Council lays groundwork for federal grant spending

town hall, 3D rendering, traffic sign

PENDLETON — Pendleton will have plenty of time to decide on how to use the almost half a million dollars received from the American Rescue Plan Act.
At its Oct. 14 meeting, the town council got the rules on what it will be used for.
“It’s pretty open on how you can spend it,” town attorney Jeff Graham said. “This plan is specifically drafted to be as general as possible because the money doesn’t have to be committed until the end of 2024 and exhausted by the end of 2026.”
The council passed an ordinance for the ARPA Grant Program Plan, which allows the town to appropriate monies at a later date.
“If there are projects down the line, who knows what they will be in two or three years from now, we can always go back and amend the plan,” Graham said.
He told the council the federal government dictates how the money is spent, and “what this does — it’s the constitution on how we’re going to spend the money.”
Town council President Chet Babb said the town has received $493,426 from ARPA, and he has proposed to the council about $253,845 worth of projects and appropriations that the town might do.
He said some of the money will be used on stormwater projects.
UDO ammended
The town council also approved an amendment to its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).
Town manager Scott Reske said there were a few technical issues that were amended, such as lot setback distances and some small errors.
“It’s probably not going to be the only amendment we make to the UDO,” Babb said. “It shouldn’t be the only one. The UDO document is 246 pages long and was two years in the making. Things are going to come up and we’re going to have to make changes. It goes to (the) planning department and then (the town council). We won’t see it every month, but don’t be surprised if others come through.”
Budget hearing
The council held its mandated public hearing and introduction for the 2022 budget.
For 2022, according to Indiana Gateway for Government Units, the town has a proposed budget of $5,118,584. The 2022 proposed levy is $2,251,723. The 2021 certified levy was $2,211,869.
Adoption of the budget is set for a special council meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Town Hall, 100 W. State St.
There was no public comment on the budget.
Captain recognized
To close out the council meeting, president Babb acknowledged Pendleton Police Captain Lucas Traylor.
Traylor, who has been with the department since December of 2018, was selected by Madison County Prosecutor’s Office as Police Officer of the Year.
“That’s a (great) accomplishment, and I just wanted to say that in front of the town,” Babb said. “Great job, and I’m glad we have you on our team.”
Veterans Parade
Willie Boles, who also serves the town as its clerk-treasurer, asked for the town’s approval to hold a Veterans Day Parade.
“We have an Opening Day baseball (parade). We have a Halloween Parade. We have a Christmas Parade, but we don’t have a Veterans Day parade. I’ll be glad to oversee it and try to put it together and would just like the blessing of the board.”
Boles said he would welcome help from anyone who would like to be involved.
Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veteran’s Day. The parade is scheduled for noon.
ParkFest success
Lisa Floyd, organizer of ParkFest, a family-friendly concert that took place Sept. 9, told the council she was happy with how the event turned out.
“We started with three goals,” Floyd said. “We wanted to allow visitors and residents to attend a concert in the park that was family friendly while allowing those to bring their own food and adult beverages, if they wanted to. We wanted to support the park and by extension the whole community and to break even on expenses versus income.”
Ticket sales were just short of $5,700.
“I was blown away by the enthusiasm and excitement of the people that attended,” Floyd added.
She added that there were no incidents of disorderly conduct or unruly behavior.
More park activities
Aaron Burris, Falls Park Director, told the council the park will play host to Falls Park Boo Bash 2021 at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Bash will include Trunk or Treating, contests for best costumes and for pumpkin carving. There will also be a haunted house.
The Kiwanis Club will be on hand, too, making K-Burgers.
See Page 1 for the full event story.