Government & School Board

Warren council hears about holiday prep

Summer is definitely in the rearview mirror, with Christmas lights and snow plows taking center stage at the Warren Town Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 19.

Christmas lighting on downtown-area buildings “is pretty much done,” reported Lee Poulson, the town’s utility manager. “We’re turning them on to see if they work.”

Town crews are replacing lights that aren’t working, he said, a process that didn’t come without mishap. A faulty connector on one of the light strands started a fire on a light pole, which was quickly extinguished, he said.

Roanoke seeking Jackson Twp. help for funding rescue truck

Before the Roanoke Town Council can look into purchasing a new rescue truck for the town’s volunteer fire department, it needs to see what kind of funding Jackson Township would be willing to provide for it.

Program centers on letter from Catherine Richardville

The community will have an opportunity to meet a direct descendant of Chief Richardville and Chief LaFontaine at a program conducted by the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.

Board updates school policies, looks to learning center dedication

In an abbreviated meeting of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees on Monday, Sept. 12, 47 changes to HCCSC policies in its employee and student handbooks were unanimously approved on second and final reading.

Superintendent Randy Harris said most of the changes are minor, designed to keep the policies of the handbook current.

Changes occurred in a wide range of policy topics, from student immunizations to personnel background checks and mandatory reporting of convictions and arrests of support staff.

Andrews council not happy with Hgtn. Twp.

The Andrews Town Council discussed the Huntington Township Board’s decision to end its fire protection contract with the town at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 12.

Council reviewed a letter sent to the town by Tim Guy, Huntington Township trustee, on Aug. 24 informing the town that the township board had elected to allow the pact between the two entities to expire at the end of the year.

Broadway bridge may re-open sooner than expected

Construction workers swarm the Broadway Street bridge to rehabilitate the deck. A new concrete layer, containing a grid to run electricity, is curing now, with plans to finish and open the bridge back up to traffic within the next six months.
Photo provided.

Work on rehabilitating the well-traveled Broadway bridge is moving along, and officials say it may be ready for traffic again sooner than expected.

Huntington County Highway Department Superintendent Troy Hostetler says the new bridge deck has been finished – including an electrified field.

“They’re putting in what’s called cathodic protection which is basically where they run electricity through it, to try and keep it from deteriorating so fast,” he explains. “Then they ended up pouring almost six inches of new concrete on top.”

State accounting change aside, city budget actually 3 percent higher for 2017

Sometimes, numbers can be deceiving

And Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi McElhaney says that's the case with the numbers on the budget worksheet for 2017 that she presented to members of the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The worksheet shows a $2 million decrease in the city budget from 2016 to 2017, a drop of about 8 percent.

But McElhaney says the $2 million has never really existed in cold, hard cash, and that the city budget for 2017 will actually increase by about 3 percent.

Local watershed to hold steering meeting Sept. 13

The Lower Salamonie River Watershed will hold a steering committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District office, 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The steering committee will evaluate applications for the Lower Salamonie River cost-share program and update the final report. Questions and concerns from committee members and other stakeholders present will be heard.

The meeting is open to the public.

Executive session for school board today

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees will meet in an executive session Monday, Sept. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Horace Mann Education Center.

The purpose of the closed meeting is to discuss a job performance evaluation of individual employees.

The regular school board meeting will follow at 7 p.m. in the boardroom at Horace Mann Education Center, 2485 Waterworks Rd., Huntington.

Election board to meet Oct. 6

The Huntington County Election Board will meet Thursday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Clerk’s Office at the Huntington County Courthouse.

The reason for the meeting is to conduct a public test of the voting machines.

Roanoke council schedules fall clean-up for Oct. 8

The Roanoke Town Council scheduled a date for the town’s fall cleanup day at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The board opted for Saturday, Oct. 8. On that day, Republic Services, the town’s waste collection contractor, will place bins at town hall and citizens may dispose of refuse there. Council discussed ways to prevent non-Roanoke residents from using the bins, which has been a problem in the past. Stationing a police officer at the site was discussed, as was purchasing a sign that states the bins are for local use only.

In other business:

Set second special BOW meeting on Sept. 6

The Board of Public Works and Safety of the City of Huntington will hold a second special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 3:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, on the third floor of the City Building, 300 Cherry St., Huntington.

The purpose of the second meeting is to allow bids to be formally received.

This meeting is in addition to a special meeting already set for 11 a.m. on Sept. 6 in Council Chambers.

Two of four school board seats to have three-way races this fall

Two of the four school board seats on this fall’s ballot will have three-way races, one including an incumbent.

Only two current board members are seeking to return to the Huntington County Community Schools Board of Trustees.

Two incumbents, Scott Hoffman and Sarah Kyle, are not seeking re-election.

Holly Thompson and Reed R. Christiansen, who both received appointments to their seats, will run for election for the first time this fall as they seek to continue serving on the board.

Street department closing for holiday

The Huntington Street Department will be closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 5, prompting a change in the trash pick-up schedule for city residents.

For areas normally picked up on Mondays, trash will be picked up instead on Tuesday, Sept. 6, starting at 7 a.m. All other trash pick-up days will remain the same.

Large “orange sticker” items as well as brush and limbs will be picked up on Tuesday, Sept.6.

Brown bags will be picked up on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

City water customers to see higher bills soon

Customers of the City of Huntington water utility will see higher charges on their next water bills.

