Government & School Board

Andrews trash collection fees going up next month

Trash collection rates in Andrews will increase beginning next month, as the town's contract with Marion Services, LLC, requires such action, said Bill Johnson, Andrews clerk/treasurer.

Beginning Feb. 1, 2010, trash collection rates will increase to $8.50 per unit, per month, up from the current rate of $6.50 per unit, per month. On Feb. 1, 2011, the same rate will increase to $10.

The Andrews Town Council approved the increase in the form of Ordinance 2010-1, at the council's meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.

Health department offering H1N1 vaccines to public

Public Health Nurse Debra Doctor (seated) goes over some information on the H1N1 virus with Suzi Morgan, RN. The health department is now offering a mobile setup for businesses and organizations to administer the vaccine to employees.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

The Huntington County Health Department announces that it is now offering H1N1 vaccines to the general public.

Public Health Nurse Debra Doctor says the Center for Disease Control (CDC) expects another wave of the virus in the upcoming flu season.

This is the third wave of the virus.

"The first wave was last spring when we all knew it as the swine flu," Doctor states. "After the second wave hit last fall, the CDC classified the virus as H1N1."

She adds that the fact the vaccine is available to everyone is good news at the right time.

Several items for Jan. 13 plan meeting

The Huntington County Plan Commission will meet Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the GAR Room on the second floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The board will consider a request by Ronald Pearson to reclassify the zoning of property at 429 N. Broadway from residential to general business.

The panel will also meet as the Roanoke Plan Commission to consider changes to the "fines, fees and expenses" portion of the Roanoke Zoning Ordinance. Those changes were proposed by the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development.

Familiar territory

Photo by Jessica Williams.

Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) swears in Tom Hughes as assistant police chief on Tuesday, Jan. 5. This is the third time Hughes has been assistant chief in his career, serving under three different administrations. He replaces Jay Kyle, who stepped down from the position.

Name Young, Snover to top posts on city BZA

Jeff Young was appointed chairman and Jack Snover was appointed vice-chairman of the Huntington Board of Zoning Appeals during the panel's meeting on Monday, Jan. 4.

Prudence Shumm's application requesting to allow a kennel for three additional cats per household was approved. She now has two dogs and six cats.

Michael and Nickie Stinson asked for a variance to build a porch out 32 feet, but received approval for only 30 feet, and the porch can't be enclosed.

Indiana farmers can try electronic ear tags through pilot program

You may have heard the arguments both in favor of and against electronic identification of cattle on Saturday morning farm news TV programs.

One producer mentioned a premium price that he receives because his animals have radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in their ears.

Many international and/or out-of-state buyers demand to know the source of the beef that they are purchasing in the U.S. Sometimes they will pay a premium price for this verification.

County EMA receives radio grant for all fire departments in county

The Huntington County Emergency Management Agency has been awarded a $478,852 grant to buy new radios for every fire department in the county.

Brandon Taylor, director of the Emergency Management, announced the grant Monday morning, Jan. 4, at the Huntington County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Taylor said after the meeting that 122 hand-held, 40 truck-mountable and 10 department-housed units will be bought, along with 121 new pagers. There are around 200 firefighters in the county, so the equipment won't cover everyone, but it will cover those on duty, he says.

Plan public meeting to discuss proposed changes to sign ordinance

The Huntington Plan Commission will hold a public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington City Building to discuss proposed changes to the city's sign ordinance.

The changes will be part of the eighth draft of the new ordinance, which the Huntington Plan Commission has been working on for nearly a year, says Bryn Keplinger, assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development.

Commissioners again elect Wall president, Branham VP

Huntington County Commissioners (from left) Jerry Helvie, Tom Wall and Kathy Branham do some work on Wall’s laptop during the commissioners’ meeting Monday, Jan. 4. The commissioners re-elected Wall as president and Branham as vice president.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Tom Wall was re-elected president of the Huntington County Board of Commissioners during the panel's first meeting of 2010, held Monday, Jan. 4.

Kathy Branham was appointed vice president, a position she also held last year.

Branham was also appointed to Region 3-A and CEDIT Advisory.

Wall was appointed to the Huntington County United Economic Development board, Northeast Regional Partnership and the Huntington County Drainage Board.

