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City utility department spells out solution to flooding issue at 'Moose Lake'


The Sullivan city utility department has come up with a solution to rid the area near the Moose Lodge of frequent standing water — which has become known by some punsters as “Moose Lake.”

“As we well know, we have a flooding problem there at the Moose Lodge,” city utilities director Tony Burkhart informed the Sullivan City Council and Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday.

The lodge is located at 400 East Depot Street.

“You can’t blame the county, but it came from when they straightened out the road and put in a new catch basin,” Burkhart said. “Well, all that water builds. 

“So now we’re gonna install a new catch basin, more to the west at the railroad tracks,” he said. “We’re going to bring the water back to the east and go across the property that borders between the Moose Lodge and the property owner to the east of them. 

“We’re going to run between that property to the woodline, and inside that woodline, it drops off and there’s a creek bed that runs back through that actually feeds back to Sullivan Lake,” he continued. “And that’s pretty much our plan right now.”

Burkhart said with this solution, the city would be able to keep the project in-house which would be more cost effective.

“So we’ll save quite a bit of money doing that on our own,” he noted. “We figured we’ll probably save $20,000 to $25,000 if we do it by ourselves instead of using a contractor.”

Burkhart is hopeful the project could start “possibly” in the next couple of weeks.

“That’s going to depend on what the weather does and if we don’t have anything else happening in town,” he said. “So that way it will be done and it will be dried up when campers start coming in. That’s a busy season for them and we want them to get through there safely now.” 

As far back as in April 2018, the city utility and county highway departments were working together to solve this flooding issue.

Burkhart said last April to the council and BPW, “It’s gotten worse after the county put the new road in, put in a storm drain. They took that storm drain and put it up to ours right at the Moose (Lodge). Both storm drains don’t go anywhere. They take water between the two of them and hold it. Wherever they used to go has been cemented off. Basically all that water gets in catch basins now, it goes to the west and the west end is actually lower than the storm drains, so it sits there.”

Fast forward to Tuesday, Burkhart said, “It was something we talked about (with the county) until we got into the utility problem. Because we were going to go up the county road. But with the fiberoptics the railroad has, we don’t want to get into their fiberoptic system. Plus the new and used utility poles that are in there. So we came up with the new plan and that’s what we’re going to do now.”

In other business:

• The council gave its final approval to ordinance 2018-10, which allows the city to proceed with its financing in order to comply with a mandated Indiana Department of Environmental Management agreed order to complete phosphorus removal and Lagoon No. 4 abandonment projects by the end of 2019.

In this nearly $3 million project, a $700,000 grant was awarded through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs while the rest will be covered from the State Revolving Fund.

“This is just a standard procedure to move forward with that,” Mayor Clint Lamb explained.

• The council re-elected Steve Martindale as president for 2019. Councilmen John Ellington made the motion, Scott Brown the second, prior to their unanimous 5-0 vote.

• In the police report, chief Micheal Garrett reported his department had 328 calls for service in December, with 4,959 total calls in 2018. In the fire report, chief Rob Robertson reported 93 calls in December, 1,023 calls in 2018.


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