Government & School Board

Skateboarders in Roanoke may soon have place to call their own

Skateboarders in Roanoke may soon have a place to call their own, if Roanoke Town Marshal Kip Rupert has his way.
They'll also be held responsible for not following the rules.

Rupert told members of the Roanoke Town Council on Tuesday, April 7, that skateboarders are frequently causing minor damage throughout the town.

Rupert is investigating possible ordinances to be considered for adoption by the council creating fines for skateboarding in unauthorized areas.

DCD brings on assistant director; fills building inspector, commissioner posts

Bryn Keplinger (right) is sworn in Monday, March 30, as assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development by Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) . DCD Department Director Nate Schacht observes.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Bryn Keplinger was sworn in Monday, March 30, as assistant director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, ending a three-year stretch of the department operating without an assistant director.

Also sworn in were Shad Paul, as the DCD's building commissioner, and Brandt Finley, the department's building inspector.

Swearing in building inspector


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Brandt Finley (right) is sworn in on Monday, March 30, as the Huntington Countywide Department of Development building inspector by Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) while DCD Department Direcotr Nate Schacht looks on.

Swearing in building commissioner


Photos by Cindy Klepper.

Shad Paul (right) is sworn as the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development builidng commissioner on Monday, March 30, by Huntington Clerk-Treasurer Christi Scher (left) while DCD Department Director Nate Schact observes.

School board members approve summer school proposal

Members of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved a proposal for summer school classes during their meeting on Monday, March 23.

Classes are offered to students requiring remediation or whom teachers think could benefit from them. Courses in both math and language arts will be available for all grade levels, while a few additional courses are offered to high school students.

New town hall in works for Roanoke

The Town of Roanoke will move forward with a plan to make an offer to buy six properties on Main and Vine streets after receiving approval from the Roanoke Town Council on Tuesday, March 17.

On March 4, the Huntington County CEDIT Board recommended that the Huntington County Commissioners award Roanoke $35,000 toward the purchase of the properties.

The site would be developed into a new town hall, public safety center, community center and parking lot.

The commissioners approved the allotment of money, allowing the council to continue with its plans.

Info meeting April 7 for Lancaster tie-in to Mt. Etna sewer system

Mt. Etna officials will hold an informational meeting on April 7 for homes and businesses in Lancaster that will be tying in to the Mt. Etna sewer system.
The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at the Lancaster Wesleyan Church, 3147W-543S.

Approximately 40 homes in Lancaster, the Lancaster Wesleyan Church and Lancaster Elementary School will all tie into the Mt. Etna system. Jim Lauer, of Schnelker Engineering in Fort Wayne, will conduct the meeting and answer questions regarding the connections.

INDOT awards Huntington $2.58 million grant for Etna Avenue reconstruction

A major reconstruction project on Etna Avenue could begin in 2013, made possible by a $2.58 million grant awarded to the city of Huntington by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Rep. Dan Leonard announced the grant on Wednesday, March 25.

"We've been after that (grant) for a few reasons," says Dave Schoeff, assistant director of the city's engineering office. "We'd like to make it a safer route, with all the traffic."

A separately-funded portion of the project would introduce stormwater drainage to the area, Schoeff says.

Salamonie Summer Festival committee members discuss plans with Warren Town Council

Members of the Salamonie Festival committee appeared before the Warren Town Council on Monday, March 23, and discussed plans for the event taking place in July.

"Let Freedom Ring" was the theme chosen by the committee. Committee members requested approval from the council to rent a 30 by 90 foot tent for seating and protection from the weather. The tent would be anchored with stakes in the pavement, they said. The council approved the use of the tent if the committee plugged the holes in the roads following the tent's removal.

Plan comission discusses amending sign ordinance

The Huntington City Plan Commission met Thursday, March 19, and discussed amending the city's sign ordinance.

Community Development Assistant Director Bryn Keplinger has taken on the task of enforcing and regulating signage throughout the city. In the past several months Keplinger has confiscated numerous signs throughout the city which violate the ordinance.

During the winter months signs could be seen advertising a dating service Web site based in Panama, South America. Singles.net hired a marketing company to place the signs throughout cities.

Council approves adding chief deputy position to treasurer's office

The Huntington County Council approved adding the position of chief deputy in the Huntington County treasurer's office during a meeting held Monday, March 23.

