GREENCASTLE -- It took 10 months to get from first reading to final approval, but the city now has a grease trap ordinance in place to deal with grease accumulation in its sewer lines.
The city's problems with grease and other substances clogging water lines moved the Greencastle Common Council to pass the initial reading an ordinance on grease traps last November. However, city officials needed more time to determine exactly what the specifications should be to balance protecting the city's interests with those of the business owners and other entities affected.
This led to 10 months of surveys and research by city attorney Laurie Hardwick and utility supervisor Richard Hedge. With an ordinance in hand that satisfied all involved, it initially passed the board of works and finally the Common Council on Tuesday.
"There are actually not that many changes, all things considered," Hardwick said.
The ordinance will not affect private residences, simply those entities that serve meals to 25 or more on a daily basis.
"Most of our places already comply with this. I would say well over half," Hardwick said.
All those affected by the change will be notified by the city.
"Really it's a good investment, rather than having to pay for it if you clog a pipe and flood a nearby property with sewage," Hardwick said.
The council also unanimously passed a resolution, as discussed last month, to rename Warren Street as Green Acre Lane.
Additionally, they approved a move authorizing the city to apply for a CDGB grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. In authorizing this move, the council committed $5,180 in matching funds from the downtown TIF district fund.
The program, if approved, would fund renderings to be shown to downtown business owners of what their buildings would look like with fašade restorations.
By using the TIF money, no tax dollars would be expended on the project.
Council also set the trick-or-treat date and time in the city as Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. Halloween falls on Sunday this year.
Mayor Sue Murray had some good and bad news to report to the board at meeting's end.
First of all, Greencastle has been named the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns (IACT) Green City of the Year for the third consecutive year. Greencastle is the only city to earn the honor each time it has been awarded.
City planner Shannon Norman will accept the award for the city at this year's IACT convention in Fort Wayne.
The city also received word, though, that CAGIT funds will be down 13.2 percent next year, a drop of approximately $18,000 each month. Additionally, the EDIT fund will be down 12.7 percent.
"It's going to be a challenging year again," Murray said.