Warsaw working with Fellowship Missions to remove Jomac building

The old Jomac Products building sits along Winona Avenue east of Fellowship Missions. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By David Slone

WARSAW — The city of Warsaw is working with Fellowship Missions on a grant that would help cover the cost of removing the old nearby Jomac Products building where a new shelter could eventually be constructed.

If the city is awarded a Blight Clearance Grant through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), the former Jomac building would be demolished to make way for Fellowship Missions’ future plans.

On Friday, City Planner Justin Taylor requested permission from the Board of Public Works and Safety to apply for the grant for the property at 1624 E. Winona Ave., which is owned by Fellowship Missions. 

The maximum grant amount that the city could be awarded is $500,000.

He said there is a 10% match, but that would be covered by Fellowship Missions.

“OCRA requires the applicant to meet certain requirements, and it makes sense for the city to partner with Fellowship Missions to seek this funding,” Taylor said. “We’re also partnering with MACOG (Michiana Area Council of Governments) to do the grant administration and application process.”

He said it was a “very exciting opportunity for us to help demolish some blighted buildings and develop that new use for the site.”

The board approved the grant application.

After the meeting, Fellowship Missions Executive Director Eric Lane said they’ve been talking about the Jomac building “forever” but now they’re starting to make headway on it.

 The current plan is to “demolish it, greenspace it and then we’ve already got some design work to build a new shelter there.”

The new shelter, which will offer increased capacity, will eventually replace the existing shelter directly to the west. 

Once the new shelter is built, the old one will be shut down, everyone will move over to the new shelter and the old shelter will be demolished and become a parking lot.

“We’ve reached capacity, not only for people, but also services,” Lane said.

The deadline for the grant proposal is April 26.

Taylor also presented to the Board of Works a contract with Dogwood Hills Tree Farm for the removal and replacement of eight trees in downtown Warsaw. 

Total cost is expected to be $11,105.

“This is part of the multiyear effort to improve the trees downtown and create more biodiversity with our trees in the downtown,” he said.

After the board approved the contract, Taylor then presented a $1,500 proposal to hire a certified arborist from Dogwood Hills for the pruning and maintenance of the trees that the city has.

“They’ve also said that if we move forward with their proposal, over the years the $1,500 would come back to us in the form of a $500 credit each year,” Taylor said.