Milltown OKs work on Asset Management Plan
By Chris Adams, Contributing Writer
The Milltown Town Council last week took a step toward making the town eligible for the next round of funding from the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program.
At its regular meeting on Nov. 9, the town council approved a contract with Bob Woosley of Heritage Engineering to prepare an Asset Management Plan for the town. Woosley said the state now requires municipalities to have an AMP approved by Purdue University’s Local Technical Assistance Program by Dec. 1 in order to apply for the next round of funding, which is expected to be made available in January.
The Community Crossings Matching Grant Program provides town, city and county governments 75% of a project’s funding, with the local governments responsible for the remaining 25%. However, local governments must have 100% of the funds available in order to apply.
“Now, if you get the grant, you only have to come up with 25% of that,” Woosley said.
He added that the grant funding can only be used on roadway projects.
Woosley’s contract would pay him on an hourly basis and include a $5,000 cap, but he doesn’t believe it will end up costing the town that much. He added that once the town has an AMP, it won’t require as much work in subsequent years.
“In the future, once it’s in there, annually it’s easy to update,” Woosley said.
Councilman Justin Barnes, who made the motion to approve the contract and to allow board president Jerry Mackey to sign any necessary documents outside of a meeting in order to meet the Dec. 1 deadline, said the contract would more than pay for itself.
“My feeling is on this, even if you hit the $5,000 limit, we’re going to make up for that the first round (of the grant program),” he said.
Following a second by Councilwoman Jean Melton, the motion passed 3-0.
Woosley, whose firm designed the town’s new wastewater treatment plant, also gave the council a brief update on that project. He said Mitchell and Stark Construction has been slowed a few days but assured the council that the project’s end date of July 10, 2021, would not be pushed back.
“Due to some of the wet weather we’ve gone through lately, and I think they’ve had a round of COVID hit their crew, they’re actually not going to mobilize until near the end of November,” he said. “It looks like about a week or so later than they anticipated, because they had anticipated mobilizing about the week of Thanksgiving based on what they told us at their pre-construction meeting and their schedule that they submitted. It doesn’t move their end date. They still have to finish in time.”
In other business, the council:
Voted 3-0 to approve a resolution authorizing the following transfers within the MVH-Miscellaneous budget: $8,550 from Repairs and Maintenance to Town Manager ($8,170) and FICA/Medicare ($380); and $2,000 from Operating Supplies and $800 from Repairs and Maintenance to Miscellaneous ($2,800).
Announced that Light Up Milltown will be Saturday, Dec. 5. Santa will arrive at 6 p.m. and, due to COVID-19 social distancing measures, likely will be on the stage so that children will be able to talk with him from ground level. In addition to the traditional flipping of the switch to turn on Christmas lights around the town hall, the event again will include hot chocolate and a boys’ and girls’ bike giveaway.
Voted 3-0 to have resident Bill Byrd again be the town’s representative on the boards for both the Harrison County Regional Sewer District and Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission. Byrd said that in the 30-plus years he has served on the Indiana 15 RPC Board of Directors, he has missed just two meetings.
At the request of Crawford County Emergency Management Agency Director Aaron Bye, voted 3-0 to approve a resolution to adopt the county’s updated Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan. Required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to apply for non-hazmat disaster grant funding, the plan replaces the county’s 2015 plan. It already has been approved by the county, and, once each of the county’s incorporated towns have adopted the plan, FEMA will issue a final approval.
Voted 3-0, at Bye’s recommendation, to appoint Mackey to serve on the Crawford County EMA Advisory Board. The council believed it approved the appointment in February but the action wasn’t reflected in the minutes.
Were informed by Police Chief Jimmie Vincent that more than 200 children attended the town’s trunk-or-treat event at the town hall on Halloween. Vincent also told the council that the town police department will collect winter coats and hats for children.
Received the following updates from Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Lutz:
—The 2019 state audit was expected to be completed shortly.
—Additional appropriation transfers are needed for the Cemetery, Police Donations and Medical Building funds. The council will conduct a public hearing tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.
—The 2020 salary ordinance was not approved before the end of 2019. While changes were approved at the town council’s Jan. 20 meeting and have been implemented, Lutz said she doesn’t have an ordinance approving the changes. Therefore, an amended salary ordinance reflecting those changes is needed.
In a related matter, the town council will conduct an executive session Thursday, Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss personnel issues in preparation of adopting the 2021 salary ordinance at its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 14.
—Public safety salaries from March 1 through Sept. 30 can be reimbursed by federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. The money, she said, can be placed into the General Fund and then used elsewhere. Needing an ordinance in place to direct incoming funds, the council voted 3-0 to approve one prepared by Lutz based on a sample sent by the Indiana State Board of Accounts.
—The town, having paid the $50 fee, is now a member of Indiana Landmarks. Being a member of Indiana Landmarks allows the town to have its historical buildings, including the town hall, assessed by architectural firms at no cost.
Melton said she called the Town of Georgetown to get the contact information of the company that did masonry work on Georgetown’s former hall. She said she left a message with the company about potentially looking at Milltown’s town hall. Melton noted that repair work is needed above the door, as it leaks when it rains.
Melton added that she also has talked with an architect recommended by Greg Sekula, director of the ILA Southern Regional Office.
The town council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.