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Town To Begin Collecting Leaves Next Year

The quandary of how to dispose of leaves and yard debris each fall may be alleviated for Crothersville residents beginning next year.
At last Tuesday’s monthly meeting the Crothersville Town Council signed an interlocal agreement with the Jackson County Solid Waste Management District that will enable the town to acquire a leaf vacuum.
Town Council President Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson, who represents the town on the county solid waste district board, said that the leaf vacuum, estimated just over $29,000, will be purchased by the solid waste district for Crothersville’s use.
“This will help our community residents get rid of the annual fall leaves and helps the town keep ditches and culverts free from clogging by leaves which should help surface water drainage,” said Robinson.
The leaf vacuum trailer would be pulled behind the town’s dump truck where leaves collected could then be taken for composting.
Robinson said the details of any leaf collection is still being worked out as well as where leaves would be placed to compost, a process that takes about a year.
He said other communities allow residents to obtain the compost for gardens free of charge. “But we are still figuring out where to place the composted leaves to make it convenient for after-hours pickup by residents.

Keeping the Water Flowing

One project is wrapping up and another is being proposed to improve surface water drainage in Crothersville.
At last week’s monthly meeting the council heard from Trena Carter of ARa, the town’s grant administrator, that there will be a public hearing next month on a proposed grant to improve both surface water and sanitary sewer flow in the northeast end of town.
The $550,000 grant would require a $144,272 local match if awarded by the state. The grant would allow for the replacement of an aged sewer pumping station on Seymour Road, installation of 650’ of 4” force sewer line, and installation of 650’ of storm sewer lines in the area.
Town Engineer Brad Bender of FPBH said that his firm’s testing of the area determined that most of the issues with flooding the lift station is not so much related to combined sewers but with storm water overtopping the sanitary sewer manholes.
“The only way to address this is to divert the surface water away from the sanitary system,” said Bender.
He said the design is to install eight storm water inlets along the proposed new storm sewer line to divert water from the sanitary sewer. “This will help alleviate the surge of water going into the sanitary sewer to be treated during heavy rains,” said Bender.
Much of the work would be constructed within the existing right of way along Seymour Road between Walnut and Coleman Streets.
The work would be quite intensive in the area as new storm water and sanitary sewer lines would need be installed and water lines, laterals, and possibly other utilities would need to be moved.
Bender reported that the storm water work on Hominy ditch in the west side of town is continuing. The Bethany Road culvert was completed and the roadway opened to traffic on Nov. 29. The culverts on Park Avenue and Kovener Streets should be in place by (this) week,
Finally, Bender reported on planning and design for the $453,000 Community Crossroads grant which will allow up to 14 streets to be paved in Crothersville next year.
“We are doing field work on all of these streets. Some residents may wonder about the painted markings and that is all a part of the future paving project,” said Bender. “We are preparing plans and specifications for a January or February bid opening with a project award in March,” he said.
“There are so many communities awarded paving grants we want to get the work done early, go to bid, and get the project awarded to Crothersville can be at the front of the line when the paving season begins next spring,” the engineer said.

Fire Chief Reviews 2017 Emergency Calls For Help

Among the local volunteer firefighters to complete 24 hours of continuing education this year were: Alex Oak, Jason Hillenburg, Alan Jones, Logan Isenhower, Charles Densford, Sally Deaton, Chris Seal, Brian Clouse, Donald Crater, and Chris Cooper.                                                            ~CVTFD photo

The Crothersville-Vernon Township Fire Department held their annual holiday dinner on Friday, Dec. 1, at the local fire station to recognize the effort and contributions to the community by the local volunteers.
Fire Chief Ben Spencer said that the department responded to 336 calls for help from Dec. 1, 2016 through Nov. 30 of this year.
That included 10 Structure Fires, 26 Vehicle Fires, 17 Field Fires, 182 EMS calls, 36 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 8 Hazmat Responses, and 57 “other calls” that included fire alarms, false alarms, specialty rescues, and disregards
“February of this year was our busiest month with 37 calls—over a call for help per day— while June was the slowest month with 18 calls.” he said.
Training is an important part of being ready to assist residents, Spencer said noting that each firefighter on the department completed 24 hours of continuing education.
The Crothersville department hosted State of Indiana Certification Courses offering training for other departments as well.
The interdepartmental training included three Hazardous Materials courses, two Mandatory Firefighter Courses, and a Firefighter 2 course as well as an Emergency Medical Responder Course. Those courses are State of Indiana Certification Courses, the Fire Chief noted.
“Over 50 firefighters and emergency responders from Crothersville and surrounding fire departments were certified in these courses,” Spencer said.
In addition, CPR was taught to our firefighters and several members of our community, he said.
During Fire Prevention Week, the local fire department conducted fire safety talks with multiple grades at the elementary school.

Elementary School To Present “Frosty’s Lost List” Friday

The Crothersville Elementary School Students will be presenting a holiday production this Friday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. in the CHS gym.
The students will be presenting ‘Frosty’s Lost List’, under the direction of Carolyn Weddle & Tracy Karnes.
The public is cordially invited to join this Christmas and. The public will need to enter through the Elementary Doors and sign in to participate in this program, Karnes said.

A Not-So-Time In The Wilderness

by Curt Kovener

This is a not-so-pretty time in the wilderness. The brown leaves continue to blow about even after multiple raking, mulching and cleanup. The brown bones of bare trees offer little contrast or color to the drab hills and hollers.
The October pumpkins that made for a bright orange fall decoration outdoors are now looking like they are melting down with decay. They will soon be taken to the compost pile to continue their natural return process to the earth.
The robins have already eaten the bright red dogwood seeds removing even the tiniest tidbit of color from the landscape.
Even the birds at the feeder are dull colors of brown, tan, black, gray, charcoal; about like the black sunflower seeds they crave. Occasionally a red crown of a woodpecker or a cardinal will make an appearance.
Willow the cat, always outfitted in natural tortoiseshell camouflage, sits in the picture window watching the birds at the feeder.
About the best thing nature can do in December is a covering of snow. It accentuates textures of trees and covers up the drabness of the forest floor.
I first thought it would be some time before the ground became cold enough to keep any fallen snow white & frozen, but a couple of days with temperature barely reaching the high of freezing has changed all of that.
The South had some unexpected snow, but Southern Indiana had none…until Saturday morning.
Some flakes gently fell at the wilderness leaving a visible dusting on the icy edges of the lake. To compensate for the chilling view, I fetched in another load of wood for the fireplace.
About the only color to the wilderness is the white floof of Emma the Great Pyrenees as she roams the ridges, dam, lane, creeks and hollers. She considers it her job to keep us protected and all invasive critters off her property all the time including the seed stealing birds at the feeders that Willow watches. Barking and barking and barking, Emma vocalizes her warnings to all intruders real and imagined.
As a result, I  believe this Christmas season we will have a not-so-silent night and the only time all is calm is when Emma is asleep.