Fortville gears up for city hall and park improvements

Fortville officials are preparing to improve the properties, equipment and infrastructure at Memorial Park. (File photo from Daily Reporter)

FORTVILLE – The authorities are preparing to make improvements to the town hall and the memorial park for an estimated amount of 2.8 million dollars.

Planned upgrades to City Hall, located at 714 E. Broadway Street, include a new roof; gutters; addition of solar panels; improvements to heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and electrical upgrades.

At Memorial Park and Fortville Community Center on the west side of town, leaders are considering sports and field lighting improvements, roofing improvements, grounds resurfacing, parking lot lighting , general electrical upgrades, security cameras and shelter upgrades.

Tonya Davis, a member of Fortville City Council, served on a committee that identified the projects.

“From the outside, people might not think so, but it is in dire need of updating and repair,” Davis said of town hall. “We need to rearrange the interior so that you can function a little better. As we grow older there is a need for more people at some point. “

Fritz Fentz, president of Fortville city council, agreed.

“The town hall has not been renovated for probably 30 years,” he said. “He definitely needs an upgrade. “

The solar panel deal is structured in such a way that they can be withdrawn for free if they do not result in the energy savings on offer.

“I hope this will work,” Davis said. “We really have nothing to lose if it doesn’t, but I think it’s worth a try. “

Memorial Park and the community center are important to watch, she continued, as they are very attractive to residents. She added that there are cracked courts and lights that are not working properly.

“That’s all that needs to be done,” Davis said. “We have the opportunity to do it and I think it’s a good time to start.”

The city plans to issue bonds to finance the improvements and repay them through a property tax. Fortville’s financial adviser said the new levy would not result in an overall increase in taxes for property owners, as they are already at state-imposed tax ceilings, especially after the recent creation of the protection territory. the fires in the township of Vernon. The new levy, however, will redistribute chunks of the city’s tax pie in a way that results in less property tax money going to the general fund.

The town hall and park improvement plans come as Fortville also prepares to replace its aging water plant, currently estimated to cost $ 11 million.

The city intends to issue bonds to fund this as well, but not right away. The leaders plan to issue anticipatory bonds in advance to begin financing the project. This will give the city a few years to continue to develop its rapidly growing water customer base, instilling confidence in the lender while having to borrow less and not having to increase water tariffs so much to cover the cost. obligation.

Fortville has added more than 100 new water customers this year through July and expects at least 50 more by the end of the year. An average monthly water bill for 4,000 gallons is $ 22.70.

Reynolds Construction, based in Orléans, is leading the town hall, park and water plant projects.

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