Tell City secures funding for riverwalk

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Funds exceed $7.8 million

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - The influx of grant money to Tell City continues, with the city receiving word over the past week that a request for funding for a long-planned riverwalk has been approved by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

"The good news keeps on flowing, this time for our riverwalk project," Mayor Barbara Ewing told members of the city works board Nov. 2.

The grant, which won't have to be repaid, doesn't carry a specific dollar award but will fully fund the project, which includes a paved walkway that will reach from Sunset Park northward along the river. The walkway will add to the city's growing inventory of existing and planned walkways.

The riverwalk project began under the administration of Mayor Gayle Strassell, former parks board member Mickey McMahon and a group of other community members who obtained a Department of Natural Resources grant for the project. The city invested its own funds into engineering for the project because the available funding wouldn't cover construction costs.

Ewing said the city is sending letters about the funding to members of the original committee. She also thanked those who supported the project in the past and said they should be proud of their efforts.

"The project began several years ago with a group of citizens and we credit them for bringing the idea to the community,"  she said.

The riverwalk project, like the city's plan to eliminate its combined-sewer overflows, is on a fast track and bids could be let in coming weeks.

Not including the riverwalk, Tell City has already been awarded grant funds totaling $7,888,102. The grant to eliminate combined sewer overflows is worth $4.4 million and the city is hoping to let bids Dec. 21.

The city is also working to implement a $1.87 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant to remove eyesores and invest in properties for future growth. Those funds must be committed by June 2010.  

Another project to be bid in January will fix erosion problems  along a section of Pestalozzi Street and the city was awarded $483,452 for that work. INDOT has also awarded the city $250,000 through a Safe Route to schools grant for sidewalks and a $620,000 grant for a River Road improvement project. Tell City is serving as the lead agency in that project.