Andrews Town Council hears that festival future is in doubt

The future of the Andrews Summer Festival is in doubt after the dissolution of the committee that plans it, learned the Andrews Town Council at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 9.

Julie Newsome, chair of the Andrews Summer Festival Committee, said that the group was disbanding due to declining membership. For her part, Newsome stated that chairing the festival’s committee had been a 12-month commitment and that it had worn her out.

With the committee no longer in place, the festival will not happen in 2020, said Newsome, unless new people step forward to continue the committee’s work. If that happens, she said, she would be willing to help the new committee get started on planning the festival.

In the event that no one steps forward, Newsome said that the festival’s remaining funds would be turned over to the town council.
Council President Bill Johnson thanked Newsome and her fellow committee members for their efforts to plan recent festivals, which he praised as excellent.

Anyone interested in planning the festival for 2020 is invited to call Newsome at 517-2427.

Council discussed the cleanup process at Antioch Mobile Home Park. Councilman John Harshbarger stated that three mobile homes still needed to be removed. In the interests of motivating the park’s owner, Brian Salerno, to remove the units, Harshbarger suggested setting a deadline of Dec. 30 for the homes’ removal. If the units have not been taken out by the date, said Harshbarger, the town will take over the cleanup process and bill Salerno for the work.

Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon stated that she would email Salerno about removing the homes and the Dec. 30 deadline.

The board voted to renew its service contract with Huntington County Economic Development for $3,000. Johnson praised the organization for its efforts to bring jobs to the county. He stated that it was in Andrews’ interests for Huntington’s new industrial park, which is only four miles outside of town, to fill up with businesses, as those employees might look for homes in Andrews.

Town Marshal Austin Bullock reported that he had been in contact with the town’s legal counsel, Adrian Halverstadt III, about getting court approval to remove refuse from a property in town. The property in question, 883 N. Jackson St., is littered with refuse such as old tires, stated Bullock. While numerous ordinance violation fines have been leveled at the property’s owner, they have not motivated the owner to clean up the property, said Bullock.

Council announced appointments to local and area boards: Laury Powell, Huntington County CEDIT Advisory Board; John Harshbarger, Region 3-A Advisory Board; Tom Wuensch, Huntington County EMA Advisory Board; Bill Johnson, Huntington County Economic Development; Roxy Gray, Laury Powell and Tim Ness, Andrews Board of Zoning Appeals; Carl Turner, Andrews Board of Zoning Appeals (ETJ); Sandra Bowers, Andrews Library Board; Gary Rice, Norwood Regional Water and Sewer District; and John Harshbarger, Laura Dillon and Roger Newsome Jr., Stormwater Management Board.