Author Archives: Sharon

GOSHEN UTILITY BUSINESS OFFICE NOW OPEN TO PUBLIC

The Goshen Utility Business Office walk-up counter (203 S. 5th St.) is now open to the public during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By order of the Elkhart County Health Department, face coverings are required in public. Please wear a mask when entering the utility business office.

Customers who have fallen behind on their water bill should contact the Utility Business Office as soon as possible—the office will begin performing shut-offs on delinquent accounts beginning Tuesday, August 4.

If you are in need of financial assistance, staff at the Utility Business Office can provide you with a list of local agencies providing aid with paying utility bills. Additionally, the City is offering payment agreements to applying customers who qualify.

JUNE BRUSH PICKUP

Due to the special brush pickup June 15, following the storm that brought down tree limbs through parts of the City, the Goshen Street Department’s regular end-of month brush pickup for June was pushed back to begin the week of July 6, 2020.

During scheduled brush collections, the Street Department will make only one pass through the city to pick up brush. Please have your brush by the front curb, but not in the street, by that first day in the morning at 7 a.m. Brush will not be picked up in alleys. The piles of brush should be trash-free. Crews cannot access the piles if blocked by vehicles.

For information regarding Dial-A-Trailer and the Brush Trailer, go to goshenindiana.org/street-department.

The next summer brush pick up weeks will begin on the following days:

  • July 27, 2020
  • August 31, 2020
  • September 28, 2020 — last brush pickup of the year

FOURTH OF JULY AND THE CITY’S FIREWORKS ORDINANCE

Fireworks at night
Photo by Garreth Broesche on Unsplash

As the Fourth of July approaches, it is important that Goshen residents be aware of fireworks regulations. A local city ordinance was adopted in 2007 at the urging of residents concerned about neighborhood safety and noise. Regulation is controlled by parameters imposed in state regulation.

Consumer fireworks are allowed by state legislation and local ordinance from 5 p.m. until two hours after sunset (or until approximately 11:30 p.m.) from June 29 through July 9, with the exception of July 4—fireworks are allowed from 10 a.m. until midnight. Any other times require Board of Works approval and must be on real estate owned by a government entity. Fines for violations may be of up to $500 per incident.

To report a violation of the fireworks ordinance, residents are welcome to call the non-emergency dispatch number—533.4151. The caller must supply an exact address of where the violation is occurring in order for a police officer to respond effectively to the call.

Fireworks not limited to certain dates and times by local ordinance include dipped sticks or wire sparkers. However, total pyrotechnic composition may not exceed 100 grams per item, and chlorate and perchlorate salts may not exceed 5 grams per item. Other items not regulated by local ordinance include cylindrical or cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, filter sparklers, snakes or glowworms, smoke devices and trick noisemakers (like party poppers, snappers, trick matches, etc.)

Local regulations apply to “consumer fireworks” as defined in state statutes. Such fireworks include certain small ground or aerial devices designed to produce visible and/or audible effects by combustion. They are required to comply with the construction, chemical composition and labeling regulations of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission under 16CFR1507. Ground devices (firecrackers, salutes and chasers) are limited to 50 milligrams of explosive composition. Aerial devices (skyrockets, “helicopters” or spinners, roman candles mines and shells) are limited to 130 milligrams of explosive composition. Larger devices are not allowed under local ordinance and they require state permitting.

LETTER TO BUSINESS COMMUNITY OF ELKHART COUNTY

The following is a letter signed by Elkhart County Mayors Jeremy Stutsman, Rod Roberson and Phil Jenkins, Commissioners Frank Lucchese, Suzie Weirick and Mike Yoder, as well as Elkhart County’s chambers of commerce and Economic Development Corporation Presidents Nick Kieffer, Levon Johnson, Jeff Kitson and Chris Stager:

June 1, 2020

To the Business Community of Elkhart County,

We are reaching out to you to share our concerns about the spread of COVID-19, particularly as it relates to Elkhart County.

In March and April, our community did a great job working together to slow the spread of the virus and assure that we could medically test and treat those who were infected. We expected a peak in mid-May in northern Indiana, but numbers in the past week in particular are troubling. As of June 1, Elkhart County had a total of 1,322 positive cases from 9,849 tested and 28 people have died from the coronavirus.

The State of Indiana is decreasing the percentage of new positive cases in comparison to the number of tests given. The temporary shut down and actions of people as we open up seem to have been successful statewide. Our county tells a different story. In the past week, Elkhart County received national attention when it became the 10th most likely in the entire country to have the next COVID-19 outbreak, based on data collected by the New York Times. This has since changed and we are no longer on the high end of the list, but only because other counties are doing worse.

