Widespread Council discusses sidewalk mission, vacant properties | Information

The Logansport Widespread Council met on Monday to debate FAST ACT Transportation Grant funding and an replace to town’s vacant property ordinance.

The council voted 5-2 to go ordinances establishing funds and budgets for 2 phases of FAST ACT Transportation Grant funding. Scott Peattie and Amy Densborn voted towards each ordinances.

The FAST ACT Transportation Grant was a federal program to enhance transportation infrastructure. The grant was awarded to Logansport by way of Indiana’s Statewide Transportation Enchancment Program. Logansport will use the cash for varsity sidewalks and improved People with Disabilities Act accessibility.

The ordinance for Section I created funding to finish the primary section of the mission. The town should match 20 p.c of the grant cash obtained earlier than the grant is executed in 2026, so town is chargeable for $218,900.

The ordinance allocates $54,725 to the FAST ACT Transportation Grant Fund every year from town’s Common Fund in 2023, 2024 and 2025. A further $110,000 that was already budgeted this yr may also be positioned into the fund.

Peattie stated he voted towards the ordinances as a result of a part of the $110,000 that was already budgeted this yr. A few of that cash got here from town’s CEDIT fund, which Peattie stated is “for enterprise, not for sidewalks.”

The second ordinance pertaining to Section II of the mission created funding for the mission’s second section. The town’s 20 p.c of that grant have to be funded by 2027, and town is chargeable for $372,300.

From 2022 to 2026, Logansport will finances $74,460 from the Common Fund every year into the FAST ACT Transportation Grant Fund Section II.

After the mission is accomplished, each funds might be closed. Any cash left over might be transferred from the FAST ACT Transportation Grant funds again to the Common Fund.

The council additionally mentioned an ordinance to amend town’s present vacant property ordinance. The brand new ordinance seeks to ascertain a registration record of vacant buildings to establish at-risk properties earlier than they grow to be blighted and would enable a third-party firm to regulate registration and charges.

Amy Densborn was involved that sure sections of the ordinance are unfair to residents. She particularly talked about the ordinance’s definition of and deserted buildings, which incorporates buildings which were vacant for greater than 90 days, and stated some landlords have longer turnover intervals the place their houses are uninhabited but nonetheless maintained.

“I’m not snug with a number of the language on this ordinance,” she stated.

Logansport Planning Division Government Director Arin Shaver stated there are methods to contest a vacant property designation. She and Logansport Constructing Commissioner Rob Rennewanz stated the brand new ordinance will assist implement penalties for property homeowners whose buildings are at risk of falling into disrepair.

In response to the ordinance, the third celebration firm would create an inventory of vacant properties and their homeowners throughout the metropolis. The corporate would then cost these homeowners a registration charge of $200 twice a yr for so long as their property remained on the record.

Half of the $200 charge would stay with the third celebration. The extra $100 can be put right into a metropolis fund devoted to enhancing houses and neighborhoods.

Shaver stated town is just not chargeable for paying the corporate as a result of the cash from registration charges would cowl the associated fee and the corporate is chargeable for getting that cash from property homeowners.

Peattie and council member Carl McPherson stated in addition they want extra details about the ordinance earlier than voting on it and requested {that a} consultant from property registration firm ProChamps be obtainable to reply questions.

ProChamps is the corporate Shaver has communicated with about registering vacant properties in Logansport. The corporate presently oversees vacant property registration in states together with Ohio and Illinois, however Logansport can be their first shopper in Indiana.

Council President Jake LeDonne spoke out in favor of the vacant property ordinance.

“I believe this vacant property ordinance is an efficient factor,” he stated. “Ultimately, I believe it may be a extremely good factor for town.”

The council finally agreed to desk the ordinance to look at it additional and converse with a ProChamps consultant.