By Chrysa Keenon | Echo
The town of Upland will undergo a renovation of the downtown area in 2023 after receiving a $1.4 million grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
The upgrade will consist of the four main blocks of downtown streets and sidewalks, according to the press release.
The main areas targeted are Main Street at Railroad Street, north of the railroad overpass bridge, cross over Washington and Anson Streets and conclude at Urban Street. According to the town's press release, the project plans entail improvements such as upgrading street pavement, replacing sidewalks and assuring they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, adding street lights, landscaping and traffic calming measures. There is also a plan for creating parking on Main Street for the businesses located there.
According to Town Manager Jonathan Perez, the process of applying for the grant has taken six months. The application was turned in mid-November, and held the extensive application as well as thirty-two individually attached supporting documents for projects that needed to be created and proofed.
The INDOT grant qualifies Upland for an 80/20 match, meaning federal funding will match more than half of what the town invests. Perez said the plans are to start road work construction in the fall of 2018.
"The town council deserves the credit," Perez said. "They're the ones who had the foresight to put the master plan together which lead them to . . . redefine the town manager position, in order to have somebody to start implementing and executing and pursuing the master plan."
This is the third grant for town improvement Upland has received since 2017. Previous grants include $200,000 from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to create a one-mile long trail on the east side of town, and $268,000 from INDOT's Community Crossings Grant to renovate eight sections of streets scheduled for this spring.
Senior Director of Parent and Community Relations Joyce Wood has been a resident of Upland since she was four years old. She hopes the new downtown area will have a more continuity in color and building style. As a member of the Upland Chamber of Commerce, Wood expressed one of the main goals of the downtown renovations is to attract new businesses, families and individuals to come and live in the Upland area to spread new community.
"We believe this project is further evidence that good things are happening in our community," said Upland Town Council President John Bonham in a statement. "This allows our historic downtown area to receive an incredible upgrade that we believe will assist our efforts to facilitate the attraction of new businesses to our community."