Ash tree removal continues in Winamac. Now, it’s the trees along state highways that are ready to be cut down.
Town Manager Brad Zellers reminded the town council Monday the Indiana Department of Transportation has agreed to help, but it’s up to the town to hire someone to actually cut the trees. “How that will work: They’ll work with us and the state highway [department],” he said. “The state highway [department] will bring loaders, dump trucks when whoever cuts it. They’ll pick it up, get it out of the way, so that’s going to help. That will get all the ash trees on the highways down.”
The Winamac Town Council selected Practical Tree Service out of North Judson to do the work for a cost of $6,800. That was the lowest of three bids received by the town. Zellers added that the timeline for the work will depend on INDOT’s schedule.
Additionally, Zellers gave the council an update on efforts to replace NIPSCO poles west of town and extend three-phase power distribution. “I think there’s four NIPSCO poles that have to be changed for a cost of $58,000, and they are the only ones that can do it. NIPSCO does it,” he said. “In order for us to put our other lines out there, they’re making us do that, and we knew that, I guess, last year. Actually, they’ve changed three of those poles out in the last year.”
On top of that, it will cost the town about another $60,000 to have some of the existing poles upgraded and add new lines. Zellers says the project is a continuation of work that’s already been completed. “If we don’t do this, the other part that was done was a waste of time,” he said. Winamac officials say the work will better distribute the load on the town’s electric system, making it more reliable in the process.