Jasper’s Board of Public Works and Safety met on Tuesday morning to review a full calendar of city projects and upcoming events. 

The project for this year’s Jasper Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council was the installation of communication boards in 8 of Jasper’s parks. These have been completed, and the Council will hold a communication board dedication on Sunday, June 9 th at 7 PM at Bohnert Park. Kate Schwenk from Heart of Jasper presented the board with an update on the Heart of Jasper Courtyard and Activity Trail. The project’s conceptual design has now been completed by REA, the same company that designed the Courthouse Square. City approvals for the project are the next phase of the project, and then grant funding will be pursued for the construction phase. 

The intersection of 4 th and Main, which is currently the parking lot next to Oink, was selected as the best connector between the Riverwalk and the Downtown Square. This will be the Courtyard location, which will offer an ADA compliant handicapped accessible entry to the Activity Trail. The space will offer 4 public restrooms, seating for 40, and entertainment areas including a public art space, an LED screen, and bench swings. The recreational lawn will utilize synthetic turf to allow for easier cleaning and general maintenance. The Courtyard’s construction will be the first priority, with the trail following in future years. While Heart of Jasper is directing the Courtyard and Activity Trail project’s development, it was designed as a city owned project. After completion, it will be turned over to the Parks Department for a long- term maintenance plan. 

Street Commissioner Jeff Theising received the board’s consent to begin the hiring process for open positions within the department. The board also approved an adjustment to the irrevocable letter of credit for IDEM, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Along with the other improvements being made at Alumni Stadium, Theising also updated the board on a new pedestrian crossing that will be installed on 2 nd Street to connect the parking lot with the new ticket booth. 

Clerk-Treasurer Kiersten Knies sought the board’s approval for an engagement letter with Baker Tilly, which she received. Baker Tilly will assist the Treasurer’s office develop a fiscal plan for the upcoming annexation project. 

Mayor Vonderheide informed the board of an exception to the current DORA hours of operation that was approved by the City Council. The Council agreed to a one-time exception to allow the DORA to open early on Saturday, September 21 st for so that Heartland Half Marathon and other racers can enjoy the social district at the conclusion of their events. 

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 - By Drew Hasselbring