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Franklin Street closure approaches

Feb. 9—GREENSBURG — According to a discussion in Monday's Decatur County Commissioners meeting, the portion of Franklin Street bordering the Greensburg Courthouse Square will be closed in less than a month for a long awaited rehabilitation.

Greensburg residents likely remember when the Broadway Street side of the Greensburg Square was redone in 2014. New drainage tiling, curbs, sidewalks, landscaping and lighting were added, with the intention of doing the same for the Franklin Street side of the Square at some point.

Now, using funds from ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act), READI (Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative), CCMG (Community Crossing Matching Grant), and local matching dollars, the Franklin Street project is now feasible and will begin as soon as the job is awarded to the appropriate construction company.

Even though the passage will not be wider when the remodel is complete, the work will include replacing all storm drains and inlets with new curbs and sidewalk constructed on both sides of the street.

Main Street Market Master Allison Beck appealed to the Commissioners for use of the Courthouse's south side parking and lawn for the 2024 Farmer's Market, which will open May 17 and close October 18, 2024.

Commissioners Mark Koors told her that Franklin Street would be closed for the duration of the summer. Beck was aware of the closure and Koors told her his concern was in keeping that side open for traffic.

He said that the bid for the Franklin Street project would be awarded within the next two weeks with demolition of the existing Franklin Street to start soon afterward.

"It won't be open yet for Fall Festival, but they will halt construction and remove all equipment during the Festival," Koors said.

Koors asked Beck if there were any alternative locations for the Market and Beck said, "We'll have to go back to the drawing board."

Koors asked if the county parking lot would be an appropriate space for the Market.

Beck said that growth of the Market in 2023 made that space too small. She wants to keep the Market downtown because she said it helped the businesses on the Square.

Decatur County Assessor Dorene Greiwe noted that during the Fall Festival courthouse employees park in the First Financial rear parking lot.

Commissioner Tony Blodgett said with Franklin Street being closed "everybody's going to have to do a better job of not parking around the courthouse.

Koors told Beck that more information about the Franklin Street project would be available when the job was awarded and asked her to return for the next Commissioners meeting in two weeks.

In related news, at a special meeting of the Greensburg Board of Works Tuesday, bids for the Franklin Street project were vetted.

Submitting bids for the job were Rowe Construction Group, All Star Paving, Johannigman Excavating, OLCO, Inc., Dave O'Mara Construction and Globe Asphalt Paving.

Globe Asphalt Paving's bid was $713,000 and was chosen as the contractor for the project.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-651-0876 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com