By Briley Gargis
WINONA LAKE – A total of $60,000 has been directed by the Winona Lake Town Council to help offset financial problems for town businesses hurt by the pandemic.
The town council met Tuesday, May 19, via Zoom and voted on two separate resolutions giving $30,000 each. The first resolution was for the Village of Winona and the businesses located there. This money will help with rent for those companies who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The village has done two months of free rent, and this will add another half month forgiven for 2020. This is a godsend for those businesses,” said Nick Hauck, managing director at Winona Restoration Partners.
Along with this, the other $30,000 will go to the KEDCo Small Business Relief Fund. This will specifically be made available for businesses within Winona Lake. Funds provided will be focused on job retention and relief for businesses. Applications for the money are on the KEDCo website.
“Any money not utilized will be returned to the town,” Craig Allebach said.
The city of Warsaw and the state of Indiana have also contributed to KEDCo’s small business relief fund, which is being dispersed with up to $10,000 for individual entities in the form of no-interest loans.
In other matters, the five-stage addition to the greenway to connect Miller Field to Raccoon Run was discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. With the first stage, there are plans to connect Miller Field to Christ Covenant Church along with a new playground the church is planning. The last stage will link Lakeland Christian Academy to Raccoon Run.
Winona Lake also closed out on the viaduct purchase for $17,000, through which $10,000 was put back into the community in the form of planting about 40 trees. The remaining $7,000 was given to the Watershed Foundation.
All summer park programs will be held virtually with the launch of the Virtual Resource Center, set to launch on WinonaLake.net this Friday, May 22.
Winona Lake will also be going ahead with the Fourth of July orchestra concert; however, most activities for children and other events will be held virtually.
Hauck also provided an update on the existing Winona Lake greenway trail, noting that it has had a huge uptick in traffic, and offered reminders for some basic rules for the trails.
He said riders must wear a helmet on the trails. Along with this, trails are directional and bikes must go a separate direction from people walking. There are also no strollers allowed on the trails. When the red gates at the entrances of the greenway are closed, this means the trails are subsequently closed. For more information, visit Winonalaketrails.com.
Lastly, the re-establishment of the chief deputy clerk position was given to Megan Lincoln.
The next town council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 16.