FILLMORE -- Fillmore Town Council members Jeff Osborn, Alan Jones and Wes Terhune discussed the third "first" reading of an ordinance to allow ATVs to drive on town streets and a Lilly Endowment Grant to research water and sewer infiltration issues in the town.
The ATV ordinance allows four-wheel vehicles to drive on town streets provided they carry insurance with a liability of $100,000 per person and $300,000 in property damage and personal injury. No passengers are allowed unless the vehicle is built to accommodate them legally and they must have it registered with the Department of Natural Resources.
Some discussion ensued about the age requirement being 18 or 16 years for drivers. One resident questioned why the board was instituting an ordinance when there was already "one on the books." He also questioned why the driving age was being set at 18 instead of 16 years old.
"It's a question of maturity and responsibility," responded board member Terhune. "The driver, and not the parents, is legally liable for any damages that might occur."
After some discussion and with the understanding that Town Marshall Tom Helmer agreed earlier with the age being 16, the board lowered the age limit from 18 years of age to 16.
Violation of the ordinance when it is passed allows for the vehicle to be confiscated and fines from $100-$500. A second reading of the ordinance will take place at the next meeting.
Eric Haenlein from Wessler & Associates gave the board a proposal to provide a study to identify problems with infiltration in the town's sewer system. The study will be paid for with a $4,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment.
Haenlein told the group his proposal provided for studying manholes, smoke testing and doing some home inspections to see if sump pumps are connected to the sewer system.
"We did discover that $4,000 doesn't go very far with an engineering company," said Osborn when he introduced Haenlein.
The engineer told the board he could do a sample study and cover about 5,000 feet of sewer line.
"The easiest things to look at are the manhole covers. The next thing we would do is smoke test," said Haenlein.
Smoke testing involves blowing harmless smoke into the sewer system to determine the location of connections. Those connections, along with any leaks, will be marked with pink surveying paint (non permanent). It is non-toxic and non- staining. People in the test area would be notified prior to the smoke test.
Haenlein also told the board they would allow town utility people to come along and they would educate them on things like looking for illegal sump pump hookups.
Last year Fillmore paid the City of Greencastle Water and Sewer over $90,000 from January to October.
"We pay about $4,000 a month when it is dry. If it is a rainy month we have paid $10,000-15,000 a month," Osborne said.
Osborne planned to present the proposal to the local citizens committee formed to oversee the Lilly Endowment grant fund for Putnam County.
When Osborn excused himself to give papers to Haenlein a discussion ensued between the Gilley family and Jones regarding the flooding issues on the Gilley's land.
"What are you doing about the flooding on my property?" asked Mrs. Gilley. "You've been in office for 11 months and what have you done?"
Fillmore Town Clerk Wanda Sedlak responded, "There is no quick fix." Jones also said the problem with the Gilley's flooding was being addressed in another request for flood assistance sent to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Osborn came back into the meeting and had to bang his gavel to calm people down. He explained the FEMA request has been with the agency for over three months and the sewer infiltration study was a different project.
In other business the board asked for town members input in re-naming C.R. 50 E prior to sending information to 911 Emergency Management for an update in addresses. Fillmore Elementary Students were asked to submit street names for the road. Each class came up with one name and the board voted on their favorite.
The fifth grade class won with the name Cardinal Road.
The council also decided not to change the name of C.R. 475 E. The road runs through the town, but one side is the town and one side is the county.
Osborn reported that the town received $145 in donations during the fall clean-up day last month. The money will go toward improvements in the town. Several local businesses contributed soda and chips and the local boy scouts worked on special projects all day earning new badges for their work.
An announcement was made that the Fillmore Christian Church will sponsor a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wishes to attend at the Fillmore Elementary School on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Fillmore Town Council meets on the first Thursday of the month at Town Hall.