A film crew will collect stories about Richmond’s history for a documentary.

Mayor Ron Oler told Richmond Common Council members during their March 4 meeting that Ball State University PBS wants input from anyone with history and artifacts about the city for “Now Entering … Richmond.” The documentary is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. June 6 on the Ball State PBS channel and its other platforms.

“This documentary will be an hourlong documentary about what Richmond is,” Oler said. “We’ll use this as a marketing tool for years to come for the Economic Development Corporation and other avenues.”

Any interested residents may attend a meeting at 6 p.m. March 13 to hear about the documentary plan. A crew will return March 22 and 23 — most likely at Morrisson-Reeves Library — to film the resident contributions.

“We don’t want to leave anything out,” Oler said.

Ball State PBS began the “Now Entering … “ series in 2016 and has featured about 15 communities. “Now Entering … Hagerstown” will air at 8 p.m. March 14.

Low-income housing

Oler told council that the mayor’s office signed a letter March 4 with the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority about a low-income housing project.

The project, which is part of the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program, involves development of the former Nicholson School site at North 13th and North G streets in Richmond. Oler said it’s planned for about 62 semi-assisted-living and assisted-living units and about a dozen single-family townhomes at the site. Another 22 single-family residences would be scattered on properties emptied as part of the city’s blight elimination program.

The residences would be lease-to-own “to help lift working-class families up and give them homeownership,” Oler said.

According to the HELP strategic investment plan, the city would contribute $50,000 from its American Rescue Plan Act money, while receiving $12.5 million from IHCDA and its Low Income Housing Tax Credits and $2.45 million from the developer.

Richmond Housing Authority has opened its waiting list for public housing. Applications may be made in-person at 58 S. 15th St. or online at www.richmondhousingindiana.org.

There also will be a job fair from 2 to 6 p.m. March 27 at the Merle Henderson Apartments, 481 S. 14th St., Richmond.

Other business

Council referred an interlocal agreement with Wayne County for the Emergency Communications Center to its finance committee and an ordinance that would update the city’s litter code to its public safety committee.

The city’s share of the 911 costs has averaged $404,834.36 the past five years, although it was billed more than $400,000 just during 2022.

The litter update was prompted by Howard Price, a 2023 independent candidate for mayor, addressing council about the topic during the Jan. 16 meeting. The changes would eliminate the requirement that public streets have trash receptacles and would boost the fine for littering from $25 to $150. 

Council members expressed concern about if the ordinance would be enforced and how it would be enforced. As written, law enforcement and authorized department officials of the city’s public works, sanitation, solid waste management, building and zoning, fire, health, parks and recreation, and housing departments could enforce the ordinance.

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Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.