Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Goshen council to consider helping schools pay for sidewalks

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 17, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.

GOSHEN — The Goshen City Council will consider Tuesday, June 18 an additional appropriation at their next meeting that would provide funds to increase sidewalks within the city.

The council will review an ordinance Tuesday night that would move $62,500 from the Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) fund to help Goshen Community Schools with the project.

At the June 4 meeting of council, Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Diane Woodworth asked that council consider helping the schools to pay for the construction of more sidewalks in areas near schools.

Woodworth and Bob Evans, assistant superintendent of transportation and education services, explained that schools within the system will begin stricter enforcement of “walk zones” for students that live within a mile of their particular school.

In order to make that expectation reasonable, the school representatives said, a total of approximately one mile of sidewalk throughout the city would need to be constructed.

They asked that council consider covering half the cost, stating that the increased sidewalks would benefit the city as well as the schools.

The schools will be enforcing the one-mile walk zones as one strategy to combat shortfalls in the transportation fund.

The council will also decide Tuesday whether three businesses granted tax phase-ins have complied with their statement of benefits thus far.

The performance of Supreme Corp., Benteler Automotive and Wieland Designs will be reviewed with representatives from each business invited to provide the reasons their company has not met their initial targets, either for investment or hiring.

Each business has also sent a letter to Mark Brinson, community development director, that has been distributed to council members explaining the shortfalls.

Brinson said the council may either choose to approve or deny the compliance of statement of benefits for each company.

Denials would mean a full public hearing would be held at a later date to decide the business’ tax phase-in status.

Though having tax phase-in status revoked is a possibility, Brinson said it hasn’t happened in Goshen because businesses are generally able to demonstrate that elements outside their command have prevented them from meeting the benchmarks originally established.

Tuesday’s council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Police and Courts building, 111 E. Jefferson St.