Brenda Hamilton, Huntington County treasurer, requested that Deputy Cindy Yeiter be named chief deputy, with a $4,500 salary increase. Hamilton explained to the council what she characterized as her office's slim budget and its fiscally responsible choices. She also referenced former chief deputies' raises and extra training.

County BZA approves property for fire-training center

The Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals has approved the development of a 4.88-acre property owned by Huntington County to become a fire-training center for surrounding counties.

Brandon Taylor of Huntington County Emergency Management came before the board Tuesday, March 24, requesting a special exception for the property, which is zoned for residential use. The property, located off of Indiana Street, will hold a 200 by 125 foot stone pad and a 24 by 32 foot pole barn. Fires will be set within the facility for training purposes.

School board approves requests

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved several requests during its regular meeting on Monday, March 23.
They include:

Personnel

Public turns out in support of board as it weighs options on continuing shutdown religious education program

Local residents came out in force Monday night to lend their support to the Huntington County Community School Board as trustees weigh their options regarding the continuation of the "By the Book" religious education program.

The program came to a grinding halt late last week after a federal judge in Hammond issued an order in the case, explained Joe Wiley, a local attorney representing the school corporation in a lawsuit filed by the mother of a Horace Mann Elementary School student. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is backing the mother in the lawsuit.

Roanoke Town Council to move forward with property buys

The Town of Roanoke will move forward with a plan to make an offer to buy six properties on Main and Vine streets after receiving approval from the Roanoke Town Council on Tuesday, March 17.

On March 4, the Huntington County CEDIT Board recommended that the Huntington County Commissioners award Roanoke $35,000 toward the purchase of the properties.

The site would be developed into a new town hall, public safety center, community center and parking lot.

The commissioners approved the allotment of money, allowing the council to continue with its plans.

Markle council hears that rains have caused problems

Heavy rains have caused problems in Markle.

Markle Utility Superintendent Rick Asher told members of the Markle Town Council at their meeting on Wednesday, March 18, that the town received a total of 5.25 inches of rainfall March 8-10.

The heavy rains resulted in motors becoming submerged in water at the wastewater treatment plant. The power to the motors was shut off until the water was drained. There is no known damage and it took only three hours to drain the water, Asher says.

Andrews council discusses upgrading park

The Andrews Town Council discussed the possibility of upgrading the town's park during its regular meeting on Monday, March 16.

Those in attendance agreed that the park is currently unusable due to missing basketball rims and nets, no restrooms available, condition of the equipment and vandalism, among other issues.

A suggestion was made by residents to relocate the park to prevent future problems.

The formation of a park committee was also discussed. The committee would be comprised of volunteers who would lead the park upgrade.

Huntington County government meetings March 16-23

Monday, March 16
Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.

Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety, 9 a.m., mayor's conference room, third floor of the City Building.
Andrews Town Council, 6 p.m., Andrews Town Hall, 66 N. Main St., Andrews.

Huntington Board of Aviation, 5:30 p.m., terminal building at Huntington Municipal Airport.

Tuesday, March 17
Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District, 7 a.m., SWCD office, 2040 Riverfork Dr.

Outgoing chairman breaks tie to give Democrat leadership post to Snyder

Gary Snyder (left, holding daughter Ava) was elected chairman of the Huntington County Democrat Party on Saturday, March 7. Other officers are Beth Ochs, vice-chair; Judy Ruble, treasurer; and Andy Krieg, secretary.
Photo by Andre Laird.

After two rounds of voting, a short Q&A session and passionate commentary from various precinct committee members, Gary Snyder was elected Huntington County Democrat chairman on Saturday, March 7.

Snyder ran against Jim Long, who stated in his address to the group that he intended to focus on streamlining the efforts of the Democratic Party and make it more organized. Long pointed out the importance of the party having a voice in every area of local government.

Underwood will chair local Republican party

The newly-elected Huntington County Republican Party board is made up of (from left) Gennie Guhl, vice chairman; Kris Underwood, party chairman; Kathy Juillerat, treasurer; and Tina Stevens, secretary.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

The Huntington County Republican Party held its executive committee caucus Saturday, March 7, at Habecker Dining Commons on the campus of Huntington University.

Kris Underwood, who has served as the board's secretary for the past two years, received 33 of 52 votes for the county chairman, defeating position opponent Andy Zay.

