Warren board agrees to help with disc golf course at Tower Park

The Warren Town Council has agreed to pitch in both cash and labor to bring a disc golf course to Tower Park.

Dustin Fortney pitched the idea to council members during their Oct. 14 meeting, saying he's already signed up 11 business sponsors and is confident he can recruit an additional seven sponsors.

With each of the sponsors contributing $300, those sponsorships would cover $5,400 of the estimated $6,000 cost of purchasing and installing the disc golf equipment at the park.

Fortney says he plans to seek donations in addition to the business sponsors, but asked the council to consider paying any costs not covered by sponsors and other donors. He also asked that town employees be allowed to help install the equipment.

Council members unanimously agreed to both requests, but capped the town's financial contribution to $1,000.

Fortney is so dedicated to the sport that he carries a backpack full of discs designed for different shots, much like a golfer carrying a variety of clubs, and says he's constantly on the lookout for new courses to try.

A disc golf course actually resembles a regular golf course, with disc golfers lining up on tees and aiming their Frisbee-like discs toward the basket. The goal is to get the disc in the basket with as few throws as possible.

Fortney says the game can be played by people of all ages and physical abilities, including people who use wheelchairs.

Fortney plans to install a nine-hole course at Tower Park, with two tees for each hole. He says installation can begin this fall if all the funding comes through. The course would then become the property of the town.

In other business:

• Council members approved a proposed 2014 town budget for submission to state officials.

Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison said the total 2014 budget stands at $2,175,691, up $128,691 from the 2013 budget of $2,047,000. The increase is in the town's cumulative fire and cumulative capital development funds, which are set by the state, she said, with no increase in tax-supported funds.

The proposed budget carries with it a tax rate of about $1 per $100 of assessed value, up from this year's tax rate of 97 cents. However, the tax rate for 2014 is expected to decrease once the state makes its adjustments to the budget, Morrison noted.

Morrison also noted that the town's total assessed value for 2014 is $32,045,435, up $433,466 from 2013. The increase in assessed value can be attributed to reassessment, she said.

• Morrison reported that cleanup at several downtown lots, where a building collapsed during the Salamonie Summer Festival in July, is nearing completion. Some roofing work remains to be done on a building adjacent to the now-vacant lot, she said.

The town-owned lot will be planted in grass and stone will be placed on the other lots to prevent runoff, she added. The construction fence will be removed once that is done.

One of the buildings demolished as a result of the collapse, a vacant building formerly occupied by the Rackety Packety Shop, was included in the most recent Huntington County tax sale but attracted no bidders, Morrison said. County officials have agreed to assign their lien on that property to the town, paving the way for the town to acquire the property.

• The council awarded a contract to E&B Paving to construct a cul-de-sac at the end of Winterhaven Drive at Langton Estates. E&B submitted a bid of $58,970, the lower of two bids received for the project.
Work could begin by Nov. 11, weather permitting.

• Council set trick-or-treat hours for Halloween night, Oct. 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.