Markle council changes landscape waste rules

Markle town officials are working to get out the word that residents and business owners alike may need to change how they dispose of their landscaping waste, after the town council unanimously approved Ordinance 2019-1, which amends Chapter 92 of the Town Code regarding grass clippings and other refuse.

The council voted in the ordinance at its regular meeting Wednesday, June 19, and the ordinance goes into effect immediately, with no “grace period.”

The ordinance states it is now unlawful for anyone to throw or scatter any grass clippings, shavings, chips, papers, leaves, refuse, trash or other material on any street or alley. Those who are cited with breaking the law can be fined a graduated penalty of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, then $100 and up for subsequent citations.

“This is a combination of a safety item, because wet grass and grass itself is slippery, and a danger to pedestrians and traffic, like motorcycles,” said Council President Mark Hamilton. “Secondly, grass clippings tend to plug up our storm sewers.”

Councilman Matthew Doss said he researched similar codes in other communities and found similar laws that were consistent with Markle’s amendment.

Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton said notice regarding the change will be posted on the town’s website.

In other business, the council voted 3-0 on a pair of 10-year tax abatements on behalf of Novae Corporation.

The first, Resolution 2019-6, approves Novae real property benefits, as the company plans a new $4.1 million shipping facility, with construction to start as soon as July. The second, Resolution 2019-7, approves Novae’s statement of benefits and personal property, with an estimate on new manufacturing equipment and IT equipment at $1.27 million.

Don Tilley, Novae’s corporate capital projects manager, told the council 32 new jobs will be created by the expansion, totaling $1.2 million. He estimated the project would be completed by Jan. 1, 2020.

The abatement exempt schedule will be reduced by 10 percent each year until Year 11, which will be the first year of full property tax payment.
“We’re excited about that expansion,” said Councilman Aaron McClary.

On another matter, the council unanimously approved an agreement with the engineering firm of DLZ to provide design and other engineering services of the Novae Parkway Utility Extension. With fees quoted at $20,400, the firm won out over a bid by Fleis & VandenBrink.

Council also approved $9,920 in engineering and repair work on Gardner Court.

The paving project may be eligible for a Community Crossings Matching Grant, said Jay Stankiewicz, Fort Wayne office manager at Fleis & Vandenbrink. The grant application will be submitted in July, he added.

The town is putting a water main across the street at South Street, said Town Superintendent Rick Asher, and has already been patching potholes in the roadway.

Asher also reported that Markle has a “new” used sewer vac truck, which he purchased from the Town of Warren for $1. The truck will be used to clean storm drains and sewer lines.

The council also voted 2-0 to donate $1,500 to the Markle Area Chamber of Commerce for the upcoming July 4 block party, to be held in downtown Markle.