Winona Council Explains Path At Former Collier’s Site

(Photo Supplied / Winona Lake Town Council)

Anyone who travels the intersection of Winona Avenue and Argonne Road may have noticed a little concrete path that was put in at the former Collier’s site.

That path has been temporarily installed by the town of Winona Lake to help cut back on traffic stacking up coming from Argonne Road and trying to turn right onto Winona Avenue, Town Manager Craig Allebach said Tuesday at the council meeting.

The town purchased the former Collier’s site, 2499 E. Winona Ave., in 2018 for $329,000; $325,000 of that went to Collier’s Commercial Services, which operated their HVAC and fireplace business there for 31 years. The business relocated to 2635 N. Shelby Drive, Warsaw, to better accommodate their growing business needs.

The Council’s interest in the property – and demolition of it – makes way for the construction of a roundabout to access Winona Avenue, Argonne Road, Kings Highway and Park Avenue. Construction of the roundabout is expected to begin in 2022.

Allebach said at the time the space was going to be used a greenspace. But on Tuesday, when asked by the Times-Union about the installation of the concrete road with a stop sign, he said it was a temporary installment to help traffic continue to flow coming from under the bridge for motorists who want to turn right onto Winona Avenue. The path will be removed once the roundabout is constructed, he said.

“What happens is, people who go straight (onto Park Avenue going into Winona Lake) that are in that right turn lane, if the first car is going straight it stacks up all the other cars,” Allebach said. “So once the first car or even second car and, hopefully about the third car, stop and they’re going straight, then you can just turn right on that little access road and get around that.”

The Council also heard from Winona Lake Town Marshal Joe Hawn that his department would like to purchase new weapons.

Hawn said right now, some officers are using their own weapons while they’re on the job, and even though those weapons are qualified, Hawn thinks everyone ought to have a department-issued weapon.

The Council agreed with Hawn’s purchase request for $8,474.50. That total includes the purchase of seven rifles, eight red dot sight scopes, one 9mm pistol, four packs of ammunition and one pivoting contour brace.

Hawn also told the council his department has received the in-car camera systems and new servers he purchased with the $70,000 grant he applied for and installation is happening now.

Also Tuesday, the Council:

• Held a moment of silence for Nancy Adams who passed away last Monday. She is the wife of Winona Lake Clerk-Treasurer Kent Adams.

“We are saddened,” Council President Rick Swaim said Tuesday. “She was a great lady, a tremendous contribution to our community, to the area in general with her involvements and activities.”?

• Swaim was re-elected as council president, and Denny Duncan was re-elected as vice president.

• Signed a yearly agreement between the town’s park department and Wayne Township. Allebach said the township gives the town a yearly contribution to help offset the costs of running the parks.

• Signed a roundabout construction agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). INDOT will pay 80% of the $847,320 cost of construction, with the town paying 20%.

• Heard from Street Superintendent Tom Miller his department has burned through last year’s salt stockpile so they’ve purchased another 75 tons to keep up with state law and the icy roads.

• Heard from Village at Winona General Manager Nick Hauck the annual Village pajama party is 10 a.m. Jan. 30. The annual event is where shops in the Village offer sales to early shoppers, with some stores requiring customers to wear their pajamas to get the discounts.

Also coming up is the 2 p.m. Jan. 31 Groundhog Day 5K run at Green Earth Multisport.

The next Winona Lake Town Council meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Town Hall.