In an effort to establish a more effective stormwater management plan, Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday awarded a contract to Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions Inc. of Louisville.
Commissioner David Bramer said a scoring system was used to determine which of four companies that submitted proposals would be best suited for the work in Jefferson County. He said one of Wood’s strengths is that the company is familiar with southern Indiana and its terrain that offers a mix of hills and flat land which they determined as an important factor in assessing stormwater flow in Jefferson County.
Bramer said the hope is to establish stormwater management standards for commercial and residential developments throughout the county and develop a plan to mitigate flooding issues. “We want to establish the ordinance, the standards that people who develop (land) are going to need to follow,” said Bramer, who said the study by Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions Inc. will identify what needs done in addressing water flow issues in the county.
Other companies that submitted proposals included American Structurepoint of Indianapolis, Christopher B. Burke Engineering of Indianapolis and Bean, Longest Neff Consulting Firm of Indianapolis.
In other business, the Commission:
• Approved a $50,000 contribution to the Madison Riverfront Development Committee’s “super overlook” project on Madison’s riverfront to replace the Madison Regatta judge’s stand with a multi-use facility that can also serve as a center for other events.
“It’s a good project. Everybody in the county gets to use that riverfront,” said Little. “I think it would be good for us to have our support on it.”
The Commissioners will take $25,000 from the county’s historic preservation fund and $25,000 from the economic development fund — both from special projects line items.
• Bramer reported that proposals for a Jefferson Proving Ground Airfield Strategic Planning and Marketing Study were due Friday. As of Thursday’s meeting one proposal had been received from Crawford Murphy and Tilley Inc. of Indianapolis.
“We’re still working on the funding,” Bramer said, noting the County Council had tabled that at its meeting earlier this month while deciding if the appropriation can come from the county’s American Rescue Plan funds. However, Bramer added there may be another potential source for funding the study.
Bramer thinks the project could be an opportunity for Jefferson County because “there are very few places with air and rail” and river transportation, albeit at somewhat of a further distance from JPG. “We’ve got all three here for Jefferson County that could be a huge deal” if it’s workable, which he thinks the study will determine.
• Approved an easement along Hanover Beach Hill Road for the Town of Hanover for an upcoming sanitary sewer collection system and treatment plant while also providing a new extension of the sanitary collection system to Hanover College. Approval was given with the stipulation that the road remain open while the work is done.
“I don’t have any problem with the easement,” said Little, but since the project will require cutting through the road “that’s the only access down there, so we need to know that one lane will be secured and open at all times.” Little noted that otherwise, there would be no access for impacted residents in the event of an emergency.
• Approved the purchase of a utility truck from Country Chevrolet in North Vernon, Indiana, at a cost of $46,360. Highway Superintendent Bobby Phillips said it’s been a challenge to locate and purchase vehicles for the highway department. The utility truck located in North Vernon was priced at $52,160 of which $5,800 was deducted through government bid assistance.
• County resident Richard Carter once again asked the Commissioners to enact a Second Amendment Preservation Act for Jefferson County. Carter, who has been at several meeting over the last few months, noted the Commissioners have promised to hold a public hearing.
The Commissioners said they are ready to move forward with that hearing. “We’ll find a place and set a date,” Little said.
The Second Amendment Preservation Act removes federal funding from enforcing gun control.
Carter also expressed concern over the Health and Human Relations Commission the Commissioners recently established and questioned wording related to “security” and “respect.”
Bramer said the adopted guidelines simply involve “treating people like people. You’re treated as a human being, and that’s what we want to do.” He also asked Carter if he might consider being a member of the commission, which Carter said he would take under consideration.
• Approved amendments to the county’s polling locations. One updates that precinct 2-2 will be at E.O. Muncie School, 800 Lanier Drive, rather that Shawe Memorial High School as had been listed. The other updated that the Shelby precinct will be at Canaan Community Academy, rather than the former Canaan Elementary with the address remaining at 8755 N. Canaan Main St.