By Valerie Werkmeister
An abandoned and neglected home near South Terrace Elementary has neighbors fed up and looking to the county for answers. Pam Cheaney spoke to the Posey County Commissioners during last week’s, April 16, meeting about her concerns for the property conditions at 2519 Woods Drive in Blairsville. The owner, Thomas Putnam, was sent a letter and requested to appear. He was not in attendance.
Cheaney explained that she and other neighbors are frustrated with the problem that she explained has been ongoing for years. Debris litters the yard and the house is in a state of disrepair. Cheaney stated one neighbor has had difficulty selling her home due to the condition of Putnam’s house. Putnam is not living in the home at this time. According to Cheaney, there are discarded grills and an old refrigerator in addition to roofing and construction material scattered about. She also knows there are increased sightings of rodents and snakes in the neighborhood and believes it’s due to Putnam’s yard.
She expressed her frustration to the commissioners and requested assistance. The commissioners agreed the home is in violation of the county’s nuisance ordinance. They directed Building Commissioner Ed Battieger to send a letter to clean up the property within 30 days or further legal action will take place.
Sheriff Greg Oeth informed commissioners of the resignation of deputy Kevin Bratton. He has accepted another job opportunity. Oeth advised he will accept applications for a new deputy through April 26. The merit board will meet the end of April to discuss the applicants.
E-911 Director Sabrina Harms informed commissioners that a recent lightning strike to dispatch has caused $66,000 in damages so far. They are still working to assess the situation and order repairs.
Highway Superintendent Steve Schenk advised his department is approximately $26,000 behind in revenue compared to the same time last year. He was unsure as to the reason why the state is behind in releasing these funds, but was confident they would “balance out eventually.” The first round in street paving will begin this week. They have set aside $550,000 in EDIT funds for this project.
He also stated there are two versions of a bill before Indiana legislators that will determine a considerable difference in funds available to counties from the wheel excise tax. According to Schenk, the House version of the bill gives the highway department $685,000 in 2014 and $703,000 in 2015. The Senate version only gives $344,000 in 2014 and $598,000 in 2015. He urged the commissioners to contact the representatives to support the House version.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved a request by the MSD of North Posey to use the GIS system for a special project.
• Approved a request by the City of Mount Vernon to use the courthouse parking lot for shredding day on May 18
• Tabled a request by Larry Robb to discuss the Local Disaster Emergency Declaration Ordinance due to Robb’s absence.
• Tabled a request by Scott Smith for a Community Corrections grant due to Smith’s absence.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, May 7, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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