Roanoke's water tower mixers not working, council learns

The Roanoke Town Council learned at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, that devices tasked with circulating the contents of the town’s water towers have ceased functioning.

The town’s supervisor of operations, Phil Hibbert, reported the development to the board. The devices, called mixers, were installed in both of the town’s towers and each unit appeared to stop working due to mineral buildup. The units, which were under warranty, were removed from the towers and sent to the manufacturer so that the exact cause of their failure can be determined, said Hibbert.

Mixers are especially important in the wintertime, stated Hibbert, as they ensure that the water in the towers does not freeze. To prevent freezing from occurring, Hibbert noted that he would fluctuate the water level in the towers.

On the subject of water, Hibbert delivered an update to council on efforts to extract heavy metals from a lagoon nearby the town’s wastewater treatment plant that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) wants to see closed.

Testing was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the ion-exchange process in removing the heavy metals from the water, said Hibbert. Element Fort Wayne, an environmental testing laboratory, has been analyzing the results of those tests. DLZ will deliver a summary of those results at council’s Feb. 6 meeting, said Hibbert, as well as provide information on the cost of having the ion-exchange process performed on the entire lagoon.

Council hopes to be able to purify the water and then discharge it from the lagoon into the nearby Little River.

In regard to street improvements planned by the town this year, Hibbert expressed a desire to meet with the residents of 7th Street to gather input on changes they would like to see made to the street as part of the improvements. Hibbert noted that he is proposing two travel lanes for the street, with parallel parking on one or both sides.

In other business:

Council President Dave Tucker stated that Randy Harris, superintendent of the Huntington County Community School Corporation, would be attending council’s meeting on Feb. 6 to deliver an update on the corporation’s plans to construct a new elementary school in town.

The board resolved to sign IDEM paperwork that will obligate the town to permanently discontinue its practice of burning brush. The town halted the practice last August after IDEM objected to it.

Council granted Hibbert permission to spend up to $2,300 on the installation of electrical receptacles on 20 Main Street light poles. PeGan Electric will perform the work.