Meeting: Huntingburg Council

The Huntingburg Common Council/Utility Board met Thursday and:

Ӣ Held a public hearing for a $40,000 Community Focus Fund planning grant to create a downtown revitalization plan. Commonwealth Engineers of Evansville and Development Concepts of Indianapolis have been selected to create the plan. A $5,000 local match will come from $2,500 in economic development income tax funding and a $2,500 grant from the Dubois County Community Foundation. The council signed a resolution to submit the application to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs in June. The city expects to hear at the end of July whether it will receive the grant.

”¢ Signed a resolution to submit an application to OCRA for a $500,000 CFF grant to replace about 2,700 feet of the city’s primary connection main to the Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District for drinking water. The city has accumulated $145,250 in local matching funds, using $83,250 in water utility funds, $50,000 in EDIT money and $12,000 in pledges from local businesses that will be handled by the community foundation. The application is due next Friday; a final hearing on the project will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St.

”¢ Reviewed City Attorney Phil Schneider’s proposed changes to the city’s parking regulations. The changes include much more specific language on what constitutes improper parking, such as parking on sidewalks or within 10 feet of a stop sign. The council members will review the proposed changes and discuss them further at the next meeting, slated for June 13.

”¢ Reviewed Schneider’s suggestions with regard to further restricting the kinds of vehicles that can park on city streets that may block other motorists’ view. He said the city has received numerous complaints regarding large, legally parked vehicles blocking lines of sight. Schneider suggested limiting vehicles to a load capacity of 1.5 tons, 6.5 feet tall, 19 feet long and 7 feet wide. A few council members expressed reservations about becoming too restrictive, so the council members will discuss the matter again at the next meeting.

”¢ Adopted an amended salary ordinance to adjust the pay and working hours of the city’s two after-hours dispatchers. The change will not affect their overall pay or hours, just the way they are reflected in the ordinance. Currently, the dispatchers are paid minimum wage for 40 hours per week they are on call but do not receive benefits as they have never spent a full 40 hours actually dispatching, according to Schneider. The current arrangement would still make them full-time employees according to the Affordable Care Act, requiring health benefits be provided. So the new ordinance provides for pay of $15.50 per hour for a maximum of 28 hours per week, making them part-time according to the act. Should they work more than 28 hours a week actually dispatching, the city would have to pay them overtime.

”¢ Heard from Energy Superintendent John Reutepohler that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has set hearings for a permit for the city’s gas transmission main from Midwestern Gas. To determine the maximum allowable operating pressure for the main, the city will be required to test the thickness of the 8.4-mile main in as many as 110 places. Reutepohler is examining options for completing that work with city crews because contracting out the work would be very expensive, he said.

Ӣ Accepted the low bid of $138,286 from Jasper Lumber Co. to build a new water utility building at the treatment plant by the city lake. The council decided to approve the options of adding a fifth vehicle bay and radiant floor heating to the building.

”¢ Approved spending $7,000 for Ladd Engineering of Lebanon to engineer the painting of the city’s south water tank. The work also will add a mixer to the tank that will stir the water to keep it fresh. The overall project’s cost is expected to be about $250,000 and is planned to start next spring.
Reviewed a draft of an emergency action plan for water transmission mains created by Water Superintendent Tony Traylor.

”¢ Heard from Reutepohler that last Friday the gas utility had to shut down the city’s natural gas storage field, which it is in the process of drawing down to abandon, because daily samples showed traces of water and sulphur in the gas. The field will be allowed to rest and build wellhead pressure before being drawn from again beginning June 3.

Ӣ Accepted a $21,600 bid from Trenchless Innovations of Otwell for directional boring to run electric lines underground near Pleasant View Apartments and the Ewing Properties duplexes north of 12th Street.

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