Andrews Town Council reduces scope of upcoming paving work

The Andrews Town Council reduced the scope of the town’s upcoming street paving project at its meeting on Monday, April 24.

The board decided to address fewer streets as bids for the project came in more expensive than what the town is able to afford. The town has $92,000 to spend on the first phase of the project, while the lowest bid it received was for $113,296, submitted by E&B Paving.

Council voted to accept the bid from E&B Paving, provided that the Indiana Department of Transportation approves the town’s scaled-back version of the project.

Those streets eliminated from the project’s first phase will be addressed in subsequent phases. Council President Bill Johnson noted that the state’s funding formula for such projects has transitioned from 50/50 to 75/25, with the state funding the majority of a project while a municipality foots the bill for a quarter of it. Johnson said he anticipates more funding becoming available as early as August and that the town would look into applying for it then.

Steve Brock, of Therber Brock & Associates, presented a preliminary rate study to the board. Council is looking to raise the town’s wastewater rate as a means of reducing the loan it is taking out to construct the town’s new wastewater treatment plant.

“The reason why we’re looking at this particular increase is that if we reach the $65 for 4,000 gallon usage level, the SRF — State Revolving Fund — will allow us to buy down $1 million of our loan,” explains Johnson. “Our loan’s going to be around $4.2 million. If, in fact, we get this rate increase in effect, then we’ll only finance $3.2 million instead of the $4.2 million. Which will save the town, in the long run, will save the town more money by the less cost of interest than it would be for the amount of money that we’re putting into it.”

The board will open construction bids for the wastewater treatment plant on May 3. Once council has those figures, Brock will finalize the rate numbers in his study. An ordinance for a rate increase will be introduced at the board’s meeting on May 8.

Council directed the town’s attorney, Adrian Halverstadt, to amend the town code, adding provisions for temporary housing. The provisions will create a permitting process for individuals seeking to reside in an RV or camper in town for a period of time greater than 30 consecutive days. Permits will be obtained at the clerk-treasurer’s office.

As long as the conditions of the permit are satisfied, it could be good for either six months or a year. The length of the permit will be determined. Councilman John Harshbarger voiced support for a six-month length.

In other business:

• Town Marshal Austin Bullock was granted permission to purchase two new radios.