Meeting: Birdseye Town Council

Town of Birdseye officials attended an OCRA Awards Ceremony Thursday at the Indiana Statehouse to accept a $500,000 grant for a new fire station. Pictured from left: Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Birdseye Councilman Roy Partenheimer, Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission Project Administrator Nathan Held, Birdseye Clerk-Treasurer Brittany Schepers, Fire Chief David Smith, Council President Bret Eckert and OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden.

The Birdseye Town Council met Thursday and:

• Noted that Council President Bret Eckert, Councilman Roy Partenheimer, Clerk-Treasurer Brittany Schepers and Fire Chief David Smith had traveled to the Indiana Statehouse earlier in the day as Birdseye was recognized for securing $500,000 in funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a new fire station. Also present in Indianapolis was Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, OCRA Executive Director Jodi Golden and Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission Senior Project Administrator Nathan Held.

• Retained Mike Huddleston, the head of English’s water utility in neighboring Crawford County, to continue overseeing Birdseye’s water testing and reporting through 2020 at $550 per month.

• Introduced an amendment to the town’s animal regulations ordinance adding a procedure for the town to recoup costs when an unclaimed, nuisance or dangerous animal is caught and removed from the town. Such animals are taken to a veterinary clinic to be treated and held for two to 10 days before being sent to the Dubois County Humane Society. According to the proposed ordinance addition, owners seeking to claim their animal may do so after paying all accrued expenses to the town. The ordinance amendment will take effect upon its publication.

• Noted a Model T enthusiast group from Louisville, Kentucky, is planning for as many as 50 of the old Fords to visit Birdseye’s park Friday, June 5. The group, which will be releasing more information about the coming visit, plans to have a catered meal during the stop at the park.

• Planned to look into participating in the state’s Community Crossings grant program. Launched in 2016, the Community Crossings program provides funding to make improvements to local streets, roads and bridges. The match for the grant funding would be 25% for a town Birdseye’s size.

• Heard from Utility Superintendent Bob Morrow that water losses in three of Birdseye’s four water zones are at less than 6%. The loss in the remaining zone is about 40% because of a leak somewhere between Schnell Road and the west side of town that is being sought.

• Heard from Morrow that, because the discharge from Birdseye’s sewer lagoons has been below 100,000 gallons per day, a renewal fee for a state operating permit dropped from $2,400 to $1,400. The lagoons are functioning so well, Morrow said, that an expert lecturer on wastewater lagoons has visited and will profile the town’s lagoon site in an upcoming newsletter.

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