By Pam Robinson.
The New Harmony Town Council agreed to table their vote on Resolution 2012-2 regarding the transfer of New Harmony School property to the town from the North Posey school district. A special meeting has been set for Tuesday, June 26, 3:30 p.m. in Town Hall to ratify the lease once Council members receive a final draft for authorized signatures from both parties.
Earlier in the Thursday, June 21, meeting, Council heard from members Karen Walker and Linda Warrum regarding their investigation of nuisance violations at six specified properties: 1019 North Street, 618 South Street, 623 Murphy Street, 629 South Street, 1015 Main Street and 822 East Street. Council singled out and named the independent findings on each property. Each property violated one or both of two codes–either Code 8.12.020 regarding the illegal accumulation of trash, junk or cars, or Code 8.12.010, regarding the illegal spread of overgrown weeds. The council’s findings allow Town Marshal Scott Champlin to distribute letters notifying the owners of nuisance code violations. The letters will also set a date for the correction of those violations before the town cleans up the properties at the owners’ expense. Council members noted that more properties may be in violation of the nuisance code, but the specified properties are known for violations.
Before the discussion leading up to the findings, New Harmony resident Carlene VanLaningham had filed her own nuisance complaint about the properties at 618 and 629 South Street. Another audience member cited the parking of a semi-truck tractor within town limits. Council member Joe Straw directed Town Marshal Scott Champlin to tell drivers to move out any semi-trucks within the town limits, for they stand in violation of a truck ordinance posted all over town.
Town Marshal Scott Champlin advised all Posey County residents to attend to the burn ban issued on June 21. So far, the ban allows the use of grills, but forbids all open burning—for example, in fire pits.
In other business:
•Council member Linda Warrum drew attention to the Maple Hill Cemetery Care rules adopted May 17, 2012. Those rules are available at the Town Hall and also on the town website at www.newharmony-in.gov. Warrum said the town is in a transition period with the new rules, but asked people to pick up flowers, wreaths and other decorations out of compliance with the rules, which are also posted at Maple Hill Cemetery.
• Carlene VanLaningham announced that the Tri-Kappa drive to raise funds for Maple Hill Cemetery brought in $2,643 in donations, $300 more than last year. She noted that 39 people, Tri-Kappa members and their supporters, solicited funds for the cemetery before and over the Memorial Day weekend.
• Clerk-Treasurer Karla Atkins announced that in addition to the donations Tri-Kappa raised for Maple Hill Cemetery, she had received $5,360, amounting to $1,000 more than last year, for cemetery upkeep.
• Carlene VanLaningham requested sprinkler credit for her rental units, but Town President David Campbell explained that the ordinance regarding business zoning for these units excluded her from sprinkler credit.
• Council voted to defray the costs incurred by Hoosier Salon for the use of the Murphy Park Shelter House to host an art camp.
• Council member Karen Walker and Sewer Superintendent Bobby Grider reported that the lift station was working properly and running smoothly again.
• Likewise, it was reported that the water issue at the gym had been fixed.
• Parks Board President Jeanne Maudlin reported on several generous donations: $2,500 from Posey County Community Foundation; $2,500 to be disbursed in 2013 from the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation; 13 large trees from Lora and Erik Arneberg to be planted on Monday, June 25, by the Town of New Harmony; memorial collections in the amount of $332 from the Olin Davis family; and border replacement and painting at Murphy Park by Tri-Kappa. In addition, Maudlin announced that the Parks Board had ruled to make Maclure Park bandstand available for rental—for example, to accommodate small weddings.
• Ray McConnell presented council members with the June 2012 New Harmony Bicentennial Commission Report. Most notably, the commission looked at special permanent “legacy” projects to complete during the bicentennial. The commission will hold its next meeting on September 18.
• Council approved Ordinance 2012-7 to comply with state law regarding conflict of interest and nepotism and the accompanying Resolution 2012-1 providing certification of town employees.
• Council appointed Joe Straw to oversee the work with the insurance company to assess storm damage.
As reported earlier, the New Harmony Town Council will meet next in a special meeting Tuesday, June 26, 3:30 p.m. in Town Hall. The next regular meeting of the New Harmony Town Council will be held Thursday, July 19, 5 p.m. in Town Hall.
By Pam Robinson.
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