Andrews councilman unhappy with work done by MetroNet contractor

A member of the Andrews Town Council voiced displeasure with the work performed by a contractor on behalf of MetroNet at council’s meeting on Monday, June 11.

Council President Bill Johnson explained that a MetroNet relay box had been installed on his McKeever Street property in either late March or early April as part of an initiative by the fiber optic communications provider to extend services to Wabash. Johnson remarked that the installation of the box, which is adjacent to a sidewalk, had destabilized the sidewalk, causing it to start caving in. Additionally, the box itself has begun sinking into the ground, Johnson observed, due to an inadequate foundation.

Johnson also lamented the condition that his property had been left in by the installer, noting that there were parts of his yard that were uneven and stripped of grass. The damage, he said, necessitated the hiring of a landscaper to repair it.

Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock stated that a box had been installed on another McKeever Street property, resulting in damage to the sidewalk there, too.

Johnson said that he would speak with MetroNet and petition the company to repair the damage.

McKeever Street was also set to be the focus of representatives from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, who were scheduled to visit the town on Thursday, June 14, to assess the street, which is where council would like to see a stormwater system installed. To fund the construction of that system, the board is pursuing an OCRA community development block grant.

Johnson and Bullock will lead the representatives on their tour of the street, which Johnson said is customary when towns pursue grants, as it provides agencies a clearer picture of why a municipality is trying to attain a grant.

Council stated that it hoped to receive more information from Stantec, an environmental service company, about why it would be taking a soil sample from underneath California Street. Stantec is tracking a plume of trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent once used at the now-closed United Technologies Automotive plant on North Jackson Street.

“When you say, ‘We’re going to take soil out from under California Street,’” said Councilman John Harshbarger, “how much soil are we going to take? Are you digging up the street? Or are you just boring a hole? What are you doing?”