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Andrews storm-water discussion continues

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@h-ponline.com

The Andrews town council held a public hearing on Monday evening, regarding the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) grant for the stormwater program.

This was the second public hearing for the project taking place on McKeever street, which was held before the application for the grant is due next Friday, July 20.

Town Council President Bill Johnson said the project is slated to cost approximately $750,000 and the town is asking for the grant to cover up to $600,000. The town would then pay the remaining $150,000.

Shaun Tilghman, community development planner from Region 3A, spoke to the council and those present, re-explaining the application and process.

He reminded everyone that this project will be replacing non-functional pipes and inlets as well as extensions. He added that the town will also provide a replacement plan in the grant application.

Mitch Hansel from Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering also spoke, explaining where the new storm sewer will be located. He showed everyone on a map that the sewer will run through McKeever Street, starting at Loon Creek going to Leedy Lane, and the inlets will be placed on the east side of each of the intersections to collect the storm water.

He added that the pipe sizes will range from 12 inches to 30 inches. He also mentioned how driveways and the road will be repaired after the project is complete.

“Driveways that will be disturbed will be replaced from the storm sewer line with similar drive material. For example, concrete drives will be replaced with concrete, gravel drives will be replaced with gravel etc.,” he said. “McKeever street will be patched with asphalt.”

Johnson said the project will bring many advantages, one of which is safety from flooding.

Additionally, this project will put Andrews ahead in what the U.S. government has planned.

“Eventually the US government is going to make towns the size of Andrews segregate their wastewater and storm water, and we’re doing it now while the state has the money available to us,” he said. “We’re not sure how long that availability will continue, so we decided to move now on it while those funds were available.”

After this project on McKeever street, Johnson explains they are looking at three or four other areas to work on next.

Tilghman adds that if anyone wants to write letters of support for the project, they should do so by Friday, July 13.

In other news, the council also extended its contract with H&H Disposal until April 30. This did not add any new rates.

Johnson also explained that he has been getting phone calls from people regarding fireworks, but said he wants everyone to know that the town’s ordinance reflects state law, and they are unable to make it more stringent than what state law requires.

“We can’t cut the hours or do anything different than state law,” he said.

The next Andrews town council meeting is scheduled for July 23 at 6 p.m.