An ongoing process for a flood plain program has taken another step forward.

Last night, the Jasper City Council formally approved a resolution declaring a group of properties between Main and Jackson Streets as well as between 1st and 2nd streets as an area in need of redevelopment.

Jasper mayor Terry Seitz says last night’s decision was part of a continuing process:

Now a public meeting for property owners in the aforementioned area was held back on January 8th. The resolution is just the first step in the process. Property owners will be getting informational packets to inform them of their rights concerning the program and their properties. The buyouts are voluntary and property owners could commit to the program right away and opt out later if they don’t like the appraised value and purchase offer for their property. 2 appraisals for each property would be paid for by the more than 544 thousand dollar grant. The median of those two proposals would be the appraised value of the property. Property owners could have a third appraisal done if they don’t like the value of the first two, but that would be done at their own expense.

Also last night, the council heard from a representative of Jasper Desk concerning the possibility of a monument to the Jasper Desk Foundation. Now Jasper Desk was purchased last year by Jasper Group and there were fears that the foundation would dissolve at the end of 2013. A meditation labyrinth has been proposed near the Jasper Desk Plant and to the east of the Dave Buehler Plaza parking lot. Seitz says the project is a good plan for the area:

Seitz says 27 thousand dollars was raised for the Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition (ROJAC) for this project to be done. Earlier this month, the Jasper Board of Public Works approved 500 dollars for Indiana Region 15 in order for them to administer a grant on this project. Seitz says if all goes well, the labyrinth could be in place sometime within the next year.

Finally last night, the council heard a report from Vincennes University Jasper Campus dean Dr. Alan Johnson about Dubois Strong. Johnson outlined the next three year plan for the organization. The theme of that plan was growth, specifically workforce, business, and entrepreneurial growth.