CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale Town Council agreed to utilize the Community Work Experience Program for local residence currently receiving Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
Maria Bonilla said any individual is only eligible for TANF benefits for two years of their life.
The idea of the program is to provide these individuals the opportunity to gain necessary skills in acquiring a job. The town can utilize participants in any way needed with the exception of operating heavy equipment.
It is open to residents from Greencastle to Spencer.
There is no cost to the town or taxpayers to use this program, Bonilla told council members.
In other approvals by the council, the sidewalk on Faletic property at Lafayette Street will be repaired; the water plant will receive Internet service; the building permit fee will be waived for the construction of the new fire station; Elconda Street in Stardust Hills was adopted by the town (an oversight from 2006); Donald Guthrie will be acting as utility manager; and pay raises could not exceed $5,000.
Council members took a substantial amount of time discussing the upcoming renewal of health insurance. Jim McCammon presented the council with renewal quotes, all of which showed an 18-percent increase in premiums. The council is concerned with the higher cost to employees and the budget. A special meeting to discuss health insurance renewal was scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 2.
Town council members were not unanimous but agreed to leave the park open during the winter season. This will allow residents to use the new playground equipment and cabin. Regular patrols by police will continue through the park. Restrooms there will remain closed for the season.
In other discussion, Guthrie presented council members with three quotes -- CASE, CAT and John Deere -- for purchasing a new backhoe. The current piece of equipment is 21 years old and in poor shape. Guthrie told council members purchasing a new backhoe would save money on hiring outside vendors due to the poor shape of the existing backhoe. Council members are taking the estimates under advisement.
Guthrie also presented the council with installing an Endeavor water "salesmen." It is actually a machine to replace the hydrant -- sure to freeze during cold weather -- currently used for bulk water usage. The machine can be operated using coins, dollar bills or a card. Guthrie suggested purchasing the model that would use a card reader to avoid vandalism. The town will lease property for the machine from Endeavor Communications for $1 per year.
The council declined leasing water tower property due to an active cap not currently under the ground.
In other news, the Redevelopment Committee announced the repaving of Stardust Road to the entrances of Stardust Hills and new arena is finished. Council members noted how nice the finished work looks.