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By KEVIN KOELLING
CANNELTON – Last year was a big one for the city of Cannelton, as it celebrated an anniversary of its founding and welcomed major improvements to the state highway it claims as its Seventh Street.
Mayor Mary Snyder provided a written outline to the News of the city’s 2012 accomplishments that she felt were most significant.
“One of the best things to happen to Cannelton in 2012 was our 175th birthday celebration,” she wrote. “The city, Cannelton Foundation, city workers and citizens all came together to make this a happy and successful event. Thank you all for your help and participation.”
Improvements to Indiana 66 presented inconveniences to city residents and travelers through the city as traffic was rerouted onto narrower streets for a time. Work continued into the new year, but Snyder said she and the city’s utilities, street and sewer departments worked with the Indiana Department of Transportation all year on the effort.
One significant result was that much of the work was completed in time for the anniversary celebration.
City sidewalks were also upgraded, with funding from the Safe Routes to School program. A third phase of those improvements was turned down, Snyder noted, “but if the program continues, the city will try again.”
“I also worked with INDOT to reset the city-limits signs,” she added.
The year presented many challenges that needed to be resolved as soon as possible, she wrote. One, “a mandate handed down from the state” to have the city’s floodwall certified, “was also required to protect the citizens from having to purchase flood insurance for their property,” she said. “This process has been continuing through 2012 and the city hopes to complete it by the spring of 2013.” The city did receive a grant, but some repair work required city funds, she explained.
Three projects that arose from flooding in 2011 and were being worked through the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency remained open, she reported, adding that she cleared sewer-pump invoices and the city had received funds from Homeland Security for them. A flood pump at Casselbury Creek “was still in limbo,” Snyder wrote.
“Insurance refused to pay and the city took legal action to resolve this critical situation,” she explained. “A new pump has been ordered and should be in place by spring of 2013.”
The third open issue is the Second Street Bridge, the mayor reported, saying she has submitted new claims on the project and is waiting to hear from Homeland Security.
The mayor secured a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that provided 54 percent of funding needed for a new car and equipment, including radios, for the police department.
Work with representatives of the Cannelton Foundation and the Perry County Greenway netted a 50-percent-match grant and a state $100,000 match and donations to build a new Cannelton River Trail extending from the Hafele Riverside Park.
“This would not have been possible without the help of the Perry County Greenway Committee and member Rebecca Fenn,” Snyder said.
The city applied for a $30,000 downtown planning grant, and received it in December, the mayor added.
The city is in about the same financial position as it was before 2012 began, she wrote. “Money borrowed has been repaid (and) we will continue to pursue grants and funding whenever possible.”
“I look forward to a new year and good things for Cannelton,” she wrote.
“There will be no changes in any positions for the city, as they have all done an excellent job,” she added.