Council approves transfer for Seminary Park improvements

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The Noblesville Common Council gathered Aug. 27 for a meeting at City Hall. Councilors Chris Jensen and Roy Johnson were absent. The next council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at City Hall, 16 S. 10th St., in the second-floor council chambers.

What happened: The council unanimously approved a transfer from the downtown development fund to allocate funds to the parks department for improvements to Seminary Park.

What it means: City financial controller Jeff Spalding said funds totaling $75,000 will make way for capital improvements at the park along 10th Street.

“This is an appropriation transfer. Funds have already been appropriated in this fund with the 2019 budget, and basically the way we do this from a budgetary standpoint is we appropriate (funds) to the contingency reserve within the fund, and then as projects are identified, that appropriation is transferred from the contingency reserve to the appropriate department,” Spalding said. “In this case, it is to support some capital improvements at Seminary Park.

Parks Director Brandon Bennett said the first phase of overall project is set to be complete in early November in time for annual holiday activities at the park.

“I made a promise that that would happen, and I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen,” Bennett said. “This request for funding is a not-to-exceed, and I really don’t anticipate using all of it, but it does give us a little bit of cushion in case we find some unknowns out there. Plus, we’re still working with local sponsors and businesses to try and reduce some of the cost. I expect that we will be in very good shape on this project, and it’s something I think you’ll be proud of.”

Bennett said future phases of the project could include features like public art, playground equipment and more.

“The first phase is going to be a majority of the project because we wanted to make sure we didn’t have to come back and dig anything, so we’re getting all of the infrastructure in now,” he said. “Anything beyond that may be the addition of some artwork, a playground and those types of things…We are doing this in phases, but this first phase will make it a very usable park that you’re going to see a definite improvement on.”

 

What happened: Councilor Darren Peterson provided an update from the Downtown District Committee.

What it means: Peterson said downtown alley activation – an effort to permanently close the north and east alleys running perpendicular to the downtown square to traffic for more pedestrian and event activity – is getting started. Archway installations for the alleys are set to begin this fall.

Peterson also said The Levinson development is temporarily on hold due to the sheeting installation process. According to Noblesville Now, a campaign that aims to inform residents of project updates in the city, sheeting installation was halted due to the vibrations to buildings near the construction site. Peterson said construction teams are regrouping, and construction teams then begin a different method.

In addition, Peterson said the city is continuing to install the new black light fixtures, benches and sidewalk planters downtown.

 

What happened: The council unanimously voted in favor an ordinance approving additional appropriations from the parking meter fund to upgrade existing parking equipment.

What it means: The ordinance allows the city to purchase new parking meter equipment, which will replace existing coin-only meters with updated machines that allow drivers to pay for parking via a smartphone app, with coins or with a credit card.

City financial controller Jeff Spalding said the ordinance approves an appropriation of $84,100 for the new equipment, an $11,000 appropriation for signage, and a $55,000 appropriation to the street department for pavement improvements and pavement striping associated with the upgrade.

 

What happened: The council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement to help fund the Hamilton County Youth Assistance Program.

What it means: City attorney Mike Howard presented the resolution.

“This is an interlocal agreement with Hamilton County concerning Youth Assistance Program,” Howard said. “The city has been a participant in this program for many years. The idea of this program is to work with the judges and probation department to try to intervene early with certain at-risk juveniles. Right now, there is $65,000 in the 2019 (YAP) budget…so the money (for this resolution) is already in your budget and ready to be paid. These funds are used to pay the cost of the caseworkers. The caseworkers are basically administered under the county personnel policy, and the county is responsible for paying them. Even at $65,000, we’re (contributing a) lower (amount) than the other three municipalities and have at least equal to and maybe greater than demands from our community.”

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