Meeting: Ferdinand Town Council

The Ferdinand Town Council met Thursday and:

• Heard that the police department made 40 traffic stops, issued 21 warnings and nine citations, and investigated 12 accidents in February. Officers also attended classes on how to respond to power line and pipeline emergencies.

• Heard that the new police car is complete and on the road.

• Heard that the police department is preparing to hire five reserve police officers. The department is in the process of narrowing down the applicant pool and has six candidates that look promising.

• Approved hiring Christian Gogel to fill the vacant police officer position, effective April 1.

• Heard that the fire department had three fire calls and nine emergency medical calls in February and attended several trainings, including a school-bus training with Southeast Dubois Schools.

• Heard that there will be a drug take-back day on Saturday, April 27, at the Fourth Street Fire Station, 221 E. Fourth St.

• Heard that the electric department has been replacing old poles in an effort to avoid outages.

• Heard that the electric department will need a new pole truck next year. The council will start looking at options now since lead time on the vehicles is about a year.

• Heard that the property and maintenance department has been working to replace faded signs around the town and has begun hauling yard waste and tree limbs. 

• Heard that a handful of street signs have been stolen and will need to be replaced. 

• Heard that pothole repair will begin when the asphalt plants reopen for the season in the next few weeks.

• Heard that the wastewater department has been working on obtaining a sludge-hauling permit for the removal of dried sludge from the wastewater plant. A few farmers have requested the sludge to use as fertilizer.

• Approved two wastewater department employees to attend the WTH Technologies GPS training Conference in Indianapolis in May for $100 each, plus room and travel.

• Heard that baseball and softball teams and leagues are starting to practice on the fields at Fifth Street Park.

• Heard that the park board is discussing updating leasing costs for park facilities and will bring a recommendation to the council at the next meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Town Hall, 2065 Main St.

• Heard that Wednesday, March 27, is the application deadline for the 2019 Dubois County Leadership Academy.

• Heard that vendor applications for the 10th Ferdinand Folk Festival will go online in early April.

• Heard that the town will switch to Cintas as the supplier for employee uniforms.

• Heard that the town is working to get insurance companies to cover the damage from a semi that hit power lines on a service road not meant for semi trucks.

• Heard that issues are still arising with mud being tracked onto Fifth Street from the Scenic Hills at the Monastery development. The council approved Town Attorney Sharon Bohnenkemper to send a letter to the developer telling them to fix the issue.

• Approved Town Manager Chris James to attend the annual Indiana Municipal Management Association conference in Plainfield for $150, plus travel and board.

• Appointed Roger Corley to the Economic Development Commission.

• Approved the base bid of $435,100 from Seufert Construction for the Old Town Lake project. Work will start in June.

• Approved a bid from Power Construction Group of Uniondale for $583,400 to build an electric substation.

• Heard that Suez Advanced Solutions of Perry, Georgia, will be in town Tuesday to begin assessing the town’s water towers to form a maintenance plan.

• Approved German American to host the annual Clean Sweep Day on Saturday, April 27. During the event, teams from local organizations compete to pick up the most trash to win funds for their organizations. The event is capped at 10 teams.

• Heard that the town will run a prize drawing for people who have signed up for autopay or who do sign up for autopay for their utility bills.

• Approved an amendment to the drainage control ordinance to include exemptions for small industrial projects.

• Approved a lease agreement with Best Equipment of Indianapolis to lease a trash truck for three years for $1,980  per year with the option to buy the truck for $1 after the three years.

• Approved a bid for an excavator for $57,100 and a trailer for $8,250 from Hopf Equipment of Huntingburg to be shared between the electric, water and wastewater departments.

• Amended a 2015 memorandum of understanding with Best Chairs that was created when the company built a retention pond to take care of flooding issues along 23rd Street. The amendment increases the acreage of land covered by the memorandum.

• Discussed a rate increase for St. Henry Water Corporation from $3.19 to $5.67 per 1,000 gallons of water. St Henry uses Ferdinand for a backup water source. For the last 10 years, the community was not included in water rate increases in Ferdinand, so this increase brings the rate to what it would be if it had been included in the past increases. The council will hold a hearing at 8:15 p.m. at the April 16 meeting at town hall.

• Approved changes to the employee handbook to allow paid sick leave for grandchildren, to allow police officers who live within the county to take home their police vehicles and to specify that town employees who use a town vehicle only use it for town business except in emergencies.

• Discussed an ordinance creating a policy for police officers and employees to use comp time to be compensated for up to 36 hours of overtime instead of overtime pay if they so choose.

• Approved Tuesday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 10, for Spring Clean Up waste removal days. Households can attach two trash stickers to their piles of trash to be picked up in total. Fluorescent light bulbs, regular household trash, treated wood, freezers/refrigerators, tires and liquids will not be accepted through the program. Contact James with questions at 812-367-2282.

• Approved an engagement letter with Baker Tilly — previously H.G. Umbaugh Associates — of Indianapolis to handle paperwork associated with United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development sewer bonds for the year for $500.

• Discussed an ordinance creating a sewer rebate program for water use that doesn’t enter the sewer system, such as when people fill pools or have a pipe in the yard that leaks. The rebate will not apply to the first 2,500 gallons so that the town can cover the administrative fees of applying for the rebate.




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