A historical hotel in southwestern Jackson County inched closer to a planned renovation after administrative work was completed during a recent commissioners meeting.

Shannon McLeod, a grant writer, presented documents to officials to release $207,000 in state grant funding to begin work on the Joe Jackson Hotel in Vallonia.

The state will process the release, and the funds should be available in about a week, she said.

Work is expected to start in late October or early November and be completed in the spring. The Fort Vallonia Days Association accepted the bid from Warner Construction. The company has previously done work on the building, McLeod said.

“Once they get in here to get started, I don’t think they will be here all that long,” McLeod said.

McLeod shared the budget with commissioners, which included $23,000 for architect design and $184,700 for construction. The bid for construction is $195,000, she said, so the association will have to pay the difference.

The association received the funding in August 2018 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to convert the two-story brick hotel at 2420 S. Main St. into a community space. It also will complete electrical work, install plumbing and improve drainage. The hotel was originally constructed in 1914 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Only organized governments can apply for the grant, so the association needed the county to be a part of the project for formality. No local taxpayer funds were used to apply for the matching grant, but the association was responsible for $22,500 to put toward the project.

The association had raised about $30,000 through various fundraisers since it purchased the building in 1999.

The Community Foundation of Jackson County also provided $10,244 in matching grant dollars for the Vallonia project. Those grant dollars include $2,244 from the 2017 fall grant cycle, a $6,000 impact grant and $2,000 from the Schneider Nursery Inc. Unrestricted Community Fund administered by the foundation.
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