By SEAN RICE
The West Bank Road boardwalk project is full speed ahead again
after gaining the support of Celina City Council members who
were skeptical in the past.
help push it along, Celina Rotary Club members announced Monday
night they will provide $150,000 for the project.
With each member on board except Ron Hammons, the council passed
an emergency ordinance providing $10,000 to draw up engineering
documents for submission to state officials and grant consideration.
At the last council meeting, Hammons was joined by Angie King
and Sharon LaRue in defeating an ordinance to pay various bills,
including $10,000 for the boardwalk representing the city’s
first monetary contribution toward the project.
State Rep. Keith Faber (Celina) helped spur the boardwalk project
by securing $250,000 toward it from the 2003-2004 state capital
Community Development Director Sue Canary said she is working
on grant avenues using the $250,000 as matching funds for other
state grants that could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars
for the project, estimated at $1.5 million.
Mayor Paul Arnold said he heard from another Celina business
owner who may donate $1,000 if other businesses donate the same.
And, Arnold said he is working on a design for a pavillion for
the former Hawk property near North Shore Park. He hopes large
donations from local industries will help fund such a project.
Celina Rotary member Jeff Larmer said his club and other parties
are very interested in having the boardwalk, and even more funds
could be generated if needed.
“There are people out in the private sector that are willing
to see the boardwalk progress,” Larmer said.
“That money may not be there in the future if the city
doesn’t move forward on it,” Rotary member Garry
Moiser said from the audience. “This is going to benefit
the whole community.”
Mayor Arnold tried successfully to persuade council members
that a dump truck included in the appropriations ordinance defeated
two weeks ago will also benefit the whole community.
“I still have a lot of issues with $23,000 for the truck.”
LaRue said of the ordinance to reappropriate money in various
categories. She then made a motion to remove the $23,000 for
the dump truck and snow plow equipment, seconded by King.
Some council members balked at the cost of the dump truck, which
increased from when it was discussed during budget meetings.
Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski said an oversight on his
part caused him to quote a lower price for the much-needed truck,
snow plow and salt equipment.
“If we get a truck in without a plow and a salt spreader
it’s not going to do us any good to have it sitting in
the garage this winter,” Arnold said. “(Sovinski)
may have missed something, I’m sorry, but that happens.”
“This piece of equipment is going to be around for probably
30 years,” Sovinski said.
Council members, without the support of LaRue and King, rejected
the motion to remove the $23,000 and approved the ordinance
Monday with an emergency clause.
In other business:
• Council members learned that Canary is working on setting
up a tax increment financing (TIF) district along West Bank
Road. With the approval of the local school board, the TIF district
will allow 100 percent of taxes on improved properties to be
redirected to a special account that will be earmarked for infrastructure
improvements in the district.
• Celina resident Don Gehle, who organized a referendum
of the Celina Lakefront/Downtown Revitalization Master Plan
to the November ballot, said council members approved the $10,000
for the boardwalk illegally. Because the ordinance supporting
the master plan is under referendum, council members cannot
act on it, Gehle says. Each member can be expelled by city voters
for that action, he said. Celina Law Director Kevin McKirnan
told members earlier this year that it is legal to proceed with
a boardwalk or other economic development.
• Council members passed the final reading of an ordinance
accepting the application for annexation of 25.65 acres of land,
also northeast of town that is targeted for subdivision development.