FILLMORE --Residents and Town Council members are planning something they say will bring pride back to Fillmore.
Council members Jeff Osborn, Allen Jones and Wes Terhune voted to have a town pride week in the tiny town, which has been beset with financial difficulties.
President Jeff Osborn told the roomful of residents that he wants the community to feel like neighbors.
"I want to see us make more of a town effort. We want the community to like living here and to feel like we are all neighbors," he announced.
The Council agreed it would take some time to build the celebration, which they hope will include churches, schools, youth groups and everyone in the town. The plan now is to set a clean up day on the same day as the countywide tox away day.
"We've already arranged for two big dumpsters which are for the town residents only. You'll have to show an identification card or utility bill with your address in order to drop off trash at the site," added Osborn.
The council also intends to put together specific projects for youth groups and others to perform. One audience member asked if community service workers from the Putnam County Jail could help.
Town Marshal Tom Helmer suggested they be used to work on a clean up project on Putnam Road.
Council members also discussed the software conversion for their new accounting and utility programs. April will be the first billing cycle for water and other utility bills.
Osborn explained to residents that the council was working hard to resolve issues with water bills, which have been an ongoing problem.
The town is carrying more than $1 million in debt with water and sewer arrears in excess of $86,000 .
He explained that they were working in three stages.
The first stage was simply to get a handle on the water bill arrearages. Next they plan to offer everyone an opportunity to take care of the back payments. Thirdly, a new ordinance will have to be drafted and approved.
"In the past, the board has just made exceptions to the ordinance, but we can't keep doing that. It's been 10 years since there has been an ordinance written and things have changed a lot," added Osborn.
"We're stepping back and looking at the big picture. We won't shut off any water until we have a plan to solve issues," he concluded.
Board member Allen Jones shared information on how even small water leaks can cost money. He showed the room a diagram with holes at an eighth, a sixteenth and a quarter inch. These leaks can cause a lose between 822 and 13,000 gallons of water per month.
"That's making your bill go up and costing you money," said Jones. The information, along with the city's water rates have been posted on the town website www.fillmoreindiana.com