Meeting: Birdseye Town Council

The Birdseye Town Council met Thursday and:

• Adopted a resolution authorizing another application be sent to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs seeking a $500,000 construction grant to build a new fire station in Birdseye. A previous application did not get funded. A public hearing on the new grant application is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the 9 W. First St. fire station.

• Continued working on ordinance updates, agreeing to rescind an old street maintenance ordinance with provisions dating back to the late 1800s. “It’s funny to read but it’s not really applicable,” said Councilwoman Mary Ann Cummings. Other updates include provisions addressing the town’s park, animals-at-large and weed ordinances. Spirited, sometimes contentious back and forth with Birdseye Park Board President Janet Partenheimer and Vice President Archie McCutcheon occurred when Clerk-Treasurer Brittany Schepers explained that, after consulting with the State Board of Accounts, it was determined monthly rent paid on a town-owned house adjacent to the park must go into the town’s general fund. There had been discussion about whether the rent could go into a non-reverting capital fund within the park board budget.

• Heard an update from Dubois Strong President Ed Cole, who spoke about the economic development group’s efforts in the areas of workforce attraction and retention and the Mid-States Corridor. Council members were especially interested in the recent creation of a rural broadband committee because Birdseye is underserved in that area.

• Finished rescinding a blight designation that had been placed on an old school lot seven years ago. The reclaimed green space south of West Third Street, across from Jake’s Auto Parts & Service, is now the proposed location for Birdseye’s new fire station.

• Received an update from Utility Superintendent Bob Morrow about a contract with Midwestern Engineers, Loogootee, for designing a waterline relocation in wake of the Indiana Department of Transportation planning a culvert replacement project along State Road 64 near Pine Ridge Road. Birdseye will be reimbursed by the state for moving the water main out of the construction right of way. Morrow said the main must be moved by June 2020.

• Heard that Birdseye Town Marshal Benton Stroud would like to seek a grant to fund a hand-held radar unit in the future.

• Made plans with former councilman Jerry Alstott to check and then string up Christmas lights this holiday season with the assistance of Fischer Electric.

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