Roachdale Town Council hears street project update

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A construction project and pandemic flu awareness were just two of the items on the Roachdale Town Council agenda during Tuesday's meeting.

Council members Bill Long, Jack Jones, and Barbara Scott listened to Brian Pohler from Hannum, Wagle and Cline, an engineering firm, as he informed the council about the Indiana Street project.

The town had received a grant from INDOT, and the council was using it to work on Indiana Street between Hwy. 236 and just south of the railroad tracks.

Pohler provided the council with a stack of drawings that represented the different stages of the construction. He also provided them with a tentative schedule.

Pohler said they were a month and half off schedule, "but we will make that up as we move forward."

The next step for both the firm and the town is to conduct a field check. Pohler said that INDOT officials would come to the town, and walk the street to make sure everything is set and that there are no questions.

Resident Tracy McBride, who lives on Indiana Street, said that his house cannot wait for 2008. McBride has been experiencing water issues every time it rains in town, as mentioned in the BannerGraphic Wednesday.

Pohler said that the finished road near McBride's home will be lower than what it currently is. This should help stop the water issues McBride has been experiencing.

The new street has been planned out to have curbs with storm drains, along with the sidewalk butting up next to the curb in some places.

A detour has been planned for all truck traffic. Instead of going down County Road 425 East because of a narrow bridge, the new detour route will be County Road 625 East, after Pohler has talked with both Montgomery and Putnam County officials.

"We are going to keep the local traffic coming in and out of it and maintain access to the fire station at all times," said Pohler.

Pohler informed the council that the construction would stop at the railroad tracks on the northside of town. But they were planning on putting down striping on both sides of the tracks. He also said they would be painting the curb in places for no parking.

Pohler asked the council if they wanted to go with the typical INDOT signage or did they want to go with something special for the project.

The council approved the use of INDOT signage for the project.

Construction is slated to begin March 2008.

Meanwhile, Steve Walters from the Putnam County Health Department provided the council with information about Avian, (Bird) flu and Pandemic flu, which is the worst-case scenario.

The health department has been traveling across the county, attempting to educate residents about what is going on and how to prepare themselves.

According to Walters, up until Monday, the Bird flu had been mostly prominent in southeast Asia. "Yesterday (Monday), we got a health alert in the afternoon about two swans in lower Michigan which were tested for the Avian flu," said Walters.

But health officials have all ready stated that there is no threat of these birds spreading the disease. This is the first case of Avian flu found in the U.S., and it does show that it is traveling around the world.

Walters said that world health officials are afraid that the Avian flu will mutate into some type of strain that could easily be transferred from human to human. If this does happen, Walters said that experts are advising this could spread quickly across the world, which becomes the Pandemic flu.

"When Pandemic happens, its a new strain that we don't have medicines for, and nobody has an immune system for," said Walters. "So everybody is going to be affected."

It is Walters' job to prepare Putnam County for any health emergency. Walters told the council that some ways they can prepare for these type of emergencies are to develop plans and alter operation plans.

If the Pandemic flu should strike Roachdale, the health officials would prohibit all community gatherings, cancel schools, churches, and meetings.

Some tips Walters gave the council on taking precautions to lesson West Nile Virus were addressing or treating any standing water and cleaning up properties, especially if there are any tires, to cut down on the mosquito population.

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