City of Bedford, Indiana

Weather smiles on Stellar
Friday, December 18, 2015

Harp Commons work 'moving very smoothly'

Mike Lewis, Times-Mail Managing Editor

BEDFORD — Updates on some Stellar projects were on the agenda for members of the Bedford Board of Works during a special end-of-the-year meeting.

Byron Buker, a board member, asked how renovation work was progressing at Harp Commons and the Lawrence County Courthouse.

“Very well, actually,” replied Marla Jones, business and community development director for the city. “The weather has been very agreeable this year. ... I assume we’ll be doing a ribbon-cutting soon on the courthouse project.”

Warmer-than-usual weather the past few weeks has meant that crews have been able to make more progress on both projects. The courthouse work is nearly complete, Jones said. And workers have been able to pour most of the concrete at Harp Commons.

“The only thing that’s left to be poured is the decorative concrete,” she said.

Through the Stellar Communities program, some $19 million in grant funding, local tax money and private donations is being pumped into investments downtown. The Harp Commons and courthouse work are parts of that larger program.

The Harp Commons project was delayed because crews had to repair water, sewer and storm drain lines in the area. But those repairs are complete, and crews have taken advantage of this month’s weather.

“It’s moving very smoothly,” Jones said.

The Harp Commons issue arose because Jones brought a change order to the board. The plans for Harp Commons have been modified slightly because of overhanging awnings and an air conditioning unit on a privately owned building on the north side of the park. That means less concrete will be used, she said, resulting in an $18,315 deduction in the cost.

Buker and Mayor Shawna Girgis voted to approve that change. The third board member, Tony Ravenna, was absent.

In another Stellar project, Buker and Girgis also voted to hire Lochmueller Group as consultants for the downtown street scape improvements. The contract is based on an hourly rate, not to exceed a total of $510,000.

Other business

Board members also:

  • Approved hiring Leyton A. Craig as a new member of the Bedford Fire Department.

  • Approved a division of property requested by Garden Villa and the park department. The business is donating about 4.2 acres to the city. The parcel is marked by a ravine, but it is suitable for trails, said Barry Jeskewich, parks director.