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Lanesville to receive $280K INDOT grant for road improvements

Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

Lanesville was awarded a $280,000 Community Crossings Matching Grant by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, which will be used to fund five road projects, the town council announced at its regular meeting last Tuesday. The grant, which totals $280,727.08, is earmarked for infrastructure improvements to town roadways, including Evanston and West Pennington avenues, among others. Bid requests for projects to be covered by the grant funds are forthcoming.

As a town with fewer than 10,000 residents, Lanesville will be responsible for providing 25% in matching funds with the remainder furnished by the Community Crossings program partnership through INDOT. Training related to the CCMG will be conducted in Indianapolis on Nov. 8, and the council approved for Clerk-Treasurer Betsy Blocker to attend.

In another matter, Chief Marshal Tom Walter reported he has been working to rebrand badging for the department. The department received a donation from the Lanesville Heritage Weekend committee, which he would like to put toward new badges.

Walter circulated several designs and indicated 10 to 12 badges would cost about $900 to $1,200.
Councilman Austin Berg recommended the council support Walter’s recommendation, and Walter agreed to notify them once the design is finalized and badges purchased.

Walter also mentioned he took over scheduling for the department and his work on the Standard Operating Procedures documentation is about 65% complete.

The council also entertained a request for a water bill adjustment from resident Erica Meuse, who believes her outside water spigot was turned on, unbeknownst to her, during the Lanesville Heritage Weekend festival last month. Her water ran for two days before she discovered it. Her most recent water and sewer bill was $438 and is usually about $93, she said.

The council indicated it would review the usage and likely could perform an adjustment on the sewer bill, and charge Meuse for the water used at its cost.

“We’ll come up with a figure and let you know,” Council President Herb Schneider said.
In other business, the council:

• Voted to approve its 2020 budget appropriations and tax rates.

• Discussed procedures on handling dog bite complaints, which, Walter said, are generally considered a civil matter and best left for the parties involved to resolve. Walter said he can file a report to document and recommends any dog bites be referred to Harrison County Animal Control immediately.

• Heard a presentation from a representative with Eco-Tech, of Sellersburg. Eco-Tech provides trash and recycling services to Georgetown and New Albany, and the company has interest in adding Lanesville. The council reviewed proposals but took no action.

• Discussed refinancing the town’s USDA loan for prior extensive sewer upgrades. Schneider said the refinance would take five years off the loan and they must obtain a current pay-off amount from First Savings Bank before proceeding with the process prior to a deadline of Nov. 19.

• Discussed town trash service after questions from residents. The town’s plan is to phase out other providers and have all residents with Rumpke. Customers were notified earlier this year; however, the council decided another letter outlining the plan will be sent soon.

The town council’s next meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m., moved from the second Monday due to Veterans’ Day.