Costs increase for One Chamber Square


A city streetscape project to update and enhance One Chamber Square in downtown Seymour is going to cost more than officials originally were told.

The Seymour Redevelopment Commission voted Monday 4-0 to pay $107,432.50 more to general contractor Schutte Excavating of Greensburg, bringing the total cost of the project to $807,023.50.

City engineer Bernie Hauersperger said the increase is the result of changes and added work to the scope of the project.

Instead of just repaving St. Louis Avenue, Schutte now will be doing a full depth pavement reconstruction. That requires all of the existing asphalt be torn out and replaced with a new base and surface, he said.

"We wanted to change the pavement. Right now, we have a mill overlay in that area and the pavement is cracking worse as we get into the winter," Hauersperger said. "So we’d like to go ahead and do full depth construction through that area."

The new road will cost $19,067.50.

Other added costs include a full electrical upgrade to provide improved access to hookups for food trucks and other vendors during festivals and events. 

"The idea is it would bring visitors to the city. They would walk St. Louis Avenue with vendors on both sides of the street and then go to an event at Crossroads Park," he said. "This electrical hookup is needed to get more high amperage type of hookups."

Hauersperger said the electrical upgrade will be an asset to the new One Chamber Square and downtown events.

"We can get better vendors down here by having bigger hookups in the area," he said.

Seymour Main Street Director Becky Schepman said the organization has held events at Crossroads Community Park in the past and ran into electrical issues. When two vendors would try to hookup it would overload the existing electrical system, she said.

"We’re hoping to have the right level of electricity here so that we can hold our brewfest and Ghouls and Goblets events and expand them," she said.

Hauersperger added it makes more sense to make the change now during construction than to try to add bigger electrical conduits later.

As part of the improved electrical capabilities, the city also plans to add car charging stations for electric cars near One Chamber Square.

Hauersperger said the idea behind having the car charging stations is again to draw people to the downtown.

"Hopefully, if they have to stay here for a half an hour while their car charges, they will use the downtown area, walk around and go in the restaurants and stores," he said.

The charging stations will be free for people to use in the beginning. A fee could be added in the future, Hauersperger said.

The stations are popular in other cities, he added.

Schepman said there are apps available that identify where the nearest car charging stations are so travelers know where they can stop.

"It’s really a great feature," she said. Main Street plans to add new signage near the stations that includes a map of the downtown.

"It should be really good to generate some foot traffic," she added.

The electrical work will cost $88,365 and Hauersperger said it should meet the area’s needs for the next 10 years at least.

Other new features will include interactive musical instruments and artwork, a playscape for kids and new seating. The changes address accessibility issues making the area compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Construction is being funded by a $590,000 state Community Development Block Grant and matching funds from the Seymour Redevelopment Commission, the city’s economic development income tax fund, the Community Foundation of Jackson County and Seymour Main Street.

The project will be completed by May 2020.

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