The city of Washington and Daviess County United Way will be teaming up to install a new playground at Longfellow Park on the city’s west side. During Monday night’s city council meeting, United Way Executive Director Zella Taylor and city parks superintendent Kip Kelly announced the project. The United Way will be putting up $50,000 for the project.
“We are very excited to partner with the United Way for a project for next year, a new playground at Longfellow Park,” said Kelly. “I think it is going to be a nice thing. There are some ADA things there. It will hold up to 220 kids. I’m really excited to have that down at Longfellow.”
Taylor and Kelly had been discussing the project since the Day of Caring last spring. Taylor explained to the council the funding comes from a bequest by Virginia Adams to the United Way and that the organization has been looking for worthwhile projects.
“This neighborhood is part of the population we serve,” said Taylor. “We’re really excited.”
“That’s wonderful,” added Washington Mayor Joe Wellman. “It means we will have new playground equipment at all three city parks in the last few years and that’s great for the kids in the community. We are really happy about that.”
Kelly has asked the council to keep about $15,000 in his budget for some of the preparation and concrete work that will have to be done on the playground. He anticipates starting construction during the next Day of Caring.
In other business, the council gave its approval to all of the salary ordinances for 2019. The council, at the mayor’s request, adjusted the ordinances involving the police and fire chief and the city department heads. While the first reading of the pay ordinances for employees and elected officials included 3 percent pay raises. The ones for salaried employees ranged from 2.1 to 2.7 percent. The council changed that so that all employees will receive a 3 percent pay raise.
The council also passed an inducement resolution clearing the way for the Gene B. Glick Company to seek housing tax credits for an upgrade at Jamestown Square Apartments. The city, under the arrangement, would act as a conduit for bonds for a $5 million renovation and improvement project at the apartment complex. That proposal is expected to come back before the city’s Economic Development Commission and the Council again in November.
Board of Works
The Board of Works heard a number of reports from Midwestern Engineers on projects facing the city. One of those is a mandate to remove phosphorous from the city’s water. Engineer Richard Burch reported it appears the city will have to add some new structures. He estimated the cost of the project at $1.6 million to $2.1 million.
Burch said plans for the western portion of the utility upgrades on the Business 50 project are moving forward. He reported they are working with V.S. Engineering, the firm planning the paving portion of the project, to make certain it moves forward smoothly with no conflicts between the new utilities and the road.
The Board of Works approved shutting down Main Street from the Library to Washington High School on Nov. 10 for a Veterans Day Parade.