Columbus is pursuing a $200,000 federal matching grant to improve its riverfront by modifying or removing a century-old low-head dam near the new Upland Columbus Pump House.

But some Columbus Redevelopment Commission members are questioning how the city can apply for grants for this purpose when the city so far does not have a overall plan in place to improve its riverfront on the East Fork White River.

The commission eventually approved seeking the matching grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday night, although several commission members asked what the city was committing itself to and whether the grant itself was actually for low head dam modification or removal.

Commission members agreed to apply for the grant after board attorney Stan Gamso changed the wording of the resolution to say the city was encumbering up to $200,000 for the match in the event of the grant being awarded, and the redevelopment commission would still need to allocate the funds in the event that the grant is received.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.