KENDALLVILLE — The Kendallville Redevelopment Commission approved a façade matching grant of $4,053.30 Wednesday morning for a facelift to KPC Media Group’s building at Main and Mitchell streets. The estimated total cost for the project is $8,906.60.
Vi Wysong of KPC Media Group said the building needs exterior repairs to fix peeling paint caused by salt spray and water damage, and sign damage caused by passing vandals.
A professional handyman will perform the work soon now that the grant has been approved, Wysong said. The foundation will be sealed to keep water out and new parts will be made to repair the sign. The salt spray rusted the steel door at the employee entrance on Mitchell Street, so it will be replaced to improve its appearance.
Wysong said her company is “very dedicated” to remaining in downtown Kendallville and noted that the building’s interior space has changed with modernization and new technology.
In other business, Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kristen Johnson, who is also a member of the redevelopment commission, reported that the city’s grant writer is preparing for the next steps in the streetscape project. Bids must be let by March 1, 2020, and plans must be in place to buffer the disruption to businesses caused by construction next year.
The city won a $600,000 state grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs on its sixth try and the redevelopment commission is footing most of the remaining local match of the estimated $1.1 million.
The commission is putting up $160,000 from available funds and also financing another $300,000 for the project in a loan that will be paid back by future tax-increment financing district revenue the commission manages on the city’s behalf.
Johnson said the streetscape’s design is in the final stages, which prompted Diane Peachey, an original member of the design committee for Experience the Heart of Kendallville, to ask why Heart of Kendallville design committee members were excluded from discussions on the final design.
Johnson replied that the grant writer had selected representatives from the various committees to be listed on the grant application. That led to a terse exchange between Johnson and Peachey, who was unhappy the Heart of Kendallville design committee was bypassed.
Peachey said she attended RDC meetings because she was a design committee member and wanted to be a part of the process.
“I have no reason to be here then,” Peachey said, and immediately left the meeting.
The commission also heard from Johnson that the Kendallville Car Show, the “Art on Main” Adirondack chair auction and United Way campaign kick-off, all held Saturday in downtown, were successful.
Commission member Lance Harman asked whether the Parks Department’s new outdoor stage could be used for future downtown events instead of the less attractive, current stage. Johnson said the Parks Department is still learning about the stage’s technology but expects to have the ability to move it to any location.