Meeting: Huntingburg Common Council

The Huntingburg Common Council/Utility Board met Thursday and:

Ӣ Listened to several residents speak in support of the Huntingburg Transit Authority and then signed the annual resolution to apply for federal transportation funding for the authority.

Ӣ Discussed the possibility of creating a new policy whereby employees who receive city-paid training toward professional licensing or other credentials would reimburse the city for a portion of that cost if they leave the job before a set number of years of service.

”¢ Discussed updating the way the city handles electric utility billing. The change would not result in an increase or a decrease in a customer’s bill but would set a new base price to decrease the rate tracker, or the adjustment made up or down depending on the cost of energy. As it is now, the base price is frequently less expensive than the tracker amount because the base price hasn’t been updated since 2006.

”¢ Approved the Dubois County Airport Authority’s proposed 2014 general fund budget of $346,460, the same as in 2013 after an additional appropriation of $30,000. Of the total, $101,000, or 29 percent, is supported by tax dollars. The airport presents its budget to the council each year for approval, though the county council will give the final OK. Airport Manager Travis McQueen also reported that fixed-based operator tasks the board took over earlier this year include not just fuel sales, but also lining up car rentals, catering and any other special requests as needed. Crop dusters also have been frequent guests this year, which may explain why the year’s expected sales of 28,000 gallons of fuel already was sold in the first quarter.

Ӣ Heard from Energy Superintendent John Reutepohler that the city will be required to perform 75 digs on the transmission line with Midwest Gas to test the thickness of the line and determine a maximum allowable operating pressure. The city also may be required to test its many distribution mains for the same reason.

Ӣ Approved entering into negotiations with Jasper-based Matrix Integration to design a new communications and networking system for the city.

”¢ Heard from Water Superintendent Tony Traylor that the dam at the city lake will be inspected as required by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in 2014. Traylor is aware of a problem with the seams in the concrete spillway that have expanded to allow water through and is working to replace the I-blocks that protect the dam from erosion by waves.

Ӣ Heard from Traylor and Eric Parsley of Evansville-based Commonwealth Engineers that the city will be required to perform an archaeological study on 19 acres of land on the west side of the lake that it plans to use to dry dredged material from the lake. The council approved spending $3,160 for Ossian of Muncie to do the work, provided an agreement with landowner Mike Lammers is reached.

Ӣ Approved the purchase of a McLaughlin vacuum excavator from Newburgh-based Vermeer Midwest for $67,102.

”¢ Approved changing the council’s regular meeting time on the second and fourth Thursdays each month from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate council member Steve McPherron’s new job. The Sept. 24 and Oct. 10 meetings that will include annual budget hearings will be held at 7 p.m. as already advertised.

Ӣ Adopted an ordinance updating the city code for the fire department as recommended by the Huntingburg Board of Public Works and Safety. The changes clarify the number of firefighters allowed in the department and the number of firefighters that must remain in the city if the department is dispatched elsewhere and provide for a six-month probationary period after the completion of state-required tests.

Ӣ Adopted an ordinance raising the fine for handicap parking violations from $50 to $100 as required by new state law.

Ӣ Authorized Clerk-Treasurer Tom Dippel to enter the annual Huntingburg Redevelopment Commission report into the statewide public records computer system.

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