City opening bids for park project later this month


A $1 million project to improve One Chamber Square in downtown Seymour and the area around it could begin taking shape later this year.

The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety plans to open bids for that project during a meeting June 27 at city hall. The contract would then likely be awarded during a board meeting in late July with a notice to proceed issued in late July or August, Mayor Craig Luedeman said.

“The contractor will have until May 1 to complete the work,” he said.

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When the work begins depends upon the contractor and how busy they are at the time the contract is awarded, Luedeman said.

The contractor will begin demolition and pour concrete later this year and then come back in the spring of 2020 and finish up the landscaping or wait until early next year to do the work, he said.

Luedeman said he would love to see the project substantially complete before he leaves office at the end of the year, but he will just be happy another improvement to make downtown nicer is being put in place.

In January, it was announced the city had received a $590,000 Community Development Block Grant for the project, which has been in the works for 10 years.

The city received that grant in May, which means there’s a one-year period to complete the project, Luedeman said.

In November 2018, the city committed $450,000 in local matching funds for the project to improve the area around the city park on Chestnut Street just south of the CSX rail line.

Of the matching funds, $430,000 would come from tax increment financing revenue from the Seymour Redevelopment Commission, $5,000 from the city’s economic development income tax fund, a $10,000 donation from the Community Foundation of Jackson County and $5,000 from Seymour Main Street.

The project consists of enhancing sidewalks and curbing, upgrading lighting and electrical services and creating a community space that includes seating and interactive features such as an outdoor musical play installation and large exploration boulders.

A preliminary concept plan from HWC Engineering showed new elements, including porch swings, interactive art and musical features for children, tables and chairs and other architectural and landscaping features.

One of the most important aspects of the project is making the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The current design of One Chamber Square has picnic tables set up in a pit area with concrete steps on the west and north sides but no ramp.

That pit would be filled in and made flat, and curbless street design would be implemented, similar to Fourth Street in Columbus. Parking along the south side of St. Louis Avenue would change from parallel to angle parking.

Another major piece is a pedestrian crossing from Jeffersonville Avenue over the Louisville and Indiana Railroad into Crossroads Community Park on the east side of the tracks.

In a letter to the city, Keith Sattler, a landscape architect with HWC Engineering, said the bid specification calls for the contractor to give the city access to the site Aug. 16 and 17 during the annual Cars and Guitars show and Sept. 30 to Oct. 7 for Seymour Oktoberfest. The city is asking that the contractor not have any large equipment parked on the site during those events.

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