As of today, we expect to see our total number of cases double every 12.5 days. Our county is testing a significant number more people than we have in the past which means our total number of positive cases will rise. The problem is our percentage of positive tests to total tests given is rising dramatically. This shows that we have a spread issue. The first couple of months we saw a daily positive test percentage of 4% to 9%. Since the economy has reopened, we have seen that jump to 16%, and the last week the percentages of positive tests rose to 20% to 25%. By comparison, Indiana dropped from 18% to the current 7.5% daily positives.

If you look at Indiana’s data of positive cases by age, it is clear people ages 20 to 60 are the ones spreading the virus. This is us and this is our work force. As we have returned to work, the number of people who are getting sick is growing. Since we appeared on the national list, state and federal agencies have started looking closer at Elkhart County and we are at risk of them taking action to shut us down again. The CDC, OSHA, State Board of Health, or the Governor could order Elkhart County to again stay home entirely if we don’t act now to slow the spread again. The best solution for all of us is to do this voluntarily rather than be told to shut down. We cannot afford to shut down again if we can avoid it, but we can afford to take the time to reinforce our efforts and precautions. Companies with outbreaks have suffered work shut-downs, morale issues and community embarrassment. We need to not allow anyone outside Elkhart County to
control our ability to manage this pandemic. We will work with each and every one of you to support your efforts. We just ask that you stand beside us as well. We are all in this together.

We want to remind everyone that social distancing, masks and handwashing are just as essential now as they have been over the past two months. If we become complacent and relax our personal or workplace protocols and behaviors, we could see the disease spread in even more deadly ways.

These are not fun times, but we can take steps to slow the spread of the virus and keep our community safer. We need to work together, possibly slow output, and both implement and enforce safe practices. We are now seeing record volumes of COVID-19 patients in our Urgent Care facilities and our hospitals have more patients than ever due to COVID-19.

We are a team here in Elkhart County. We all rely on the other. In the time of a pandemic, the actions of a few can have a large effect on all of us, our health and our economy.

Thank you to all of you who are already taking the appropriate steps and thank you to those who will step up again as you have in the past.

FREE MASKS TO BE HANDED OUT

The City of Goshen has acquired 2,500 sewn masks to distribute to the public, thanks to a generous donation from Sew Loved, Inc.

On Monday, June 1, from 2 to 6 p.m., the City will set up a tent outside City Hall at 202 S. 5th Street (corner of S. 5th and E. Washington streets), that residents can walk or drive up to. Anyone in need of a face mask is encouraged to come and receive a free reusable mask.

“Face masks may not be fun to wear, but they protect you and those around you,” Mayor Stutsman said. “As positive cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Elkhart County, we ask that everyone respect their neighbor by wearing a mask when they are unable to practice social distancing.”

The giveaway will be limited to one mask per individual.

REMINDER: CITY OFFICES CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY

All City of Goshen offices will be closed Monday, May 25, due to the Memorial Day holiday. As a reminder, City buildings remain closed to the public as a safety measure to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Garbage pickup will be delayed by one day the week of May 25. Trash will be collected starting on Tuesday, May 26, with a delay by one day.

Due to the holiday, the Goshen Board of Works Meeting has been canceled.

MAY BRUSH COLLECTION

The May brush pickup will begin on Tuesday, May 26.

During scheduled brush collections, the Street Department will make only one pass through the city to pick up brush. Please have your brush by the front curb, but not on the street, by that first day in the morning at 7 a.m. Brush will not be picked up in alleys. The piles of brush should be trash-free. Crews cannot access the piles if blocked by vehicles.

For information regarding Dial-A-Trailer and the Brush Trailer, go to goshenindiana.org/street-department.

The next summer brush pick up weeks will begin on the following days:

  • June 29, 2020
  • July 27, 2020
  • August 31, 2020
  • September 28, 2020

NO INTERURBAN TROLLEY SERVICE ON MAY 25, 2020-MEMORIAL DAY

The following message is from the Michiana Area Council of Governments:

The Interurban trolley fixed route and the Interurban Trolley ADA Access service will not operate in Elkhart or Goshen on Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of Memorial Day.

Regular Service will resume on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

ADA Access riders must schedule transportation for Tuesday, May 26, by Friday, May 22, at 4 p.m.

Transit information can be obtained by calling the Michiana Area Council of Goverments (MACOG) at 574.674.8894 or at www.interurbantrolley.com.

OFFICES CLOSED: MEMORIAL DAY

All City of Goshen offices will be closed Monday, May 25, due to the Memorial Day holiday. As a reminder, City buildings remain closed to the public as a safety measure to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Garbage pickup will be delayed by one day the week of May 25. Trash will be collected starting on Tuesday, May 26, with a delay by one day.

Due to the holiday, the Goshen Board of Works Meeting has been canceled.