Andrews Town Council discusses re-applying for OCRA grant in May

The Andrews Town Council discussed reapplying for a grant that would fund the construction of stormwater infrastructure in town during its meeting on Monday, Feb. 12.

The grant in question, a community development block grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), is one the board had hoped to apply for on Feb. 9, but will now apply for on May 25.

Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon remarked that the town’s February application had weaknesses and she expressed doubt that it would have been approved had it been submitted. Among those shortcomings, said Dillon, was the fact that the town does not assess a stormwater fee.

In the interests of strengthening the town’s next application, council stated that it would explore forming a stormwater board and identify a way to fund the upkeep of the town’s stormwater infrastructure. Dillon suggested using CEDIT as that funding source.

Should the town apply for the OCRA grant in May, Jay Stankiewicz, of engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink, noted that an announcement regarding which applications had been approved would probably come in June or July.

For the time being, the board will shift the focus of forthcoming street improvement work in town away from West McKeever Street, which is also where council would like to see a stormwater infrastructure project take place. The street work will now center on Washington Street, which runs in front of the town’s park. That work includes the repairing of the street, plus the replacement of its corresponding sidewalk.

Stankiewicz targeted council’s meeting on March 26 as the date where bids for the street work will be opened. The work will be paid for using the town’s Community Crossings matching grant.