The Crothersville Town Council awarded a contract for work to decrease the amount of surface water along Moore Street from getting into the town’s wastewater treatment plant to the local firm of Jerry Anthony and Bill Seal, when the council met on Sept. 3.
Anthony & Seal bid $24,935 to replace a manhole and remove surface water inlets on Moore Street between Preston and East Streets. Also included in the proposal is replacement of a culvert at the intersection of Moore & Central Avenue.
Mitchell & Stark of Medora bid $26,476 for the work.
While the matter was given unanimous council approval, Councilman Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson noted that the work “does nothing to ditches and culverts on Moore Street.”
“This wasn’t an effort to improve surface water drainage. The purpose of the project was our ongoing need to satisfy IDEM to reduce the surface water from getting to the sewer plant,” said council president Ardell Mitchell.
By plugging sewer inlets which allow rainwater into the sewer system, surface water will be directed to Hominy Ditch, the main each-west natural drain through Crothersville.
“But won’t we have to clean out Hominy Ditch to accommodate the extra water?” questioned Robinson.
“We can fix the Moore Street sewer problem without cleaning Hominy Ditch,” said Mitchell. “Clearing Hominy Ditch at this time makes the project cost prohibitive.”
“Besides,” he added, “What do you do first? Clean out the ditch and let surface water continue to be treated at the sewer plant and deal with IDEM. If we do, by the time there is money to reduce the surface drainage, brush and trees will have grown back.”
Removing trees and brush along the drainageway will have to wait for a future time, it was noted.
The council awarded the contract for the work to Anthony & Seal contingent upon them providing a certificate of liability insurance to the town.
The greatest council debate came when the subject of raises for town workers was discussed. Each councilman had his own proposal for salary increases.
Derrick Minton proposed an across the board 25¢ per hour wage for all employees.
Ardell Mitchell proposed a 2% increase for all.
Lenvil Robinson proposed a 25¢ per hour increase for all full-time employees except the position of office manager and no raises for part-time employees.
It was noted that Mitchell’s 2% increase would increase salaries paid by the town by $5,408 while Minton’s 25¢ an hour increase would mean $4,680 increase to the town payroll.
The council settled on a 25¢ per hour increase for employees.
In a related salary matter, the council approved increasing their own salary from $2,400 to $3,000 per year.
Mitchell noted that the council’s salary has not increased since 2005. The increase, which amounts to $50 per month for each councilman, was approved by a 2-1 vote with Robinson voting against the council increase.
The town’s Unsafe Building Committee will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3.
The council gave their approval to hiring a consulting engineer to advise the committee on the structural integrity of buildings targeted by the committee.
The move would add an additional strength to the committee’s and subsequently town council’s action to encourage property owners to remediate or raze unsafe structures.
“People elected us (in part) to clean up the town,” said Mitchell.
Setting an example, Mitchell proposed tearing down the old town barn near the water tower as soon as the fire department removes items they have stored there.
“Let’s shoot for having that building razed in 90 days,” said Mitchell.
In a final matter the council approved the purchase of a Silverado pick up from John Jones GM City 2-wheel drive pick up truck for the town. Jones offered to sell the 2013 truck for $19,235.
Other proposals came from Renner Motors of Madison for a 2013 Ford F150 4×4 for $20,944; John Jones 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 4×4 for $23,595; Bowman Chrysler proposed to sell a 2013 Ram 4×2 for $25,724 and a 2013 Ram 4×4 truck for $25,472.