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Bethany Council considers sponsor role in NRCS watershed project

Bethany Council considers sponsor role in NRCS watershed project

Bethany Council considers sponsor role in NRCS watershed project

The Bethany Board of Aldermen received information on the feasibility report being studied by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for a proposed watershed flood prevention operations program at their first meeting of May Monday evening. The goal of the watershed project would be to provide protection to businesses and homeowners near Bethany from flooding by constructing the remaining structures left by a previously authorized watershed plan for the West Fork of Big Creek. Rep. Rex McAiliey told council members that NRCS would provide 100 percent of the funding for the design and construction of the remainder of the project. Approximately 140 structures remain to be built from the previously authorized plan. At Monday’s meeting, the Bethany Board of Aldermen agreed to consider being one of several sponsoring authorities needed to complete the project. The city agreed to consider serving as a sponsor in assisting the locally-led planning effort, obtaining necessary land rights, and obtaining required permits and approvals. The Harrison County Commission and watershed region water districts will also be contacted due to their interest in the NRCS sponsorship process. At this stage, the city has only agreed to think about the tasks of the watershed program. The project includes Daviess, Harrison, Decatur and Ringgold counties.

The Bethany Board reviewed year-end reports from the Electric and Gas departments. City Treasurer Amber Sanders said the city met its goal by reducing the Electric Department’s surplus fund balance by $400,000. The Gas Ministry has built up a surplus to fund a major project planned for 2025. She told council members that rates do not need to be adjusted at this time. City Administrator Jacob Taylor says an adjustment to lower sewer rates could be considered in June when fund balances are reviewed. This consideration could include a separate rate for commercial customers.

Bethany Council may consider a strong ordinance addressing dog bite protocols in the near future. Currently, a dog bite of any size requires the dog to be quarantined for 10 days by the city, even if the dog is not deemed dangerous by Bethany police. The City wishes to allow the quarantine period of a dog not deemed dangerous to take place at the owner’s home. If the dog is deemed dangerous, the city will take it to a municipal facility until it is no longer deemed dangerous or a court appearance by the owner. The ordinance must first be drafted and then approved by the council at a later date.

The Allen fountain has been installed and water will be put into the basin on April 30. Paint touch-ups will be carried out weather permitting.

Bethany Memorial Park and ball fields will have cameras installed with wifi throughout the park. Bethany Pool has a tentative opening on May 28.

The Bethany City-wide garage sale will take place on June 8th. The vaccination clinic at Bethany City Hall will take place on June 6.