Meeting: Huntingburg Common Council

The Huntingburg Common Council met Tuesday and:

• Approved submitting an application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for a loan and grant funding for needed improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant to meet state requirements for future growth and for safety. Anyone with questions about the potential project and application can email the questions within the next 24 hours to to get a response; include “public comment” in the subject line.

• Approved an ordinance in which the electric cash fund will loan the municipal wastewater utility $1,168,000; the money will be used for future wastewater plant improvements.

• Approved applying for a $250,000 Land and Water Conservation grant to help cover half the cost for adding a bicycling/walking path, on-site parking, an outdoor playground feature, benches, bike racks and a fishing pier to Northside Park. The council also determined how the local share, which would total $250,000 would be covered. The city will contribute $115,000 and the parks department will contribute $73,401 over two years. The electric department will contribute $17,000 for solar lighting, various donations of $4,000 will be used for the benches, and the street and park departments will contribute in-kind services.

• Determined that IMPA is in compliance with the stipulations of its tax abatement, which it received in 2016 for a solar park that was constructed on the north side of the city.

• Transferred $50,000 from the city’s economic development local income tax fund to the Huntingburg Revolving Loan Fund for emergency loans for local businesses. Mayor Denny Spinner said that 13 loans have been approved, and 10 of those have been closed.

• Heard from Fire Chief Scott Patberg that the city’s fire and safety rating has improved; in August, the city’s classification will move from 5 to 4. Risk assessment company ISO determines a community’s rating between one and 10, with one being the best. ISO’s assessment looks at the safety of a community based on the emergency services and their abilities to respond. A lower rating generally results in lower insurance rates.

• Rejected the bids received for a supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, system, which is used to monitor components of the electric system, like electric loads, voltages and temperatures. The bids received were inconsistent with what the department needs, Utility Superintendent John Reutepohler explained.

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