Improving One Chamber Square


Seymour City Council has declared an area of the downtown as blighted in order to be eligible for state grant money to upgrade One Chamber Square.

The city is applying for a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs to make streetscape improvements to One Chamber Square and St. Louis Avenue.

Seymour will be required to come up with $436,789 in matching funds for a total of more than $1 million. Mayor Craig Luedeman said the money likely will come from the redevelopment commission and other sources.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Eric Frey with Administrative Resources association said the project involves making One Chamber Square handicapped accessible by repurposing the picnic area and event space. The project will include new site furnishings such as benches and trash cans and possibly add some public music/play equipment, Frey added.

“I believe this was a project identified in your comprehensive plan as well as your downtown strategic improvement plan,” he said.

The project also includes safety improvements to St. Louis Avenue and a pedestrian crossing over the Louisville and Indiana rail line to make it easier, safer and legal for people to walk across the railroad tracks to get from the new Crossroads Community Park to One Chamber Square and vice versa.

That crossing would be just south of where the city closed a vehicle crossing in 2017.

Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street said the crossing is a vital piece of the project, allowing people to access the park and trailhead from One Chamber Square.

Located along the eastbound side of St. Louis Avenue next to the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce building, One Chamber Square is a place for community events and special gatherings. It is used during Oktoberfest, for chamber picnics in the summertime and during downtown Christmas, Halloween and Flag Day events.

Completed in the fall of 1987, construction of One Chamber Square had a price tag of $170,000 and was part of an overall project costing around $1 million that included sidewalk and curb repair and the planting of trees in a 14-block area downtown.

Resident Steven Buffington, who attended the May 14 council meeting, asked how the project will help the city and how the space will be used.

“For us to spend a bunch of money, I feel there should be some kind of gain,” he said.

Luedeman said the upgrades will attract people downtown and give them a reason to spend time there.

Buffington also asked about downtown parking and how the project will impact that issue.

“If we bring that many people into downtown, where are we going to park them, because we don’t have adequate parking,” he said.

By making the area more “walker-friendly,” Luedeman said the city is trying to get more people to park in city parking lots instead of using up on street parking.

“We’re trying to tie it all together,” he said.

Luedeman said if the city fails to get the grant, it won’t move forward with the project at this time.

The initial proposal was to be submitted to the state today with a full application due later in July. If the city is awarded the grant, it has 18 months to complete the project.

No posts to display