Questions over dugouts are resolved

Roanoke Town Council President Dave Tucker announced during the council's meeting on Tuesday, June 4, that refurbished dugouts in Roanoke Park that were served a violation notice by Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development (HCDCD) last month are now compliant.

The biggest issue was that one of the dugouts was ruled to be in the regulatory floodway.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines the regulatory floodway as the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge a base flood, without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was under the impression that the dugouts were newly constructed, rather than preexisting structures, and that threatened the town's good standing with the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners if their community agrees to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

Things have been straightened out, though, says Tucker.

"Once we explained to them (DNR) that they (dugouts) were already there and we sent them documentation to show that they were already there, I think they were pretty much good with it, but we haven't heard back officially yet," he says.

Tucker added that any lingering issues between the HCDCD and the town over its failure to obtain building permits before the dugouts were refurbished had also been resolved, as he filled out the proper forms.

Council addressed a citizen's complaint that the restrooms in Roanoke Park are locked when she walks her dog there in the mornings, anytime from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Vandalism necessitated this move, said Tucker. Ken Tanner, treasurer of the Roanoke Park Board, stated that although the restrooms are locked at night, they are unlocked in the mornings around 9 a.m.

In other business, Town Marshal Jim Wood informed Tanner that the park needed to obtain stickers identifying its John Deere Gator as the town's, as well as slow moving vehicle signs for it. Without the stickers, Wood said, it was possible that some citizens might think it was permissible for vehicles, such as a Gator, to be on the road, when in reality only the town's Gator has that permission.

Tanner announced that the park hired a new maintenance worker.