Shafer responds to governor's K-12 cuts

Governor Mitch Daniels announced last week that at the turn of the year, the state would cut K-12 funding by $297 million throughout the 2010 calendar year.

Recycling bins gone from Huntington sites

The recycling bins, formerly located in the old Marsh parking lot and in the Wal-Mart parking lot, were removed at the beginning of the year, Mayor Steve Updike announced Monday morning, Jan. 4, at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

To continue recycling, citizens are encouraged to take their items to the landfill during normal business hours, where they will dispose of it properly.

Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District to meet Jan. 19

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its next monthly meeting on Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., at the district office.

The meeting is open to the public.

The office is located at 2040 Riverfork Drive.


New assessed values sent out to owners at year-end

Huntington County Assessor Terri Boone loads th last tray of property assessment for the post office to mail out at the turn of the year.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Anyone who owns property in Huntington County should have in their hands a notice from the Huntington County assessor's office, listing the new assessed value of that property.

Anyone who has not received a notice of assessment, Huntington County Assessor Terri Boone says, should call her office at 358-4800.

Those who wish to appeal the amount of the assessment have 45 days to file that appeal, Bone says.

Businesses delinquent in paying sales tax cold wind up on DOR Web site

Businesses in Indiana who are delinquent in paying their sales tax could find themselves on a new state-mandated list posted to the Department of Revenue's Web site.

A new Indiana law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2010, requires the revenue agency to post the names, addresses and county locations of all businesses in the state that have expired registered retail merchant certificates due to failure to pay their delinquent sales-tax debts.

Social service agencies have to wait two more weeks to find out about city cuts

Social service agencies throughout Huntington will have to wait another couple of weeks to find out if large chunks of their 2010 budgets will be swallowed up by the city's financial woes.

No matter what happens to those budgets in 2010, however, 2011 is likely to be even worse - with at least one member of the Huntington Common Council warning that the city is likely to cut out all funding for those agencies.

Markle dedicates new fire truck

Robert Gonser, president and chaplain of the Markle Volunteer Fire Department, dedicates the department’s newest fire truck during a ceremony on Monday, Dec. 21, at the Markle Fire Station.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

A new fire truck has been added to the fleet in Markle, and firefighters and area officials turned out on Monday, Dec. 21, to officially dedicate the truck.

Firefighter Robert Gonser, who serves as both president and chaplain of the Markle Volunteer Fire Department, spoke the words of dedication before those attending were treated to cake and punch in the new truck's honor.

Huntington County properties' smoking ban draws within days

Seven signs, like the one above, have been posted on the Huntington Cunty Courthouse entrances to make sure citizens are aware of the tobacco ban on county-owned properties.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

The time is drawing near for the smoking ban on county-owned properties to take effect.

The date, Jan. 1, 2010, has been set for several months now and County Commissioner Tom Wall believes county employees are ready.

The county is "pretty well set and ready to go," Wall said Monday, Dec. 21, just under two weeks before the start date of the county ordinance. The new rules ban anyone citi-zens smoking on county-owned land, including the courthouse, annex building, jail and the county highway department, and in county cars.

Shafer reaffirms support for HNHS administration after patron questions information about New Tech proposal

Huntington County Community SchooLs Superintendent Tracey Shafer reaffirmed his trust in the Huntington North High School administration after a patron alleged the HNHS administration had concealed information regarding the New Tech proposal.

However, two members of the board of trustees found some of the presentation - made during the board's meeting on Monday, Dec. 21, by Stephen Geders - to have merit.

McKee's HCCSC budget report somewhat positive

Assistant Superintendent for Business of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Dave McKee gave a quick report of where the corporation stands heading into the New Year on Monday evening, Dec. 21, and the news was somewhat positive.

McKee said HCCSC will finish the year in black, but it's getting tighter, and the true tests will come in the next 18 to 24 months. He said the corporation received a check from the auditor's office, and while the shortfall was expected, heexplained that the uncollected amount of property taxes is throwing the corporation for a loop.

Changes in Huntington County recycling sites are starting next week, Dec. 30

Beginning Dec. 30 the sites used for drop-off recycling in Huntington County will be undergoing changes.

The Huntington city drop-off locations at 2800 Walmart Drive and 220 S. Jefferson St. will no longer be active.
The drop-off site for all of Huntington will be moved to 515S-300W, at the City of Huntington Landfill, in the former Materials Recycling Facility.

