Lanesville PD receives taser donation
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
Lanesville Police Chief Brad Graves reported during the town’s monthly council meeting last Monday evening at the town hall that his department recently received a donation of seven tasers.
The units are collectively valued at $4,893, Graves said. Previously, the force lacked sufficient supply of tasers. The older models were no longer supported by current technology.
“Now, every officer can be equipped with a taser,” Graves added.
Graves also noted the department’s reserves logged 60.75 hours in December, which amounted to a savings of $1,366.88 for the town. In 2022, reserve work equated to a total savings of $24,558. Graves said all of his staff members completed certified training for 2022 and the officers also provided traffic control for a drive-thru nativity scene in town Dec. 3 and 4, which was a success.
“There were no issues this year,” he added.
In another matter, the council conducted the first reading of a proposed amendment to its ordinance governing four-inch utility service meters. The draft ordinance would replace versions enacted in 2005 and 2013.
Councilman John (Tom) Walter read the proposal, which accommodates several scenarios by which customers receive services, including water and sewer, water only, sewer only and rates for within and outside town limits. Under the amendment, the base monthly fee for a four-inch meter will be $704.92.
The initial reading was the first step in the process. The amendment will also be published in upcoming weeks, and the council agreed to send it to engineer Bob Woosley for review. A public hearing to discuss the updates will also be scheduled for Feb. 15, in conjunction with the council’s regular monthly meeting.
Resident Anthony Combs addressed the council with plans to tap on to water and sewer lines on property he owns off Main Street for construction of a 48×60-foot post-frame garage/workshop. Combs provided an overview of the project and explained how the structure will be situated.
“Everything will be off the existing connections for water and sewer,” he added.
Council president Herb Schneider recommended a clean-out be installed within the building.
“I’m all right with it,” Schneider said of Combs’ request, adding the council would provide a letter of support for Harrison County Planning and Zoning so permits could be finalized.
Town utility supervisor Terry Schmelz reported the town system’s water loss for December was about 27%. He noted the department will need to focus on finding leaks at service connections. Several additional manholes have also been identified for repair due to infiltration.
“We’re at a pretty good loss for where we should be,” Schmelz said.
Schmelz also spoke regarding an Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management initiative whereby utilities are tasked with establishing an inventory of the material of underground lines. Schmelz said most water mains were replaced in 2005 so the composition of those is known; however, there will be an emphasis on verifying and cataloging what is going into customers’ homes.
The goal of the project, which is to be completed by next October, Schmelz said, is to establish awareness and to encourage replacement of any lead or galvanized pipe. Replacement is not required, but customers must be notified.
“It’s something I just want to put on your all’s radar,” Schmelz said. “It’s something we’re going to be working towards.”
A significant cold snap before Christmas caused wastewater sludge pumps to freeze, Schmelz said. He also reported that heat tape and pipe wraps were installed in hopes those measures will prevent future freezing issues. New air motors will also be ordered for the pumps. He also mentioned a contractor would be in town using cameras to examine service lines exhibiting increased flow.
Schmelz explained the auto dialer connected to the telephone line installed at the lift station near the Interstate 64 exit 113, added in 2020, is being utilized. Since it has been aligned with the communications system, the need to physically visit the station daily is no longer necessary and only must occur if they receive a notification. Back-up generators were successfully tested Dec. 20. A pump at the main lift station was also repaired Jan. 6, he noted.
The town crew installed a new cutting edge on its snow plow, which was utilized during a winter storm late last year.
The council (Councilman James Powers was absent) acknowledged the work of Schmelz and team clearing town roadways during the event.
“I thought you guys did a really good job,” Walter said.
In other business, the council:
•Received a utility report from clerk Alicia Allen noting 477 bills were issued for the most recent cycle totaling, $56,302.09. Four adjustments were granted totaling $647.13. Two new accounts were opened with one closed. Thirty-nine delinquent letters were sent, and four shut-offs performed. The newly-constructed Amazon fulfillment facility north of I-64 had no usage for the prior month, Allen said.
•Learned, as part of Allen’s remarks, that there have been a significant number of water softener line leaks reported. Allen mentioned it is her belief that there could be a larger than usual number of requests for adjustments in the coming month.
•Acknowledged the Edwardsville Water Corp., from which Lanesville purchases its water, is hosting its annual meeting on March 14.
•Passed an agreement outlining right-of-way and water and sewer line easements with property owner Tim Gruver for the ongoing West Pennington Street expansion project.
•Heard from Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Ballew that W-2 tax forms are being processed and will soon be available.
•Noted, based on Schneider’s comments, that the town received preliminary plans for a 140-lot subdivision near I-64, which, if completed, would tie onto the town’s sewer system. Schneider said town officials would be examining the plans.