Government & School Board

Sewer rate increase in Huntington receives preliminary approval

An increase in sewer rates received preliminary approval Tuesday, Nov. 14, by the Huntington Common Council, which also heard a recommendation that all tobacco be banned in city parks, a plea to strengthen protections for animals and a suggestion that an ordinance banning “electronic invasion of privacy” be instituted.

The new sewer rates, put in place to finance ongoing improvements to the city's sewage treatment system, could receive the council's final approval during its next meeting on Nov. 28. They would go into effect the first full billing period after adoption.

School board OKs student transfer policy and votes for end of valedictorians and salutatorians

A new Huntington County Community School Corporation voluntary student transfer policy received a collective nod in its second reading at the Board of School Trustees meeting on Monday, Nov. 13, as officials, parents and students prepare to decide where children will go to school next fall.

Board members voted 7-0 to accept the policy as it was presented in its first reading.

Board president Matt Roth said many of the board members had been contacted by parents with questions about the policy, which will be implemented for the 2017-18 school year.

Warren council delays decison on funding request for ditch repairs

A request from Huntington County Surveyor Jay Poe for financial assistance in the rehabilitation of a drainage ditch near Warren was put on hold Monday, Nov. 13, by the Warren Town Council so it can run the proposition past its financial consultant.

Poe said necessary repairs to the Keller-Andrews Drain, located just north of I-69 at the Ind.-5 intersection, will put the maintenance fund for that drain $9,272.31 in the red.

“When the drain fund is in the hole, we normally charge the property owners,” Poe told the council.

Andrews TC says no to expensive building fixes

The Andrews Town Council has decided against making expensive repairs to the town’s aging community building.

The decision was made during the council’s meeting on Monday, Nov. 13.
Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock informed the board that the facility, located behind the Andrews Municipal Building, had sustained significant water damage. The cost to repair it, he estimated, would fall between $6,000 and $8,000.

Seat belt, DUI blitz taking place

The Huntington County Sheriff’s Department and Warren Police Department are joining more than 230 local law-enforcement agencies across the state to spot violations to Indiana’s seat belt and impaired driving laws.

Through the weekend after Thanksgiving, random patrols, saturation patrols and checkpoints will be increased.

This overtime enforcement is supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).

Board of Aviation Commissioners to hold exec sessions on Nov. 15, Nov. 17

The Board of Aviation Commissioners of the City of Huntington will hold executive sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5:15 p.m. and on Friday, Nov. 17, at 8 a.m.

Both sessions, which are closed to the public, will be held in the conference room at 12 W. Market St., Huntington.

The board will “receive information about and interview prospective employees” at both meetings.

Hgtn. Street Dept. closed Nov. 23-24

The Huntington Street Department will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24, for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Residents whose normal trash pickup day is Thursday will have their trash picked up starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22. Those whose normal trash pickup day is Friday will have their trash picked up starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 27.

All other trash pickup days will remain the same.

Exec session for commish

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in an executive session today,  Monday, Nov. 13, at 10 a.m. in the Huntington County Courthouse Commissioners Room 103A, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The commissioners will meet with respect to interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects or agents of industrial or commercial prospects.

Executive sessions are not open to the public.

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branches to be closed on Nov. 23-24 for Thanksgiving

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles branches will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 and 24, in observance of Thanksgiving.

Branches will resume regularly scheduled business hours on Saturday, Nov. 25.

To complete an online transaction, visit

Banks bill passes House Monday

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday, Nov. 6, authored by Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03).

The Banks bill would revise existing law regarding headstones provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to the spouses and dependent children of veterans whose remains are never located.

The legislation passed the House unanimously and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Public Law 105-368 provides headstones for spouses and was enacted in 1998. Public Law 109-461 provides headstones for dependent children and was enacted in 2006.

Office in Markle to close Friday

The Town of Markle Clerk’s Office will be closed on Friday, Nov. 10, in observance of Veterans Day.

Roanoke council discusses next step in closing lagoon

The Roanoke Town Council discussed the next step in closing a lagoon near the town’s wastewater treatment plant during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Banks and Peters lead roundtable on delayed payments for medical devices

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin (center) makes a point as Congressman Jim Banks (seated to his left) listens during a bipartisan roundtable discussion about the VA’s late payments on medical devices Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Photo provided.

Congressmen Jim Banks (IN-03) and Scott Peters (CA-52) hosted a bipartisan roundtable with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, other members of the VA leadership team and representatives from medical device manufacturers on Nov. 1 to discuss the high amount of late payments for medical devices procured by the VA.

Several Hoosier medical device manufacturers, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (TN-01) took part in the discussion.

Banks staff member to be in Huntington this Thursday morning, Nov. 9, to meet with residents having fed. govt. problems

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) has announced that a member of his staff will visit Huntington on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 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., Huntington.

Banks votes to disband Medicare payment panel

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) voted Thursday, Nov. 2, to disband the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board.

The legislation passed the House 307 to 111.

“Hoosiers should be in charge of their health care choices, not a panel of unelected bureaucrats in Washington,” said Banks. “Strengthening Medicare and putting it on a fiscally healthy track is a task for members of Congress — officials who the American people have elected and can hold accountable.

Andrews C-T office to be closed on Nov. 8

The Town of Andrews Clerk-Treasurer’s office will be closed Wednesday, Nov. 8, for computer training.

