By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — The Winona Lake Town Council is helping address an E. coli issue at Cherry Creek after a request was brought forth by Jefferson Elementary School students.
At its meeting on Tuesday, May 18, the council heard the request.
Students in Sandy McClellan’s sixth grade class did a study on the water there and found it had a high amount of E. coli.
Students presented their request to the council via a YouTube video they made, which may be viewed here. Students in the video include Kyra Lowe, Kami Swartzlander, Lucy Andrew, Jocelyn Luecke, Cohen McCray, Savannah Purdy, Gabe Scideler and Fernando Acuahuitl Cielo.
Some of the students also video-chatted with the council afterwards.
Students believe the problem is due to animal waste getting into the creek. They asked the council to put a pet waste station by the creek as well as posters and brochures.
The council agreed to help with the request.
The council also heard a concern from Joe Baucom.
He lives at Fourth Street and College Avenue. He’s concerned about people speeding in that area as a lot of children are out there.
“I know the stop sign on Fourth is constantly ran by people. People don’t stop at all,” he said. He asked for additional stop signs or speed bumps added.
Town Council President Rick Swaim said he had heard a similar concern from another resident.
Town Police Chief Joe Hawn said the department put a speed sign out there from May 14-16. Aside from one car which went 42 mph in that 25 mph zone, there weren’t any other excessive speeders.
Baucom said his neighbor had also observed excessive speeding.
“Of course it only takes one of those to injure a child,” Baucom said. Hawn said he agreed with that.
The department and the council will work on possibly adding stop signs or speed bumps.
Art Gakstatter also presented a concern to the council.
He said there’s an uneven sidewalk in the area west of Esplanade Street. His neighbor broke her hand as a result of falling there and can no longer work as a nurse.
He was concerned because the sidewalk still hasn’t been fixed after that incident.
“That property is private property and we worked with the owner … The problem there is roots and so we went down there and marked it,” said Town Manager Craig Allebach.
Gakstatter pointed out a blind person walking in that area could still be injured. He asked if the sidewalk could be closed there.
Allebach said the sidewalk was shut down for awhile and people complained about it.
“What will happen is one of two things: The sidewalk will be completely taken out and/or the tree will be taken down,” said Allebach.
In other business, the council:
- Learned that Hawn contacted the attorney at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to get guidelines for updating the police department’s standard operating procedures.
Hawn then presented that information to Town Attorney Adam Turner to review. The council is to vote on the procedures at its next meeting on Tuesday, June 15, at Winona Lake Town Hall.
- Approved raising town employee Steve Emery’s salary from $16.94 an hour to $18 an hour. That’s due to him taking on added work.
- Approved a resolution allowing Swaim “to execute any and all documents related to any conveyances of real estate and easements for the construction of the roundabout at the Argonne Road intersection.”
- Approved leasing a Bobcat skid loader for four years at $733.31 per month.