Meeting: Birdseye Town Council

The Birdseye Town Council met Thursday and:

• Heard from Birdseye Branch Library Manager AmyJo Lytle and Birdseye Outreach Club spokeswoman Marcia Austin that a free-standing “blessing box” will soon be placed on the library grounds to supply those in need with food, blankets, personal items and even books. An anonymous community member built the four-shelf structure that will be installed next to the library’s storage shed. The location is private but still in view of security cameras. The public can freely stock it, but donors should contact Lytle at the library or Austin or other outreach members to drop off supplies in bulk or monetary donations to the effort.

• Heard from Assistant Executive Director Kelly Gardner and Water Circuit Rider Dave Adkins about water system and wastewater system operator apprenticeship programs offered by the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water. The Alliance is funded by memberships as well as grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and USDA Rural Development and offers free training and technical assistance. If Birdseye would go forward with the apprenticeship program, it would need an applicant who is at least 18 years old, and who possesses a high school diploma or GED and a driver’s license. An applicant would also need to pass a drug screen and background check.

• Approved a resolution setting hold-the-line town employee and council member monthly salaries for 2020. Monthly pay was unchanged at $2,000 for the utility superintendent ($1,050 from the water utility, $950 from the wastewater utility); $850 for the utility clerk ($500 from the water utility; $350 from the wastewater utility); $1,375 for the town marshal (from the general fund); $1,960 for the clerk treasurer ($550 from the water utility, $550 from the wastewater utility and $860 from the general fund); and $150 for town council members ($50 from the water utility, $50 from the wastewater utility and $50 from the general fund). Street department and emergency utility helpers will continue to get $13 per hour.

• Heard from Utility Superintendent Bob Morrow that a major water leak (90,000 to 100,000 gallons per month) was recently found and rectified at a flush hydrant in the vicinity of Pine Ridge Elementary School.

• Approved transferring $3,000 between accounts to pay Hughes Paving Co., French Lick, $12,000 for recently completed street repairs and resurfacing work. Hughes’ final bill was $1,000 under estimate.

• Tabled a request by Councilman Roy Partenheimer to increase the town’s $6,100 fire services contract payment to the Birdseye Volunteer Fire Department by $1,000. Board members want to research the issue. The $6,100 payment roughly breaks down to $2,100 for a clothing allowance, $1,000 for life insurance and $3,000 for insurance on the equipment.

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