New water rates, designed to reflect the “true cost” of providing clean water, go into effect today, Thursday, Sept. 1, following their approval on second and final reading on Tuesday, Aug. 30, by the Huntington Common Cou-ncil.

Although any rate increase is difficult, Councilman Charles Chapman noted, this increase will put the city’s water utility on a solid financial footing.

Local SWCD to have monthly meet Sept. 13

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 9:45 a.m. at the district office, located at 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.

Aviation board meets today

The Board of Aviation Commissioners of the City of Huntington will meet in executive session today, Monday, Aug. 29, to discuss job performance evaluation of individual employees.

The session will take place at 5 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room of the City Building, 300 Cherry St., Huntington.

County health dept. issues mosquito warning

The Indiana State Department of Health recently collected samples of mosquitoes near the Huntington Wastewater Treatment Plant that have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The Huntington County Health Department urges all county residents to protect themselves from diseases carried by mosquitoes such as West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis through the rest of the mosquito season. At this point, there is one confirmed cases of human West Nile infection in the state.

Classified employees, administrators at HCCSC to get pay increase soon

Classified employees and administrators in the Huntington County Community School Corporation  will soon see an increase in their pay.

The Board of School Trustees approved compensation increases at its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 22.

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Classified Staff Jon Bennett explained that the cost of raises for classified staff will amount to an estimated additional $200,000 per year.

Election board changes meet times

The meeting times of the remaining 2016 meetings of the Huntington County Election Board have been changed to 9 a.m.

The board meets on the second Wednesday of each month.

Andrews council says ticket stands, despite plea from dog owner

The Andrews Town Council denied a citizen’s request during its meeting on Monday, Aug. 22, to rescind the citation she received for failing to keep one of her dogs confined to her property.

The citizen, Kaitlynn Ashbaugh, received the citation from Andrews Town Marshal Austin Bullock following an incident where her dog pursued and attacked another dog being walked by its owner down Colorado Street, explained Councilman Bill Johnson.

Roanoke council meets tonight

The Roanoke Town Council will hold a special meeting today, Thursday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Roanoke Town Hall, 141 W. Third St., Roanoke.

The main item on the agenda is consideration of the sale of town property. Other items may be discussed as deemed necessary by the council president.

BMV branches to close Sept. 3-5 for Labor Day

All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branches will be closed Saturday, Sept. 3, through Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of Labor Day.

Branches will resume their regularly scheduled business hours on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

For more information on branch locations and hours or to complete an online transaction, visit myBMV. com.

Tax credit group hailing successes in state

Peter Nelson (right), rental housing tax credit specialist of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, speaks about the impact of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in Indiana Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Redbud Village Apartments, in Huntington, as IHCDA Deputy Executive Director Peter Nelson (left) and Mark Valenti of Valenti Real Estate Services await their turn. The event, held in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the tax credit program, was attended by about 25 local officials, development team members and residents.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), which administers the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in Indiana, is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the program by organizing events at several tax credit properties throughout the state, including Redbud Village Apartments, in Huntington.

Local and state representatives, IHCDA staff and representatives from the property’s development team, Valenti Real Estate Services, Inc., Triple S Development and S&S Keller Construction attended the event in the apartment complex’s clubhouse.

Andrews again trying for OCRA grant for upgrades

The Andrews Town Council is hoping to have better luck the second time around in pursuing a grant from the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs that would help fund upgrades to the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Earlier this year, the board applied for an OCRA planning grant, but found out in July that Andrews would not be among the recipients for one.

Roanoke Town Council to hold exec session to discuss property deal

The Roanoke Town Council will hold an executive session today, Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 141 W. Third St., Roanoke.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive information about buying or selling property.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

Property owners sustaining uninsured damage can report it

Indiana homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations that sustained uninsured damage caused by recent severe storms and flooding can report damage online at myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage/ia-public.do?method=active&incidentId=IA20160817113054.

A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at www.dhs.in.gov. In the middle of the page under “Featured Topics,” click on “Report Damage from Severe Weather, Flooding – August 15 and Continuing.”

Roanoke property owner facing more issues, town council hears

Following a public hearing concerning ordinance violations filed against the property on 775 Seminary St., the owner of said property may yet have more issues to contend with.

Dick Smart spoke during the regular Roanoke Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16, bringing forth another complaint against the property owner, Cassandra Emley. Smart, who is Emley’s neighbor, said that a bonfire in Emley’s yard was blowing embers onto his roof and deck.

Markle's 2017 budget sails through hearing without public comment

Larry Jenks (left), commander of the Markle Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6671, presents Markle Town Council President Jeff Humbarger with a reserved parking sign for Purple Heart recipients at the town council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Markle’s 2017 budget sailed through a public hearing, called at the start of the Markle Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, without any comment from the public.

The $1.39 million budget has few changes, with the maximum esti-mated funds to be raised from tax levies increased $6,805 from the 2016 budget. The property tax cap credit estimate is $25,586.

Funds that are in-creased are the general, park and cumulative capital development funds.

Council members will vote to adopt the budget ordinance at the next council meeting, on Sept. 21.

Redevelopment commission starts

The Huntington County Commissioners have established a Huntington County Redevelopment Commission to work on economic development projects.

Establishment of the redevelopment commission was approved by commissioners Tom Wall, Larry Buzzard and Rob Miller during their Aug. 8 meeting.

Five members will be appointed to the redevelopment commission by the county commissioners and Huntington County Council. A member of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees will also attend meetings as a non-voting member.

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