City finds reuse for former street department site

By CANDY NEAL

cneal@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — The former Huntingburg Street Department site will get a new use.

Now that the department has moved to its new home on West 19th Street, it’s old location on First Street will likely be used for storage and overflow parking for the nearby Huntingburg City Park.

The Huntingburg Common Council told Street Superintendent Jason Stamm to get quotes for demolishing three of the five buildings at the former site. The two buildings that are on the east side of the lot will remain and be used for storage of city and park supplies. The open space that will come when the three buildings on the west and north side are demolished will become a parking lot.

The council also talked about whether or not to keep offering an area for residents to leave limbs and recycling.

For recycling, the street department would have to take equipment to the old site to pick up what residents leave and take it to the county’s solid waste process center. Doing that will take some workers’ time. Stamm said that if the city should decide to do citywide curbside trash collections in the future, recycling could be added to that.

Mayor Denny Spinner said that when the department started the recycling collection area, it was before the county placed a recycling and trash site at County Road 400W and Phoenix Drive. “Huntingburg residents are being served by the county recycling site,” he said.

Council members decided to suggest to the Huntingburg Board of Public Works to discontinue collecting recyclables at the First Street site.

“If we didn’t have county recycling, this would be a different discussion,” council member Tim Wehr said.

Whether or not to keep the limb collection site will take more consideration.

Spinner explained that the collection site started as a place for people to take limbs that were torn down during bad weather events. It continued, and now people are allowed to bring limbs to the site anytime.

But the service has been abused, Spinner and Stamm both said.

“People bring grass clippings, bushes, monkey grass,” Stamm said. “We get all of that now.”

Council members were worried about removing the service. “If we don’t offer something, people will let this accumulate in their yard, which is a violation,” council member Glen Kissling said, “or burn it, which is also a violation.”

The council asked Stamm to look into the costs for fencing around the site and for adding cameras for monitoring, since the department has moved. City Attorney Phil Schneider said that rules may need to be put in place to specify what can and cannot be placed at the site, along with penalties for violating the rules.

 

The council also:

• Approved of its transit department submitting its annual grant application for federal funding to operate the transit service in 2020. Transit Director Jacque Lueken told the council that $84,852 will be requested.

• Heard the annual update about Dubois Strong activities.




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