Members of the Washington City Council met Monday evening with a light agenda and a slide show of photos of damage from the tornado that swept through the west end of the city on Nov. 17. Mayor Joe Wellman also thanked both city and county employees and all the volunteers for their efforts in cleaning up the rubble left after the wake of the tornado.
Councilman Joe Fleck, whose home was damaged during the tornado, was not at the meeting. Councilman Eric Bassler was also absent.
Wellman said over 900 volunteers, including many school groups, were part of the clean up effort and line trucks from Jasper, Huntingburg and Crawfordsville helped to get power restored to the city as quickly and safely as possible.
The council also approved a resolution to transfer funds from one account in the street department to another street department account for the purchase of 20 96-gallon totes.
Members also heard a first reading on an ordinance to increase the city sewer rate by an average of $6.48 per month for most users. Wellman said the increase was necessary to help cover operating costs. If the increase is approved, Washington’s sewer rate will still be lower than that of Petersburg, Switz City, Loogootee, Oakland City and Winslow.
The Board of Public Works and Safety met at the conclusion of the city council meeting and discussed a request from Daviess Community Hospital to help address an obstructed view of N.E. 14th Street and Grand Avenue due to cars parking along the street. Street Commissioner Ernie Evans told those in attendance that the city had painted a large portion of the curb yellow in the past but the curb needs repainted and it hadn’t seemed to help keep people from parking there. Police Chief Mike Healy also spoke on the topic and said that hospital employees seem to be the ones most often parking in the area.
Wellman said that the city as well as Healy and Evans would discuss the situation with the hospital and come up with a solution.
Bids were also received for the demolition of two properties, one located at 505 W. Van Trees and the other at 402 W. Hefron. Four companies placed bids on the properties, Huey Excavating, Don Gress Construction, Rex Gress and Sons and English Construction. Low bids for both projects went to Rex Gress but their submitted bid packets were incomplete. Terry Wininger, building commissioner, asked that the next lowest bids then be accepted so work could begin and hopefully be completed before the beginning of the year. Don Gress Construction was awarded the project on Van Trees and Huey Excavating was awarded the Hefron Street project.