Andrews water tower being taken down Thursday

Andrews Town Council President John Harshbarger announced during the council's Monday, June 24, meeting that the town's aging, unused water tower would be torn down Thursday, June 27.

A crew from Iseler Demolition, a Michigan-based company specializing in the dismantling of water towers, will begin work at 5:30 a.m. and it is anticipated that the tower will be completely taken apart by the evening.
"We're very happy to see this moving along," said Harshbarger.

Councilman Ray Tackett suggested that the space cleared up by the tower's dismantling be converted into extra parking for Andrews Elementary School, which sits nearby the tower.

In order to apply for a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a utility study, council formed a committee charged with carrying out an evaluation procedure of engineering firms.

"In order to get the funding, you have to go through an unbiased selection process," said Ross Pietrzak, community development planner with Region III-A, "in which case they have to solicit at least five different firms... and then they have to go through this process of receiving the qualifications, scoring them, totaling the scores and then determining which engineer is the most qualified."

The committee will consist of Harshbarger, Tackett, council Vice President Mike Rohler, Clerk-Treasurer Bill Johnson and Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock.

Council unanimously passed Ordinance 2013-8, which transferred $35,000 from the town's general fund to its rainy day fund, under a state provision that allows for up to 10 percent of a town's general fund to
be transferred in such a manner. The town has only $17,000 in its rainy day fund currently, a meager amount compared to other towns, Johnson said. Transferring funds into that account, he noted, will help the town pay for projects going forward without raising rates.

Johnson said the goal is to ultimately build the balance of the rainy day fund account up to $100,000.

In other business:

Council unanimously passed Ordinance 2013-9, which adopted a county zoning ordinance allowing non-livestock farming in open space.

Council held a special meeting prior to its regular meeting in which it met with town department heads to discuss the town's 2014 budget.