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 Carthage Council Gets Project Update

May 21, 2008 - The Carthage Town Council was recently updated on the town's $3.1 million water utility improvement project.

Jon Query and Chuck Garriott of Hannum, Wagle & Cline Engineering addressed council members at their May 7 meeting. Query provided financial information on funds owed to contractors, while Garriott, the project inspector, updated the council on work completed as of that date.

Garriott reported that the new water treatment plant was completely enclosed and had a shingled roof installed. He also said nearly 13,000 feet of water piping, a little more than half of what the project requires, has been installed, and that one of the new wells was pumping 417 gallons a minute, almost 20 percent more than had been expected.

The town's new 150,000-gallon elevated water storage tank was also recently erected. Garriott told the council he expected there to be about four more days of welding work, then the tank would be sandblasted and painted.

Acting on a recommendation from Query, the council OK'd payments of $133,446.31, $195,815.04 and $158,539.50, respectively, to the three contractors working on the project - Mitchell & Stark; Dave O'Mara Contractor, Inc.; and Caldwell Tanks. The council also approved a $5,175 change order for installation of three new fire hydrants and two other related items.

The water improvement project is scheduled to be completed by January. A little more than $1.3 million of the project's cost is being paid for with grants that the town will not have to repay.

In other business, the council received two bids from companies interested in providing trash hauling services for the town's residents. The bid of the town's current service provider, Best Way, was $8.46 a month per customer, with a price of $8.71 the second year and $8.97 the third, while CGS bid $9.25 per month. Monthly cost for both Best Way and CGS could actually be a little higher, however, with the addition of an extra fuel charge. Both bids were taken under advisement so the town's attorney could review them.

A representative of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, John Mull, also spoke to the council at last week's meeting. He told the council that a recent story in the Rushville Republican had misreported the number of tickets Carthage officers issued during a recent Operation Pullover blitz.

Mull also discussed with the council the status of a $2,100 grant the Carthage Police Department received from the ICJI. He said the town still has $970.05 of the grant left to spend on time-and-a-half pay for officers called in to work during their normal time off.

Due to the resignation of Carthage Town Marshal Mike Onkst, Mull said the town's ICJI grant was temporarily suspended. He said this had been done to prevent the funds from being improperly used and to prevent unauthorized access to certain ICJI databases.

The council told two town residents it would look into whether a dead tree situated next door to them in the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street belonged to the town or to their neighbor. The residents provided the council with records obtained from the Rush County Courthouse that show, they claimed, that the town's property extends 40 feet in both directions from the center of Main Street, which would include the tree's location.


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