OTC

Jodi Comer (clockwise from left), Clerk-Treasurer Cindy Laker and town board members Dave Wahman, Denny Moeller and Greg Struewing listen to town attorney John Kellerman (front right).

The town’s comprehensive plan, a taproom and LED streetlights were among the items that were on the agenda for the Oct. 7 Oldenburg Town Council meeting.

Jodi Comer, Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission administration manager, told members the comprehensive plan was completed and sent to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the organization from which the town received a $40,000 planning grant to complete the plan. “They have given their approval.”

Members unanimously passed a resolution to accept the document.

Cory Daly, HWC Engineering, Indianapolis, senior project manager, who assisted residents with the plan, said, “For me, it’s been a great process getting to know you, and you had great public input .... Thank you so much for allowing us to work with you on this. It’s been a pleasure.”

President Denny Moeller said he received a proposal from Duke Energy for $24,992 for 60 LED streetlights. Once the energy-efficient lights are installed, the town will save 58% in monthly streetlight payments.

He checked with Duke Energy officials to determine whether smart LED lights, which are dim at night, brightening when vehicles approach, could be swapped into Oldenburg in the future when they become available.

Steve Lee, Duke Energy, Clarksville, business development sales manager, noted, “We haven’t selected a vendor yet (for smart LED lights), so we don’t know what their product is going to be or if it would be compatible.”

“If you as a town agree to the lump sum amount” for the LED lights, “the energy and maintenance would be $126 per month for the life of the system.”

Moeller wondered what the timeline would be. Lee reported, “Once the town decides if it wants to do this, we’ll look at scheduling. If we get it back fairly quickly, we feel we could get it done by the end of the year. We’ll work around your schedule.”

The crew “will bring a bucket truck .... They will take off the fixture head and the LED just hooks into it.” On average, the workers should be able to change out about 10-12 lights per day, he added.

Members accepted the proposal, and the Duke Energy representative said he would contact them about scheduling the installation.

At last month’s meeting, Steve Stahley expressed an interest in leasing the large room in the municipal building at State Road 229 and Hamburg Road for a taproom. He and his wife, Melanie, got a license for Creek Bottom Brewery about two and a half years ago and have been making beer at their Hilltop Road farm in Hamburg since then.

Members supported the idea.

Stahley noted, “From a timing perspective, it’s open-ended because of the permit and licensing ... (but) Jan. 1 I would like to start leasing the room, and if things go well, we’ll open in February.”

Then “we’ll have a taproom in Oldenburg,” Moeller added.

Mike Cambron, an Oldenburg Renewable Energy Commission member, reported the group has completed the greenhouse gas emissions inventory and will present its findings in November. Participating in this was “a very educational experience, and I learned a lot,” he said.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives was hired by Indiana University to train and guide Hoosier cities/towns to do the inventory, according to information provided by OREC chair Sister Claire Whalen.

A grant from IU covered most of the membership fee, except for a minimum amount each city/town paid. Instead of the $600 small town fee, Oldenburg was charged $200. The ICLEI is offering Oldenburg an extended 12 months membership fee for $400.

Cambron said, “We wanted to ask if the town would be open to supporting us in this regard .... We’re interested in helping the town be as energy efficient as possible.” If the town continued as a member, “it would be assigned a dedicated technical adviser who would assist with energy conservation programs.”

Moeller revealed, “We would like to see the inventory in November to determine what we are getting for our money.”

Cambron agreed, “I’m in the process of learning this myself.”

Craig Fullenkamp, who lives on Water Street, said he is in a band and wants to practice his music either in his house or garage. “I’ve had three noise complaints about playing my music .... I figured noon-6 p.m. on a Saturday would be OK.

“I would like to know some clear restrictions of when I can play and how loud I can be. I’ve been told there’s not a noise ordinance .... I think it might just be one person who is complaining.”

Town Marshal Bill Dramann announced, “Twice the same individual called and complained.” Deputy Lt. Eric Moenter said he also received a noise complaint about this.

Member Greg Struewing pointed out, “I think there’s a fine line there. I understand you play in a band. If we turn the page and listen to the loud trucks in town, isn’t that a noise we’ve had complaints about, too?”

Town attorney John Kellerman maintained, “A noise ordinance is going to apply to everyone, whether it be a barking dog, noise from the Freudenfest or firemen’s festival, trucks or music. Noise is noise.”

Fullenkamp said, “We only play on the weekends and maybe one day a week.”

“Has the individual (who complained) contacted you personally?” Struewing wondered.

The musician answered, “No, but I was hoping I could contact that person and work something out.”

Struewing emphasized, “This is really a catch-22 because I’m certain during the festivals there are persons in town who don’t like the noise.”

Dramann reported, “Personally, I don’t see a problem with him playing in the afternoon at reasonable hours, but I don’t live in town.”

The attorney added, “I would say playing music at reasonable hours is reasonable, but you guys (town council members) can give him guidance about the times.”

Struewing noted, “Me personally, I say play the next time you want to play.”

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