Roanoke council discusses next step in closing lagoon

The Roanoke Town Council discussed the next step in closing a lagoon near the town’s wastewater treatment plant during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The town’s supervisor of operations, Phil Hibbert, informed the board that he wanted to explore using the ion-exchange process to extract heavy metals from the lagoon, which has been mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) as a step in its closure. Council directed Hibbert to move forward with his plan, which will see DLZ take water samples at the lagoon and have them run through the process. DLZ and Element Fort Wayne, an environmental testing lab the town has been working with, will each conduct tests on the samples to deduce if the heavy metals have been satisfactorily removed. If that is the case, council will consider having the process performed on the entire lagoon to purify the water for discharge into the nearby Little River.

The board gave Hibbert permission to spend $2,200 on the sampling and subsequent actions.

Hibbert also updated council on his efforts to locate a woodchipper for potential purchase for the town. The board has been interested in the acquisition of such a machine since IDEM ordered the town to discontinue its practice of burning brush in August. While the utility department has continued picking up brush in the community since that time, council and Hibbert agreed that something would need to be done soon about its accumulation at the former burn site. Council Vice President Troy Karshner requested that Hibbert look into what it would cost to rent a woodchipper.

Additionally, Hibbert presented a professional services agreement from Fleis & VandenBrink to the board to sign. Council hired the civil engineering firm to handle the preparations for street improvement projects in town next year. After making a few amendments to the agreement, the board voted to accept it, provided the alterations are reflected in the final document.

Jonathan Dorsey, community development planner with Region 3A, led a discussion at the meeting regarding improvements that council and citizens in attendance would like to see made in Roanoke. Among the suggestions were making improvements to sidewalks, installing more street lights in the Roanoke Village subdivision, building a splash pad and courting more high-paying jobs to the area.

The suggestions will be included by Region 3A in the town’s comprehensive plan, which will specify projects that the town would like to see completed over the next five years and will be consulted by the state when deciding whether or not to award Roanoke funding for projects.

In other business:

Council passed Ordinance 2017-10, which prohibits the use of compression release engine brakes – commonly known as Jake brakes – in the town limits.

The Roanoke Volunteer Fire Department was granted permission to spend $3,600 for the installation of new lights at the firehouse. PeGan Electric will perform the work.

Representatives from the Roanoke Fall Festival board informed council that the board had finished electing members. The board is currently looking for volunteers to assist in the planning of the festival. Board meetings take place on the first Monday of every month in the old town hall at 7 p.m.

Council approved easements for Claybrooke subdivision’s second plat.