Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes

March 14, 2018

 

The meeting is called to order at 4:30pm.

 

Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Jack Davis, Dan Combs

 

Non-members present: Pat Combs, Novella Shuck, Seth Lahn

 

Agency Representatives Present:

            Vic Kelson, City of Bloomington Utilities

            Brad Schroeder, City of Bloomington Utilities

            Jane Fleig, City of Bloomington Utilities

Chris Wheeler, City of Bloomington Legal

Adam Wason, City Public Works

Kyla Cox Deckard, Board of Public Works

Susan Sandberh, City Council

            Isabel Piedmont-Smith- City Council

            Steve Volan, City Council

            Eric Spoonmore, Monroe County Council

            Geoff McKim, Monroe County Council

            Kurt Christian, Herald Times

            Marilyn Burrus, New Leaf New Life

            Lisa Chaplin, Area 10 Agency on Aging

            Representative, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center

            Kate Wiltz, candidate for Monroe County Council. District 2

            Jeff Fanyo, Bynum Fanyo and Associates

            Iris Kiesling, citizen, Perry Township resident

 

Agenda:

Utility Sewer Project

Other

 

Utility Sewer Project

Dan called this board meeting at the suggestion of Barb Sturbaum, so that they can discuss this issue in public, prior to possibly engaging a lawyer if necessary.

 

Last Thursday, Jon Callahan, the public affairs officer for the City Utilities Department, dropped by the Township office to inform us of a road closing on Walnut Street later this summer, in order to facilitate work on a sewer project. The road closing would stretch from the corners of Allen Street and Walnut Street, south to the entrance of Monon Drive on Walnut Street. According to the letter he provided, the road would be closed for an eight-week period that could take place anytime within the time frame of May 30, 2018 and September 28, 2018. The letter further stated that Walnut Street will be shut down to one lane, with no left turns allowed, and the intersection with Grimes would be shut down too. Dan states that the details of the letter made it hard to conceptualize how vehicles will access Perry Township’s parking lots, especially if there is to be trenching on the southbound lanes of Walnut Street. According to additional information published in a Herald Times article this week on the project, it sounds like the Township would lose total access.

 

Dan states that he wants the people present to discuss this project, and he reiterates that this road project was sprung on our office and it should not be the Township’s responsibility to find a solution to providing Township access. Just because this is a government project (through the City), we are a separate government entity and cannot be controlled or required to cede our concerns over to a separate governmental entity. Dan called Jon Callahan Thursday to discuss the project after he had visited the Township, and then their engineer Piedon called Dan on Friday to state their office’s willingness to work with ours on this issue. Dan was also informed that this project will be further discussed at a Public Works meeting on March 20th, but Piedon was leaving town and would not return until the 21st, so there would not be time to discuss with him further until then.

 

Dan states that he has not spoken further with any engineers, but did ask Jeff Fanyo, of Bynam, Fanyo, and Associates to reach out on our behalf. The letter that City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) provided our office stated that utilities would not be disrupted while the project is ongoing, but Dan is not sure how they plan to accomplish that.

 

CBU Director Vic Kelson indicates that he can speak on the project more in depth here. The South-Central Interceptor Project has been in the works for a long time and stretches all the way from Davis Street down to Gordon Pike, traveling through the footprint of the Switchyard Park. The section the Township is concerned about, from Monon Street going north, is the northernmost section of the project. The reason for the project is because of a problem with sewer overflow where raw sewage overflows into the creek, and they are mandated by the state to correct this. They are installing a large sewer pipe that increases capacity to move storage, and this will be laid parallel to the old sewage pipe. They will not shut down utilities during the project because the utilities will continue to run through the old system until the new one is built, then they just connect the two. This is an approximately 7-million-dollar project approved in 2017, and it was approved with bonds brought before the city, so it is not a taxpayer-funded project.

 

Jack Davis asks if the time frame given to the Township (18 weeks over which the 8-week project could take place) will be narrowed down to something more specific. Vic Kelson states that they are working on that, and the large window of time is due to the large number of projects they have going on right now. When they take this project to Public Works to get it scheduled, this time frame will be firmed up.

 

Adam Wason, the Public Works Director, states that they have multiple ongoing projects currently, including work on I-69, Fullerton Pike, and Country Club Drive. The reason for the wide time frame is so that they can coordinate work with other partner agencies to schedule this project for when other projects end. Public Works hopes to work with CBU on the sewer project after the Country Club Drive closure is complete, but that would push this project into the fall school year, which they don’t want to do because it would cause bus disruptions. Right now, they are trying to coordinate with Bloomington Transit and the Monroe County Community School Corporation bus systems and are actively trying to firm up the dates for this project.

