Vectren Foundation Fund for the Bedford Fire Department for $8,076. The funds were used to purchase 3 gas detectors and a calibrating station for the units. The detectors can detect numerous gases, according to Chief Jon Wagner. Wagner stressed his appreciation to Vectren and the benefits the detectors will make.
* Approved the cancellation of outstanding unpaid warrants and checks.
* Approved compliance statements of benefits for Bedford Recycling and Bedford Machine & Tool Inc. The compliance statements will allow the businesses to receive tax abatements. Business representative Brian Pemberton says the businesses continue to have success and growth. Bedford Recycling in 1009 employed 59 people, in 2010 employed 66 people and in 2012 employed 79 people. Bedford Machine & Tool employed 48 people in 2009; in 2010 employed 65 people and in 2011 they employed 74 people.
* Arthur Cross-Najafi, of Boy Scout Troop 343 attended the meeting as a requirement for working toward becoming an Eagle Scout.
* Karin Dubois, of Bedford Smoke Free Coalition presented the council with information on the cost of second hand smoke.
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