By Valerie Werkmeister
Posey County Commissioners voted to grant an extension to a Wadesville homeowner before moving forward on a nuisance complaint. Commissioners heard a status update from Richard Porter of 7265 Main Street in Wadesville during their September 4, meeting. Porter’s home was involved in a fire last year and he has been working to demolish the home. He stated the home has been boarded up and poses no hazard to the public. He also stated that since he has no electricity, he is forced to work with battery-powered tools that only provide about two hours of working time. He is attempting to salvage as much of the wood from the deck and the vinyl siding as possible.
Last November, he has appeared before the commissioners to request the county vacate the alley that runs near his property. The alley has not been used for years and Porter believed it would allow him to “square up” his property and place a new home and install an updated septic system. The commissioners asked for Porter to obtain approval signatures from his neighbors before they would grant his request.
Attorney Trent Van Haaften informed Porter that Indiana law requires certain criteria must be met before the approval for an alley vacation is given. According to Van Haaften, Porter hasn’t met the criteria. He added that Porter was advised to consult an attorney to help guide him through the process and ensure the legal requirements were met.
Porter stated he had been doing things on his own and that he couldn’t afford an attorney for an alley vacation.
Commissioner Jim Alsop reminded Porter that they needed to see improvements being made on his property in regards to the nuisance complaint. He questioned Porter as to how long he felt it would take him to complete the demolition on his house.
“If I had thousands of dollars, maybe it would take four or five months, but I don’t have thousands of dollars,” Porter replied.
Building commissioner Ed Battieger suggested that temporary fencing could be installed to eliminate some of the hazards posed by the structure.
Porter took offense to the suggestion.
“You’re talking about more money, sir,” he stated. “The house is boarded up tight. No one can get in.”
The commissioners resolved to have Battieger take pictures following the meeting to serve as a benchmark towards any future progress. Prior to the October 2 meeting, Battieger will take more pictures for the commissioners to compare. Porter was asked to appear again at that October meeting.
Alsop stated that a response from the Indiana Department of Transportation regarding the New Harmony bridge over the Wabash River has not been received.
Highway superintendent Steve Schenk stated that paving has begun on Seibert Lane. He hopes to pave additional roads in the northern portion of the county around the first part of October. He asked the commissioners to send another letter to the City of Mt.Vernon requesting the sewer line be removed from the bridge located behind Wesselman’s. The highway department intends to work on the bridge during the winter and requires the sewer line be moved before work can begin.
Battieger stated that the sump pump project at the Coliseum had been completed for $2,000 less than what was originally quoted. Work in the Hovey House was also nearly complete.
Emergency Management Director Larry Robb stated that September has been declared as emergency preparedness month by Governor Mitch Daniels. Citizens are encouraged to have an emergency action plan in place.
The animal control officer dealt with 61 complaints in August. There were 23 animals picked up, one was euthanized and there were two bite reports taken.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
• a request to rezone an agricultural district to R-1 or residential per the recommendation of the Area Plan Commission. The 10-acre property is located off Winery Road.
• Change order #2 for levee unit 5 improvements for division 3 slip lining
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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