Jasper City Council Discuss Downtown Projects

Wednesday night the Jasper City Council agreed to a pair of resolutions pertaining to the Astra Theatre on the city’s downtown square.

First the council declare a structure in need of redevelopment reffering to the Astra Theatre. The other authorized Mayor Terry Seitz to submit a grant application for the Astra Theatre project to the Office of Community & Rural Affairs Historic Preservation grant which would also include a listing of funding sources for the matching section of the grant. Both were approved by the council.

Astra Theatre representatives as well as Lisa Gehlhausen, Executive Director of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission were present at last night’s meeting.

Gehlhausen stated that the project has received a variety of support letters from entities to include the grant application.

This public hearing served the second hearing required to take place for efforts in seeking the grant. Resolutions passed served to aid the grant requirements which will help the preservation of the historic theater.

Next Act President, Marc Steczyk, told the council he and the group appreciated the council’s observations of grant requirements and for the city’s willingness to serve as the leading agent in the grant’s application.

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In other items of discussion Wednesday night Jasper Redevelopment Commission Board President, John Bell, and Board member Andy Seger addressed the council with the commission’s report regarding a grant application for downtown projects.

Bell elaborates on the grant and the benefits to apply.

Bell continues by saying that it makes sense for the county to join in with the application as they also have the opportunity to apply for the same grant and they can place those funds towards proposed improvements to the courthouse square.

Bell states that in preparation for this state grant they have made efforts to inform their partnerships with Dubois County and the city of Jasper by letting them know about the opportunity to apply for the grant and having an assessment plan to include with the grant application process.



As other downtown projects were reviewed, members of the Jasper Community Arts Commission were also present to support president, Mike Jones, who spoke to the council in requesting professional services for the arts commission. These professional services will facilitate the set up of bonding for the proposed Jasper Cultural Center. Jones explains the connection with the council’s necessary approval of their request.

Some of the concerns expressed by the council was expenditures that would be needed for the professional services. City Attorney Renee Kabrick says professional services would not charge any fees until bond proceeds have been obtained.

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