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Palmyra council pursuing CC grant, considering back-up pump purchase

Palmyra council pursuing CC grant, considering back-up pump purchase Palmyra council pursuing CC grant, considering back-up pump purchase
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

The Palmyra Town Council moved to pursue another Community Crossings grant through the Indiana Dept. of Transportation during its bi-monthly council and utility board meeting Oct. 8 at the town hall.

Grant administration services will be completed on the town’s behalf through a contract with River Hills Economic Development District Regional Planning Commission. The monies are available to towns and counties throughout Indiana and, if awarded, are to be used to fund road and street projects. The council voted to sign an agreement with River Hills for $6,500 to cover associated costs and to allow council president Virginia (Jeannie) Kirkham to act as designated “signer” on documents related to the grant.

“It’s another good opportunity,” councilwoman Christall Ingle said.

Town Marshal Dennis Lemmel reported to the council that the recent parks department fish fry was a success, and his officers provided coverage throughout the event. There were no fights or altercations, of which he was aware, and traffic seemed to move smoothly.

“From our perspective, it went pretty well,” he added.

Lemmel and the council agreed the town would follow Corydon’s schedule for Halloween festivities and trick-or-treating. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, and Lemmel said, due to that, he wasn’t sure what to expect. The holiday is a mandatory detail for the marshal’s department.

“We will be out and about that night,” Lemmel said. “We’ll be ready for it.”

During the utility board part of the meeting (the town council also serves as the town’s utility board), the board received an update from contracted water superintendent Steven Schmitt regarding scrap brass and aluminum and old water meters being stored and which Schmitt said is taking up space and can be recycled as a revenue stream.

“We’ve got about 12 garbage cans full,” Schmitt said. “We need it out of there.”

The utility board voted to allow Schmitt to oversee the recycling. Schmitt said he would call around to see which recycling company offers the best price.

In another utility matter, the board passed an addendum to Schmitt’s contract, more specifically two minor revisions to account for usage of tools and equipment and also the emergency pay rate for work outside 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (which will be $50 per hour). Wording will also be added specifying Schmitt can bring in additional personnel when and if necessary and bill at the market rate.

Schmitt also suggested the town look into purchasing a back-up pump to be used when one of its lift stations is down or being serviced. Schmitt said lift stations are costly to pump down.

“So far, our biggest problems are Heuser and Jarboe (lift stations),” said Schmitt, who will do additional research into determining the model needed.

While the town’s lift stations were being discussed, Schmitt also mentioned his opinion that those should be fenced and identified through appropriate signage. Schmitt said he believes the lack of fencing creates a liability concern.

“I think it’s a safety issue,” he added.

Town attorney Adam Burkhardt agreed with Schmitt’s recommendation.

“You have a duty to do what you can to make it safe within reason,” Burkhardt added.

Schmitt also reported on the condition of the town’s manholes, indicating some are significantly aged.

Councilman Wyman (Lee) Childers asked Schmitt if he and his associates have completed confined space training.

“That’s something I would ask before we let someone get down in there,” Childers said.

Schmitt will look into the training.

Burkhardt also provided the council an update related to ongoing work and research for the James Reas and James Bickett properties. Burkhardt said both parcels include what would allow installation of utilities. Burkhardt reviewed the plats and legal descriptions with the council and provided a summary on both.

“Just based on the documentation they provided, everything looks square as far as the installation of utilities,” Burkhardt added.

In other business, the town council/utility board:

• Confirmed it will be re-posting a utility worker role, as a candidate chosen previously did not accept the position.

• Announced the town’s new service truck arrived at the dealership that day and should be picked up the week of Oct. 12.

• Discussed using money made from sale of scrap metal to put toward purchasing a lift for the new truck.

• Clarified it will also be posting another town employment opportunity, at a pay rate of $14.25 per hour.

• Agreed utility work performed after 40 hours would be paid at time-and-a-half (including that on Saturdays and Sundays). “Generally, it will be overtime,” Ingle said.

• Determined it will need to update the water and sewer policy and revisit a rate increase discussed earlier this year but shelved due to COVID-19.

The council and utilities control board’s next meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.