Town to partner in grant request for new Warren park

The Warren Area Chamber of Commerce's plan to build a park near downtown got a boost on Monday, May 12, as the Warren Town Council agreed to work with another group, Historic Warren, to secure a $10,000 state grant for the project.

The chamber has been raising funds to outfit the park with shade trees, benches and an area where small groups can perform, providing a green space near downtown Warren. The park will be located near the Warren Post Office, on land cleared when the town council demolished two dilapidated houses several years ago.

Historic Warren plans to apply for a $10,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to help fund the park, Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison told the council. The OCRA grant, if received, requires a local match - which can be an in-kind contribution - and council members agreed to help fulfill that requirement.

The town's contribution will include upgrading sidewalks and installing electricity at the park, projects the town would have done anyway but will now count toward the local match required by OCRA. The town's total investment will be a maximum of $5,000 to $6,000, Morrison said.

Continuing the spirit of cooperation, council members agreed to ride with representatives of the chamber and Historic Warren in this summer's Salamonie Summer Festival parade.

In other business:

• Council voted to vacate an unimproved portion of Hendricks Street off of Fifth Street. The town will retain ownership of half the alley to provide an access to utilities.

• Council learned it was in for some major expenditures, approving the purchase of $4,500 worth of software as a first step in moving to radio reading equipment for residential meters.

Fire Chief Lee Poulson told council one of the fire trucks needs new tires, which will cost about $750, and Town Marshal Dennis Spitler said his department needs a new police car. Both of those purchases will be considered in the future.

• The council plans to discuss ways to deal with a couple of problems in town - cars parked on the street facing in the wrong direction, and groups using the ball diamonds at Tower Park without making reservations and leaving trash behind.

The parked cars problem could be dealt with by an ordinance prohibiting parking in that manner.

Council will discuss drawing up a policy for Tower Park requiring reservations for use of the ball diamonds, fees and penalties for leaving trash in the area. The problem is mainly caused by outside groups holding tournaments at Tower Park, council member Barb Trosper said.