Fortville receives funding for renovation projects

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FORTVILLE — Fortville is about to invest in a multimillion-dollar town renovation project. And it’s only going to foot 20 percent of the bill, said Adam Zaklikowski, town planning administrator.

The grant comes through the Madison County Council of Governments; each year, the Anderson Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) puts together a transportation improvement program, which designs projects serving the citizens all over the area, including Hancock County residents, Zaklikowski said.

This particular federal funding program will help sponsor three projects that impact Fortville, Zaklikowski said. Main Street will receive slightly wider sidewalks, in addition to new landscaping, lighting and crosswalks throughout the corridor. The improvements to Main Street will essentially build off of existing infrastructure, he said.

New crosswalks will be added all along Michigan Street in an effort to make the area more pedestrian-friendly, Zakilkowski said. The curb ramps will be upgraded, and a flashing pedestrian sign will be installed along State Road 13.

Additionally, the grant will fund the building of a 2-mile asphalt trail that runs alongside Maple Street on Fortville Pike. It will start at the intersection of Garden Street and Maple Street and continue southward toward County Road 200W, all the way to the Mt. Vernon School system.

The total cost of these three projects is estimated at $9,000,000, with $500,000 for the Michigan Street pedestrian safety project, $2.5 million for the Main Street Project and about $6,000,000 for the trail project, Zakilkowski said.

The MPO’s federal program requires matching funds from the town; and for these three projects Fortville will take an 80/20 split, with a total of local and federal investment of approximately $1.8 million, Zakilkowski said.

“It’s a nice way of leveraging local dollars when citizens only have to pay 20 cents on the dollar,” Zakilkowski said.