Winfield seeks consultant to draw pedestrian plan

2014-06-16T20:35:00Z 2014-06-16T22:56:28Z Winfield seeks consultant to draw pedestrian planBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

WINFIELD | Winfield is still a small town but it is a busy one, which creates problems for pedestrians in its downtown.

The town is looking for a consultant to create a master plan to make the downtown more pedestrian friendly, which could, in turn, reduce traffic and make it even more pedestrian friendly.

Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson told the town's Redevelopment Commission on Monday that the request for proposals from consultants was placed on the Indiana Department of Transportation website May 20. The proposals will be opened at the June 24 council meeting with the goal of selecting one within a month.

The council will approve the final selection, but it will receive a recommendation from a three-person committee that will include the commission's Chairman Dave Anderson and two others yet to be named. Dave Anderson said the council is expected to review the proposals and present the committee with its top candidates.

The committee will score the candidates using INDOT criteria and make its recommendation to the council. The town has a $40,000 grant from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission to pay for the study. The pedestrian master plan will become part of the town's overall master plan.

Dave Anderson said the town will use the plan to apply for other grants to implement the consultant's proposed improvements. The study could be completed by the end of the year, and the consultant is expected to get community input.

If fewer than three proposals are received, the town will have to seek a second round of proposals as it had to do when seeking a consultant for the 109th improvements, Rick Anderson said.

"We've done a little on our own," Dave Anderson said, pointing to the turn signals installed earlier this year at 109th Avenue and Randolph Street.

The commission is hoping the tax increment financing district created last year will help pay for some of the improvements needed, but it won't get the first allocation from that until next year. The commission fielded a request to help pay for improvements to the 10-acre parcel on Randolph recently donated to the town as a park.

Rick Anderson said the park currently is not in the TIF and wouldn't qualify for TIF funding, but the boundaries of the TIF could be changed. The property will need sewer and water lines extended to it, but the commission has no money. For now, the town is hoping to get a farmer to grade and seed the site, which was used as a cornfield last year.

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