Ingalls moves on new traffic plan

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INGALLS — Ingalls approved an agreement for $6,391 with the Madison County Council of Governments (MCCOG) to develop an access management plan to help control traffic on State Road 13 near Interstate 69, in an area that previously was annexed into town.
Ryan Phelps of MCCOG, a regional transportation planning agency, delivered the access management and control ordinance development project proposal to the town council at a meeting Monday, June 14, at Town Hall.
With an expectation of increasing development in the area, the access management project’s goal is to control location, spacing, design and operations of driveways, median openings, interchanges and street connections to a roadway.
“Basically, it’s just to control traffic up State Road 13 and the I-69 area and to keep from having driveway cuts every 100 feet,” Ingalls town council President Scot Lawyer said. “As development comes, it will help control the traffic.”
Lawyer said without this plan, the area would be developer-driven. Ingalls wants the area to be town-driven.
“It’s putting us in control of the process,” Lawyer said. “These are our standards, and it either fits or it doesn’t.”
Phelps said there is a five-month time frame to complete the project and adopt the ordinance.
Stages of the plan include educating town staff on the plan, preparing an ordinance draft, introducing the project to Ingalls Plan Commission, a legal review, a public hearing for the plan commission, along with the council’s first and second readings to be followed by adoption.
“We’re developing a plan for the long haul,” Lawyer added.
Phelps said the MPO recently completed similar plans with both Fortville, in 2017, and Pendleton, within the past few months.
New police cars?
With money received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), Ingalls wants to buy new vehicles for its police department.
One vehicle was totaled after a recent accident, and other vehicles that were bought used continue to have mechanical issues.
“We have a very aging fleet of vehicles that need replaced,” Chief Chris Thompson said as he gave a report to council.
He said five vehicles have well over 100,000 miles on them, including one that has nearly 200,000 miles.
“To me, if one of us had 196,000 on our personal vehicle, that’s OK, but it’s not OK to have a guy driving a police car 120 mph with 200,000 miles on it.”
Lawyer said he was all for updating the police vehicles, but wanted to do some research to see how other departments manage their fleets.
“We keep buying used vehicles, and we keep paying out for repairs,” Lawyer said. “It’s a
vicious cycle every couple of years of buying $30,000 worth of cars and having repair after repair. Pendleton buys new cars every three years or so, and we’re striving to get us to that. The COVID money will help us get started and get the ball rolling.”