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Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray

Mayor Murray says she is hopeful the city of Greencastle can recoup money it has spent on flood recovery from newly allocated State Disaster Relief Funds.

Here are some highlights from today’s  interview:

  • Mayor Murray says Greencastle will seek funding from the State Disaster Relief Fund to recoup money Greencastle spent to fix infrastructure damaged in heavy April flooding.

“We had major problems in erosion with the bank of the Big Walnut Creek and also one of our wells that provides water for the greater part of Putnam County. So those were obviously immediate damages and after we had DNR out so they could see the extent of the damages we certainly got their prompt encouragement to get those issues taken care of.

“The city incurred those costs initially. Our insurance has denied those thus far and any relief from that would be welcome. It ended up costing us somewhere between $26,000 and $29,000 to do those repairs.

“We’ll have a meeting next Wednesday at our local EOC and we’ll learn most certainly in terms of what the governor has said thus far the kinds of things that – the qualifying expenses will include is things that have affected sewer systems and other public property.”

  • Less money from HUD could put the future of the Greencastle Housing Authority in question.

“The Housing Authority does an amazing job in terms of handling not only about 121 families who are now receiving Section 8 vouchers but also administering those vouchers and administering the Northview Apartments that are here in Greencastle.

“They are receiving fewer and fewer dollars from HUD for administrative costs as well as reimbursement costs for the people who actually own the properties aside from the Northview Apartments where Section 8 vouchers are being used.

“Just this week they (Greencastle Housing Authority) are going to be cutting down hours of business operation to four days a week and cutting down hours of the two staff members that they have to administer the programs.

“I think they’re really very concerned that unless there is money put into this particular housing program that housing authorities throughout the state probably are going to be reassigned to two or possibly three large housing authorities that will try to administer the program for our citizens from a distance.”

  • The city will begin bidding process again August 1 for the development of a downtown parking garage after the first round of bids all came in well over projected costs.

“What I have been doing is talking with our staff and with the architects involved and trying to redefine what this project looks like so at the pre-bid meeting there will be some subtle changes and we’ll see if that can bring it more in line with what our budget is. Quite frankly they have at least a million dollars to cut off the bids in order for us to move forward on the project.

If we have to go to a Plan B then we’re probably going to be talking to IHCDA about alternatives to provide the same 146 spots in a different way. Maybe those are going to be in surface lots.”


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