City sets up account for major tree project

    Decatur City Council agreed on Tuesday night to set up a $30,000 account which will be used to fund the city's latest major tree project. Once the project is completed, the city will be reimbursed.
    The situation was explained to council by Steve Krull, head of the parks and recreation department and a member of the city's tree board. The city has received a $30,000 grant administered through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to fund the tree project.
    But the city must set up an account to pay all bills as they come in, then DNR will reimburse the city once the work is completed. Krull said a similar arrangement was used once before, although for a smaller grant of some $7,500.
    The city will be planting 400 to 500 trees along city streets and city properties.
    Also at the meeting:
    • Council passed a resolution committing $96,740 from the Community Capital Improvement Fund as its match for a $456,850 grant the city is seeking from the Indiana Office of Regional Community Affairs (OCRA) to demolish and clean up the former street department garage and onetime light plant.
    "We need to show OCRA we're committing the funds," Mayor John Schultz said. The city's application for the grant will go to OCRA next week.
    • It was pointed out that the Board of Works and Safety will solicit bids on October 4 for two farm properties owned by the city. One property is near Industrial Park and the other off E. Monroe St. Together, they cover 80 to 90 acres.
    • Parks and Recreation Director Steve Krull requested permission to close off portions of two downtown streets on Sunday, October 30, for Trunk or Treat. Council approved both: the closing of Second St. from Monroe St. to Court St., and Madison St., from First St. to Third St. The closings will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until approximately 5:30, Krull said.