Andrews Town Council notes that scope of McKeever stormwater system to be reduced

The Andrews Town Council discussed the stormwater system it wants to install on McKeever Street during its meeting on Monday, April 22.

Due to rising construction costs, the board stated that it would have to reduce the scope of the project from what it had originally intended. While council had hoped to implement the system from Leedy Lane to Loon Creek on McKeever Street, it reported that the proposed system would now run from Jackson Street to Loon Creek.

The board emphasized to the meeting’s attendees that the escalating construction costs underscored how important it was that the town obtain the community development block grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) that it is currently pursuing to fund the project. If the town were to fail to earn the grant, stated council, it might have to reduce the scope of the project again, due to the increasing costs.

As part of the town’s pursuit of the grant, the board and the town’s grant administrator, Mike Kleinpeter, of Kleinpeter Consulting Group LLC, gathered comments from residents at the meeting about the need for a stormwater system on McKeever Street and their experiences dealing with the flooding that occurs without one.

Council will hold another public hearing on June 10 at the Andrews Municipal Building at 6 p.m. Citizens who are affected by the flooding that occurs on McKeever Street are encouraged to attend that hearing and share stories about their hardships.

Kleinpeter stated that it was crucial residents passed along their experiences to him and council, as he will use those stories to illustrate to OCRA how badly the town needs a stormwater system on that street.

The board also reported that it would be meeting with the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development later in the week to open a dialogue with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about purchasing floodplain-situated houses in Andrews.

Council noted that it had identified eight such houses, all of which were located in the vicinity of Loon Creek.

On another matter, council stated that repaving work and sidewalk installation on Market Street had commenced. That work is being performed by E&B Paving and is funded primarily by a Community Crossings matching grant the town obtained.

Market Street will be repaved from Monroe Street to the railroad tracks in town and from California Street to River Road. Sidewalks will be installed on the east side of Market, from Monroe Street to Washington Street, and on the west side of Market, from California Street to River Road. Councilman John Harshbarger noted that the work had started at River Road and would move toward Monroe Street from there.

In other business, Town Marshal Austin Bullock stated that residents should not blow their grass clippings into the street, as it is an ordinance violation.