Decatur Mayor John Schultz delivering the State of the City on Monday. (Photo by Rebekah R. Blomenberg)
Mayor John Schultz gave the annual State of the City address at Woodcrest on Monday.
He began by expressing his love for his job and thanking all those who support him in it.
Schultz reported that the water department has noticed less water has been sold than was pumped to the plants, so they have been searching for leaks, particularly in the oldest part of the city. Having found leaks there, they will continue to search for and repair leaks elsewhere in the waterlines throughout Decatur this year.
Schultz said the wastewater department has formed a mercury variance plan, per the orders of Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
IDEM has also instructed the issue of storm water leaking into sanitary sewers to be addressed. The mayor assured his audience that the department is beginning a multi-year process and is working closely with IDEM.
He said the city's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) count exceeded IDEM's regulations at 11, but is now down to three.
Additionally, smoke testing was done to find locations where storm water is leaking into the city's sewers.
In regards to the building department, the mayor reported that the number building permits was down 14 percent from 2011 to 2012. However, the number of new homes built went from seven in 2011 to nine in 2012. He also reported that the average cost of a home went from $152,000 in 2009 to $201,000 in 2012. Several local companies added on to their buildings, and the mayor thanked them for their investment into the community
The mayor said the street department worked with the building department to add 4,880 feet of sidewalks in Decatur, including by Pine Crossing in front of Richards Restaurant, as well as at Piqua Road and East Monroe Street.
Schultz introduced Nate Rumschlag as the new head of the storm water seepartment, as of mid-August. He mentioned how much Rumschlag, who is a professional engineer, has already contributed to the city by giving an engineer's view of things to the Water and Sewer Departments, for example.
The mayor reported that thee police department has hired two new officers to cover retirements from the department,.
Schultz stressed that after the Sandy Hawk shooting in Connecticut, he is especially thankful for the North Adams school resource officer, Chris Affolder. Additionally, the department is getting a new canine and canine officer, and it has implemented the use of tasers this year. He noted, too, that the city and county dispatch centers have combined into one dispatch center.
The mayor reminded everyone of the prescription drug disposal (a repurposed orange mailbox) in front of the police station on First Street. He said that 400 pounds of old prescription drugs were collected last year.
According to Schultz, the fire department is giving and installing smoke detectors to anyone who needs them. He said that after 10 years, a smoke detector stops being effective and should be replaced.
Schultz recognized the efforts of the parks department for providing "something for everyone," including the family-friendly Christmas break activities, daddy-daughter dances, and adult sports.
He brought up Riverside Center and reminded the people that it's a great place for birthday parties and wedding receptions, on top of being the location of a monthly flea market, an annual craft sale, and an annual rummage sale.
The mayor also reported that 207 new trees were planted in the city (which is more than were removed), and thanked the parks department for keeping up with pruning and maintenance.
Additionally, he mentioned the great trails in Decatur, as well as the parks department's plans to add another around the Bellmont Pond.
Schultz recognized the street and sanitation department, namely its work at the Anthony Wayne addition, in order to help with flooding there. He also talked about the replacement of all signs in Decatur.
The city is also partnering with Adams County to figure out who maintains the roads that serve as borders between the city and the county, and Decatur has taken over three and a half miles of these.