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INDOT approves one project in Gentryville, holds up another

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By DON STEEN

Staff Writer

reporter@spencercountyjournal.com

 

GENTRYVILLE – Bad news followed good news for Gentryville Utilities Superintendent Marty Brown, as permission from the Indiana Department of Transportation to perform repairs along one stretch of Indiana 62 was followed by yet another requirement to seek approval for another project relating to that roadway. While work can finally progress on one project, another already well under way was placed on hold until the state approves it.

At last month’s meeting, Brown reported that rapid freezing and thawing had resulted in a number of water leaks running along SR 62. However, immediate action on these issues was impossible without approval from INDOT, as repair work would run close to the state road.

Since then, the state gave approval for those repairs and they have been resolved. However, an unrelated project has also run into a similar permitting problem.

A planned project to repair and stabilize Railroad Street has been put on hold by INDOT pending approval. This time the issue revolves around that street’s intersection with SR 62. This issue was not foreseen, as this project was approved as part of the town’s Community Crossings grant awarded last year.

Construction was already imminent, with Hughes Paving contracted to repave the road and replace two storm-water structures connected by a culvert. However, no work can commence without INDOT’s blessing.

However, Brown also reported he had applied for a grant to help replace a wooden swing set at the town park and had also been working on changing the tennis court there to a multi-use court for several activities. He emphasized that keeping the park in shape for visitors was a priority due to its popularity with local residents.

“A lot of people use that park,” said Brown.

In other business at the April 2 meeting of the Gentryville Town Council, Marshal Heather Overstreet announced plans to organize a back-to-school event along with the volunteer fire department around the end of July at the town park. The event would include grilled hot dogs and other activities and would allow kids a chance to meet those responsible for their safety. Overstreet emphasized the need for police to earn the trust of students who might need to seek help for any issue they feel they can’t bring to anyone else.

The town council gave the idea their blessing, with Council President Martha DeWitt saying, “I think the kids would learn to respect you and the fire fighters more.”