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Greenway already a big hit

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By Vince Luecke

City hopes to tie walking trail with future projects

TELL CITY - Meeting in the dining room of Twilight Towers Tuesday, the Tell City Common Council heaped praise on a greenway project that has already developed a strong base of fans even before its formal dedication.

Paved this summer, the three-fourths-of-a-mile-long trail begins at Indiana 37 and Windy Creek, near the former General Electric plant, extends through Hagedorn Park and concludes at 19th Street.

The trail is open to walkers, joggers and bicyclists. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Council members said the trail has generated compliments from the growing number of people who use it.

"Everybody in my ward is talking about it," Councilman Gerald Yackle said, triggering a chorus of compliments.

Mayor Barbara Ewing said she was scheduled to meet with Rebecca Fenn of the Perry County Greenway Committee to schedule a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. Walkers began using the greenway within a day of it being paved, Fenn said.

Boy Scout Troop 192 has lent its help with Taylor LaGrange leading efforts to create shoulders along the 9-foot-wide ribbon of asphalt. Also helping have been employees of the city street department.

Greenway organizers hope to eventually extend walking and biking trails through the county and are working with Cannelton residents on a possible project in that community.

A $250,000 Sidewalks to Schools Grant received last year was to have paid for a new Tell Street sidewalk from William Tell Elementary School to 19th Street. However, higher project costs have left the city looking for another source to fund the final section of sidewalk from the Tell City-Perry County Public Library to 19th Street.

Tell City applied this summer for an Indiana Department of Transportation enhancement grant to fund that stretch of sidewalk and a connector walkway from Tell Street to the greenway on 19th Street. A separate grant application greenway supporters have submitted to the Welborn Foundation would, if received, pay for bike lanes along 15th and Fulton streets and tie into existing bike lanes on Main Street. The Welborn grant would also serve as a match for the city's enhancement grant.

Welcome to Tell City

City leaders and others in the community are rolling out welcome mats for 15 to 20 ThyssenKrupp Waupaca employees transferring here with their families. The workers had worked at a Waupaca plant in Tennessee but have accepted jobs here, Ewing said, and the goal is to help them find homes in Tell City. Informal meetings of employees and their families are being scheduled.

Appointments

Ewing and the city council announced two reappointments to the board of the Tell City Electric Department and another to the Tell City Housing Authority Board.

Carl Elder and Janet Dauby were returned to the electric utilty's board of directors for new four-year terms beginning Oct. 1. Elder was a mayoral appointment while Dauby's seat is chosen by the city council. In Ewing's second mayoral appointment of the evening, Walter Graves was reappointed to the housing authority board.

Towing Ordinance

The council followed up last month's discussion on an impound fee by approving an ordinance that will take effect this month. It allows the city to impose a $35 fee for vehicles impounded by officers as part of criminal investigations. The charge is in addition to towing bills and will help the city recoup the time of inventorying contents of cars and trucks.

The impound fee won't be paid by drivers involved in accidents, only owners of vehicles ordered held by officers as part of their investigations.

Works Board Business

The city's works board, meeting before the council, approved a quote by Ettensohn Construction to replace the roof on the sewage-treatment plant's office and lab. The company's $11,250 offer was the lowest of two received. A third contractor contacted did not submit a proposal.

Police Chief Greg Hendershot's request to have the Tell City Electric Department connect an extra data port in the police station was granted and Hendershot said one of the compressors in the building's air-conditioning system needs to be replaced at a cost of approximately $3,500.

Fire Truck

The works board concurred with Fire Chief Greg Linne's recommendation to allow Rome's volunteer fire department to trade off a truck it received from Tell City on a newer vehicle.

The 1967 American LaFrance pumper was given to Rome several years ago with the understanding that the department would offer it back to Tell City if it was no longer needed.

Rome firemen hope to apply the trade-in value of the older truck for a 1980s-model.

The old vehicle has some salvage value, Linne said, but the cost of towing it back to Tell City could be more than what the department would receive from the value of the scrap metal.