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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Council approves new floor covering to dress up city hall

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Winners of the gingerbread house contest and the holiday woodcarving contest sponsored by the Greencastle Parks and Recreation Department received their awards. They are (from left) Catherine and Leo Weeks in second place for their gingerbread house, Linda Boatright in first place for her Santa woodcarving, Ruth, Sarah and Paul Heithaus in third place for their gingerbread house, and Whitney and Sedrick Weinschenk for their first place gingerbread house.
With Christmas less than two weeks away, members of the Greencastle City Council seemed more than willing Tuesday night to treat the feet of city employees.

A majority of council members approved a request by Greencastle Mayor Nancy Michael to buy new carpet for city hall because the current rug is beginning to show its age.

But not everyone was jolly about the $25,000 price tag that comes with it.

"I think it's too big of an expense," Councilman Tom Roach said.

The mayor pointed to the fact that sections of the 25-year-old carpet have turned from the original chocolate brown color to a rather unsightly pea green.

"Parts of it are in a condition that's a little undesirable," she said.

Michael asked the Council to use a portion of a $30,000 line item, which had previously been set aside for a parking lot project, to pay for a fresh layer of carpet throughout city hall.

She said the city still intends to expand the parking lot at city hall, but the project has been delayed until next year.

Roach said he believes the money, which is part of a fund specifically earmarked for projects at city hall, could be put to better use in the future.

The mayor responded, "I know people on the outside may think we're just spending money to spend money."

Other council members said they believed the $25,000 is being used for its intended purpose.

"This is sort of the living room for the city," Council President Bob Sedlack said. "I think we should put our best foot forward."

Councilman Mark Hammer said the city hall fund has nearly $150,000 in it right now.

In the end, council members Bob Sedlack, Mark Hammer, Russ Evans and John Lanie voted to approve the money for the new carpet, while Tom Roach voted against it.

Meanwhile, council members managed to agree on the first of two steps toward issuing tax abatement to one of the city's manufacturing plants.

Chiyoda USA, who took over operations at the former Happico auto parts plant a little more than a year ago, is seeking to add new equipment and a handful of jobs in the new year.

Company officials plan to invest $1.5 million in a new injection molding machine that they say will add a total of seven new jobs to the Greencastle plant next year. They currently employ about 154 people.

On Tuesday, Chiyoda requested the city declare an "economic revitalization area" for the plant, which will be followed in January by the actual tax abatement request.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the request for an economic revitalization declaration.

In other business, the Council:

-- Agreed to rename a small portion of Frazier Street behind the city street department. The city plans to pave the drive, which serves four to five houses, next year and wants to rename it in order to distinguish it from the remaining portion of Frazier Street. It has been suggested that it be named for a sawmill that once existed in the area. Mayor Michael said this would eliminate confusion on the part of emergency personnel responding to the area.

-- Learned that the city will receive about $47,000 of a $196,000 budget shortfall appeal to the state Dept. of Local Government Finance stemming from the 2004 city budget.

-- Approved the final reading of ordinance 2006-14, including $500 bonuses to full-time city employees and $250 to part-time. The one-time bonuses will be given at the end of the year.

-- Approved the final reading of ordinance 2006-15, regarding maintenance of properties and structures in the city.

-- Approved resolution 2006-28, allowing $30,000 intended for parking lot improvements at city hall, to instead be used for new carpet at city hall.

-- Approved resolution 2006-29, allowing additional appropriations to the annual budget in the amounts of $10,000; $2,500; and $5,200.

-- Approved resolution 2006-31, allowing transfers of money from the 2006 budget to the 2007 budget. Mayor Michael said the transfers are necessary to bring certain line items "into the black" for next year. The transfers totaled $89,336 and included the parks and recreation budget, mayor's budget, fire department, police department and cemetery fund.

The Greencastle City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at city hall.

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