By Margie Wuebker
NEW BREMEN -- A downtown section of the Miami-Erie Canal will receive a facelift in coming months through the efforts of the New Bremen/New Knoxville Rotary Club.
The offer approved at Tuesday night's New Bremen Village Council meeting comes with one provision -- the canal area from West Monroe Street (state Route 274) to First Street would be known at Centennial Park in honor of the 100th anniversary of Rotary International.
"The park that we envision will create a visually appealing area that highlights the canal corridor and welcomes residents and guests to downtown New Bremen," club representative Steve Koenig said.
The area is located at the northwest corner of the main intersection (state Routes 66 and 274). In approving a resolution accepting the offer, councilors noted they would take official action regarding the name once the park is dedicated.
The Rotary project involves dredging the canal bottom and sides prior to installing tiered landscaping stones. Other amenities include a brick paver walking path and the installation of electric service for Christmas decorations and landscape lighting. Rotarians plan to replace existing trees with shade trees, shrubs, annual /perennial flowers and grass. A brass plaque as well as one additional sign would designate the area Centennial Park.
Village officials would like to see the installation of water lines and a sprinkler system for irrigation, although it has not been determined who will pick up these costs. The village will provide future maintenance as it does for other parks in the community.
Koenig indicated work would commence this fall with completion and dedication to take place next spring.
"This will be a great addition to the village of New Bremen," Mayor Jeff Pape said following Koenig's presentation.
In other action, councilors:
´ Heard a report from New Bremen Police Chief Doug Harrod regarding the growing problem of young people operating mopeds in the village. Drivers must be at least 14 years old with a valid operator's license and a valid moped license plate. Parents who allow younger or unlicensed children to operate such vehicles could face a possible first-degree misdemeanor charge of wrongful entrustment carrying a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, young riders breaking traffic laws face a trip to juvenile court.
´ Accepted a bid of $222,183.55 from Chuck Samples General Contracting of Celina for construction of tennis and basketball courts at Bremenfest Park. The village received five bids ranging from Samples' low bid upward to $253,000.
´ Approved Robert "Rob" Bambauer as a new member of the New Bremen-German Township Fire Department. He replaces Lee Kuenning who has moved to Minster.