City of Jasper has to give back $1-million grant - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

City of Jasper has to give back $1-million grant


"I'm somewhat disappointed because it was a lot of money to pass on," said Jim Siebert.

Siebert owns a clothing store on Jasper's Courthouse Square, and after every big storm, he has to vacuum gallons of water out of his basement.

Therefore, he was ecstatic to hear that the city's courthouse square renovation was going to fix that.

However, a huge chunk of the project's funding has to be handed back over to the state so the project is at a standstill indefinitely.

Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz said the money for the project came from the Indiana Department of Transportation's community crossings grant last year.

The grant came with one stipulation: the project had to be shovel ready with progress shown within a year.

Seitz explained, unfortunately, approval for the project hit too many roadblocks.

He said the city council tabled the construction designs back in May, which put them behind schedule.

"Far too much emphasis was given in my opinion to the use of pavers instead of knowing why pavers can be used," said Seitz.

Then he explained the cost played a factor.

The overall project came with a price tag of about $4-million.

"To me, our downtown is critical and the things that we can do to improve that area is essential," said Seitz.

Seitz said the city will apply for the community crossings grant again, but this time it will be for more traditional road projects.

As far as the Courthouse Square project, Seitz explained it could be a couple years before they try again.

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