The meeting of the city of Rushville’s Common Council was held on July 21 and several updates for the community were discussed.

Mayor Mike Pavey kicked off the meeting by passing around a marketing piece for the council to review and give their feedback on. The piece is titled “Come Grow With Us” and features the Rushville Courthouse on the front. On the inside, the marketing piece has statements from city partners on the exciting things happening in Rushville and their experiences with the city. According to the mayor, the marketing piece was one of the pieces sent to Project Local.

Bill French, site selections specialist for Cushman and Wakefield, is quoted as saying, “Rushville’s team has been extraordinarily responsive, helpful, and always followed up on promises made. I look forward to doing more business with them.”

Governor Eric Holcomb also has a quote listed and says, “The Rushville team is always willing to share their successes and best practices with other communities around the state – helping to take Rushville and Indiana to the Next Level.”

Council president Brad Berkemeier reported the answers to the comprehensive plan survey have been provided and encouraged the rest of the members to review. Over 1,000 people completed surveys and this data will now be used to begin the process of updating the city’s comprehensive plan, which will be used to guide the community for the next several years.

“I thought that was good information and we got good participation out of the general public,” Berkemeier said.

During the committee reports, it was announced the Riverside Park Committee met and the board decided unanimously to cancel all concerts except the last one, which is scheduled for the weekend of Rushfest. The committee opted to not decide on the last date just yet and plans to see how COVID-19 is developing as the time gets closer.

Kasey Hanna, animal shelter director, announced that, due to the loss of an employee, she has hired a part-time person to clean in the mornings and be on call. Hanna is also looking to hire an additional part-time employee to cover the evenings. The position is for an Animal Care Assistant and will be paid $9 -$12 per hour, part-time up to 30 hours a week. Shifts will include weekdays, evenings and weekends. Applications can be picked up from the Rushville Animal Shelter at 650 Van Sickle Street or requested by emailing secretary@cityofrushville.in.gov.

Department heads were informed that Comcate, a new method of communication for the City of Rushville, is ready to be used. Comcate began on July 22 and the city encourages the citizens of Rushville to utilize the new online system to ask questions, voice concerns and provide feedback to the city.

“We have chosen to adopt Comcate’s eFeedbackManager system to streamline the connection between citizens and the administration,” it stated on the city’s Facebook Page. “Once a concern is reported in the Comcate system, a message will automatically be sent to the appropriate department head and to city management with a time stamp to ensure all needs are addressed in a timely manner. Doing this, there will no longer be a wait time while we direct issues to the correct department and the possibility that concerns will get lost in the channels of communication will be eliminated. “
To access the eFeedbackManager, visit the city’s website at www.cityofrushville.in.gov. There on the right-hand side of the screen, there is a button that says, “Report a Concern.” From there, the system will walk you through the process of submitting your concern.

The Rushville City Utility update was regarding the city’s water issues. Phil King, utility board member, was introduced by the mayor and attended the meeting to provide information and answer questions from the council. It was reported water samples recently taken had an acceptable range, but the water was still cloudy. Aaron Gurley pointed out the water condition is acceptable, but citizens have a different version of what is acceptable and asked if there was anyone outside of HWC Engineering who could address these issues. King responded, “I think doing this study that we have coming up will give some new direction on potentially where to go and this test will determine how well we can improve the rust and magnesium in (the water).” Once completed, King said the test could aid in the next steps to resolve the issue. It was noted in the meeting the north tower is currently getting worked on, and this may be the cause of some cloudiness in the water. 

Mayor Pavey feels it is important to continue to urge the citizens to use Comcate to report water issues and the council discussed that some of the complainants feel their concerns are being brushed off as not very important and improved customer service should be a priority.

“There is either a reality or at least a perception out there that the people who register the complaints are either not getting a response or when they get a response from somebody, it is very dismissive,” Berkemeier said. He suggested training on customer service to help bridge the gap between the utility employees and the community.

HWC will be in Rushville Aug. 5 to start interviewing community members and collecting data. It will take around 90 days to complete, but Mayor Pavey stressed again how seriously the situation is being taken and ultimately, Pavey said the utility board is very committed to fixing the issue and is committed to gathering the feedback so complaints can be processed and addressed.