Road improvements, grant applications discussed at Ingalls council meeting

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The sun sets on Election Day in Ingalls, where the line snaked around Ingalls Town Hall, down the street past a church, then around the corner and up a street. Just before 6 p.m., one voter exiting the building said she waited five hours. Scott Slade | The Times-Post

INGALLS — Ingalls Street Department Supervisor Carl Marlett suggested Ingalls apply for only one state Community Crossings Matching Grant in 2022.

Marlett’s recommendation, made during Monday’s Ingalls Town Council meeting, was based on the size of the project: It involves mill and overlay work on County Road 650 West, from one end of town to the other (Reformatory Road to County Road 800 South).

“I plan on doing just one Community Crossings Grant this year, and we’ve been in discussion on whether to do it in the spring or fall,” Marlett said. “It’s going to be expensive but it really needs to be done. It’s a thoroughfare and is slowly degrading. I think we need to get at it before it becomes a bigger problem.”

Community Crossings is part of an Indiana Department of Transportation program that provides local government funding for certain road projects.

“It’s just south of Fall Creek Regional Waste and just north of the school and Maple Trails,” council President Justin Gardner said. “We want try to take care of the surface so it doesn’t break down. It’s a major thoroughfare. I know the last time I was on the council we had a lot of issues with trucks going East Street out to Reformatory Road on to 650, though that wasn’t the intended route. With all of the construction happening out by Maple Trails that was more weight than what the road was intended for at that time.

“(Marlett) wants to get ahead of that before we run into critical issues. It’s the whole town boundary on 650.”

With Community Crossings, cities and towns with a population of fewer than 10,000 receive funds using a 75/25 state-local match.

This year’s first call for Community Crossings projects began Monday and will close Jan. 28. A second opportunity to apply for a grant will be available later in the year.

More grants

Director of Planning and Development Neil Stevenson, in his department report, told the board of additional grants the town will seek for future planning purposes.

Stevenson said he is working with Kleinpeter Consulting Group, LLC, for a planning grant through the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) with the possibility of also looking for aid on stormwater projects.

OCRA is also a matching grant program.

Additionally, Stevenson said, he is pursuing an Indiana Department of Health and Planning grant. He said the grant does not include a match and has a maximum gift of $20,000.

Meeting dates set

The initial public meeting dates have been set for discussion of a fire territory that would include Pendleton, Fall and Green townships, and eventually Ingalls.

All meetings are at 6 p.m. in the Pendleton Fire Station. Dates are Jan. 25, Feb. 23 and March 8.

Gardner named president

At the council’s December meeting, Gardner was voted president and Melanie Johnson vice president. Teresa Egerton remained secretary.

Gardner was appointed to the council in November to replace council President Scot Lawyer, who stepped down for health reasons.

It is Gardner’s second stint on the board. He was president of the council when he was defeated in the November 2020 election.

Personnel report

Marlett informed the board that Nick Johnson has been hired as part of the town’s street department. Johnson started working for the town on Jan. 4.

Gardner re-appointed two members to two different town boards.

Gary Wimmer was re-appointed to the Ingalls Planning Commission. Craig Lee was re-appointed to the Ingalls Board of Zoning Appeals. Both had terms expire at the end of 2021.

Variance request

Resident Donald Gruber asked the board for a variance application for a driveway at his property on North Willow Street.

The variance will require Ingalls Board of Zoning Appeals approval to take effect.

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