Middlebury council cites safety concern in delaying decision to burn down vacant house

The action could cause safety concerns for a nearby neighborhood.

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 4:57 p.m.

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Town Council tabled a decision on approving the burning of a building at 526 Wayne Ave. at its meeting on June 16.

The request came from Das Dutchman Essenhaus. The business has been working with the Middlebury Township Fire Department to burn the old building down as a training exercise. The council was concerned over the closure of Redbud Lane and Wayne Avenue for about an hour during the burn. Redbud Lane is the only entrance and exit to the Rolling Meadows subdivision, so homeowners would not be able to leave or return to their homes during the burn. An ambulance would be placed inside the subdivision as well as outside the subdivision to handle any medical emergencies that might arise while the road is closed.

The fire department planned to do the burn June 24 or June 26 late in the afternoon or early evening. Fire officials also plan to have the Shipshewana Fire Department assist. The town council asked the fire department to give subdivision residents and town residents more advanced notice about the burn and road closures so they will have more opportunity to give feedback and make preparations. The council may take up the proposal for the burn at its next meeting on July 7.

In other business:

  • The council heard that work on the new town well may begin next week. The installation of pressure reducing water valves in the Highland Hills area began last week. Due to widely varying elevations, some homes need to have pressure reducing valves installed so that their water pressure will not be too great when a booster station is activated to improve water pressure to homes that currently have poor water pressure.
  • The council heard that 40 to 45 sections of boardwalk will be installed over damp areas of Riverbend Park on Saturday, June 28.
  • The council approved a pay application on the wastewater treatment plant improvement project to Fetters Construction for $812,025.84, and a pay application to Selge Construction for $52,282.10 on the wastewater lift station improvements.
  • Council president, Gary O’Dell, reappointed Andrea Boval as the Middlebury Community School Board representative to the Middlebury Redevelopment Commission.


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