Each of these four cornerstone areas will be continuously monitored and evaluated with progress shared.
revitalizing Frankfort one block, one street, one house, one yard at a time
As part of keeping Frankfort clean and green and in line with efforts related to the Hearing Authority and bolstering property values, a blitz on all blighted properties will be conducted with Building Services team members looking for trash, high grass, cars parked in yards and any other maintenance issues at these properties. Letters will be sent to property owners encouraging needed inspections of those properties.
The Frankfort Fire and Building Services Departments will partner to work on an action plan for the clean-up of those properties blighted by fires and other natural disasters. The plan will include follow-up on the progress being made at the sites.
With George Belmore transitioning from directing the Street Department to leading the Parks Department, a search for a new street superintendent will get underway during the time period of this Plan. Belmore will remain at the reins of both departments until a new street superintendent is hired.
In a collaborative effort between the City, Clinton County and the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) with the use of a $15,000 grant, native plants will be introduced to Redmon Park. Grassed swales (a graded and engineered landscape feature) will be planted to slow the transportation of storm water at a controlled rate while acting as a filter medium to remove pollutants and allow for storm water infiltration. A grassed swale will result in a significant improvement over a traditional drainage ditch in both slowing and cleaning the water while beautifying the area and reducing mowing.
A second collaboration between the City, Clinton County and the SWCD is another $15,000 grant that will be used to introduce wildflowers and a rain garden into city property west of AutoZone and east of Prairie Creek on Washington Street. The rain garden will reduce pollution from reaching the creek by reducing the rain runoff, allowing storm water to soak into the ground. The wildflowers will help to further beautify the downtown area.
This focused neighborhood blitz initiative continues in 2015 with City services applied in a targeted approach to specific sections of the community in need of serious attention. These services will include code enforcement, street cleaning, public safety attention on fire hazards, speeding, criminal activity and clean up of parks in those areas. The southwest quadrant of the City will be focused on April – June. A Fire Department safety blitz regarding smoke detectors will happen April 25, followed by a Police Department community meeting April 29, followed by a blitz of City services through May and concluding with a Neighborhood Connection event with area residents and City officials in Redmon Park (Third Street Park) in mid-June.
The next Neighborhood Connection blitz will be scheduled for late summer/early fall with the same types of meetings and process.
A team made up of Plan Commission members and community advocates will work on overhauling Frankfort’s 1960s zoning codes to bring them into line with current standards. These revisions then will be proposed to the City Council for passage.
Working with key community leaders facilitated by Purdue University, the Clinton County Purdue Extension Office and Main Street, Frankfort’s urban living opportunities will be researched and an action plan created that includes quality of life elements. A downtown action plan will be created for the community to be able to direct investment dollars from groups such as the Redevelopment Commission to pursue such enhancements as façade program grant dollars from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
With a challenge from the Mayor asking city councilors to prioritize those streets in their districts in need of paving, a comprehensive list can be created for those roadways to be paved this summer as part of an overall plan to revitalize Frankfort’s streets. The administration will continue to pursue more dollars for street paving.
Frankfort’s Complete Streets Program continues with the design work ongoing for the renovation of Washington Avenue. A public meeting will be held to discuss how this project will positively impact residents’ quality of life and to receive feedback from residents impacted by this project. Design is complete on South Maish Road with right-of-way acquisition purchased.
Design specifications will lead to a competitive bidding process for the renovation of Old Stoney within this Plan timeframe. A Council sub-committee along with community volunteers will work on funds that need to be invested in the 2016 budget along with creating a presentation on the past 100 years of this community icon for use in funding presentations.
With Wesley Manor being awarded tax credits from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, City officials will continue to aid Wesley Manor officials on the refurbishing of the Southside School into affordable senior housing. Board of Public Works and the Mayor’s Office will work to strategically invest $50,000 within a quarter mile of this neighborhood to enhance the quality of life and meet Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority guidelines. These funds were budgeted for 2015.
City officials will work with Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority officials to fund rehabbed homes in the community to become more energy efficient and safe in order to modernize these structures. This investment in Frankfort’s housing stock is intended to make the community more appealing as a great place to live, work and play.
Working hand-in-hand with the Healthy Communities Coalition of Clinton County, City officials will leverage a Safe Routes to Schools Program grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation to create new sidewalks leading to Suncrest and Green Meadows/Blue Ridge Elementaries. The grant combined with a local match will total $250,000 with the project set for completion in 2018. Design, right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation will be researched and commenced in the coming months.
Forty men from the Waterline Church in Noblesville have generously offered to contribute their time, talents and energy from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 to work on making various neighborhood improvements in Frankfort. This group will work with local volunteers that day.
This annual multi-day event May 4 – 8, 2015 will engage community members in revitalizing various neighborhoods, parks and the downtown this spring. Full details will be available on the City’s Web site (www.frankfort-in.gov). Spring Clean will coincide with Operation Spring Clean Up where residents can drop off up to two pickup truck loads of all kinds of non-construction materials for free at the Street Department Monday – Saturday of that week.
