Andrews council hopes to identify trajectory of contamination plume

In light of recent contamination issues at the Andrews Municipal Building, the Andrews Town Council is hoping to better identify the trajectory of the contamination plume that caused them.

The plume contains trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent once used at the United Tech-nologies Automotive plant at 303 N. Jackson St. TCE has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Stantec, an environmental service company working on United Technologies’ behalf, screened the air in the municipal building’s basement and detected vapors from the plume. As a result, Stantec performed sealing work in the basement and around drain plugs to keep those vapors out.

Council President Bill Johnson expressed concern about the findings, calling them “an indication that (the plume is) moving faster and further than we thought.”

To get a clear picture of the plume’s current position and course, Stantec will drill monitoring wells. The board stated that it would request Stantec send representatives to its next meeting on March 27 so that the amount and locations of those wells could be discussed.

The plume also prompted council to approve a contract with law firm Plews Shadley Ra-cher & Braun.

“They are going to represent the town in its efforts to see if there is a claim for the damage done to this building by the contamination,” said Johnson.

In other business:

The board hired Dixon Engineering to perform maintenance on the town’s water tower. After draining the tower, the engineering firm will clean and inspect its interior. Johnson said the work would be performed sometime this summer.

Council voted to pay a $3,675 fine to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The payment will satisfy the fee that IDEM imposed on the town in its agreed order. The board reduced the amount of the payment by performing a water leak survey for $4,000 and pledging to fix those leaks for another $10,000.

The board informed representatives from the Huntington Countywide Department of Commu-nity Development that it would be supportive of efforts to complete a flood response and evacuation plan for the county. DCD is working with civil engineering firm Butler Fairman & Seufert on the plan and estimated that it would take six to 12 months to complete.

Council agreed to cover the cost of the four bands that will perform at the Andrews Summer Festival. The total cost is $3,050. Festival Chair Julie Newsome also re-minded the meeting’s attendees that a fund-raiser for the festival will be held at Pizza Hut on March 27.

The board gave the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department permission to spend $6,000 on air packs and $1,500 for two auto-mated external defibrillators.

Additionally, depart-ment representatives noted that AVFD would be holding a public safety awareness day on April 22 and a tenderloin dinner on May 20.

Town Marshal Austin Bullock informed council that his department’s new vehicle had arrived.