Councilman Dave Wahman (from right), Marshal Bill Dramann, Deputy Lt. Eric Moenter and Clerk-Treasurer Cindy Laker wait for firefighter Greg Ronnebaum to pay for the Eagle Fire Co. lease.

Oldenburg Town Council members are hoping to receive more funding to improve streets during the next round of Indiana Department of Transportation Community Crossings grants.

After receiving recommendations from members, Tim Hunt, HWC Engineering, New Albany, business development manager, provided a list of streets and cost estimates Dec. 2 for consideration:

  • Washington Street from Water Street to dead end, $106,463
  • Washington Street from State Road 229 to Vine Street, $57,033
  • Washington Street from State Road 229 to Water Street, $131,934
  • Pearl Street from Water Street to dead end, $118,604
  • Averdick Street from Vine Street to Main Street, $36,828
  • Averdick Street from Water Street to Hamburg Road, $27,757
  • Main Street from Averdick Street to dead end, $18,259
  • Hamburg Road from State Road 229 to Averdick Road, $44,860
  • Hamburg Road from Averdick Street to town limits, $51,158
  • Douglas Street from Water Street to St. Mary’s Road, $44,633
  • Werner Street from Water Street to St. Mary’s Road, $56,682
  • Sawmill Road from St. Mary’s Road to town limits, $38,168
  • Water Street from State Road 229 to Averdick Street, $59,815

“The total is almost $800,000, which is a great project as far as contractors are concerned .... You should get some really good asphalt and concrete prices.” With a 25%-75% match, the town’s portion would be $198,048.

Hunt said he estimated the prices high because “if I estimate too low and the bids come in high, we can’t go over those prices unless you put the extra money out there yourself.” If the bids come in lower than the estimates, the town’s match would also be decreased.

Members unanimously agreed to submit the entire package to INDOT.

The consultant revealed, “There will be a call for applications beginning in January .... INDOT will review them and let us know around April 15 if we get all or some of the grant money.”

Sister Janet Born presented the Oldenburg Renewable Energy Commission report on behalf of Sister Claire Whalen, who was unable to attend. In November, OREC members revealed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report and requested “that OTC support OREC’s continued efforts to lead residents, businesses and institutions in the Village of Spires to work together to cut carbon emissions by 50% in the coming decade.”

“OREC takes this challenge seriously, but because this study group is composed of all volunteers with a variety of career backgrounds, we request professional guidance to do the necessary follow-up work analyzing the inventory data and preparing a climate action plan in collaboration with OTC. Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute offers such training and consultation in 2020 for Indiana local government staff. Only cities and towns that completed the greenhouse gas inventory are eligible for their 2020 Resilience Cohort. The fee for small towns is $300 with applications due by Dec. 13,” Born announced.

“On Nov. 22, OREC sponsored its kick-off educational event, ‘24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action,’ a global conversation on the truth of the climate crisis and how we solve it. A climate reality leader volunteer from Cincinnati, Ohio, Jeremy Carrie, gave this presentation at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center. He stressed the serious nature of the problem and the challenges all nations face as they attempt to tackle together the problem through the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference.

“One of the recommendations in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report calls for immediate attention by all citizens to be active in monitoring state policy development to promote renewable energy resources by the public utility companies and elect state officials who will support such policies. Several OREC members took time Nov. 22 to meet with Sen. Mike Braun’s staff in Greensburg to express their gratitude to the U.S. senator for creating a bipartisan climate action caucus in the U.S. Senate. Local action is so important, but federal action is imperative.”

Born added, “Sister Claire was most eager to find out if the town council will support OREC’s efforts. It’s important for us to be out there doing our part and being a model for others.”

She also asked the councilmen again about their thoughts on joining the cohort for $300.

Town council member Greg Struewing pointed out, “I think what Sister Claire is doing is a good thing, but I think this is something the Sisters can continue on their own ... (and) a year from now they can come back to the town and tell us what they (OREC members) have researched. I don’t know if the town should step in right now.”

Born emphasized, “It’s a town issue, not just a Sisters issue.”

Struewing reported, “We have a lot of other issues we have to deal with, and we’re part time.”

President Dennis Moeller said part of being involved in the cohort meant volunteering about 15 hours a month.

Members unanimously voted against spending the $300.

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