The Andrews Town Council discussed updates on a few town projects during its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 8, including the town sidewalk project and the FEMA buyout.
According to council member Roger Newsome, the sidewalk projects are coming along, but are going slow.
“The sidewalk looks good, he’s just really slow,” Newsome said.
Multiple portions of Main Street sidewalks were torn up and re-done for this project. At the time of the meeting, most of the portions planned for the project, including the portion in front of Andrews Town Hall, had been completed.
However, last on the docket to be poured was the sidewalk area in front of The Ice Cream Vault, owned by Ed Asher – and Asher was unhappy with how the project was going. Complaints included the fact that Asher had been shut down during the process of the project, there was damage done to the Ice Cream Vault patio during the process of ripping up the sidewalk and that the matter of putting in an ADA ramp was in question.
“Fifteen days today and I still don’t have a sidewalk,” Asher said.
Council went on to discuss the progress that had been made up to that point on the sidewalks. No further projects of this nature will be started this year.
According to Council President John Harshbarger, the FEMA buyout project is “still at a standstill” due to appraisers continuing to not get back to the council. In short, a list of eight Andrews properties was shared during a council meeting in August 2020. The list was ordered by priority and each property was to be purchased by the town and FEMA would then reimburse the town for that purchase.
So far, four of the eight properties have gone through this process – and the town only has until October 2022 to complete everything. This means that council has less than a year to get four properties appraised, purchased and reimbursed.
“The clock is ticking on this project and once we get started, we are still going to be waiting for reimbursement,” Harshbarger said. “It’s very important to get this rolling.”
Resolutions for the four remaining properties were read, stating the intent to
purchase the properties by the town council.
In other business:
• Council was asked to sponsor the town Christmas Light contest again this year, with prizes for first place, second place and third place. The suggested prizes – $125, $100 and $75 – were the same amounts as last year, so the request was approved.
• Town Marhsal Austin Bullock stated that the Huntington County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) had received a grant to supply the city and county with portable radios. Andrews will be receiving one – and while Bullock says that it “doesn’t sound like a lot,” each radio costs between $2,500 and $3,000. The radios are expected to arrive in January.
• The new fire engine for the Town of Andrews is officially in service. According to Dean Young, a representative of the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department, the engine went into service after the fire department’s fish fry fundraiser.