 

Barb Sturbaum asks if both lanes of Walnut Street will be closed down during the project. Adam Wason state that for the sewer project, there will be one lane north and one lane south open, on the east side of the road. (Walnut Street has four lanes, two on the east side, northbound, and two on the west side, southbound.) The tapering of the traffic from four lanes down to two will be taking place in front of the Township office, and the actual sewer project will be taking place a little further south. The intersection at Grimes Lane will have to be closed in order for the project to be happen, and this is why there cannot be left turns in the construction zone. Brad Schrader, an engineer with CBU, states that the trenching for the sewer pipe will be approximately 100 feet south of the Township office, and not in front of our office. Adam states that they will hand over a traffic plan to the Township for the project.

 

Barb asks how the Township clients will be able to access the office: Will they be able to turn into our parking lot directly if traveling southbound from the north? Brad states that there will be construction barrels set up to re-route traffic, but there will be a gap in the barrels to allow southbound traffic to turn right into Perry Township’s parking lot. They are not sure of the bus stop situation yet.

 

Dan wants to know, on the record, why the Township did not hear about this project earlier. The Township just redid our sewer lines in late 2016 and did not hear anything about this previously. He also wants to know if there will be access not only to the Perry Township front parking lot, but to the All-Options driveway as well.  Dan also states that he is worried about construction traffic, and wonders what mechanisms are built-in to protect us if truck drivers and other road workers do not follow the city plan, and instead block our drive or use our parking lot to park vehicles.

 

Dan askes Seth Lahn, Perry Township attorney, about legal status, and Seth states that there are certain statutory responsibilities of the Township that we are required to fill. Will this project provide a disruption to our services? Seth states that we would need more details to satisfy ourselves that we have not caused a substantial disruption. Between now and March 20th, it is important to get this information.

 

Adam Wason states that their office is waiting to hear back from Lou and their staff at Bloomington Transit about potential re-routes for the city buses on Walnut Street during this project, and he states that 90 busses per day travel up and down Walnut Steet. The reason the notification of this project went out to our office so soon without all the details being in place is because of the upcoming meeting on March 20th, but there is still a lot of time before the project commences to fix any problems. Pedestrians will have access to the sidewalk on the east side of the street (opposite the Township) and can cross at the pedestrian crosswalk just north of the Honda shop. Dan asks how we should communicate with people about accessing our office, especially if they are traveling from the south. Adam states that there will be signage present on the roads labeling our office and other businesses.

 

Dan asks Seth Lahn about the Township responsibility to provide public access to our office, being a public entity. Are we responsible with coming up with solutions to access issues or is the City? Seth states that once we receive more data about the exact specifications of sidewalk and bus route closures and reroutes, then we can better determine impact. He states that it seems like CBU is taking care of a lot of the issues.

 

Jack Davis asks if the sewer project had been completed earlier, would the Township have had to redo our parking lot the way we did in 2016, redoing our lift station in large part because our system would get flooded with overflow from the city sewer system. Jeff Fanyo states that yes, the project was still necessary because the elevation of our system was so low that no matter what the city sewer project did, we would still get the overflow.

 

Dan asks if it is possible to do a walkthrough of the project before the Public Works meeting on the 20th. Adam states that meeting on March 20th is primarily to get permission for the Monon Drive section of the project, and they are going to ask to table the request for the road closure in front of Perry Township until the next meeting on April 4th. This will give everyone an additional two weeks to collect data on the project and its impacts. Adam adds that these projects do have impacts and it is impossible for them not to, but the sewer improvement project is ultimately for the greater good. They are not taking lightly any of the concerns that have been brought up, and they have never made any attempt to hide information from the public on this. Adam states that he has never been contacted by anyone in this area about the project previously, and CBU has been attending meetings on this project for the last month and a half. The Public Works notice was required.

 

Dan asks where the overflow of the sewer system is coming from. This sewer interceptor carries the central city flow (but primarily the south-central portion of the city), and infiltration happens throughout the city. Dan asks if this project will recur within his lifetime, and the answer is no. This sewer upgrade should last for 120 years.

 

Dan states that within two weeks he would like to see something in writing further describing this project, with pictures. Jeff Bynum states that he has received the construction plans and believes that the Township can maintain traffic flow. Barb requests that he send the board these plans via email and Jeff agrees to do so. Dan asks Seth Lahn if the Township is allowed to talk directly with the City Public Works and CBU about this project since we do have legal counsel, and Seth states yes.

 

Vic Kelson encourages anyone with questions about this project to call his office at CBU at 812-349-3650. Kyla Cox Deckard (with the City Board of Public Works) confirmed that their board meets every 2 weeks on Tuesdays at 5:30pm, and the meeting that will discuss access to Perry Township offices is scheduled for April 3, 2018 at 5:30pm.

 

A representative from All-Options expresses their concern over sidewalk access in front of their office, as their front door opens right onto the sidewalk. The current plan is to close the sidewalk at Walnut and Davis Streets, heading south. There will be a slight buffer zone of sidewalk closed off extending north from Davis Street as well; it is the size of the buffer that will determine if All-Options has access to their front door.

 

Other

There was no other business discussed.

 

 

 

Barb adjourned the meeting at 5:21pm.

 
 

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Perry Township 812-336-3713
1010 S. Walnut St. PerryTownship.info
Bloomington, IN
47401

 

 

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