City officials will go after a third and final state historic preservation grant later this year in an effort to complete an ongoing window restoration at the Vincennes Police Department headquarters, 501 Busseron St.
Members of the city’s Board of Works on Monday signed a contract, one not to exceed $2,500, with Loogootee-based Southern Indiana Development Commission, a grant administrator, to seek a third historic preservation grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
“And this should be the last time we have to do this,” Mayor Joe Yochum told his fellow board members as they gathered for their regular meeting at City Hall, 201 Vigo St.
The city will apply yet again for $50,000; if successful, it would need to match that with another $50,000, but the mayor indicated, should it be necessary, that he would offer even more in an effort to finally put the now years-long restoration project behind them.
“We were encouraged to apply for this particular grant again,” the mayor said, indicating he thinks the city’s chances are good. “And if we get it, those windows will all be done.
“I want to do it now because the cost of materials is only going up,” he went on. “If we need to spend more than $50,000, so be it. But we need to get it done. I’m excited to get it complete and out of the way.”
The mayor said the city will apply for the funds before the end of the year; an announcement, however, isn’t expected until the spring.
The city received its first historic preservation grant for $50,000 back in 2016 for the initial phase of the restoration project, which included several of its large first-floor windows.
The city then applied again in 2019 and received another $50,000; that time they matched it with just over $100,000 to complete a second phase, or 20 more windows. That project was just completed this summer.
But about 20 windows remain, hence the need to apply for the historic preservation funds yet again.
The city also received this same grant years ago to complete a more than $100,000 restoration of the enclosed shelter house at Gregg Park — a Works Progress Administration-era Project — which included restored windows, tuck-pointing, and a handful of interior improvements, too.
VPD headquarters is a Neo-classical revival style building was first constructed in 1907, in part with Indiana limestone, and was purchased by the city in 2000. It’s one of just a few in Vincennes that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
It also previously served as a U.S. Post Office.
In other business Monday, Mark Hill, director of the United Way of Knox County, sought permission from the board to use the Riverfront Pavilion on Oct. 15 for the organization’s biannual chili cookoff.
The event is currently set to be held inside the Harmony Society, as it was in 2019, but in the event that Knox County finds itself back in the red on the state’s COVID-19 metrics map, coordinators want an outdoor option.
“Our hope is to do it inside the Harmony as we did two years ago, which was quite a success, but due to the uncertainty of COVID and what level we may be at, we want to reserve the pavilion as backup plan,” Hill told the board.
The United Way of Knox County last month kicked off its 2021 “United to Thrive” fundraising campaign
While in recent years the organization has set a fundraising goal of more than $300,000, Hill said, for a number of reasons, this year the committee chose not to set a definitive financial goal.
The funds collected by United Way throughout the year are filtered down to their 25 partner agencies, including Meals on Wheels, the Bettye J. McCormick Senior Center, Life After Meth and Red Cross, particularly focusing on people in need of educational, health or financial services.
To donate, contact the United Way at 812-882-3624.