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Town seeks Keller site redevelopment grant

The Town of Corydon will apply to the Indiana Dept. of Commerce for a $50,000 grant to study the redevelopment of the Keller Manufacturing site in Corydon. The Community Focus Fund grant requires a 10-percent match by the town and two hearings. The town council meeting Monday night was the first hearing.
Don Lopp, community development director for the River Hills Economic Development District in Jeffersonville, and Sean Hawkins, community development manager for the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, outlined the procedure to obtain the grant. It’s the same process the town followed in getting a $50,000 DOC grant for a downtown revitalization study for Main Street Corydon last September.
Hawkins said he and town council president Fred Cammack and Dan Lake, planning director for the DOC, have walked through the former dining room and bedroom furniture manufacturing facility which covers 14 acres. Main Street Corydon purchased the property from Keller, which abandoned the property several months ago and moved its production to New Salisbury.
Lopp and Hawkins have sent out requests for proposals for site redevelopment to a number of architectural and planning firms in the region, and Hawkins has gotten seven replies so far. ‘There seems to be a lot of interest in this project,’ Hawkins said. He has shown the property to three firms.
He believes companies are putting together specialists to study the site, which some people think could be developed into a major tourist destination.
Lopp said proposals will be due Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. at Hawkins’ office where they will be opened by a screening committee composed of Main Street Corydon, CVB and town council representatives.
Lopp expects the full application to go to the DOC in late August, and Hawkins hopes the grant application will be before the town council in late October.
Trustee Charlie Lynch inquired about the sprinkler system at the Keller buildings: Is it working?
‘It’s working right now, except for two buildings that were maintained by air compressors that are no longer there,’ Hawkins said.
‘The real test will come this winter. Main Street Corydon can’t afford to heat all those buildings,’ Hawkins said. A heating bill would be ‘huge,’ but it’s possible that grant money will mean the old unwanted buildings at the plant can be bulldozed, thus eliminating most of the fire hazard problem for nervous homeowners who live on the east edge of the Keller property.
In other business, Debbie McClanahan, representing the Corydon Central Vanguard Band Parents, got permission to have two fund-raiser roadblocks in Corydon on Saturday, at the corner of North Capitol Avenue and Walnut and Chestnut streets, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
She said the participants will be 16 and older with at least one adult with them at each corner. The money collected will be for the Vanguard.
Bill Brockman, curator of the Corydon Capital State Historic Site, got permission for the Harrison County Fair Parade Sunday night at 7. (See front page story for details.)
Cammack told the board it can expect repair bills totaling $25,000 or more for emergency work last week and this at the sewage treatment plant. Two sluice gates failed in an oxidation ‘ditch’ and three or four feet of sediment had to be removed from the bottom of the large concrete container.
The failure of the gates did not result in problems at residences or businesses, but the problem needed to be fixed at once, Cammack told the council.
Reynolds Inc. of Orleans, which built the plant in the early 1990s, was called in to make the repairs.
Town Clerk Treasurer Jan Frederick was asked to prepare advertising for street paving materials ‘ about 1,600 tons of asphalt. The town will accept the bids at a special meeting on Aug. 16.