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Historic Warren updates council

During the first regular Warren Town Council meeting of 2022 on Monday, Jan. 10, Becky and Jeff Souder presented two Historic Warren, Inc. updates to the council.

First, Becky informed the council that she and Jessica Sunderman gave a presentation at the Huntington County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Dec. 6, to request funds for a part-time employee for Historic Warren. She explained that there are many projects Historic Warren is involved in and it would help not only them, but also the community to have a part-time person.
The packet Becky presented included a proposal for the part-time employee, job responsibilities and information on Historic Warren.

“In asking the Huntington County Commissioners for funding, we feel Historic Warren, our Indiana Main Street Organization, needs to take the lead on a part-time employee,” Becky said. “This part-time employee could further our cause to apply to the next level of the Indiana Main Street program. Our proposal also included that this employee would help other community non-profit organizations and marketing of their events including the Salamonie Summer Festival and the Chamber of Commerce.”

Becky also announced that Historic Warren was accepted into the CreatINg Places program through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch recently approved a $1 million investment in this program for 2022. Through the program, communities may apply for matching grants up to $50,000. If the goal is reached, the program will match the funds up to $50,000. Historic Warren is the first group in Huntington County to utilize this program.

“We are thrilled to be accepted into the program,” Becky said. “We are the first program in the state to kick off 2022.”

Historic Warren applied for the grant in order to continue with its Riverside Park Project. Though it will take more than $100,000 to finish out the project, Jeff said that this would help in reaching their goal. As of the time of the meeting, Historic Warren’s campaign had reached $23,725 of its $50,000 goal.
Individuals interested in donating have until Tuesday, March 8, to do so.
More information on this campaign will be included in a later edition of The TAB.

In unrelated business, Matt Brinkman and Mark Cullnone, of Region 3A, reported that they were ready to start the public survey portion of Warren’s Comprehensive Plan process. This will be accomplished by having the draft of the plan available online and in hard copies around town for people to review and take a survey on. They also want to have a “community feedback workshop” where citizens may express their thoughts on the plan.

“We want this to be residents of the community, business owners… anybody that has a vested interest in the Town of Warren,” Brinkman said.

Brinkman went on to say that they are legally responsible to take feedback from everyone, but these are the people they are really looking to contribute. Cullnone added that anything the public didn’t like in the draft could be altered or even removed.

Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison asked how long the survey would be open
to the public. Brinkman said it is usually two to three weeks.

The council decided to have the community feedback workshop with Region 3A during the regular council meeting on Monday, Feb. 28.

In unrelated business, the progress on several properties was discussed over the course of the meeting. The first was 218 W. Third St., Warren. The Department of Community Development (DCD) originally had a demolition order on the house, but during the town council meeting on Monday, June 14, Clint Rosen told the council he wanted to purchase the property to fix it up. The council agreed and continued to give Rosen extensions for him to have time to renovate the home.

After seeing the progress on the house, the council agreed to have DCD lift the demolition order.

“It looks a whole lot better than it did,” Councilman Steve Buzzard said. “It’s a vast improvement.”

The next property was 826 N. Nancy St., Warren. Town Marshal Dennis Spitler said that there was some progress made with vehicles being moved from the property, but the council agreed that the owner should have the remaining two vehicles moved before the first council meeting in February.

The last property, 934 N. Main St., Warren, had several ordinance violations, but they were taken care of in the time period given by Spitler.

In other business:
• During election of officers, the council agreed that councilman Buzzard would be president and councilwoman Miller would be vice president for 2022.
• The council decided to continue to have their regular meetings on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m. The next regular council meeting will take place on Monday, Jan. 24.