Hours of operation at the site will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the first Saturday of each month, from 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Roanoke council approves 5K/10K run/walk in spring

The Roanoke Town Council voted unanimously to approve a 10K/5K Rrun/walk in the town this spring.

The action was taken at the council's meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The "1st Annual Discover Roanoke 10K/5K Run/Walk" would be the first of its kind for the town, and is slated for April 17, 2010, in line with the training schedule for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis on May 8, says John Nelson, one of the event coordinators.

"There's nothing in Northeast Indiana that gives runners something organized like that," event organizer Joel Holloway says.

Markle Town Council approves pair of waste water projects

The Markle Town Council ended its year on Wednesday, Dec. 16, by tidying up its 2009 budget and approving funds to pay for two necessary waste water plant projects.

Rick Asher, the town utilities supervisor, reported to the council that the piece of equipment that cuts up waste in the first stage of the waste water plant needs to be replaced; its bearings are about to go out, Asher believes, so the equipment was shut down. It could cost between $3,000 and $6,000, depending on if just the bearings need replaced or if the whole thing needs replaced, Asher explained.

Huntington completes sewer separation project

The city of Huntington held a ribbon cutting ceremony near the City Buhilding on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to mark the completion of its storm water separation project
Photo by Matt Murphy.

The City of Huntington has completed the storm water separation project that has created construction zones on streets throughout the north side of the city during the summer and fall of this year.

The project separated storm water drains from sewer lines, and focused on three areas and the associated side streets: Division Street, State Street and Guilford Street downtown.

HCUED recognizes nine industrial projects at appreciation lunch

Larry Ingraham tells a story before getting into his keynote speech during the second annual Business Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 14 at the Habecker Dining Commons. His speech was “Keys to Economic Development Success.”
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Nine 2009 Huntington County United Economic Development (HCUED) industrial projects were recognized at the second annual Business Appreciation Luncheon at Habecker Dining Commons on Monday, Dec. 14.

Curbside pick-up of recyclables to be discontinued in Warren

It was business as usual at the Warren Town Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 14, as the group tackled unfinished business from the last meeting.

The Huntington County Solid Waste Council met earlier in the day to accept a contract from Marion Services to collect recycling from each of the communities within Huntington County. The pickup will no longer be house to house, but at selected drop off locations.

Andrews will again support county-wide development efforts

The Andrews Town Council has renewed the town's contract with Huntington County United Economic Development, in which HCUED tries to develop the town's economic base in exchange for funding.

The contract was approved during the council's meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.

Mark Wickersham, executive director of HCUED, said that in 2009 in all of Huntington County, nine new industrial projects were developed, 450 new jobs were created and the county increased its tax base by about $34 million.

County officials hash out weather strategy

Better communication between county authorities during snow emergencies was a topic of discussion at the Huntington County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.

Commissioner President Tom Wall cited the numerous phone calls and steps that occur before a snow emergency is declared in Huntington County.

"There's a lot of calling to get something done," Wall said.

Wall invited representatives from the Huntington County Community School Corporation to the meeting to discuss a better communication link between the corporation and the county government.

City to hail project end

The City of Huntington will hold a celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 15, to mark the substan-tial completion of its sanitary sewer separation improvements project.

All sewer lines have been installed and restoration items including asphalt paving will be completed in the spring.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the Huntington City-Township Library, at 10 a.m. After the ceremony, a reception will be held inside the library.

City staff will then demonstrate the effectiveness of the stormwater treatment system in-stalled in Area 1 of the project.

BZA to meet on Tuesday

The Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals will meet Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. to consider a request to place a wireless communication tower near Andrews.

JB Towers, LLC, is asking for a special exception to place the tower on property zoned for agricultural use. The property is located along Ind.-105 near Andrews.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the GAR Room of the Huntington County Courthouse.


Board of works proposing cut to shelter for animal control

In another cut in spending for 2010, the Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety announced on Monday, Dec. 7, that an agreement is being proposed between the city of Huntington and the Huntington County Humane Society to reduce the amount the city pays to the Humane Society for animal control services by $12,000.

The new contract is to be created by attorney John Branham.

The services include animal control calls from city dispatch during business hours, as well as emergency calls after hours dealing with sick, injured or aggressive animals.