Markle to receive additional funding for water tower project

The town of Markle has received $50,000 in additional funding for the water tower project, Vice President Mark Hamilton reported at the regular town council meeting on Wednesday, April 18.

Hamilton said that Clerk-Treasurer Shelley Monticue made a presentation and request for funding to the Wells County County Commissioners concerning the water tower project on Monday, April 16. The meeting was also attended by Utility Superintendent Rick Asher, Mark Wickersham of Huntington County Economic Development and Randy Kriscunas of Fleis & Vandenbrink Engineering.
Monticue's request for $50,000 in additional CEDIT funding from Wells County was granted.

The CEDIT funds from Wells County will be added to the Huntington County CEDIT donation of $100,000. Council President Jeff Humbarger noted that the cost of the tower has been significantly reduced due to these contributions.

Construction on the tower is moving along, Asher told council members. The concrete footings on the tower have cured and steel construction will begin the week of April 23, he said.

"I bet it will be in the air in 45 days," Asher speculated.

Asher told the council that soon they will need to make decisions on a logo or words to put on the tower, as well as paint color.

Humbarger announced that the town is in need of a chairperson for the 2012 Wildcat Festival, preferably someone local. Nicolle Helvie, who has chaired the event in the past, has moved out of town.

The Wildcat Festival is usually held on the fourth weekend in August.

"We need to find someone fairly quickly," Humbarger said. "The clock is ticking for us."

The council approved the sale of town property at the southwest corner of Wilt and Miller streets to the Markle Park Board for $10,000. Asher estimated the property to be around one and a half acres. The area will be made into a public park.

The council welcomed Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel. Stoffel introduced the sheriff's department to the council, and updated them on current programs and statistics.

The sheriff's department generated around $140,000 in revenue for the general county fund in 2011 by introducing new programs and measures. This was the first year the county jail participated in housing federal inmates, which generated around $13,000.

Stoffel also reported that the department raised enough money to fund its police dog program for the next four to five years and to implement a drug dog in Huntington.
A house arrest program will be in place within a year, Stoffel said. A board for the program is currently being assembled, and the house arrest of non-violent individuals should cut down on overpopulation at the jail.

The council heard town insurance proposals and will vote on an insurance plan at a special meeting on May 2 at 7 p.m. at the Markle Fire Station.

At the next regular meeting the council will vote on approval of a request from Huntington County Community School Corporation to host a free summer lunch program at Veterans' Park.

It was announced that the annual Markle clean-up days will be held May 22 and 29, and that the town-wide garage sale will be held May 19. Anyone wanting to be put on the collection list for curbside pick-up on the clean-up day may contact the Clerk's Office at 758-3193.

The Clerk-Treasurer's office will be closed on Wednesday, May 30, as the clerk-treasurer and administrative coordinator will be attending the annual clerk-treasurer school in Indianapolis.

The Huntington County Hometown Improvement Committee has requested that anyone living in Markle complete a survey about living in the area. Surveys or a link to an online version may be obtained at the clerk- treasurer's office.
Councilman Rick Bower was absent from the meeting.

The next regular town council meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 16. at 7:30 p.m. at the Markle Fire Station.