Crothersville Town Council approves higher match for paving grant application


Ten Crothersville streets could be paved if the town is successful in its application for the Community Crossings Matching Grant program.

During a meeting Jan. 5, Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. told the Crothersville Town Council that he learned the application period opened that day and closes Jan. 29.

“It kind of surprised us, that’s for sure, because we’ve been watching, trying to see when it might be coming,” he said of the program that’s overseen by the Indiana Department of Transportation. “Normally, they put it in their calendar and tell us ahead of time.”

With the short time frame to apply, a committee of Josh Shaw with FPBH, Sewer Superintendent Mason Boicourt, Street Superintendent Mike Deaton and council members Katie Masters and Chad Wilson came up with a list of 10 streets most in need of milling and paving.

Initially, there were only seven streets listed and the town’s 25% match would have been $70,000 if it receives the grant.

But during a special meeting Jan. 12, the council approved increasing the number of streets to 10 and the match to $90,000, which could result in $360,000 worth of paving.

“It has come to our attention that they may need more funds, and we do have those funds available,” council President Danieta Foster said. “The thinking is we change our amount from $70,000 to $90,000. That will make better use of the grant. A committee will still decide which roads to do, but it will open them up to be able to do more.”

Shaw said he would consult with the rest of the committee to narrow the scope to determine the 10 streets to include in the application, provide the final estimate and get paperwork signed and submitted.

Bender said one of the jobs in the initial proposal was Kovener Street, but he suggested removing that for now because it would take a lot of effort to figure out what work would be involved.

“There’s everything going on there in the world. That might be one project almost all by itself, Kovener and Myers (Street) together,” he said. “I don’t know if we have time to get it figured out because there are just too many variables between the storm, utilities. That might be one to save for six months from now and really think it through properly.”

INDOT offers two calls for projects each year, but communities can only apply for up to $1 million once per year. Bender said the town could apply for funding for the traditional mill-and-fill projects this round and go after funding for Kovener Street at another time.

“If you don’t use all of your money that you have budgeted, that’s fine, too, because you can just allocate it to the next time or the next year and carry it over so you don’t lose it,” Bender said.

Crothersville has received CCMG funding three times since the program started in 2016.

In 2020, the town was awarded the full amount it applied for — $206,298.75. That followed the nearly $641,000 in CCMG funding the town received for paving projects in 2018 and 2019.

CCMG was created by the Indiana General Assembly, and funds are awarded from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund.

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide a match — 50% for larger communities or 25% for smaller communities — from a funding source approved for road and bridge construction. They also must submit an INDOT-approved asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges.

State law requires 50% of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer.

State lawmakers identified long-term funding for CCMG as part of House Enrolled Act 1002, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb in April 2017.

Town hires contractor

Also during the Jan. 5 meeting, the council approved hiring All-Star Paving Inc. of Seymour to pave the continuation of East Walnut Street.

That firm’s bid came in at $16,534.25, while Dave O’Mara Contractor Inc. of North Vernon bid $29,700.

During the Dec. 1 council meeting, the council learned Deaton had received one quote for the project, but members wanted at least two more bids. Deaton contacted two other companies, and only one of them returned a bid.

In late 2016, a southern Indiana real estate developer asked the town to accept the unpaved portion of East Walnut Street and the sewer so he could establish a 12-home addition. Because of a long history of drainage issues in that area, though, the council didn’t adopt the street or sewer.

During a meeting in 2017, the council changed its tune after hearing from town attorney Jeff Lorenzo and Bender. Lorenzo said adopting the street but not the sewer would make it difficult for town employees if they had to repair one and not the other. Bender agreed, especially considering the areas are hooked into the town’s sewer line.

A positive to adding the street to the town’s inventory is the opportunity to receive state funding for paving or repairs.