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By STUART CASSIDY
TELL CITY – In a brief presentation from Pour Haus co-owner Derek Cronin July 21, he asked the Tell City Board of Public Works to add wheelchair-accessible parking along Humboldt Street in front of the restaurant. He told the board such parking is available in side and rear lots according to their city-approved development plan, but he has noticed the location distances may be too far for some.
“I feel having it right there in the front would be a great spot,” Cronin said.
The board approved the addition of curb-side parking designations for those with limited mobility. However, they told Cronin he would be responsible for the permitting and associated fees.
Cronin assured the board he was willing to make the investment and was thanked for it since it would not only benefit his business but those nearby.
He will work with the city street department in appropriate locations for the new parking. During department-head reports, wastewater-treatment plant Superintendent Bruce Badger presented the board photos and updates on newly installed or repaired lift stations near the new hospital, near Subway restaurant and on Fulton Street.
The hospital is under construction and that regional lift station is 70 percent complete.
He said the station at Subway was revamped because it was “in bad shape,” leaning and “generally just looked bad.” Similar conditions were also present at Fulton Street. Both locations are now up to par and functioning properly, he added.
Tell City Street Commissioner Jeff Everly reported on annual spring cleanup efforts. He said five fewer dumpsters were used compared to the previous year, which resulted in a $1,900 savings. In 2014, the city spent $9,568.87.
“I blame it on mattress and box-springs. That’s one of our biggest take-ins,” Everly said. He added that they are hard to break down on site and take up a lot of space.
He went on to say Lutgring Brothers was finishing up two paving projects in town and was slated to begin work in Sunset Park.
J.H. Rudolph was also busy doing work in town, finishing up punch list items on street patching and was set to begin other work on Seventh, Pestalozzi, Humboldt, Mozart and Franklin streets. Those repairs are slated to all be done before the Schweizer Fest kicks off next week. Everly said paving will resume after the fest concludes.
Mayor Barbara Ewing announced the Tell City Police Department was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The award was in recognition of police efforts to improve traffic safety.
Ewing commended Assistant Police Chief John Allen, who spearheaded the agency’s grant application.
A story about the award was featured in the July 24 issue of the News.
Electric department Superintendent Marlow Smethurst announced the city had been approved by the Indiana Municipal Power Agency for a solar-generation facility at the former landfill location off Witches Hollow Road. Last month, the Tell City Electric Department made an application to its power supplier for construction of such a site. According to city attorney Jim Tyler, there are two options in moving forward. One would include conducting appraisals for land that would be leased to IMPA and soliciting bids for prospective lessees.
However, he said there is an alternative method under Indiana Code 36-1-12 that allows an executive order by the mayor to circumvent the appraisal process and accept proposals for occupants.
In the board’s approval of moving forward with the endeavor under option No. 2, Ewing lauded the achievement as “wonderful news for this community.”
The board approved a formal bid from the Cannelton Fire Department on a 1993 Spartan ladder fire truck for $40,000. The terms of sale include a six-year agreement wherein Cannelton will pay $5,000 annually for four years and $10,000 each the last two years. City leaders in both cities had already approved terms of the deal.
The board tabled bids from three companies for work that will remove drainage pipes from levees at Fourth and Tell streets and at Boundary Way.
In an update on a Brushy Hollow wastewater project, Ewing said the city is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental management to help ensure funding from the state.
In February, it was announced the city had been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Indiana Housing Finance Authority to serve Brushy Hollow Subdivision.
In what she described as a “somewhat complicated project, she said preliminary-engineering reports had been given by the State Revolving Loan Fund and other components of the project are coming together.
In preparing for the work, the city council is slated to discuss at their Aug. 4 meeting an agreement between the city and Branchville Correctional Facility. Ewing said the agreement will ensure the Branchville line, which is a “critical one for the community,” remains on tap since “losing that would been very much a devastation to that entire corridor.”
The project is still in need of property easements. Ewing said landowners along the Brushy Hollow route would be contacted in the coming weeks. The project is slated to be bid in September.
“Right now we have a lot of moving parts. But they are all being addressed very aggressively to bring this project to a reality,” Ewing continued.