At Wednesday’s meeting of Monroe County commissioners, county director of emergency management Allison Moore told them no outdoor burn ban was yet recommended for the county, despite persistent dry conditions.
She still asked the public to exercise caution: “We do challenge you to make good decisions when you’re burning things.” Making good decisions includes making sure you have a good preparedness plan in place, she added.
Moore said that she had been busy with other officials contemplating the same kind of burn ban that 14 other counties across south central Indiana had implemented over the last few weeks.
In this latest dry phase, the first county to declare a burn ban was Martin County, southwest of Monroe County, on Sept. 10.
Owen County, northwest of Monroe County, had earlier declared a ban, but lifted it on Oct. 1.
The quarter inch (0.24) of rain recorded at the weather station on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington during the month of September made it the third-driest September for the period of record dating back to 1895.
Wednesday morning, a pontoon pilot approached the Lake Monroe causeway—it’s where SR 446 crosses the reservoir, leaving a gap at the south end for boaters to navigate under the road.
But the captain reversed his engine, brought his craft about, then idled, floating maybe 30 yards west of the underpass. He and his crewmate made quick work of the task that allowed them to navigate through the opening: They unclipped the guy wires and lowered the frame that held the canopy aloft.
They might have had enough clearance to scrape under the bridge, without lowering the sun shade. But the record-high levels of the lake—for this time of year—meant that it would have been close.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Bloomington City Council will consider “adjusting stormwater fees.” It’s the second reading of a change to the city’s ordinance on the “stormwater utility.”
Of course, a “fee adjustment” generally means an increase of the fee.
And Bloomington’s proposed adjustment is a more than doubling of the monthly fee paid by single-family residential (SFR) customers—implemented in two phases over six months. The first bump, to $4.32 per month, would go into effect about four months from now, on July 1, 2019. Six months after that, on Jan. 1, 2020, the rate would go up to $5.95 per month.
More than a decade and a half has gone by since the rate was increased. (It was Ordinance 03-24, enacted in 2003, that put the current rate into effect, according to the city’s online municipal code.)
The Dillman Road bridge is one of 224 Monroe County bridges included in the National Bridge Inventory, a database maintained by the Federal Highway Administration.
Based on the latest records available in the NBI, after a March 2016 inspection, the Dillman Road bridge had a “Sufficiency Rating” of 44.9 out of 100. Records in the database show that replacement of the bridge is proposed.
According to the Hazardous Weather Outlook provided by the National Weather Service, “dangerously cold air” will move into the Bloomington area by Tuesday night (Jan. 29), and drop the temperature below zero.
The forecast low temperature for Tuesday is around -3 F.
Bloomington has seen two snowfalls that delivered significant accumulations so far in 2019. A storm that moved through central Indiana from Jan. 11–12 dumped about 4 inches. The second snow started in the early evening of Saturday, Jan. 17 and left Bloomington swaddled in a 5-inch frigid blanket.