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Canine Plaza fountain eyed for replacement

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Crawfordsville Main Street is in the early stages of replacing the fountain at Marie Canine Plaza.

Main Street hired Indianapolis-based Smock Fansler Corp. to develop proposals for a new water feature in the downtown gathering spot, which was dedicated in 2003.

“The fountain feature is really an important aspect of Canine and something we’d like to see continued,” Main Street program manager Sue Lucas said.

Smock Fansler will produce three design concepts, which Main Street will present to the public for input. The new fountain will be the same size as the one being replaced, Lucas said.

Main Street has repaired the structure a number of times over the years due to mischief and aging of the structure. Less than a year after the plaza was completed, brass fixtures were stolen from the fountain. Three years ago, the agency spent nearly $4,000 on patching, sanding and coating.

More irrigation and fountain repairs were made last year.

The upcoming project was included in Main Street’s 2019 annual report. More than 30 volunteers put in nearly 3,000 hours of work planning events like the summer First Friday and Lunch on the Plaza series, maintaining the plaza and Pike Place and planting hanging baskets.

The nonprofit is part of a state program that supports revitalization projects in local communities. Funding also comes from the City of Crawfordsville, which provided $28,000 to the agency in 2018.

Main Street is working with the city, Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Commission and a Michigan-based design firm on a plan to install wayfinding signage downtown.

The agency also promotes historic preservation in the heart of Crawfordsville. Ben Hur Building project developer Jon Anderson is scheduled to publicly unveil his plans at Main Street’s annual meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 27 on the fourth floor of Fusion 54.

More than $530,000 in public and private funds has been spent over time on façade renovation of downtown buildings.

In 2018, Indiana Main Street communities invested $369.5 million in projects statewide, according to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Every dollar supporting a local Main Street program creates an average $56 in new investment, OCRA reported.

While return of investment data is not available for Crawfordsville’s organization, “I would say we’re really parked within that number,” Lucas said.

There are 135 Main Street organizations in 81 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

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