The town of Huntertown has considered pursuing several projects using coronavirus relief funding. The state has earmarked just over $219,000 for the town, which can be spent for COVID-19 relief efforts.

“I was initially just thinking cleaning supplies, and they told me to think outside the box,” Town Manager Beth Shellman said.

Many of the projects Town Council members discussed June 1 were related to infrastructure upgrades. During a meeting of the Huntertown Utility Service Board that same night, members voted unanimously to spend $11,640 on a perimeter fence for the town’s water plant, which will be exposed once the former Byron Health Center campus is razed. The fence would provide safety for town vehicles and prevent the public from tampering with ammonia tanks.

“We’re protecting our infrastructure,” council member Brandon Seifert said.

Shellman said some of the funds could serve as reimbursement for retrofitting needed at the plant to separate employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other potential projects include a new fence around the town’s wastewater treatment plant, retrofitting the water plant with booster pumps, adding additional fencing and security cameras at the town’s yard waste dumping site, and paying the monthly fee for the virtual meetings elected officials have been hosting via Zoom while Town Hall has been closed.

“Protecting our utilities is protecting our public from the COVID virus,” Shellman said.

While the town has until Dec. 31 to use the relief funds, there is no guarantee of reimbursement. The town would have to make a case to the state that any projects are related to COVID-19 relief and, if approved, would be reimbursed after making any purchases.

In other news

The town’s new Hometown Heroes banners are currently flying along Lima Road. Shellman said the town has already received more applications for additional banners.

“We’re getting a lot of positive responses to them,” she said. “The council did a great job supporting that program.”

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