New water superintendent, auxiliary officers addedMay 27, 2021
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — The city has a new water superintendent and is getting some new auxiliary officers.
Jerry Austin was appointed water superintendent Tuesday evening. The Huntingburg Common Council approved Mayor Steve Schwinghamer’s recommendation for the appointment. Austin has been with the city for almost three years, and has served as foreman at the water department for the last year and a half.
He replaces Gary Meyerholtz, who has retired. Meyerholtz had been superintendent since 2016 and said previously that he would retire this year after the bulk of the water improvements project was completed. He had been with the city for more than two decades, working in the water and wastewater departments.
Three auxiliary officers were added to the police reserve/auxiliary program.
Jonathan Blocker, 21, is a Huntingburg resident and Southridge High School graduate. He has an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Vincennes University.
George Dubon, 22, is a Ferdinand resident and Southridge High School graduate. He is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement at Vincennes University.
Emmanuel Mercado, 28, is a Jasper resident and Jasper High School graduate. He has a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Indiana University with a minor in Spanish.
Both Mercado and Dubon are fluent in Spanish. “We’re happy to have them come on,” Police Chief Art Parks said. “We need those who are fluent English and Spanish. We’re seeing that need more.”
The council approved them for the police reserves list. The Huntingburg Board of Public Works & Safety will make the official appointments.
Parks told the council that all three men will be an asset to the department. “We're hoping down the road that we can get these gentlemen to join the department,” he said.
The council also:
• Set a public hearing concerning an upcoming water rate increase from Patoka Lake Regional Water and Sewer District. The 25-cent increase per 1,000 gallons would translate to about a 10-cent increase per 1,000 gallons for customers. The hearing will be at the council’s next meeting, which is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, at City Hall, 508 E. Fourth St. Council meetings are also streamed online at the city’s YouTube page.
• Set a public hearing to allow the Huntingburg Public Library to use $1.8 million it has saved for improvements. The hearing will be held at the beginning of the council’s June 8 meeting.
• Set a public hearing to vacate a portion of South Sycamore Street. The hearing will be held at the beginning of the council’s June 8 meeting.
• Approved purchasing transformers for the electric department from Indiana Municipal Power Agency for $68,369.
• Tabled awarding to a company the contract for City Hall roof work. The council wants city-contracted engineer Cash Waggner & Associates to determine what needs to be done to fix the roofing problems, so that one uniform list of specifications can be given to companies.
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