SUNMAN – Thanks to a Community Crossings matching grant through the Indiana Department of Transportation, upgrades to West Washington Street, Fremont Road and Western Avenue should begin soon in Sunman.

“I talked to the contractor, and he plans to start work the first week of December,” Jeremy Schmitt, Commonwealth Engineers, Indianapolis, project manager, told Sunman Town Council members Nov. 21. “Hopefully, folks should start seeing some utility markings soon.

“This portion is not going to include the asphalt (That will done in the spring). The fixing of the storm sewer and a lot of the concrete work to do with the sidewalks” will be completed. “As part of that, there’s a light pole and power pole we’re trying to get moved, one on Western and one on the southwest corner of Vine and Fremont. The good news is Duke Energy will move those without any cost to the town, but they’re still looking to the town to obtain easements for those poles.

“What they told me was they were looking for a 20-foot easement, which will be difficult because there’s not a lot of land there. They would be fine with 5 feet if it was a right of way, but then those folks living there would have to deed the land to the town .... We’re looking for a happy medium.”

Schmitt added, “The other thing that Duke mentioned – and this is all up in the air, no guarantees – is they would like to do pole replacements when the road improvements are being done along those streets .... This is just something they’re talking about.”

Members discussed garbage and recycling bids for a three-year contract. The totals were Rumpke, Colerain Township, Ohio, $187,000; and Best Way Disposal, Greensburg, $182,000.

Member Mike Wolff said, “We’ve had good service with both of them, but it looks like Best Way is going to be cheaper overall, and I would go with the cheapest.”

However, member Don Foley pointed out, “I’ve been talking to some people around town, and they all want Rumpke,” mostly because its employees pick up the trash cans and dump them in the back of their trucks, while Best Way picks up the trash with automated “arms” that dump the garbage through an opening in the top of truck and “blows stuff all over.”

A Best Way divisional manager said, “We slowed down those arms and that was part of the problem .... I would like to offer the board my personal cell phone number. If you hear of an issue, call me.”

Dean Ferrier, Rumpke municipal account manager, noted, “We are still very old school with our rear loader trucks .... We still have that personal touch.”

He added, “Low bidders aren’t always the best.”

When a vote was taken, Wolff choose Best Way and Foley and President Harvey Dobson decided to go with Rumpke, so the contract was awarded to Rumpke.

Diane Raver can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 220114.