Markle Town Council discusses potential new town hall site

A potential site for a new Markle Town Hall was brought before a packed house at the Markle Fire Station on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Markle Town Council's monthly meeting.

Resident Robin Phillips addressed the council in regards to the sale of her building, the site of Davis Restaurant, 165 N. Clark St. Phillips offered to sell the building to the town as a potential new site for the Town Hall. She noted that the property satisfies all ADA (American Disabilities Act) regulations and has adequate town-owned parking lots.

Phillips offered the council two options, purchase the building with all its equipment for a final price of $50,000 or a price of $45,000, if she were allowed to remove the restaurant equipment prior to the sale.
She also estimated that the property has an assessed value of approximately $59,000.

President Jeff Humbarger stated that the council would consider her offer as the current town hall is in need of repairs and a decision needs to be made as to how to move forward with it.

The Council opened and reviewed sealed bids for a new three-year solid waste contract to start in January 2013. Three bids were read: EarthFirst, of Fort Wayne, which bid $12.49 per household per month; Wabash Refuse, of Wabash, proposed $15.01, $15.46 and $15.92 for years one through three respectively, with a flat rate option of $16.40; and Waste Management, of Fort Wayne, with its proposal of $8.75, $9.35 and $9.95 for year one through three, respectively.

Council decided to discuss and review the bids further, with a final decision to be made at the November meeting.
Bids for a new town truck to replace the 1994 GMC were received an opened on Oct. 15. Administrative General Town Assistant Mike Grant stated that the lowest bid did not meet bid speculations and did not include a plow.

Also, after bids were requested, town employees felt the size of the plow needed to be increased from 7.5 feet to 8.5 feet, and Grant requested a quote for such an increase from the next three lowest bidders.

After confirmation with Town Supervisor Rick Asher that all warranty work could be completed at a local dealer, the lowest bidder was Dellen GMC of Greenfield. Humbarger motioned to accept the truck as proposed from Dellen seconded by Councilman Rick Bower. The motion carried 2-0.

In other business:

• Council considered the Order of Enforcement for 310 W. Morse St. A public hearing regarding the property was held prior to the start of the meeting, and neither owner, Gary Dillman, or a representative from iAB financial bank were present. Shad Paul of the Huntington County DCD said the property has been evaluated every three years since 2006 and has six outstanding unsafe violations, which have not been attended to. Paul recommended the town move forward with the Code of Enforcement, which allows for the property to be demolished after Oct. 25, 2012.

Town Attorney Mike Hartburg stated that he agreed with both the Code of Enforcement and corrective measures listed.

Humbarger's motion to uphold the Order of Enforcement as written was seconded by Councilmember Bower. Motion carried 2-0. Hartburg stated that he would work with Paul to get requests for proposals from demolition companies prior to the November Meeting.

• In his report, Town Supervisor Rick Asher stated that E&B Paving will begin milling of the streets and alleys on Oct. 25. Paving will take place on Oct. 26 and Oct. 29.

He noted that electric for the new water tower would be completed by Oct. 18; leaf pickup will continue on Mondays and Tuesdays; and that hydrant flushing will take place the week of Oct. 29.

• In his report Marshal John Markley reported that the Markle Police Department would be collecting canned food items on Nov. 3, concurrent with the fire department's benefit dinner for former member Nate Mills.

He also added that this year's Trick or Treat hours will be on Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

In old business:

• Humbarger reported that he was in continuing talks with Novae to possibly rent space on the new water tower. Due to the number of variances required by the state, Humbarger stated that it was taking longer than expected and that the tower cannot be painted during the cold. He suggested that the council wait to make a decision until spring before attempting to paint the logo, leaving the option open to make some revenue by renting space to Novae.

• Administrative Coordinator Lara Ludlow reported that the town's website, www.markleindi ana.com is operational.

The next meeting will be held on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.