2018-03-07 / Front Page

Flora to let bids soon for water improvement project

Will continue fluoridating drinking water
By Susan Scholl

The Town of Flora gave Commonwealth Engineering the go ahead to proceed with the drinking water improvement project by submitting a construction permit application. Work on the project began two years ago with a preliminary engineering report, determination of the scope of the project (plant and storage tanks) and securing financing.

The $2.92 million project will be funded through a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant and a USDA Rural Development loan.

Following a competitive bid process, Commonwealth estimates the project will get started by late summer.

Also aging is the town’s fluoridation system.

Utilities foreman Ron Fritz questioned whether it continues to be beneficial for the town to fluoridate its drinking water. If so, with upgrades being done to the water plant, Fritz said it would be a good time to replace current fluoridation equipment.

According to Jim Powers, program manager with the Indiana Dept. of Health, Flora has been fluoridating its water for 50 years. He believes the reduction in tooth decay, citing statistics of 25 to 40 percent, warrant continuing the practice.

“I would say it’s an important thing for people to have,” Powers said. “Ninety-four percent of towns and cities in the state have it.”

Dr. Travis Jones and Dr. Steven Herr also offered their support for adding fluoride to the town’s drinking water.

“We support it,” Jones stated. It’s pretty obvious it reduces the decay rate. Yes, it’s a cost for the town, but Steve and I firmly support fluoride at the appropriate level.”

When fluoridating the water, only a slight amount is used. The state has set safety standards that are followed.

Vince Seward said it is his belief the town needs to continue to fluoridate its drinking water. There is minimal cost, he said, and it helps residents who do not regularly see a dentist.

Darrell Yoder agreed. “The board is in agreement with the dental experts and health department to continue fluoridating the water.”

The board told Fritz to proceed with upgrading the fluoride system.

Beer garden at park

The board agreed to the Community Club’s request for a beer garden at its clubsponsored tractor pull in June.

Josh Ayres stated he has had a lot of feedback on the topic and most people are OK with the beer garden in a confined area.

Laurie Brower, president of the Community Club, said the beer garden will be in a tent and that area will be roped off.

“Most other big events like this are done this way,” Yoder added.

“We are changing the ordinance that allows no alcohol in the park. This will allow the council to consider requests on a case-by-case basis,” Ayres said.

Town attorney Abigail Diener will present an amended ordinance to be signed at the next meeting

Cameras at the park

This issue has been discussed at the last four meetings and the board was ready to make a decision. Yoder said he spoke with two companies about camera systems at the park and at the town office building; one company was local, the other was from Fort Wayne.

The estimate for four cameras at the park from the local company, Brenneco, was higher at $3,699 compared to $2,605 but Yoder said he believed the town would be getting better quality cameras that should last longer.

“It’s my opinion we should go with the local company,” Yoder said. “The system they offer can be added to later on, appears to have better quality, and there will be someone here to take care of it.”

Clerk-treasurer Joretta Tinsman said Tinsman & Son recently installed cameras from Brenneco. She said the pictures from the cameras are clear and they are very satisfied with their purchase.

“It might serve the town in the long run using someone local,” Seward added.

The question was raised how long the recorded video will last and the answer was a couple of weeks.

The council approved the motion to purchase the camera system from Brenneco.

Other business

Fire chief Todd Trent reported nine medical and six fire related runs in February. He said the ISO audit will be June 5 and it is his goal to drive the town’s rating from 6 to 5.

Trent said they will be scored 40 percent on water supply, 50 percent on the fire department and preparedness, and 10 percent dispatch.

He said it is an extensive review with a lot of preplanning.

The marshal’s report for February included 14 arrests/ misdemeanors, 8 felonies, 6 citations, 23 warnings, 59 calls for service, 2 accidents and 2 warrants served.

Marshal Paul Redmon praised Officer Josh Disinger for his work on the recent armed robbery investigation which was recently wrapped up.

By passing resolution, 2018-01, Disinger was appointed the town’s representative on the county Emergency Management Agency board.

The plan commission issued a wrecking permit for two outbuildings.

The 2018 fire contracts with Carrollton Township for $1,700 and with Monroe Township for $4,000 were signed.

The council approved the purchase of a John Deere X730 tractor for a difference of $2,845 with trade-in at Tri- Green Tractor.

Permission was given Living Faith Church of the Brethren to add a 20 ft. by 20 ft. concrete pad for the food tent they operate during the fair. The town wants the pad thick enough it can be driven on without cracking or breaking.

Spring trash pickup will be May 4 and 5. Residents are reminded that once the truck has been down their street, it will not return. Information about what items will and will not be picked up will be posted on the town’s website, www.townofflora.org.

The next meeting will be April 2 at 6 p.m. in the town office building.

Utilities reports

Fritz expressed frustration with an ongoing, nearly daily, issue of semi trucks using South Center and South Division streets to get to the truck wash on East Elizabeth Street. He said the trucks are destroying town property and private property using inappropriate, narrow routes to their desired destination. He also said the truck wash owner has done what he can to encourage using South Third Street to get to Elizabeth Street but the drivers are using GPS and the quickest route shown is often South Center and South Division streets. Just last week, Fritz said, a town pole was taken out by a truck using the wrong route to the truck wash.

The council approved using the public notification system through Reach Alert LLC at a cost of $1 per household for the first year and $2 per household for years two and three. Through Reach Alert, town specific notifications such as recycle truck breakdowns, power outages, etc. will be sent out to residents via cell phone, email or landline telephone. Residents can sign up by stopping in at the Town Office or completing the form that will be sent out in their next Utilities bill.

Return to top