Andrews council holds public hearing for stormwater system

Andrews Town Council held a public hearing to discuss the installation of a stormwater system on McKeever Street during its meeting on Monday, Sept. 24.

The proposed system would run from Leedy Lane to the bridge over Loon Creek on McKeever Street. To pay for the system, council is trying to obtain a community development block grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs that totals $600,000.

The public hearing was held as part of the proposal-submission process. Proposals are due to OCRA by Friday, Oct. 5.

During the hearing, resident Julie Newsome raised concerns about where the proposed system would be depositing the stormwater. She remarked that her father-in-law, Ted Newsome, resided in a house near Loon Creek on McKeever Street and expressed concern that channeling stormwater into the waterway would prompt it to flood more frequently than it presently does.

Council President Bill Johnson responded that much of the stormwater in town already flows into Loon Creek, so the volume of water entering the creek would not be increased by the stormwater system.

Johnson listed various reasons why the system was needed on McKeever Street, stating that stormwater on the roadway currently created a hydroplaning hazard, eroded the street and pooled up in residents’ yards.

Johnson also noted that council had met with Larry Buzzard, president of the Huntington County Commissioners, and engineers regarding a county plan to replace the McKeever Street bridge over Loon Creek. The new bridge, said Johnson, would be higher than the current one, plus the road approaching it would be raised by three feet. Johnson stated that the current bridge sat too low over the river and that building a new, elevated one would improve the flow of water underneath it during high-water events.

Additionally, Johnson noted that the possibility existed that the county could obtain a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that would be used to purchase and demolish properties in Andrews that are located in the flood plain. FEMA has identified a total of eight properties on McKeever Street, said Johnson, that are in the flood plain.

In other business:

- The Andrews Summer Festival Committee is holding a fund-raiser for the festival on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Andrews Fire Station from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. An all-you-can-eat breakfast will be served.

- The town will be selling a variety of items at an auction on Friday, Oct. 12, at the town garage on Terrell Street at 6 p.m. Neal Snyder will be the auctioneer. A list of items that will be available at the auction can be viewed at the Andrews Municipal Building.