HCCSC board calls executive mtg.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees will meet in executive session today, Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Huntington Common Council hears proposal to restructure sewage fees

Huntington residents who use very little water could see a significant increase in their sewage fees under a proposal that restructures how those fees are figured.

The proposal was introduced to members of the Huntington Common Council during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 31. In addition to the restructuring, the council was also asked to consider increasing rates to pay for an ongoing project designed to keep raw sewage from flowing into the rivers.

Bureau of Motor Vehicle office will close on Veterans Day

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches will be closed Saturday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Branches resume regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Nov. 14. For a complete list of branch locations and hours, or to conduct an online transaction, visit

IPFW professor speaks to county Democrats

Andrew Downs
Photo provided.

The Huntington County Democrat Party will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He is also an associate professor of political science at IPFW.

Downs will speak on the state of Indiana politics and the challenges the Democrat Party faces in the 2018 elections.

The meeting is open to the public.

Commissioners to hold exec session today

The Huntington County Commissioners will meet in an executive session today, Monday, Oct. 30, at 8:30 a.m. in the Huntington County Courthouse, Commissioners Room 103A, 201 N. Jefferson St., Huntington.

The Commissioners will meet with respect to interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects or agents of industrial or commercial prospects.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Pace Chevrolet hosting Trunk or Treat Halloween Extravaganza on Oct. 31

Pace Chevrolet is hosting a Trunk or Treat Halloween Extravaganza on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A free event for kids of all ages, there will be trick or treating, prizes and giveaways.

Bicycle prizes will be awarded to the boy and girl whose costumes are voted the best. The prizes are sponsored by Pace Chevrolet and 24/7 Towing.

For the adults, there will be giveaways of automotive detail kits and two five-quart oil changes with tire rotation.

Banks votes to increase sanctions against Iran

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted Wednesday, Oct. 25, to increase sanctions on Iran’s missile program.

“Iran became increasingly bold in the Middle East and Syria under the previous administration, and we cannot allow its aggression to go unchecked,” Banks said in a news release. “By enacting stronger sanctions against Iran and those who seek to help the Iranian regime acquire nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, Iran will be held accountable.

Six attorneys vying to replace Hakes as judge when he steps down Dec. 31

Six attorneys are vying to be named judge of the Huntington Circuit Court when longtime Judge Tom Hakes steps down from the bench later this year.

Jill M. Denman, Jamie Groves, Stefan J. Poling, Davin G. Smith, Brett Vanlandingham and Justin R. Wall have submitted applications to Gov. Eric Holcomb to be considered for the judgeship.

Hakes submitted his letter of resignation to Holcomb in August, setting his last day as Dec. 31.

Hakes has served as judge in the Huntington Circuit Court since June of 2006, when he was appointed as full-time judge pro tem.

School board wraps up months of work with new districts

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees wrapped up months of work, deliberation and often frustration Monday, Oct. 23, settling on new district boundaries to begin with the 2018-19 school year.

The changes reflect the closing at the end of this year of Lancaster and Northwest elementary schools, the reopening next fall of Horace Mann Elementary and the future new school to be built in Roanoke.

The vote was 6-1, with Board President Mathew Roth voting against the motion to change elementary school boundaries.

Andrews to pursue OCRA grant to build storm water infrastructure

The Andrews Town Council is interested in applying for a grant that would help fund the construction of storm water infrastructure.

The board met with Region 3A Development and Regional Planning Commission earlier Monday, Oct. 23, to discuss pursuing a grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA).

Council President Bill Johnson said during the council’s regular meeting that evening that Region 3A had contacted OCRA to determine if the town would need to conduct another income survey before applying for the grant.

Council picks ex-librarian to serve on HCTPL board

Faced with deciding between two applicants for a spot on the Huntington City-Township Public Library board, members of the Huntington County Council selected the applicant who attended their meeting on Monday, Oct. 23.

Daryl Shrock, a retired librarian who described herself as an avid reader, won the unanimous approval of the council.

The second applicant was Terri Salzano-Sees, of Huntington. She did not attend the council’s meeting.

Warren Town Council to hold special meeting Nov. 6 to discuss town power

A special meeting of the Warren Town Council has been called for Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Council Meeting Room, Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St. , Warren.

The council will meet with consultant Greg Guerrettaz for updates on status of contract negotiations regarding supply of electric power to the town.

Markle wastewater, water rates to increase by 20 percent

Gary Girvin (right), of Fishers and formerly of Huntington County, signs the papers donating the Draper Cabin owned by his family over to the Town of Markle, as Markle Town Council President Jeff Humbarger looks on. The cabin is expected to be ready for tours next year.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

It could have gone higher, but the Markle Town Council preliminarily decided at its meeting Wednesday, Oct. 18, to hold increases on wastewater and water rates to 20 percent, over the objections of the town’s clerk-treasurer.

Councilmen based their decision on the completed water and wastewater utility studies performed by H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, which note that Markle currently has the second-lowest rates among 18 Hoosier towns surveyed of similar size.

Roanoke council hires engineering firm for street improvement project bid documents

The Roanoke Town Council hired civil engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink to prepare the bid documents for street improvement projects in town next year at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

The town will pay $49,992 to Fleis & VandenBrink for its services, which will include the drafting of bidding paperwork, drawings and specifications for the projects, of which there will be six.

Roanoke was awarded a Community Crossings Matching Grant totaling $567,232.50 in September that will fund the majority of the work. The total cost of the projects will be $756,310.