Town Holds Input Session about White Lick Creek Bank Restoration
Town officials held a community input session on Tuesday, September 13 to discuss efforts to rebuild the banks of White Lick Creek. White Lick experienced significant erosion during the Labor Day flood of 2003. The Town applied for a federal grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for the $2.7 million job that will help restore the creek banks, and received $2 million. (The Town will contribute $700,000.) An estimated 2.5 miles of the creek will need repair.
"The purpose of the meeting was to show the public where the problems are and the ways the consultants propose to fix them," said Tim Belcher, Town Engineer. "By and large people are glad we're going in and taking care of the erosion. They are thinking of the project in a positive way."
The Town is in an awkward situation in that they must get in and out of private property to do some segments of the job. Many of the areas needing repair are bordered by private property owners. Belcher said the Town would only need a temporary easement in order to get to the banks and get them repaired, which is expected to be in the Town's favor in dealing with homeowners. Most landowners along the creek would like the banks stabilized.
Though there are a few different techniques that would be used depending on the erosion characteristics, one stabilization approach is the Gabion Basket method. A rock layer is put down first, sunk into the bank. "It's like making a 3' cube of chain link fence, opening the top, filling it with rock, and then embedding it deep into the creek bank," Belcher said. "On top of that you stack the same kind of cube, only with a mixture of rock, dirt, and plantings" a green gabion. Then you repeat with another layer of the 'green' cube, angling back until you fill in the spot that was eroded."
Belcher said they had posters at the meeting which explained the process in general.
The Town will use the creek down by the Town garage as a demonstration point to show homeowners how the banks will be repaired. Within two or three months, they expect to have the bank in that location stabilized, although Belcher cautions that the time frame could change depending on the weather. Also, because it will be winter, the plantings will not be growing. It will take a season or two of the plantings growing and spreading before the banks will look "back to normal." But it should give homeowners a good idea of the method.
Because there are lots of permits to obtain with private property, publicly owned creek banks will likely be done first. The Town Council and the two engineering firms on the project will prioritize areas for work that will fit within the budget of the project.
Additional information is on the Town's website. Go to www.townofplainfield.com/WhiteLickCreek.pdf.
New Waste Management District Provides Expected Services
The average resident may not have noticed the transition from the West Central Solid Waste District to the new Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District (HCSWMD), but that's by design. Waste management services the county has come to expect are still being provided.
"It probably doesn't look much different (to the average citizen)," said Lenn Detwiler, Director of the HCSWMD. "That was one of the selling points of the change. The programs haven't changed much. The difference is that most of the money (in funding the West Central Solid Waste District) was coming from Hendricks County, from the tipping fees at the Twin Bridges facility. Now that money is exclusively used to provide services here instead of being spread out over five counties."
Detwiler said the main services residents are used to having are still here. "We are still operating the three seasonal yard waste recycling centers at Plainfield, Brownsburg, and Danville," he said. "Also, we are still doing Tox-Away Days, and we plan to offer Christmas Tree recycling again this year. Plus, we still operate the rural recycling sites in Pittsboro and Coatesville."
He added that the next Tox-Away Day is scheduled for October 15 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old Hendricks County Fairgrounds.
The District also has a full time educator on staff, Amy Sieferman. "She is going around to schools right now offering programs for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, in public or private schools," Detwiler said. "Her programs include 'Worms Eat My Garbage,' which is about composting, 'Recycle for Your Health,' which is about household hazardous waste, and 'Oobleck,' where she mixes a bunch of substances together and students have to use the scientific method to determine what it is, what it's made of." Detwiler said Sieferman offers many more classes as well and that teachers may contact her at the District's headquarters at 745-9130.
He also encourages anyone with questions about what can be recycled or where to recycle it to contact the District at 745-9130.
Plainfield Police Recieve Grant Money to Buy Protective Vests
The Plainfield Police Department has received a $5,000 grant from the Department of Justice that will help them buy bulletproof vests for their officers. The grant is a matching one, in that the grant will cover half the cost of the vests and the local police department will cover the remaining half. Added to the remaining money from an earlier grant, Plainfield will have around $10,000 at its disposal to purchase the vests.
"We bought quite a few with the first grant," said Captain Darel Krieger, Support Services Division, Plainfield Police Department. "But we've had some new people hired and had some people quit, and we had some reserve officers come on, so we reapplied for the grant."
Krieger added that vests typically have a 3-5 year shelf life, and need to be replaced after that. "Also, we received a notice that in some vests which contain zylar, the zylar is breaking down. That hurts the stopping power of the vests. We have a handful of those and will need to replace them as well."
Krieger said the protective vests can cost from $400 to $700, depending on the features. "Some vests aren't stab proof, for example," he said. "They can stop a bullet but not a knife."