Underwood explained his goals, saying, "Whatever it takes to get members of our party elected in November is what I'm willing to do."

He expects challenges within the party and hopes to keep the party united.

School board approves requests, leaves, conferences

The Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved several requests during their regular meeting on Monday, March 9.
They include:

Long-term substitutes

• Korey Grow, kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary, April 13 to the end of the 2008-2009 school year for Brooke Lyons.

• Lisa Geller, grade 3 at Lancaster Elementary from approximately March 27 through May 5 for Julie Hale.

• Jared Yoder, physical education at HNHS, March 2 to the end of the 2008-2009 school year for Alex Kock.

Warren to pass rule concerning baseball diamond scheduling

Anyone who wants to use the baseball diamonds at Tower Park in Warren may soon be required to schedule the event through both the Warren Town Council and the baseball association.

The baseball association told the Warren Town Council during its meeting on Monday, March 9, that groups have been scheduling use of the baseball diamonds for tournaments without proper permission.

School board discusses classified, administrative salaries, but makes no decisions

Huntington County Community School Corp. Board of Trustees discussed classified employee and administrative salaries during its meeting on March 9, but made no decisions on either issue.

In making his presentation, Superintendent Tracey Shafer told the school corporation's trustees that his hope is to keep increases for classified employees and administrators in line with those recently set for teachers in their new contract.

"We're trying to keep everything in context with the teachers' salaries," he said.

County government calendar March 9-16

Monday, March 9
Markle Park Board, 7:30 a.m., Markle Municipal Building, 155 W. Sparks St., Markle.
Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.
Warren Town Council, 6:30p.m., Warren Assembly Hall, 131 N. Wayne St., Warren.
Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees, 7 p.m., Administrative Service Center, 1360 N. Warren Road.
Huntington County Tourism Commission, 7 p.m., Visitor Center, 407 N. Jefferson St.

Teacher pay not growing, but insurance increases being picked up

Teachers in Huntington County won't be getting raises this school year, but they also won't have to pay more for their health insurance premiums, which have gone up.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation's Board of Trustees approved a new teachers' contract during a special meeting on Monday, March 2. The Huntington Classroom Teachers' Association had ratified the proposed contract on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Teachers had been working under the terms of the previous contract, which expired in August, 2008.

County government meetings March 2-9

Monday, March 2
Huntington County Solid Waste Management District Board of Trustees, 8 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of the Huntington County Courthouse.

Huntington County Board of Commissioners, 8:30 a.m., commissioners' room, first floor of Huntington County Courthouse.

Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety, 9 a.m., mayor's conference room, third floor of the City Building.

Tuesday, March 3
Roanoke Town Council, 7 p.m., Roanoke Town Hall, 126 N. Main St., Roanoke.
Wednesday, March 4

Shafer, staff give 'state of the corporation' message Monday night

School officials continue their efforts to provide an update on the local corporation and much of that information was shared with school board members on Monday, Feb. 23.

"We try to give like an annual update sometime after the new year on the state of the corporation in terms of some of the goals, in terms of some of the accomplishments, in terms of some of the challenges that we face as we look forward in 2009," Superintendent Tracey Shafer told the trustees. "I think this is the third year running."

Legislative session at library


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Huntington Mayor Steve Updike (right) makes a point while State Sen. Garry "Doc" Dillon (left) and State Rep. Dan Leonard listen during a legilstive update session held Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Huntington City-Township Public Library. Board of Commissioners President Tom Wall was also on hand.

Economizing name of game for Huntington County governmental units

Economizing is the name of the game for Huntington County, IN, governmental units.

Especially after Huntington County Auditor Kathy Juillerat informed members of the Huntington County Council on Monday, Feb. 23, that the state's Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) had made large reductions to the county's proposed budget - with the deepest cuts coming in the county's health and highway departments.

"They've OK'd the budget, but they cut the operating balance by a couple of hundred thou-sand," she told council members.

Warren Town Council considers banning trucks from 11th Street

Trucks could be banned from at least one street in Warren.

Utility and Street Manager Curt Day proposed during the Warren Town Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 23, that 11th Street become a "no trucks" road.

A semi-truck recently damaged a utility pole beside the road while attempting to make a turn, he noted. Day said there have been numerous occasions when trucks have run into poles, houses and other cars on the turn near Wayne Street.

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