2019-01-09 / Front Page

Flora Council reorganizes; planning under way for wastewater system improvements

Susan Scholl
Editor


Seward Seward The Flora Town Council began its first meeting of the new year Jan. 7 by reorganizing and electing officers. Vince Seward is the new council president with Darrell Yoder, vice president, and new Council member

Jacob Adams, finance chairman.

T-Bird Designs engineer Clem Kuns answered questions pertaining to the wastewater system upgrades and reminded the Council that as per the agreement with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) a report on the town’s efforts to improve its wastewater system is due that entity by the end of the month.

The Council agreed to purchase equipment needed to provide flow data information at a cost of $3,858.

Kuns also explained the timeline for a wastewater project grant. He said the town will need to front the bill for mapping and the GIS report at an estimated cost of $60,000. The money can be recouped later through a grant. T-Bird was instructed to wait later in the year to start in order for the town to spread the expense over the end of 2019 and into 2020.

Kuns said if the town goes with the USDA approach, “we (T-Bird) feel we can get a high percent of grant vs. loan monies” for the project.

In the meantime, the town will pursue a Blight Elimination Grant in an effort to tear down the old Brethren’s Home. Boards and committees

Positions filled on boards and committees include: Flora Plan Commission – Jason Siebert, replacing Troy Helderman who moved out of Flora; Park Committee - Jason Burns, Josh Ayres and Brooke Miller; Carroll County Economic Development Corp. - Joe Moss (threeyear term) and Steve Wheeler (one-year term); Board of Trustees, Flora-Monroe Public Library - Cheryl Been; and K-IRPC Board – Joretta Tinsman.

Reports

Marshal Paul Redmon said the new RMS system was implemented in mid-December and nearly all of county law enforcement is using it.

“It is still a work in progress,” Redmon said. “The seller is working to correct and add to the program” to make it more workable for this county.

Insurance has not yet settled on the town’s 2017 police car that was totaled recently, Redmon said. He has been in contact with a dealership about replacing the vehicle with a 2019 Durango. Dell replaced the damaged laptop and insurance will replace the damaged radar unit, he said.

Included in the 2019 police department budget is replacement of the 2015 police cruiser. The replacement vehicle, a pickup truck, will be purchased later in the year when it is available, Redmon said.

The volunteer fire department had 22 runs in December – 17 medical and five fire-related.

Utilities foreman Ron Fritz recommended the council approve the hiring of Ace Consulting Engineers to help the town secure a Community Crossings Grant for street work. Fritz said Cory Mahan, a local graduate, works for the company and would be doing the work. Rates with this company are less than the previous company; $5,000 for the first year and $3,000 for the second.

The council approved a two-year contract with Ace subject to town attorney Abigail Diener reviewing and adding specifics to the contract.

The Electric Dept. has been cutting down and trimming nuisance trees with more to be done. Approximately 10 residential electric meters are being tested a month for accuracy and are being replaced, if needed.

The GIS system is expected to be installed on Jan. 9 with training to begin. Hydrants are being flushed as weather permits.

The Street Dept. is patching holes as time allows.

The Wastewater Dept. land applied 73,200 gallons of sludge to the Robeson Farm just north of the treatment plant.

Other business

Yearly fire protection contracts were signed with Monroe Township in the amount of $4,000 and with Carrollton Township, $1,700.

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) will change its Energy Cost Adjustment rates and its base rates charged to its members. It is estimated the change will decrease costs to the electric utility over the next three months. This amounts to a $2.11 decrease for every 1,000 kilowatt hours consumed.

No building permits were issued in December.

The Town Office will be closed Jan. 21 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 11.

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