Corydon, Main Street enter 1-year agreement for economic development
For at least next year, Main Street Corydon will serve as the economic developer for the historic downtown Corydon.
The Corydon Town Council, during its meeting Monday night, unanimously approved budgeting up to $130,000 for 2016 to be used by Main Street Corydon in its future efforts.
The money will come from the town’s County Economic Development Income Tax fund, which, according to Catherine Turcotte, Main Street Corydon’s executive director, has a balance of about $1.1 million. The town’s monthly income from CEDIT is about $10,000.
Turcotte contends economic development will bring new business and jobs to the town and will, in turn, increase the town’s tax revenue and provide more sales taxes as businesses and tourism dollars come into town.
Main Street Corydon, which was revitalized late last fall after a hiatus of several years, has become recertified as an official program, thus allowing it to apply for state grants, and formed three committees of volunteers ‘ design, entrepreneurial and promotions ‘ to focus on downtown Corydon in a number of ways.
It also launched the Bicentennial Fa’ade improvement program, thanks to a grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation; started Umuganda Corydon, a monthly volunteer effort to beautify downtown Corydon; adopted architectural standards that will assist building owners and tenants in renovation projects; received a $100,000 grant from the Hometown Collaborative Initiative that allows for free consulting fees from Ball State and Purdue universities, as well as the state; helped Frederick’s Caf’ secure a $5,000 Kiva loan; recruited two entrepreneurs to open a business in downtown; secured entrepreneurial ‘encouragers’ to mentor those who will start or expand a Corydon business; created the Scenic 62 Yard Sale (held the first weekend in May) to bring people into Corydon; worked with the downtown Corydon merchants on special promotions and to extend their summer hours; and started the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market.
Turcotte said Main Street’s future plans include developing the old Keller Manufacturing Co. property, recruiting additional entrepreneurs to downtown and rehabilitating non-performing properties. As part of the agreement, Turcotte said monthly reports would be made to the town council.
Former banker Bill Taylor, who serves as president of Main Street Corydon’s board, said they weren’t asking for a long-term commitment from the town council, ‘although we’d like it to be … I think with your help, we can achieve that goal of attracting businesses.’
Town council member Mark Parks agreed; Roger McGraw and Judy Kennedy quickly added they did too.
‘We’ve got to give them something to start with,’ Parks said.
John D. Kintner, who serves as council president, said he was thinking of allocating up to $10,000 with the caveat Main Street could come back for more money ‘if there was something they really wanted.’
McGraw said that, based on the averages Clerk-Treasurer Treggie King said the town receives in CEDIT money, he was comfortable with providing up to $130,000 for 2016. He made it a motion, which Kennedy seconded. It passed 5-0.
Also during the meeting, the council:
‘ Agreed to hire HR Resources to develop a personnel policy/handbook for the town.
Mitch Ripley and Suzy Bass outlined the proposal, which was similar to the one HR Resources made last fall. The cost for the project will be $6,000.
The finished product will include job descriptions, which, according to Ripley, could save the town from being sued for discrimination and will help the town’s workers’ compensation carrier in determining when injured employees may return to work.
McGraw said he had read HR Resources’ work for another town and had checked references, which, he said, spoke highly of the firm. He made the motion to hire the company. Parks seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.
‘Unanimously agreed to ask for bids to make repairs to some sewer lines within the town that have been particularly troublesome lately. Kintner said he had ranked the projects in order of severity.
‘Approved, 5-0, a pay increase for Daniel Roberts, who received his Wastewater Operator Class 1 license, effective June 1.
‘Approved, 5-0, the closing of North Capitol Avenue (and Old S.R. 135) between Foundation Way and the east entrance of the Harrison County Fairgrounds on Sunday, July 12, for the fair parade, which will begin at 7 p.m. The request was made by Jeff Byerly, president of the Harrison County Agricultural Society, which puts on the annual fair.
Kintner reminded Byerly that candy is not to be thrown from parade entries.