Milltown awards newest Community Crossing bid
By Chris Adams, Contributing Writer
The Milltown Town Council, at its regular monthly meeting July 11, accepted the low bid to complete paving work to be funded by the state’s Community Crossing Matching Grant program.
Following a motion by Councilman Justin Barnes, the council voted 3-0 to approve the bid of $138,505.38 from E&B Paving of Jeffersonville, contingent upon all of the required paperwork being in order.
Just like a year ago, when the town was awarded its first Community Crossing grant, the only other bid submitted was from C&R Construction of Corydon. However, unlike last year, when C&R Construction submitted the low bid to be awarded the project, the company’s bid this time was higher, at $159,585.80.
This year’s Community Crossing grant is for $108,568.78. The town’s match — 25% of the total project — is roughly $36,000, bringing the total project amount to approximately $145,000. Last year’s total project amount was $99,636.
The roads to be paved this year include Harrison Avenue (Hill Street to Main Street), Spring Street (Cherry Street to 0.24 mile east of Cherry Street), German Street (Broadway Street to Spring Street), German Street (Speed Road to 0.12 mile north of Speed Road), Elk Street (Broadway Street to Spring Street), Elk Street (Speed Road to 0.064 mile north of Speed Road), Senn Court (Main Street to 0.12 mile north of Main Street), Mill Street (Main Street to Back Street) and Main Street (Blue River bridge to Church Street).
The town council also was addressed by residents John and Ronda Petrysian regarding the recent mauling of their 14-year-old cat.
The Petrysians said video of a pair of pit bull dogs mauling their cat was captured on a security camera at their home. They said their cat was dragged from their yard into the street by the dogs they believe killed another cat earlier that day.
“We thought it had been run over, but hindsight says it had been mauled to death, as well,” Ronda Petrysian said.
Petrysian added the dogs, that she said belong to a neighbor and have gotten loose a couple of times, also were aggressive toward her husband.
“I feel like — we live on the Harrison (County) side of Milltown — that the whole area at Summer Lane and Hill Street (is) in danger of these animals,” she said.
Petrysian added that they have been told the dogs can only be taken into custody if they get loose again.
“I don’t know that the town should tolerate obviously vicious animals, but I know we have to rely on Harrison County Animal Control because we’re on the Harrison County side (of town),” she said.
Milltown Police Chief Jimmie Vincent clarified that while Harrison County Animal Control plans to pick up the dogs, Indiana statute only allows for animals to be picked up if they are off their property or are aggressive to a human. He said animal-on-animal incidents are not covered by state law.
Vincent added that he has visited the owner’s residence three times to issue a fine, but the owner hasn’t been home.
The town council also took action to divest itself of three properties, unanimously approving resolutions to start the process of selling each.
The first property — 210 North Street and 212 North Street — contains a pair of lots, one vacant and the other with a dilapidated house.
The town council agreed to publish notification of its intent to solicit bids for the property. Minimum bids must be the average of the two appraisals on each lot — $2,665 for one and $1,775 for the other — along with the $400 the four appraisals cost and the $500 the anticipated legal work is expected to cost. Bidders also must agree to clean up the property in accordance with town ordinances within 180 days.
The town council also voted to follow the same procedure for the old railroad berm that the town owns. There have been talks about using the property for economic development purposes, with Cave Country Canoes having expressed interest in acquiring it.
The average of a pair of appraisals valued the property at $1,750. Like the other property, bids must reimburse the town for the cost of the appraisals and anticipated legal fees, meaning bids must begin at $2,450.
Unlike the other property, since this one deals with economic development, the town council will evaluate each bidder’s intended planned use for the property.
The last property was addressed at the town council’s previous meeting, when it voted to declare that the highest and best use of an approximately 0.03-acre property along Senn Court was to sell it to an abutting landowner and move forward with the process. Tim Riddle, who lives along the dead-end street, had expressed interest in the property.
Since the property is an abandoned public right-of-way and has no assessed value, the town can sell it in an expedited manner. The council agreed to make the property, following publication of notice, available for $1,000. The cost, like the other properties, includes anticipated legal fees.
In another matter, the council was asked by resident Bill Byrd, who has been leading a series of town economic development committee meetings for the past year, about a suggestion at a recent meeting to move the town hall to the basement of the medical building along Hancock Street. Doing so would allow the current town hall to be turned into a visitor center/community building.
Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz said having all the town offices, including the police department, which is already located there, under one roof would be beneficial.
Councilwoman Jean Melton noted that if the town offices were to be moved, the council would still conduct its public meetings in the current town hall.
Byrd said no answer was needed that evening, but the committee may make a formal request in the future.
In other business, the town council:
•Voted 3-0 to approve an ordinance allowing for the collection of sewer deposits from customers who begin using the sewage works at a property new to them. It requires a $100 deposit for property owners and a $300 deposit for renters. It also incorporates requirements of the state law regarding the use of sewer deposits.
•Approved, 3-0, an ordinance allowing for the collection of a $42 deposit from customers for solid waste collection services who begin using these services at a property new to them.
•Was informed by Vincent that the Autism Society of America and Autism Society of Indiana is granting the Milltown Police Dept. four picture communication boards and the Milltown Volunteer Fire Dept. nine boards. The boards, which cost $80 apiece, allow for emergency personnel to communicate with autistic and nonverbal children, he said.
•Was asked by Barnes, also a member of the Milltown VFD, to help the department pay for a flashing street sign at the firehouse alerting motorists when firefighters are making a run. While no action was taken, Mackey and Melton said they believe money can be found to help with the cost.
•Approved Sweetland Waste Removal & Recycling’s request to consolidate pickup in the town from Mondays and Wednesdays to just Mondays beginning Aug. 1. A Sweetland representative said the company is growing considerably in the area and condensing its routes will help.