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Town, park hoping for grants

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The Lewisville Town Council and the Lewisville Park Board are both going after grants that they hope will make life that much more enjoyable for town residents.

Lewisville Park Board Secretary Tricia Haler told the town council Thursday that the park is applying for a Henry County Community Foundation Spring Grant.

Haler said the grant money will be used to make the Lewisville park restrooms and shelter house wheelchair-accessible.

The council also got an update from Dave Kieser of Kieser Consulting Group about several grants that could help improve the infrastructure and aesthetics of the town center along U.S. 40.

Kieser said his company was willing to complete all the paperwork to apply for a USDA Rural Business Development Grant and a Henry County Community Foundation grant to take care of lighting and sidewalks in the business district of Lewisville.

The Rural Business Development Grant would cover 80 percent of the project, Kieser said.

Lewisville would be able to use the grant money from the Henry County Community Foundation as the town’s 20 percent matching funds.

Kieser envisioned U.S. 40 through Lewisville lined with new light posts and possibly holiday banners. He said the project could help improve the entire stretch of the highway through Henry County.

“Lewisville’s trying to do some good stuff out there,” Kieser said. 

At the same time, Kieser Consulting will pursue a Community Crossings Grant through the Indiana Department of Transportation. 

This money would be used to make streets and adjacent sidewalks ADA-compliant so residents in wheelchairs or other mobility issues would be able to safely navigate curbs, Kieser said.

Lewisville will be responsible for providing a 25 percent match to the Community Crossing Grant.

Kieser said that if the town wins all three grants, they will be able to protect and preserve existing businesses while also attracting new businesses

“We’re trying to make community more economically viable,” Kieser said. “I think it’s really good what Lewisville is doing.”

The Lewisville town council voted to let Kieser move forward with the grant requests on behalf of the town.

In other business, the town council agreed to join the Henry County Emergency Management Agency’s NIXLE program.

The NIXLE system can alert Lewisville residents about dangerous weather conditions or emergency water boil advisories, if needed.

Henry County residents who sign up for NIXLE can receive text alerts from local police and fire departments right to their cellphones.

Henry County EMA Director Ron Huffman has called NIXLE “another tool in the toolbox for reaching out to everyone.”

The cellphone alert system is provided through grant funding.

The Lewisville Town Council also discussed the idea of purchasing a new tablet for town maintenance worker Nathan Neal.

Council member Justin Thompson said the new device could streamline utility readings and provide another level of data backup that would help with recordkeeping.

“We need to bring things into the 21st century,” Thompson said.

Council member Patrick Saunders wanted to talk with other communities who use similar systems to see how they work before investing in a new system for the town.

The council did not take any action on the purchase of a new tablet.

Town council president Richard Craig also updated the town about a burned home on N. 1st Street.

The town is in the process of taking legal possession of the building. Before it can be demolished, the town will have to remove some trees so local electric company IMPA can take care of power lines around the house.

Craig said March 8 will be the soonest that the town will be able to take any other action concerning the building.

The Lewisville Town Council meets again at 6 p.m. March 8 at town hall, 101 E. Main St.