Etna Green Council Hears Trails Proposal From Engineering Company

Etna Green Town Council talked with an engineering company on possibly moving forward with a walking trail in town.

The pledge of $200,000 was made to each incorporated town, other than Warsaw and Winona Lake, by K21 Health Foundation in 2020. The grant is specifically for health and wellness for the town. K21 will leave it up to the individual town councils to come up with a plan on their own for the grant or invite the community to present ideas.

The trail has been discussed as a town project with the grant money.

The Lions Club and the town’s museum are also working on the project, Council member Jason Hanes said.

Ben Beer, vice president of sales for USI Consultants Inc. based out of Indianapolis, was present at the Council meeting to speak of what was needed to move forward if the Council went with his firm.

Beer said a feasibility study would need to be done.  The idea of the study is to give the town an idea of the best way to use the grant money, “whether you just want to use local money or if you want to leverage that for  some other grant funds,” he said. He said there are other grants available, such as through the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Beer said he gave the Council a proposal draft agreement, which looks at four main things for the trail: the right-of-way, an environmental permit of where the trail might go, utility coordination if there’s conflict that would occur and the alignment USI would recommend for the trail and how it would be constructed.

When the study is done, he said he could go over it with the Council. Beer also said the study, along with the K21 grant, could help the Council leverage any other grants the Council would like to apply for.

The study would cost $5,000 and would take USI about 90 days to complete and another 30 days to give the Council a final report once they have had a chance to review it, Beer said.

Beer said he would recommend going forward with the study because it will give the Council “some extra skin in the game” if they want to apply for some other grants.

Hanes said he had the proposal draft agreement and gave a copy to town attorney Jay Rigdon. Rigdon said it was a standard agreement. Hanes said he would give copies of the agreement to the other Council members in the next couple of days.

It was decided the Council will look over the agreement and vote on it in their June meeting.

In other business, the Council discussed a Fourth of July parade.

Theresa Hartzell, of the Hartzell Farm Feed & Supply LLC/Etna Elevator, wanted to know if the town was still wanting a parade this year.

Hartzell said they were thinking of having the parade on July 3 because July 4 falls on a Sunday.

Hanes said to answer her question, yes, the Council wants the parade.

President Keith Claassen said he thought it was a good idea to have the parade on July 3 instead of July 4.

She also was wondering if the town could donate some money toward fireworks. Last year, the fireworks were $3,000 and “basically four people paid for that.”

The Council approved giving $200 toward fireworks for the Fourth of July parade.

In other business, the Council:

• Learned there is an issue with chicken running loose on the west side of town. Clerk-Treasurer Patti Cook has called the homeowner to let him know he needs to come in to get a permit for the chickens. Rigdon said even if the homeowner gets a permit, a person cannot allow such  animals as chickens to run loose in the town. A violation of the ordinance would be a fine of $10 to $100 per occurrence. Cook said she has “a bunch” of pictures and a video of occurrences with the chickens running loose. Rigdon suggested Cook itemize how many days of the pictures there are and send him that information, as well as the homeowner’s information, and he will send the homeowner a letter.

• Approved a $250 donation to the Randy Miner Memorial Run. The memorial run is on June 12, with townwide garage sales that weekend and a Nelson’s chicken and pork chop fundraiser for Etna Green Lions Club starting at 11 a.m. until sold out.