Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


October 5, 2011

City Council sets Trick or Treat hours

Greensburg — At its monthly meeting Monday night, the Greensburg City Council voted unanimously to make the city's official "Halloween Hours" from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.

After that, the council got down to regular business.

Bryan Robbins, executive director of Mainstreet Greensburg, told the Council that Mainstreet is considering a tax abatement for any investment within Greensburg's Economic Development Target Area (EDTA) that increases a building's value. This abatement would apply to both existing businesses within the EDTA and to any outside business that might invest within the EDTA.

Robbins explained that tax abatements typically last between five and ten years. Moreover, abatements also tend to raise the tax rate linked to the abatement each successive year. For example, in year one, the taxes on any improvement to an existing business might be deferred by 98 percent. In year two that deferment might drop to 90 percent or to 80 percent. The deferment would continue decreasing each year until the end of the abatement.

In the end, Robbins stressed, both the length of the abatement and its level of yearly graduation would be the council's decision.

"We, as a community," he continued, "need to look at any kind of legitimate development tool or incentive for attracting and encouraging outside development in our downtown area."

He noted that the creation of a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district has been considered for the area. A TIF was implemented in Greensburg's Lincoln Street Project and worked very well there. Other development tools, Robbins further explained, that are either currently in use or being considered include: a low-interest loan program; a small-business loan contest; and matching grants. Being on the national register of historic downtowns also allows for certain tax credits.

Additionally, Robbins said, there are projects in development involving the old YMCA building on Broadway Street and the old Decatur County Apartment Complex, which propose to convert those structures into senior or low-income housing. He closed by stressing the current focus is on improving and upgrading existing structures and not, necessarily, on adding new buildings.

Gary Murray, city engineer for Greensburg, told the board that a sub-committee of the land commission has been working on modifying the city's sign ordinance. Shawn Green, owner and operator of Green Signs, petitioned the committee for a change. Green works with several local businesses on producing advertising signs and called the old ordinance hard to interpret and understand, noting he found himself constantly petitioning the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for variances.

Murray reported that INDOT has performed its pre-final walk-through of the Lincoln Street Project. With the exception of various sod work that still needs completion, a handful of minor lighting issues and some minor issues to be addressed at the hospital, the project is complete.

The Broadway Project, Murray said, with the approval of businesses in the area, is set to replace 13 red sunset maple trees with 13 ginkgo trees at an expense of $1,500. These trees were selected because they don't flower and therefore won't blow pedals into storm drains, potentially clogging them. Additionally, the type of ginkgo selected doesn't give off an odor.

Four bids for the Gas Creek Project have been accepted, Murray said, with three of the four under consideration. The fourth, which involved using "AmorFlex" for erosion control along the banks, was simply too expensive - about five times more expensive, according to Murray, than "rip-rap" rock.

The Council also considered the ongoing compensation case of street commissioner Mark Klosterkemper. Klosterkemper performed work for the Lincoln Street Project early this year and was paid as a contractor. The State Board of Accounts, however, deemed that the job Klosterkemper performed was in line with his regular duties. As such, because Klosterkemper is classified as an "exempt" employee - meaning he can't earn overtime pay -  he was therefore ineligible to be paid for this additional service.

There was spirited debate among the Council on this issue, with some feeling passionately that Klosterkemper had a right to keep the money already paid. Others, however, felt just as strongly that Klosterkemper's work that was too similar to his regular job to warrant additional pay. In the end, the Council decided that the State Board of Accounts had the final say on the matter and that, therefore, Klosterkemper must pay back the money paid to him for the work.

The council also approved the 2012 general budget, as well as a tax abatement for GECOM, with certain conditions attached.

Contact: or 812-663-3111 x7011.

Text Only
  • 'Carl Fisher' Historical Marker to be dedicated in Greensburg A public dedication ceremony for an Indiana state historical marker commemorating American entrepreneur, Carl Fisher, is scheduled for 5 p.m., May 16, at the Washington Street entrance to the Decatur County Courthouse, located at 150 Courthouse Squar

    April 17, 2014

  • nws-gb041714-st. maurice photo 1 St. Maurice close to municipal water ST. MAURICE -- A failing well at their rural home has forced Pat Kramer and his family to take long breaks between water-heavy activities such as washing clothes and taking showers. When the well was drilled in 1977, it delivered 18 gallons of water

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • nwsgb041714-chautauqua panelists pic Elvis, '70s history makers highlight Chautauqua GREENSBURG - Reports of an Elvis sighting in Greensburg Tuesday night, however unsubstantiated, might not have been all that far from the truth. A man in a sparkling white tiger-themed jump suit took the stage at the Greensburg Community High School

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. April 17 6 to 7:30 p.m. - Crunch

    April 17, 2014

  • Farmers can sign up for disaster assistance now U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Julia A. Wickard announced April 9 that farmers can sign up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tue

    April 17, 2014

  • Commission tweaks sign ordinance GREENSBURG -- When City Engineer Gary Murray tried recently to enforce the local sign law, he noticed that he lacked the statutory powers. Last June, after years of discussion, committees and disagreements with some local business owners, the Greensb

    April 17, 2014

  • nws-gb041714- Pirate signs pic- page 1 Local banks fund Pirate championship signs GREENSBURG - Many local residents may have noticed the new additions to the "Welcome to Greensburg" signs posted at the five main entrances to the city. The Daily News spoke to Greensburg Mayor Gary Herbert to learn more about the new signs and how t

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SDES “Pinocchio” is great family fun

    WESTPORT – Fifth and sixth grade students at South Decatur Elementary School (SDES) will stage a production of Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” at 7 p.m. on April 24 and 25 at the school.

    After the roles were cast, students began practicing under the tutelage of SDES music teacher Karen Meeker in September.

    April 16, 2014

  • nws-gb041614-layton library lecture - pic - pg1 Jonestown survivor tells cautionary tale of history GREENSBURG -- Deborah Layton's nightmares of Jonestown ceased long ago, but even after all these years, one dream yet remains. It's a dream of her mother and it's very simple, Layton explained. She was speaking to a group of Decatur Countians Monday

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • At a glance... Obituary: Velma Carrie Lutes, 86 At a glance Courthouse closed for Good Friday Absentee voting will be closed at the Decatur County Courthouse Friday due to the closure of the courthouse in observance of Good Friday. Absentee voting is open from no

    April 16, 2014