In addition to the new fence around the TPA Park petting zoo, improvements will continue at the site, including landscaping, repairs to and painting of existing buildings with the ultimate goal to construct new animal and bird shelters to create a safer environment for the animals and a more user-friendly attraction for residents and visitors to the City.
Plans are underway to fund the restoration of the historic drinking well fountain located at the west end of TPA Park at the bottom of the steps which recently were renovated with the generous financial support of the Clinton County Community Foundation.
Animal Art on Canvas will be a fundraiser done in partnership with local artists and Frankfort Main Street, Inc. to support in part the TPA Park petting zoo. Zoo animals, professional and high school student artists will create original works of art that will be displayed throughout downtown Frankfort during the month of May. A live auction will be held with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of paintings going to the petting zoo.
A bowling fundraising event will be held in September to benefit the bird aviary at TPA Park, with the event open to the public to participate and attend.
Frankfort is open for business
Working with Partners in Progress and the Clinton County Economic Advancement Foundation, City officials will continue their efforts to bring new jobs into the community while protecting existing jobs with a focus on creating not just jobs, but careers.
City councilors will be asked to study pending legislation regarding annexation and how it affects Frankfort’s ability to grow westward. Based on the information gathered, city councilors and administration officials will determine how to proceed with growing our community. This effort needs to be formed in tandem with Clinton County officials. The public will be kept informed of the process as it progresses.
City officials will work with members of the Utility Service Board to create a Utilities Master Plan to guide investments in the City’s various utilities. Proper investments will allow for additional investments to improve Frankfort’s Industrial Park infrastructure to position our community to grow to create more jobs for those we serve.
a two way street: listening, sharing
The creation of a Citizens Police Academy will be designed as an extension of the Police Department’s community outreach efforts. Residents will be able to apply to the multi-week program to gain a first-hand look at the rules, regulations, policies and protocol local law enforcement follow in doing their jobs. The initiative will be designed to better inform Academy participants and further develop open lines of communications with these community members.
On Saturday, May 9, the Fire Department will work hand-in-hand with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) including the Police Department as part of a multi-public safety agency mock car crash and haz mat drill at the Clinton County EMA training facility.
A fifth Leadership Summit will be hosted by Mayor McBarnes for Frankfort and Clinton County government, education and community leaders to bring them together and empower them to become more effective with communication and leadership skills.
In partnership with the Purdue Extension Learning Network of Clinton County, the Mayor and all five City department heads will host a community meeting for the Hispanic population to discuss housing standards, fireworks safety and other topics on Wednesday, August 26 from 6 – 8 p.m. Patrol Officers Marisol Lopez and Cesar Munoz will help translate.
With seven home fire fatalities every day in the U.S. and data showing working smoke detectors can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire, firefighters will team up with the Clinton County Chapter of the American Red Cross to install or distribute more than 500 smoke alarms throughout the City this year. This program will launch Saturday, April 25 in the south and west sections of the community, with follow up activities on Saturday, May 16.
Continuing with the Fire and Police Departments’ Safer Seniors Program, firefighters and police officers will conduct free safety inspections for senior citizens living in Wesley Manor Village on Saturday, August 22 and Saturday, September 19.
A national program, this summer event is designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, generate support of anti-crime programs, strengthen police and neighborhood partnerships and send a clear message to criminals that neighborhoods are organizing to provide better community crime fighting and enhanced living conditions.
In its annual recognition of Fire Prevention Week, firefighters will visit Frankfort schools to conduct fire drills, fire prevention presentations, station tours and smoke trailer visits as well as extinguisher classes for Frankfort industries.
operating from the consent of the governed
Mayor McBarnes and department heads will continue to host Mayor’s Afternoon Out and Mayor’s Night Out events at various area businesses with the program consisting of City updates and a Q&A session with the audience. A Mayor’s Afternoon Out will take place Thursday, April 2 from noon – 1:30 p.m. at the Backstreet Café with a Mayor’s Night Out scheduled for late summer/early fall.
A select group of Frankfort students will work with the City administration as youth empowered to affect public policy. Working with the Mayor, the Youth Council will select a project to work on, including going through the bid process, adding a line item for the project in the 2016 budget and carrying through with the implementation of the project. Members will learn about leadership and the steps necessary to accomplish a successful project for the good of the community.
The second annual ping-pong fundraiser benefiting the Clinton County Boys & Girls Club will be held Saturday, June 20 from 9:00 a.m. – noon with City and County employees competing in a singles and doubles tournament displaying their ping-pong talents.
As a group, City departments will participate in the Purdue Extension Learning Network of Clinton County’s September College Go Week at Case Arena at Frankfort High School. This career event will be open to FHS students to learn about all types of careers, with City department leaders available to discuss their jobs.
Note: Grant Opportunities
Federal, state and regional grant opportunities will continue to be pursued for as many of the above-mentioned projects as possible.