Government & School Board

Tracy Street road project finishes under budget, Markle council hears

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.
Stephenie Hensley

The Tracy Street road improvement project is complete, and Markle Town Council members received some good news at their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 18, that will put some money back in the town’s pockets.

Evan Thompson of the architectural and engineering design services firm DLZ told the council that construction was completed on May 8, and the project came in about $54,000 under the original contract price.

“I expect it will stay under the original price, even with all the change orders,” Thompson said.

Penalty added to unpaid prop taxes

A penalty is now being added to Huntington County property taxes not paid by the May 10 due date.

Huntington County Treasurer Paula Farley says a penalty of 5 percent will be charged if the spring installment is paid on or before 30 days after the due date and if the taxpayer is not behind on previous property tax payments for the same parcel. If taxes are due for more than this year’s spring installment, the penalty will be 10 percent of the unpaid tax.

Two options for adjusting to falling enrollment remain on HCCSC table

Two options for adjusting to declining enrollment remain on the table following the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees’ work session on Monday, May 15.

School board members want more detailed information on the particulars of those two options, which are:

• Closing Lancaster, Northwest and Roanoke elementary schools; building a new school in the northeast area of Huntington County; and re-opening the Horace Mann Education Center as a school.

School board meets tonight

The Huntington County Community School Corporation School Board of Trustees will hold a public work session tonight, Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center board room. 

Banks staffer in Huntington on Thursday

Congressman Jim Banks has announced that a member of his staff will visit Huntington today, Thursday, May 11, between 9:30 a.m. and noon to meet with local residents and assist Hoosiers experiencing problems with a federal agency.

The office hours will be held at the Huntington County Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St.

Two streets in downtown Huntington to be closed for week or two soon

Two streets in downtown Huntington will be closed for the next one to two weeks while a new storm sewer is installed.

The closure began on Wednesday, May 10, and includes Market Street from Third Street to Center Street and Briant Street from Market Street to Franklin Street.

The work is being done by Wayne Asphalt.

Businesses along those streets will remain open and accessible, says Anthony Goodnight, the city’s director of public works and engineering services.

Commissioners to have exec session on Monday, May 15

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in executive session on Monday, May 15, at 11 a.m. in Room 103A of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The panel will discuss job performance evaluations of individual employees.

An executive session is not open to the public.

Andrews Town Council pulls trigger on ordinance to raise wastewater rates

The Andrews Town Council introduced an ordinance to raise the town’s wastewater rates at its meeting on Monday, May 8.

The board is hopeful, though, that when it votes on the ordinance at its next meeting, May 22, the rate hike will be lower than what is currently proposed.

School board members hear demographic study

Members of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees heard the results of a demographics study presented at its regular meeting on Monday, May 8, and although they were relieved by some of the findings, it still leaves them with a difficult decision.

Dr. Jerome McKibben of McKibben Demographic Research told the board that the district’s decline in enrollment is not due to students leaving the county to go to other schools, but by a decline in the community’s student population itself.

Council told money spent on water handling capabilities was good

The millions spent upgrading the city's water handling capabilities paid off during the late April-early May storms that drenched Huntington.

“The system worked as it should have,” Anthony Goodnight, director of public works and engineering services, told members of the Huntington Common Council during their meeting on Tuesday, May 9.

The addition and repair of lift stations, pumps and a 2.25-million-gallon holding tank kept the week of rain — including a record-setting 2.3 inches on May 4 — from inundating many previously flood-prone areas on the south side of the city.

Warren Town Council’s regular meeting for tonight is cancelled

The regular meeting of the Warren Town Council scheduled for tonight,  Monday, May 8, has been cancelled. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the council is June 12, at 6:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St., Warren. 

Commissioners seek appointee to Andrews Public Library board

The Huntington County Commissioners are seeking applications from Dallas Township residents interested in serving a four-year term on the Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library Board Trustees.

Applicants must have lived in Dallas Township for at least two years prior to the appointment.

Application forms are available in the commissioners’ office on the first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse or online at The applications must be returned by June 19 at 4:30 p.m.

Outstanding teachers honored

Photo provided.

State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington, second from left), Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick (far right) and Dr. Stacy Hammons, provost at Indiana Wesleyan University (far left), honor 10 local teachers at an appreciation luncheon at IWU Tuesday, May 2.

Public meeting on Etna Ave. project

A public meeting on the Etna Avenue reconstruction project will be held Wednesday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center board room, 2485 Waterworks Rd., Huntington.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow residents to meet the contractor, resident project representative and other city personnel who will be a part of the project team. Contact information and a tentative schedule of activities will be provided at the meeting.

School corp. board to meet in exec session tonight for training purposes

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees will meet in an executive session today, Monday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center, 2485 Waterworks Rd., Huntington.

The purpose of the meeting is to train school board members with an outside consultant about the performance of the role of the members as public officials.

The executive session is closed to the public. The public is invited to attend the regular school board meeting, which follows at 7 p.m. on May 8.

Huntington resident Snyder to run for Indiana 17th District Senate seat

Gary Snyder has announced that he plans to be a candidate in 2018 for the 17th District Indiana Senate seat currently held by Andy Zay.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington resident Gary Snyder says he plans to seek the Democrat nomination for Indiana’s 17th District Senate seat.

