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Grants would bring $900,000 for Corydon improvements

Corydon Town Hall again hosted back-to-back public hearings on federal grants being sought to improve Chestnut Street and help clean-up the old Keller Manufacturing site. The town should have an answer in June to the total $917,000 requested.
Following the submission of grant proposals in January, Main Street Corydon and the town of Corydon were given feedback to help make the grant applications as competitive as possible.
Those applications will be mailed Friday along with any letters of support received by the CVB.
The town has agreed to contribute $208,000 to the Chestnut Street project and is seeking $417,000 in grant funding to help. The size of the town’s contribution should significantly increase the application’s chances, said Sean Hawkins, community development manager with the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Housing and Urban Development grant project would include adding electric lamps similar to those along Capitol Avenue, replacing trees with a variety that won’t damage sidewalks or obscure facades, and increasing sidewalk size to reduce the need for mowing.
But the most elaborate and expensive part of the project would be burying utilities. That’s also the area where Hawkins and Corydon Town Manager Fred Cammack are optimistic about reducing expenses.
The project would complement a similar but larger-scale undertaking in the early 1990s that included the burying of utilities, making sidewalk improvements, and adding benches and old-fashioned lamp posts on the town square.
‘This is just one step in what needs to be done to revitalize Chestnut Street,’ Hawkins said.
‘How many property owners want to step up and spruce up their property is another question,’ Cammack said.
While improving Chestnut Street is an economic development measure, removing a large brick building at the Keller site is a matter of pubic safety, Hawkins said.
He hopes to see the Keller building demolished by the end of the year.
‘It’s a competitive application with an urgent need,’ he told an audience of about 30 at the town hall.
The Harrison County Council committed $79,000 in an effort to secure the $500,000 grant the town hopes to use to demolish the building which contains asbestos.
The demolition, Hawkins said, would be a quick process, but the asbestos removal would take about two months.