Democrat-led city council to consider riverfront project

Work on developing the Columbus riverfront between Second and Third Streets is on the agenda of Tuesday night’s Columbus City Council meeting.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission voted last month to approve a contract with Hitchcock Design Group to continue work on the proposal at a cost not to exceed $567,300.

The proposed project is meant to improve access to and along the river, including plans to remove the low-head to improve river water quality, safety and navigation.

The current project schedule is anticipating permit approval from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in April. Contract bidding on the more than $8 million project is expected between April and June. The project is slated to close out in January of 2022, with post-construction improvements continuing through Fall of 2023.

The Redevelopment Commission approved the contract with Hitchcock on a unanimous vote. The Columbus City Council will need to give final approval, as the price tag is over the $500,000 limit the redevelopment commission can spend without council approval.

This will be the first meeting of the new Democrat-led city council. Taking part in their first meeting on the council are Democrat Jerone Wood in the 1st District and At-Large Councilwoman Grace Kestler. Democrats have a 4-3 majority on the council.

Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall. You are invited.