Oolitic Town Council Proposes Raising Trash And Water Fees

(OOLITIC) – After presentations from Michelle Carrico of the Southern Indiana Development Corporation and Drew Flamion of CommonWealth Engineers, the Oolitic Town Council told those attending the meeting Monday night they will be increasing the water/sewer rates.

Since 2010, the Town of Oolitic has conducted studies to address the stormwater issue that is plaguing the town. More than 19 areas have been identified that need repairs.

After a low score for grant approval last year, the Town Council voted to hold off until the first of this year to address the funding issue the town is facing.

To score higher for grant funding the town must show that they have the financial means not only to fund the project but also be able to sustain the other town water and sewer needs.

The total cost of the grant proposal will be between $850,000 to $900,000 with the town matching the grant, with an estimated cost of between $18,000 to $21,000.

The areas of focus with the proposed grant are Hall/Mathis Avenues and Nikirk and Vista Drives.

Oolitic Town Council members were deciding between an $8, $9, or $10 funding increase in sewer rates. This rate must be approved by the Water/Sewer Board and then go on to a public hearing.

The Water/Sewer Board will meet on February 24th at 5:30 p.m. to approve the new proposed rate.

The Town Council also proposed implementing a $10 trash fee increase. The proposed trash fee increase was tabled until a public hearing can be held on the matter.

According to President Bill Kendall, the account for the Street Department is down to $7,011.45. The fund got depleted paying part-time help, purchasing gasoline, and other repairs.

The town packer truck has almost met its lifespan. The town will consider going to a trash truck similar to what Bedford currently is using now, with only one operator on the truck.

The Condemnation Hearing gave property owners 90 days to address the recommendation of the town. Three buildings were the focus of the hearing which are located on East Oolitic Road, the Deford building, and the North Building of the Oolitic School.

Indiana Landmarks is looking into being able to preserve the North Building of the Oolitic School. More information will be forthcoming on possible options at a later time.

Oolitic Town Council member Dirk Sears says the town will consider restoring a reserve officer program to help the town patrol when Town Marshal Jon Jefferies and Deputy Marshal Ted Maze are not on duty. The reserves will help patrol the town, especially around the school zones.

Glen Gross expressed concerns about town officials not answering the phone during an attempted break-in at the Old Oolitic School. Ted Maze told the public that 9-1-1 should be called during any emergency.

The Council accepted the bid of Martin Roofing in the amount of $3,100 to tear down and replace the roof to the old city building next to Town Hall.

Flynn and Son’s bid for paving was accepted. There were two bids received which included Milestone at $39,850 and Flynn & Son’s at $32,635. The Community Crossings grant will pay 75 percent of the cost of the project. The Town’s cost will be approximately $8,200. Sparks and Walsh Avenue will be repaired.

It was also discovered that two streets are not within the Town limits. This area stretches from the Masonic Lodge to the Daycare, and Eighth Street in the area of Lafayette Avenue in Oolitic. The town’s attorney Greg Pittman is looking into the matter and these areas will have to be annexed. Residents asked if the Lawrence County Highway will take care of the streets and snow removal until the issue is resolved. The Council responded by telling them to contact the Lawrence County Commissioners.

The council approved a Lawrence County Biker Group to hold a roadblock on Saturday, October 10th. The funds will be used for Toys for Tots.