Actions taken to prepare for Apple Festival

NAPPANEE — A sure sign of fall’s approach in Nappanee is the annual Apple Festival slated for Sept. 19-22 this year, and at Monday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting committee members came seeking approval for several items.

Apple Fest Chairwoman Donna Persing requested approval for a list of street closures for the festival from Wednesday Sept. 18 from 6 a.m. to noon Monday. The street closures are the same as in previous years.

Persing asked Street Superintendent Brent Warren if they could have big barricades in place as soon as the street is closed. Warren replied that he could do it as soon as Tuesday, but in the past the ride company has had to move them in order to get their rides in place. Persing said she would check with the company and added that it is a different ride company this year.

Persing also brought a request for the 5K Apple Run route. The route has been modified from years' past. This year, the participants will be starting at Eastlake Fitness Center and end at City Hall. The walkers will begin at 9:50 a.m. and the runners at 10 a.m.

City officials had a couple of concerns with the change. With the start of the parade at 10:30 a.m., there was concern that the runners would be out of there before then. Additionally, there was concern for the runners' safety if U.S. 6 is not closed until 10:15. Mayor Phil Jenkins asked Police Chief Steve Rulli to close the road when they see the first runners.

Persing stated that NorthWood High School football players would also be placed at the intersections so there wouldn’t be a need for additional officers.

Rulli’s other concern was how the runners would get back to their vehicles with the parade going on.

“I don’t want 100 people mad at me because they can’t get to their vehicles,” he said.

Persing replied that there would be shuttle service from the library traveling down Walnut Street and back out to the shopping plaza.

“We’re not stopping shuttle service this year, just diverting it,” she said.

The board approved both requests.

John Loucks of Loucks Electric sought approval for mounting a speaker on the northeast corner of the pavilion as he did last year for announcements. The board approved it as long as the metal on the pavilion is protected.

The final Apple Festival request came from Denny Miller of Kountry Wood Products to close the east/west alley directly behind Kountry Cabinets & Home Furnishings at 252 W. Market St. as in years past. Miller said they wanted to set up the tent early this year on Friday, Sept. 13, but they wouldn’t start selling anything until Thursday, Sept. 19. The board approved closing the alley from 6 a.m. Sept. 19 until midnight Sept. 21.

Jenkins suggested having the north-south alley posted as one-way going north during that same timeframe.


Bids were received and opened for the 2019 street paving project at Monday’s meeting. Bidding on the project were E & B Paving, Rochester, with a bid of $370,222; Rieth-Riley, South Bend, with a bid of $510,680.27; Niblock Excavating, Bristol, with a bid of $425,515; Phend & Brown, Milford, with a bid of $337,436; and Walsh and Kelly, South Bend, with a bid of $528,141.

The bids were taken under advisement and the project will be awarded at the Aug. 26 meeting.

The board awarded the bike path brick paver project to R. Yoder Construction, Nappanee, which submitted a bid of $69,700 at the last board meeting.


The board approved change orders and pay applications for several projects including for the Infrastructure Project Division D — a change order in the amount of $37,356 for a gas line and added water service at 152 High St. They also approved a pay application for the same project in the amount of $166,610.

For the Long Term Control Plan Project Division C Miriam Street the board approved a change order in the amount of $2,993, which was a quantity adjustment. This is pending USDA approval.

On the Walnut Street sewer rehabilitation project, a change order in the amount of $10.40 was approved as was a pay application in the amount of $37,626.

Mayor Jenkins commented the pay application covered everything but the retainage. Water and Wastewater Superintendent Gale Gerber confirmed the project is completed.


The board approved amending the engineering construction agreement in the amount of $4,500 for working with the Department of Natural Resources to solve drainage issues in the wetlands. Gerber explained that currently there is corrugated tile with holes in the wetlands, but willow trees keep growing through the holes creating drainage issues and a need to go in and cut out the trees.

Gerber said he wants to replace it with a solid tile but that has to be approved by the Department of Natural Resources, which requires a study be conducted.

Jenkins noted that also assists in drainage at Heritage Farms across the road. Gerber said the problem is telling when the retention ponds at Heritage Farms don’t go down.

In other water/wastewater news, Gerber reported that the Maple Lane lift station generator should be in place in a couple of weeks. His crews next month plan to start the smoke testing that was delayed due to rain earlier in the spring. They are currently working on flow data to better pinpoint where the smoke testing should take place.


There was some confusion and concern over a copier contract with Community Business Equipment for a copier by the utilities that was placed into service downstairs for the department heads use back in January.

Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Brown wanted to know why the city wasn't getting a current contract versus one dated Jan. 1, and she was concerned that they would then be getting billed a minimum of $20 per month plus any overage per page going back eight months.

Gerber explained that it took awhile to get the actual contract from Community Business Equipment and then he had City Attorney Brian Hoffer review it before bringing it to the board.

He said they hadn’t been billed anything to date. There was also some confusion over the cost per copy for the black copies, but Jenkins moved to approve the contract with rates as listed and that was approved.

In other business, council members:

• Heard hydrant flushing would begin Aug. 19 during the nighttime hours. There may be some discoloration of the water during this time period but it is safe to drink. Laundering however should be avoided.

• Approved declaring an emergency and authorizing Street Superintendent Brent Warren along with Clerk-Treasurer Brown and the city attorney to work with the insurance company and clean up the extensive smoke damage at the street department garage from a recent truck fire.

• Approved closing of the sidewalk in front of 152 S. Main St. to bring in a scissor lift to repair outside brick on either Aug. 20 or 29. The request was from building owner Harley Schwartz.

• Approved a request by Yoder Stutzman, a plumbing and heating company, to close the alley east of Ind. 19 to Lincoln Wednesday to repair an air conditioning unit at Loucks & Weaver.

• Learned the Nappanee municipal pool is now closed for the season.

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