A proposal from the Huntington City-Township Public Library Board to by its building in Markle was rejected by the Markle Town Council on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The library requested to purchase the building where it is currently located, at a price of $100,000. The library currently leases the building from the town.
After lengthy discussion involving council members and the public, it was decided by a 2-1 vote, with Council member Rick Bower voting against, that a counteroffer would be submitted to the library board.
The counteroffer would gift the location of the current Markle Town Hall building to the library, and the town would split the cost of demolition of that building with the library board. It would then be the sole responsibility of the library to build a new building at that location, and the Markle Town Hall offices would move into the current library space.
Council President Jeff Humbarger says it is not the council's intent for the library to leave Markle. He says he hopes an agreement can be met between the two entities.
Humbarger says the library's lease of its current location does not expire until November 2014, but he wants to continue with negotiations as swiftly as possible.
Rick Asher, town superintendent, reported that leaf pick-up has begun. He asks that residents rake their leaves "as close as they can" to the street or curb for pick-up. He says leaf pick-up will be performed at least one or two days a week, up to every day.
The council approved Asher's request to purchase new street signs. Asher says the town is required by law to replace 124 street signs. The new signs will be prismatic and nine inches in height.
Also approved by council was Asher's request to purchase a sign promoting the town's website. The sign will be added to the town's existing "Welcome to Markle" sign.
Jay Stankiewicz, of DLZ Indiana and project engineer for the Tracy Street project, presented an update of the project to the council. Stankiewicz reports "we are well into" the acquisition phase of the project. He reported one parcel has been secured, and offers have been drafted for three additional parcels that will be presented in the next week. He says he is fairly confident all parcels will be secured by the end of the year, at which time the schedule for the project will be reevaluated.
In other business:
• The town's 2014 budget was adopted and approved by consensus during the final budget hearing.
• The council decided to renew the health insurance policy provided for town employees early (before 2014), to avoid raising out-of-pocket cost in 2014. The renewal was approved by consensus, pending the answer to a question of whether or not employee out-of-pocket deductibles will reset for one month at the end of 2013.
• Buzz Nesbit, of Broadband Networks, addressed the board with a request to submit a proposal for placing a broadband Internet access point on the town's new water tower. The access point would deliver Internet access to about 200 customers, says Nesbit. Council President Humbarger requested that Nesbit submit a proposal for the access point to the council.
• The town's trick-or-treat hours were set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.
• A 2 percent raise was approved for municipal employees. The funds for the raise were included in the passing of the 2014 budget.
• Two leak adjustments were approved, one for Terrance Steed in the amount of $665.23 and the other at Markle Car Wash in the amount of $147.32.