Mayor Given OK for Business 50 Negotiations

The Washington City Council passed resolutions last night giving Mayor Joe Wellman authority to bargain and look into Federal funding to deal with the State of Indiana over the condition of Business 50 through town.   Wellman said negotiations with the State are on-going on the disintegrating road…

Wellman said the State has wanted the City to take over the old highway, but since the administration of Mayor Tom Baumert, Washington has been reluctant to do that because the State has expected the taxpayers of Washington to foot almost all the costs of bringing the old road up to current standards.   Wellman talked about the overall scope of the project

Wellman said the entire project would cost an estimated $20 million to $21 million, but with an 80/20 matching Federal grant the City’s cost would be only 20% of the total, which could be spread out over the four ot five years the project would take.   The Mayor said the City envisions the project in three phases…from the round-about to the intersection with State Street, from State Street to S.E. Third Street, and from S.E. Third to the western city limits.    Mayor Wellman says if the City’s offer is accepted most of the City money would go to upgrading city utilities and infrastructure.

The Mayor also noted that while he has the authority to negotiate, the final agreement will have to be approved by the City Council.