OTC members review road improvements

Diane Raver | The Herald-TribuneBrian Fleck (left) told council members (from right) Greg Struewing, Dennis Moeller and Dave Wahman, "If you take care of the roads, you can prolong them for a really long time."

Oldenburg Town Council members discussed plans June 3 to apply for the next round of Indiana Department of Transportation Community Crossings Grants.

Brian Fleck, HWC Engineering, New Albany, project manager, told members overall Oldenburg's streets look pretty good compared to those in other towns and cities.

He showed them a list of roads with PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) details. "Those rated with a four or five are fair, and six is good. This gives a guide of what your treatments should be. Some spots would benefit from a mill and overlay and others from a microsurfacing .... It depends on the priority and what you want to improve."

"If you take care of the roads, you can prolong them for a really long time."

President Dennis Moeller reported, "Last year we came up with a dollar amount we were willing to contribute (for the town's 25 percent match). We're paying about $35,000 to get streets done (this summer). Do we want to stay around that amount?... We have to nail this down pretty quickly" because the next application is due at the beginning of July.

Member Dave Wahman said, "Get it while the getting's good."

The president added, "We've also been kicking around the idea of putting in sidewalks and curbs and gutters where we don't have them." Addressing his fellow council members, he asked, "Or do you think we should just do streets this year?"

Member Greg Struewing wondered, "Will we have the opportunity to go after curb and gutters and sidewalks in the future?"

Fleck answered, "As far as we know now, yes."

OTC members tossed around ideas for what streets they would like to include in the July application. Then for the next one in January they will consider doing the other improvements.

Fleck said, "We'll send somebody up to do some measuring and get more accurate measurements and prioritize what should be done."

Moeller emphasized, "We want to try to get the number around $35,000-$40,000 for what we pay" for the match.

Jeff Paul said he was hoping to have hard copies of the town's comprehensive plan to hand out to members, but he doesn't have them yet. "We need council's input to make any changes ... (and) are hoping to have the final plan by August."

Moeller, who is on the plan's steering committee, announced, "I think they've done a nice job of putting it together."

Community members can view the comprehensive plan at https://oldenburgcompplan.com beginning the week of June 9, Paul revealed.

A public presentation on the plan will take place Tuesday, June 25, at 6 p.m. in the Holy Family Church cafeteria, Oldenburg. This will be a time for the public to make comments.

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.

Other info

• Members discussed two possibilities for maintaining the town's website. Moeller said Oldenburg Academy assistant principal Jonathon Maple, who along with a group of OA students, helped design the new website, noted it could be done for $300 a year. Otherwise, the town could get a .org site for about $900 a year. That fee would be waived if the town would offer the option of online billing with a credit card for its water/sewer customers. However, "anyone deciding to use that will be charged $1 per transaction plus 2 percent of the bill .... If the bill is $100, it would cost $103 to pay online." The state would keep the $3. State officials "want to get that option out there because they ... want the revenue." Paul reported customers have asked if automatic bank draft payments could be done to pay their bills. "If we had a different software, we could do this. That's something we're looking into as a utility." Members weren't sure if the state would allow for the latter payment option in addition to online billing. "The state option would be more secure," the president revealed, and this would allow the Oldenburg Police Department to receive reports, drivers license and records from other law enforcement agencies. Members will do some more research before deciding what to do.

• Sister Claire Whalen, Oldenburg Renewable Energy Commission chair, reported the group has started gathering data for the greenhouse gas inventory. They will also have a booth at Freudenfest with materials about energy use and its conservation. "We will have a stationary bicycle for people to pedal and see how much energy they can produce and how long it would take to get electricity to watch an hour-long television show."

• Town Marshal Bill Dramann and Deputy Lt. Eric Moenter responded to a variety of calls in May: watching school traffic, 18; running radar, 12; verbal speed warnings, nine; stop sign warnings, six; equipment warnings, three; speed warnings on St. Mary's Road, criminal mischief complaints, beer permits and Franklin County dispatch calls, two each; and domestic or other battery, VIN check, suspicious vehicle, residential alarm, noise complaint, warning ticket and criminal investigation, one each. The officers also attended one training and three meetings.