Oldenburg streets will get face-lift

Debbie Blank | The Herald-TribuneDeputy Lt. Eric Moenter submitted an entry for the Indiana Pipeline Awareness Association 811 Contest, which had the theme "811 in Your Hometown." It was to educate individuals on why it is important to call 811 before you dig. He placed first for the information that is on the Oldenburg Police Department building.

Work is set to begin on Oldenburg streets the end of this month, and Oldenburg Town Council members are also making plans for more future improvements.

Thanks to Indiana Department of Transportation Community Crossings Grants, the town pays 25 percent and the state 75 percent for the projects.

On Aug. 5, Tim Hunt, HWC Engineering, New Albany, business development manager, gave members a homework assignment, saying, "I want you to come up with how you want to spend your money. Before your September meeting, I would like you to go out and pick out which streets you would like to" get funded in the next cycle.

He explained, "We can go for two cycles next year, in January and July. I think we really need to dig in where you want sidewalk and curb and gutter during the next cycle ... (and) get a good estimate that may reduce your costs."

"For some streets (that aren't in the worst shape), we need to consider a rejuvenation or microsurface, which will maintain the blacktop for a few more years .... We need to be looking at total preventative maintenance for the whole town."

"I don't need a decision on anything tonight ... (but) we don't want to wait until the last minute to get our application in, which is typically due in December," he said.

President Dennis Moeller reported the state will start the State Road 229 repaving project within the town limits Friday, Aug. 9. Workers will also put a three-way stop at Obermeyer Marathon at the corner of S.R. 229 and Harvey Branch Road.

Town attorney John Kellerman revealed, "Six months ago, the Franklin County Area Plan Commission and commissioners decided maybe the county zoning board wasn't properly set up .... They had gotten advice from one of their lawyers.

"There was a debate over who it should consist of. For years, there was a small town seat, a person who represents all the towns smaller than Brookville (Oldenburg, Laurel, Cedar Grove and Mount Carmel). This has been a rotating seat," with representatives for the four towns taking turns serving. "There was also a debate over whether to get rid of that seat and one held by a school board representative.

"In June, the FCAPC decided they wanted to keep it like it was, but they wanted to have reps from each of the towns come and voice their opinions. Apparently, Oldenburg didn't send anyone."

Moeller noted, "I was out of town, and Greg (Struewing) was going to go, but couldn't."

The attorney announced, "I went to the July FCAPC meeting and said, 'We'd love to keep the small town seat as it is.'

"Once they pass a membership ordinance, you (Oldenburg), as the biggest town in the county, must have a meeting of all the town boards. This group will choose an advisory board that will decide who will fill the small town seat."

"On July 16, the commissioners tabled the adoption of the membership ordinance, and on July 30, they kept it tabled. Today I found out they didn't like the advice they got and turned it over to a new attorney. Until the commissioners adopt the membership ordinance, you don't have to do anything. If and when they do, we have to be ready to have a meeting of all the town boards."

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 220114.

More news

• Moeller revealed the Oldenburg Renewable Energy Commission had a donation jar for the town's streetlight LED upgrade project at a Freudenfest booth, raising $158. Sister Claire Whalen, OREC chairperson, reported, "Limited persons visited our booth ... (and) we realized an educational presence at an entertainment fest is not such a good idea." A GoFundMe page has been set up at https://bit.ly/2Tc04hr for persons to donate to this project. Once the 60-plus streetlights are changed to new LED replacement fixtures and bulbs, the town will save 58 percent in monthly bill payments and the town's greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced.

• Town Marshal Bill Dramann asked if there was an ordinance that says people have to clean up after their animals. He has gotten complaints about horses leaving waste throughout town as well as people not cleaning up after their dogs when they're walking them through town, including in the Holy Family Church Cemetery and Sisters of St. Francis grounds. Kellerman said, "There is an ordinance against littering, which would cover animal waste." Dramann emphasized, "I would like to see one that actually says animal waste," so people understand they need to clean this up.

• Dramann and Deputy Lt. Eric Moenter responded to a variety of calls in July: running radar, 10, verbal speed warnings, eight; stop sign warnings, six; VIN checks and Franklin County dispatch calls, three each; warning tickets, equipment warnings, improper parking warnings and speed warnings on St. Mary's Road, two each; and criminal mischief complaint, public intoxication, noise complaint and dog complaint, one each.