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G-town writes off sewer accounts, OK’s purchase of Flock cameras

G-town writes off sewer accounts, OK’s purchase of Flock cameras G-town writes off sewer accounts, OK’s purchase of Flock cameras

Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

The Georgetown Town Council voted to write off $150,670 in sewer account charges and committed $5,000 to purchase two Flock cameras for its police department during its regular meeting Dec. 20.
Clerk-Treasurer Julia Keibler furnished the council with a list of accounts tabbed for write off. She noted a significant number were from the former Lakeland sewer system, which the town now manages after resolution of protracted legal proceedings.
The former Lakeland system, under its agreement with the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission, billed customers differently, basing charges on flow, as opposed to gallons used, Keibler added. The system suffered from a great deal of infiltration (prior to completion of recent improvement projects after coming under Georgetown municipal control), which contributed to the total.
Council president Chris Loop explained the write-offs were a usual procedure and a necessary part of the utility’s financial reconciliation process.
The council voted to proceed with canceling the sewer debt based on Keibler’s recommendation.
“This is really just an accounting measure,” Loop added.
“We’re just going to bring everything back to zero balance,” Keibler said.
In another matter, police Chief Travis Speece updated the council on the Flock camera systems and technology, which record vehicle license plates as they pass. The cameras are connected through a network which enables them to “talk” to each other, Speece said. License plate images are available within seven to 10 seconds and stored for 30 days.
Speece noted most crimes include a vehicle and pointed to the heavy, daily flow of traffic through town on S.R. 64. Installing the Flock cameras, which are for law enforcement only and can also be utilized in situations like AMBER alerts, could be helpful in criminal investigations, Speece said. He also mentioned the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office pledged to purchase two of the Flock camera units.
The council voted to purchase two cameras and enter into a one-year usage contract.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Councilwoman Kathy Haller said.
Speece announced that officer Nick Fulkerson graduated the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy on Dec. 9. Officer Harper has mainly been patrolling on second shift, Speece said, and Fulkerson has been training on the job with Speece. Plans are for Fulkerson to utilize the town’s Tesla electric police vehicle which, Speece said, since it is a take-home car, will require installation of a charging station at Fulkerson’s residence. The station will remain property of the town and will be removable.
Speece discussed options for installation of the station and costs involved. He also said he would return to the council with a charging policy, which outlines how the electric rates will be covered as well.
Concluding his report, Speece summarized the department’s work in 2021. Harper and Fulkerson combined to complete 1,200 hours of field training, Speece said, and the agency’s reserves donated more than 200 hours. The new Tesla was obtained, and a project was completed to improve and reconfigure the driveway at the town police station along Henriott Road.
“I’m very proud of our guys for this year,” Speece said.
Town engineer Bob Woosley conducted a sealed bid opening to review quotes for lighting upgrade work at the town ballpark. Three bids were received: Advanced Electrical, $302,000; Aspire Industries, $291,000; and Custer Electric, $275,066. Woosley said the prices included LED lighting and control panels and the scope of the project called for reducing from 10 to six light poles.
Woosley acknowledged Custer Electric, of Rushville, as preliminary low bidder. Due to the number and variety of components to the project, Woosley suggested the council take the bids under advisement, as it has 60 days to award a contract. During that time, Woosley said he would analyze them and deliver a recommendation at the regular January council meeting.
The council voted to follow Woosley’s advice.
“This one does have a lot of pieces and parts to it,” Woosley said.
Woosley also talked through an over-run request for $14,460 from contractor Temple & Temple, of Salem, for additional funding necessary through completion of the aforementioned Lakeland sewer project. Additional piping was installed, along with a manhole, Woosley added.
As the project has been completed, the council voted to allow Woosley and Loop to review and sign Temple & Temple’s final invoice for the project totaling $314,636.90.
“As far as I know, this is it,” Woosley said, regarding any other possible change orders above the original estimate for the Lakeland work. “The early reports are that it’s been pretty effective.”
The council was also addressed by Steve Tolliver of Aqua Utility Services LLC, who proposed a preventive maintenance agreement for the town’s wastewater system. Tolliver recently spent two days with town employees inspecting the town’s 22 lift stations.
Aqua Utility Services is currently contracted with the town to provide wastewater operator services through April 2024.
If the town were to add the preventive maintenance coverage, it would become an amendment to the scope of work for the contract in place, Tolliver said.
Tolliver shared some of his findings, explaining each lift station has two pumps, which should have their oil changed annually. He believes some of the pumps have never had oil changes during their service lives and the pumps are not subject to regular annual inspections. Another matter complicating maintenance work is lack of hoisting equipment at the lift stations to remove the pumps.
In addition, Tolliver said some of the older lift stations lack records and some are showing signs of corrosion at the control panels. Tolliver recommended the town pull each pump and change the oil, check the seals and evaluate each station’s electrical components, services his outfit can provide.
“I don’t think every lift station is going to need a lot of work,” he said. “You’re probably going to have to replace some pumps. Whether you hire my firm or not, you need to do this.”
Tolliver agreed to provide quotes for hoisting equipment which would join other costs associated with a proposed contract addendum to be reviewed further at the January meeting.
In other business, the council:
•Set its 2022 organization meeting for Jan. 18, which is a Tuesday and not its usual third Monday.
•Approved paying 2021 mileage invoices for town employees.
•Agreed with Woosley’s recommendation to approve final invoice for Lamb’s for drainage work at the town ballpark contingent upon a final on-site review.
•Passed both readings of its 2022 salary ordinance, which calls for 5% cost-of-living-adjustment increases for town employees.
•Adopted a plan for its share of American Recovery Plan funds allocated as follows: $350,000 for stormwater, $211,000 town parks and, $200,000 for sidewalks.
•Repealed an ordinance transferring a 2010 Crown Victoria police vehicle to the Marengo Police Dept., which is no longer interested in purchasing the vehicle. The council agreed to revisit in January and may pursue listing the car in an online auction.