The Town of Hamlet is looking to maximize available state road funds in order to pave its streets. The Starke County Highway Department helped Hamlet with some paving last year. Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler told the town council last night he’s prepared the required asset management plan for them to submit to the state along with their grant application for matching funds allocated by the General Assembly. He says Hamlet should do well, especially since part of the money is earmarked for infrastructure projects.
“It’s money there available for you. It’s relatively easy to get. The emphasis is on giving it to small towns and communities like you guys. You probably will get 100 percent of your match, whatever you put in.”
Under the proposal, the town would pay for materials and the county would pay for the necessary labor and equipment. Ritzler says it’s a good deal for Hamlet.
“The paving quote is $30,000 for those roads. You would contribute $15,000 from the first batch of money they gave you and match the second half with the application. So you’re basically getting 1.2 miles of road paved for $15,000,” Ritzler said. “A contractor if you got them to do 1.2 miles in a town like this would be close to $100,000.”
He adds the matching grant opportunity will likely be offered for another couple of years and says Hamlet should be able to pave most of its roads during that time for a nominal investment. They would still need to be chip sealed every few years, but Ritzler says they could last 20 given the town’s low traffic volume.
The Hamlet Town Council voted to proceed with the grant application. It’s due to the state July 29th, and recipients will be announced sometime in August. Ritzler says it may be possible to do some paving yet this year. If not, the county will do the work in the spring.
The paving quote includes the following Hamlet roads:
Jefferson Street from Pearl to 550 North
Jefferson Street from 550 North to the railroad tracks
Elm Street from Walnut to Maple Street
Indiana Street from Stark Street to the city limits
Railroad Street from McCormick to Stark Street
Davis Street from Stark Street to the dead end
Madison Street from Stark to Main Street
Main Street from Rannells Funeral Home to Railroad Street
Hamlet Street from Railroad to Davis Street