We are in trouble; Indianapolis has discovered that the representatives of Bicknell; our mayors and our city council members do not have any ability to say ‘no’ to high pressure engineers and state officials; apparently we have become the money pit for everybody who is hunting for a payday especially from grants.
First it was ‘we needed a sewer plant’ and our people pushed us into a 5+ million dollar loan; then they were being pushed to redo our sewer line system at somewhere in the neighborhood of 16+ million dollars but by raising hell we scared them out of acting on it, then we needed a new Main Street so in their great wisdom they have decided that Main Street needs to be 2 feet narrower and only allowing parking on one side for some reason and now it is a new storm water system for several million dollars.
When will our councils and mayors ever stand up for Bicknell? I understand that many times the mayors are being paid extra money over and above their salaries sometimes upwards to 75 thousand dollars; a difficult carrot to turn down for sure.
The problem is that our city council members do not take the time to study the upcoming actions that they will be voting on at the city council and Board of Work meetings; most of the time only hearing anything about what is being brought to council just as the meetings are beginning each month so they are actually voting blind because they have no knowledge of the actions they are asked to do.
Isn’t it strange that these engineers who are out looking for as much grant money as they can possibly find are the same ones who are always available to determine whether or not a new thing or repair is absolutely necessary; for example they discovered that they needed a ½ million dollar worth of liners along Mary Street because of the cracks, splits and holes in the system so our esteemed mayor and council jumped to sign up for their ‘grant’ and ok’d liners; but when I spoke to the actual workers putting in the liners I was told that there was no damaged places at all; I notified the mayor and he ignored the find and went forward with the liners. We were not directly harmed but soon after that the engineers determined that we needed a sewer plant; using IDEM to enforce the project and that did cost us.
The storm water system that the engineers decided was about to fall apart; well, in the last 40 or 50 years none have fallen in and the only damage to them was when they hired engineers and contractors to put in the sanitary sewer system, no supervision equaled contractors cutting our storm system in two so they could put in the sanitary sewer sections, then they weren’t required to repair the damages; anyway which part of Bicknell is underwater?
So at the next council meeting or board of works meeting the members will walk in sit down be given the agenda one way or the other; some will read it but all will vote ‘yes’ on saddling Bicknell water customers with another monthly fee adding an additional $8.50 to our enormous monthly payment for sewer/water, trash stickers and now storm water; of course you understand that this will be the first step for storm water, a source of ready revenue so they will soon follow it up with a square inch fee aimed at businesses in Bicknell who have the audacity to have a roof and a parking lot.
Now I really believe that Jon Flickinger loves Bicknell; if I’m right and he is a proud Bicknell resident then he needs to show it and he needs to stop these additional fees, stop the storm sewer work and if nothing else leave things alone until the new mayor and council are seated after the first of the year; this way they can determine whether or not such work is necessary and the new mayor will not be saddled with the burden of trying to unravel poor judgment.
John R. Stanczak