2012-08-08 / Front Page

Town Council Lowers Brookside Drive Speed Limit Ahead Of New Walking Trail At Boston Scientific

Council Approves An Interlocal Agreement For Sewer Extension
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Spencer Town Council members Dean Bruce Cynthia Hyde and Jon Stantz (left to right) review drawings for a planned walking trail around the property of Boston Scientific during Monday night’s town council meeting. Also pictured are Boston Scientific employees Emily Richardson and Michael Darling. (Staff Photo) Spencer Town Council members Dean Bruce Cynthia Hyde and Jon Stantz (left to right) review drawings for a planned walking trail around the property of Boston Scientific during Monday night’s town council meeting. Also pictured are Boston Scientific employees Emily Richardson and Michael Darling. (Staff Photo) The speed limit on a Spencer side street used primarily for access to one of the area’s largest employers is on its way to a much slower pace ahead of a planned project on the town’s northeast side.

Boston Scientific employees Michael Darling and Emily Richardson, who is also a student at Owen Valley High School, approached the Spencer Town Council on Monday night to request a speed limit reduction.

Darling and Richardson provided drawings for a planned walking trail around the Boston Scientific property. Plans show the trail crossing Brookside Drive, a side street used primarily by employees going to and from Boston Scientific. In an effort to help increase safety, the council voted 3-0 to reduce the speed limit on Brookside Drive from 30 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour. Enforcement cannot begin until the town’s ordinance reflects the speed limit reduction.

In additional public issues, the council was visited by George Thurston, who spoke on behalf of the Owen County Art Guild. Thurston presented a formal request to the council for permission to use a vacant lot located directly behind the art guild for auxiliary parking for its patrons.

As was noted in the request, no structures can be constructed on the property due to its location in a flood plain. The council indicated plans to contact town’s attorney Richard Lorenz in an effort to learn what steps need to be taken to utilize the ground as a temporary parking area during events.

Representing the Owen County Humane Society, Becky Brown provided the council with an update, noting that 82 animals were taken in during the last month, while 81 were adopted. She said a change in operating hours has helped the shelter adopt more animals. Brown also noted several community activities, including a free rabies shot clinic held this weekend. The clinic provided shots to more than 200 area animals.

The council later voted 3-0 to approve an Arts In Our Park festival, to be hosted by the Owen County Art Guild in Cooper Commons. The event will take place Saturday, September 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. An art auction will be held beginning at 6:00 p.m. and a portion of West Cooper Street will be closed to traffic from 6:00 to 8:00.

Revisiting old business, the council voted 3-0 to approve an interlocal agreement with Owen County for a sewer service expansion, stretching from Spencer, along State Road 46 to the State Road 43 corridor. The cost of the expansion will likely be covered by private donors, a medical provider and a not-for-profit organization. Bonds, loans and grants will also be sought.

In department updates, the council spoke with interim waste water treatment plant operator John Hodge regarding current issues and conditions of the plant.

Hodge informed the board of the need to replace or rebuild a blower motor for the number one digester at the plant. The council voted 3-0 to purchase a new motor at a cost of $1,660, as opposed to an asking price of $1,316.88 for a rebuilt motor.

Hodge also said engineer Mark Osborne repaired an issue with a decant valve on the number one sequencing batch reactor on July 19. He also mentioned adjustments made to the chlorine automatic feed system, which was causing several high E. coli test results. He said the system was simply operating too slowly to react when needed. The issue is now repaired, showing clean samples.

Hodge also told the council of the need to repair an issue near the number 180 manhole at Hillside Avenue and North West Street where asphalt is washing out. Other issues currently being addressed include fixing leaky air valves on the number one and number two SBRs (sequencingbatch reactors) and placing the third SBR in service.

Hodge also provided the council with an estimated cost of $1,000 for new non-potable water strainers for the chlorine feeding system. He also mentioned geo socks needed to help curb a sludge disposal issue. He suggested a sock with a 250,000-gallon capacity.

In street department news, the council voted 3-0 to accept a $52,964 quote from Milestone to mill and resurface a stretch of Hillside Avenue, from West Street to Fletcher Avenue. Spencer Street Department Superintendent Larry Parrish said that the work would likely begin sometime after classes resume for students at Spencer Elementary School, noting the project will cause congestion on Hillside Avenue. The project will not begin, Parrish said, until repairs have been made to manhole #180, located on Hillside Avenue near North West Street.

Parrish also provided the town with quotes to remove Tree-of- Heaven on North Montgomery Street. The council voted 3-0 to approve a bid of $2,250 from Loogootee based Milton’s Tree Service to remove the trees and stumps.

Lastly, the council voted 3-0 to approve a $7,596 bid from Detroit Salt Company for 100 tons of salt. The bid will be good for the next two years.

In a report from Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch, it was learned that additional issues have been discovered with two squad cars involved in a pursuit earlier this year. Foutch noted the issues are being addressed by the town’s insurance provider.

Foutch also noted that any unwanted medications can be dropped off at the SPD anytime if individuals are unable to attend an upcoming Drug Take-Back Day, planned for September 28.

The Spencer Town Council will meet again on Monday, August 20, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Spencer Municipal Building, located at 90 North West Street.

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