Bid for truck, land annexation tops Markle meet

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, the night before Thanksgiving, the meeting room where the Markle Town Council held its regular meeting was filled full of anxious people, waiting to hear the outcome of the first and most popular item on the evening’s agenda, who was the winner of the town’s truck for sale.

Council President Jeff Humbarger said there were 18 sealed bids received on the surplus truck. As the council opened each one in the meeting, the bids ranged from $3,333 to the high bid of $5,601, submitted by Curt Worster.

“This is by far the most bids we’ve ever had for a vehicle,” Humbarger said.

That offer was accepted 3-0 by the council.

In other property matters, councilmen unanimously adopted Ordinance 2018-10 to voluntarily annex the land owned by Day Warpup Farms LLC into the town. The approximately 50 acres is connected to the Markle Industrial Park, Humbarger said.

Council also discussed the blighted property at 480 N. Clark St., which is currently owned by Matthew Schrodi of Fort Wayne. Humbarger said as of this date no one has paid taxes or purchased the property, which now goes to the county commissioners for disposition.

“The county commissioners could potentially give the building to the town if we want it, because they’re going to have to do something with it,” he said, adding the town will let the commissioners know they are interested in obtaining the property.

Town Supervisor Rick Asher said it would likely cost as much as $20,000 to demolish the buildings on the property. However, a garage on the site is in decent shape and could be used for cold storage, he said.

The council also approved an amendment to the town’s solid waste and recycling service agreement with Waste Management of Indiana. The agreement has reduced the number of types of recycled materials that will be accepted. The effective date of the agreement was Nov. 15.

The council also approved a request from the Markle Cemetery Board, donating $3,000 to help pay for upkeep of the cemetery. The vote was 2-1, with Councilman Mark Hamilton voting nay.

Kenton Kline, vice president of the board, said the cemetery’s bylaws will not let them use endowment funds to care for the cemetery. He cited low interest rates and slower than usual lot sales, with more cremations being the trend, as factors in running low on funds to pay for mowing and other upkeep.

Humbarger said the donation would be done on a singular basis and not guaranteed yearly.

On another matter, Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton said the town is still collecting surveys from residents about high-speed Internet service. She said there were more than 80 people who showed up at the information session held on Nov. 14, and two Internet service provider companies were in attendance.

The deadline to get the surveys back to town hall is Dec. 3, Hamilton added.