$3.5M for real estate, streetscape improvements OK’d by Westfield council


City leaders in Westfield have approved appropriating $3.5 million for the purchase of real estate and streetscape improvements tied to the reconstruction and widening of Ind. 32. 

CIW COVER 0531 jeremy lollar1
Jeremy Lollar 

The Westfield City Council voted 6-0 during its Feb. 27 meeting to move forward with the appropriation from the city’s Infrastructure Fund. Of the $3.5 million, $710,000 will be used for payment of land at 2510 E. 171st St. the city acquired at an auction in January, while the remainder of funds will go toward streetscape improvements along Ind. 32, said Jeremy Lollar, the city’s chief of staff. 

The city purchased the land for $770,000 during a Jan. 26 auction held by Pendleton-based Don Smock Auction Co., Inc., at the Prairie Waters Event Center in Westfield. Lollar told the council that the city planned to close on the property March 3. 

In January, Lollar outlined plans to the council regarding the three parcels of land totaling a little more than 25 acres and said the city planned to begin construction of an expansion tied to Simon Moon Park. At that time, Lollar said if the land were acquired, one of the parcels could be used for park green space with trails and native plantings. 

Lollar also noted that although the area was in a floodplain, the land could potentially be used for disc golf and other activities. He said developing a trail nearby was another possibility. 

In other business, the council heard from Jonathan Nail, director of public works, during their Feb. 27 meeting regarding planned improvements along Ind. 32 and said that the city has secured right-of-way acquisitions. 

The streetscape elements, he said, can include items such as benches, trash receptacles, decorative lighting, landscaping, trees and brick pavers. The city has entered a contract with MKSK, an Indianapolis-based landscape architectural firm for the streetscape improvements, Nail said. 

A second engineering firm, American Structurepoint, has included those elements into their roadway designs that have been submitted to the Indiana Dept. of Transportation for review, according to Nail. Once demolition of buildings and utility relocations occur, both of which are expected later this year, construction on the Ind. 32 project can begin, he added.