Andrews Town Council finds Community Crossing grant won't fund storm water infrastructure project

The Andrews Town Council discussed storm water infrastructure projects during its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Council President Bill Johnson reported to his fellow board members that the town’s Community Crossings matching grant does not fund the storm water infrastructure project that council was under the impression it did. The board believed the grant would pay for the installation of a mainline storm sewer and inlets at every intersection on West McKeever Street. Johnson, however, discovered at a Dec. 19 meeting with engineering firm RQAW and Jay Stankiewicz, representing engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink, that only basins and caps would be installed.

Council agreed that the smaller scope of work would not sufficiently address the street’s flooding issues. To that end, the board hopes to attain a community development block grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs that would fund the work it was originally hoping for. The town filed a proposal for the grant on Dec. 1. After holding a public hearing regarding the grant at the upcoming Jan. 22 council meeting and completing a townwide income survey, the town hopes to formally apply for it on Feb. 9.

The board stated that the storm water work on West McKeever Street would continue to be prioritized over repaving work that is planned for it. That work will be funded by the Community Crossings matching grant.

Council also discussed the installation of storm water infrastructure on Main Street. Johnson noted that he would be meeting with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) on Thursday, Jan. 11, and petition the department to install a storm water system on Main Street when it repaves the roadway, which is a section of Indiana State Road 105, in 2019.

“We’re going to try to sell INDOT on the fact that if they do that, if they put money into doing that, then there won’t be standing water on their road system, so they wouldn’t have as much upkeep and maintenance costs on 105 if they didn’t have water accumulating on it during heavy rain events,” explained Johnson.

Should INDOT not be receptive to that suggestion, Johnson recommended that the town reach out to State Sen. Andy Zay and State Rep. Dan Leonard and ask for their help in making the town’s case to INDOT.

The day after the INDOT meeting, on Friday, Jan. 12, council scheduled a special meeting at 2 p.m. with Stankiewicz, Paul Vincent, of RQAW, and Matt Brinkman, of Region 3A Development and Regional Planning Commission, to discuss storm water infrastructure projects.

In other business:

Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon reported that the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development had an engineering report on hand that assesses the structural integrity of a building at 48 S. Main St. that caught on fire on Dec. 11. While Dillon did not know the contents of the report, the completion of that document will help determine if the building, which housed apartments, is salvageable.

The board passed Resolution 2017-6, which authorized budget transfers to cover deficits in line items.