PER available for city water projects

A public hearing was held during the regular meeting of the City of Huntington’s Common Council on Tuesday, Feb. 9, regarding the city’s Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) – specifically, Long Term Control Projects numbered 7, 8 and 9.

Director of Public Works and Engineering Services Adam Cuttriss said, “The PER is a document that provides information necessary for the state revolving fund (SRF) loan program to determine the technical, economic and environmental adequacy of the proposed wastewater infrastructure project in accordance with Indiana law.”

At the Nov. 10, 2020 meeting of council, Cuttriss explained, Ordinance 14-C-20 was adopted. In consideration of that ordinance, council heard presentations from the city’s engineering consultant, Lochmueller group, and its financial consultant, BakerTilly. Each provided council with materials that specifically detailed the construction cost and financing of each of these projects.

“Once this public hearing has been completed,” said Cuttriss, “the city will be in a position to take its next steps to complete these projects. Including, having the PER approved by SRF – which will allow the city to take advantage of the favorable financing terms through the SRF loan program.”

No public comments were made.

The PER is available for public viewing and comment in the engineering department until tomorrow, Feb. 16. The city will accept written comments through the end of the day Tuesday.

In unrelated business, the Huntington Plan Commission recommended council approve an amendment to the city’s Future Land Use Map of the 2019 update to the city’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan, to include areas recently annexed by the City of Huntington, and other areas on the fringe of the city.

Council president Charlie Chapman said he applauded the efforts made to update the map, and he understands the importance of updating the map on a regular basis.

Councilman Jerry Meehan explained the main focus of the amendment is the recently annexed Riverfork West area, and “a little area … on West Park (Drive), behind Huntington Nursery, (which is) switching ground from commercial general use to open space, and a residential area on Franklin Street that will be switched from residential to industrial medium intensity.”

Council approved the amendment, which will be adopted as Resolution 1-R-21.

In other business:

• Mayor Richard Strick gave his State of the City address.

He reflected on the challenges of 2020 and his first year in office.

Strick credited those in leadership roles in the city with the ability to navigate a difficult year with “minimal disruption.”

He says he looks forward to 2021 and growing Huntington’s infrastructure.

“I can promise you there will be bumps and bruises along the way. Anytime humans are involved, we can count on misunderstandings and failure to communicate. I can also promise you that practicing humility and graciousness in our discourse and actions will go a long way toward permitting us to overcome longstanding challenges in our city and country,” he concluded.

• A presentation was made by Katy Strass, director of the Huntington Arts & Entrepreneurial Center and executive director of the LaFontaine Arts Council, and America Carrillo, local artist, explaining Carrillo’s work on a new mural project in Huntington to be completed this spring.