During an appearance on Monday, May 1, at Café of Hope, Snyder says he plans to focus his campaign on improving the job situation in Indiana — specifically repealing right-to-work laws, which prohibit unions from mandating that nonmembers pay fees to the unions for representing them, and raising the minimum wage.

“You’re going to hear me talking about wages,” Snyder said. “Wages, wages, wages.”

Roanoke council discusses upgrades to park at May 2 meeting

The Roanoke Town Council discussed making upgrades to Roanoke Park during its meeting on Tuesday, May 2.

Council Vice President Troy Karshner expressed interest in replacing a bridge nearby the park’s ball diamonds and directed Town Supervisor of Operations Phil Hibbert to look into replacement options.

County receive award

Photo provided.

John Sampson (left), president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, presents permitting excellence awards to members of the Huntington County Department of Community Development, including (from left) Kim Hostetler, Greg Ricker, Executive Director Mandy Woods and Marla Stambazze.

See related picture and story.

City, County receive awards for streamlining permitting processes

John Sampson (left), president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, presents permitting excellence awards to members of the City of Huntington Community Development and Redevelopment Department including (from left) Director Bryn Keplinger, Miranda Snelling and Shad Paul, along with Mayor Brooks Fetters (right).
Photo provided.

Both the Huntington County Department of Community Development and the City of Huntington Community Development and Redevelopment Department have been recognized for their work to streamline business permitting.

The awards were presented April 19 in Fort Wayne at a reception hosted by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the HPG Network.

Democrats announce monthly meeting May 3

The Huntington County Democratic Party will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

The public is welcome.

Soil and Water Conservation District to hold monthly meeting on May 16

Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the district office, at 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.

Due to farming season, contact the SWCD office to confirm there will be a quorum to hold the meeting.

Maintenance to start soon on Ind.-5, Ind.-105

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces that roadway maintenance is planned for Ind.-105 in Huntington County and Ind.-5 in Huntington and Whitley counties.

Work is scheduled to begin on or after Tuesday, May 2, weather permitting.

Roadway maintenance will take place on:

• Ind.-5 between U.S. 24 and Ind.-14.

• Ind.-105 from Ind.-16 to Ind.-114.

• Ind.-105 from Ind.-9 to Ind.-124.

During the day, drivers are cautioned to watch for lane shifts, possible stopped traffic and flaggers in the construction zone.

Banks sponsors legislation to keep Congress from opting out of AHCA

Congressman Jim Banks is co-sponsoring legislation that would prevent members of Congress from exempting themselves from the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Banks says legislators shouldn’t be above the law.

“Congress should live under the laws it passes,” said Banks. “This is a common-sense bill to ensure that the law applies equally to both members of Congress and their constituents.”

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Martha McSally, of Arizona, on April 27.

Leonard law fighting unemployment fraud is signed

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed into law State Rep. Dan Leonard’s bill combating fraud in Indiana’s unemployment system.

Currently, the penalties incurred by Hoosier employers from late or non-payment on their unemployment insurance taxes go into the system’s penalty and interest fund.

This fund is used to pay for workforce training and employment services and also funds the Department of Workforce Development’s enforcement efforts to prevent and investigate unemployment fraud in Indiana.

Elementary students, teachers to get new iPads for next school year

Elementary students and teachers will have new iPads to begin the next school year, as the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees threw its unanimous support behind the purchases in a meeting on Monday, April 24.

Before the board took action, it heard from Lancaster Elementary School first grade teacher Jeanne Paff, who urged the board to OK the purchase of the devices for students in kindergarten through fifth grades.

New firefighter sworn in

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Bryan Lagemann (center) repeats after Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher-McElhaney (left) as he is sworn in as a new Huntington firefighter on Monday, April 24, in the city’s council chambers. His fiancée, Jessica Morgan, holds the Bible.

New firefighter sworn in

Andrew Wust (center) takes the oath of office as a newly-installed Huntington firefighter, administered by city Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher-McElhaney on Monday, April 24, in the city’s council chambers. Wust’s wife, Melissa, holds the Bible during the ceremony.

Council receptive to remodel of open area at county jail

An open recreation area in the center of the Huntington County Jail offers the perfect opportunity to begin providing counseling and other services to inmates, Sheriff Terry Stoffel told members of the Huntington County Council during their meeting on Monday, April 24.

A roof and raised floor could be added to the space for about $260,000, with some additional expense for running utilities into the area, Stoffel said.

Andrews Town Council reduces scope of upcoming paving work

The Andrews Town Council reduced the scope of the town’s upcoming street paving project at its meeting on Monday, April 24.

The board decided to address fewer streets as bids for the project came in more expensive than what the town is able to afford. The town has $92,000 to spend on the first phase of the project, while the lowest bid it received was for $113,296, submitted by E&B Paving.

Council voted to accept the bid from E&B Paving, provided that the Indiana Department of Transportation approves the town’s scaled-back version of the project.

Truthful Falcons

Photo provided.

Students from Flint Springs Elementary School were recently recognized for showing outstanding character in the area of truthfulness.