By Lois Mittino Gray
In a move that makes all zoning consistent on Fourth Street, the Mount Vernon Common Council voted to change the property zone rating on Fourth and Tile Factory Road at its Thursday evening meeting April 4. The property, owned by Arthur Hall at 1117 East Fourth Street, went from an RF zone (residential/townhouse) to a CG zone (commercial/general) rating.
Mindy Bourne, Director of the Planning Commission, spoke and assured the Council that this would make the entire street all CG and its fits in with Mount Vernon’s long range plan. She told them the zoning board already met on the issue and voted for the change at their meeting and that the Council needed to stamp their approval on it.
In other improvements to the Fourth Street area, Mount Vernon Mayor John Tucker announced that he spoke to INDOT Design Engineer Mark Williams who is working on improving traffic flow coming out of the Southwind Port. Williams has analyzed the patterns and in 2012, there were 82,500 trucks just in and out of the Port. Williams met with Tucker, Councilmen Bill Curtis, and Steve Fuelling and said that a contract for a new designed exit will be let in December. Construction should begin next spring. Tucker was elated saying, “I see the area as only getting busier. I’m so glad this is moving forward”.
In other council business:
–Sewer Superintendent Rodney Givens gave the board estimates on sewer lines and manholes for Country Club Estates Phase One subdivision. All lines were up to codes. When asked about lift stations, he said some may be involved as there are lift stations in the area, but he was not sure at this time. He observed that some communities are using personal lift stations at each home, like mini sump pumps, to move sewage to a lift station.
– Fuelling told the Council that last week Wednesday he and the mayor, Superintendent Givens and Aaron Burke, Project Engineer did the final walk through of the sewage plant. The project was formally concluded on March 31. Givens said that there were still a few things to do then, most are completed by now and everything is up and running pretty well. “It’s a learning process on all the controls for it” he explained.
–Street Department Yard Foreman Don Rye reported that the storm sewer off the West School is tied to the city system and there are no more problems. “Everything is ready to go now”, he said.
–Town Attorney Beth McFaddin Higgins reported on the tax sale certificates accepted by the Board of Public Works at their Thursday Afternoon meeting. Two properties were accepted that will be fixed up and on the tax rolls once again in the future.
–The Council met first as the Water Utility Board and heard a report from Superintendent Chuck Gray. Per his request, the Board voted to allow two employees to use the city car and credit card to attend a training conference in Columbus, Ind., from April 15-17. He reported that the new water intakes are running well and that he hopes all work moving the electric panels up out of the flood plain will be complete by April 19..
Summer plans include putting in two new fire hydrants with a 12 inch line on Second streets identified as a low flow area in the model. He will also replace the water main on Mann Street and replace the water line on Wolflin Street between Second and Fourth Street. “This will dramatically improve fire protection in that entire quadrant,” he explained. The first round of water main flushing will begin in about two weeks.