FILLMORE -- Town Board members Wes Terhune and Alan Jones were acres apart in agreeing on an ordinance that would regulate the use and discharge of fire arms in the town.
As it currently reads, the ordinance would allow hunting within the town as long as no gun is discharged within 300 feet of a building. Terhune wanted an amendment making it impossible to hunt unless there were 10 acres or more.
He cited a recent accident where a man laying in his bed was shot from 1,200 feet.
"This is a town," Terhune said. "You guys want to make it OK to hunt inside the city limits. I live in the cluster of houses that could be shot into."
Jones did not agree with making the amendment, but declined to make any comments about it. Several residents at the meeting did not hesitate to show their displeasure and argued in favor of allowing hunting in town as long as a gun was not discharged within the 300 feet.
"Most people around here who hunt have enough common sense to know what to do," one resident said. "Kids now have to go through a safety course to get a license."
Another resident told the council he didn't care which way they voted but hoped they would take into consideration the fact that there was a school, People Pathways coming through town and kids playing on the streets before they voted.
Others questioned being able to protect themselves or property under the new ordinance.
"I'm only talking about hunting," said Terhune. "You can still shoot a gun outside of 300 feet. I'm only talking about hunting. I want 10 acres for hunters in town."
Council President Jeff Osborne tabled the ordinance for more discussion especially with the disagreement between Terhune and Jones.
"We'll talk about it and start over again," he said. "We may come back with the exact same ordinance next month. We'll just have to see."
Osborne also reported to the council about a meeting he had with Jim Coffenberry from West Central regarding a grant from the Lily Endowment resulting from flood damages last year.
"We have to demonstrate a certain income level to qualify for some funds," he said. "So we're going to have to do an income survey before we can apply."
Volunteers will visit homes and provide questionnaires that can be filled out in private and placed in sealed envelopes. Questions will include the number of people in a household and the amount of income above or below $31,250 or above or below $35,700.
"There are a few other questions but nothing big," added Osborne.
Grant money would be used for water and sewer repairs and to prevent future flooding. Volunteers are needed to go door to door to collect the surveys.
Town Clerk Wanda Seidler reported $106,000 of uncollected sewer arrearages had been whittled down to about $70,000. The town plans to pursue those with sewer arrearages in court beginning next month.
This course of action is being used because the town cannot turn off the sewer to buildings without digging up the lines and causing the buildings to be condemned.
Kevin McCammack was approved as the town's new water superintendent. He replaced Jim Nelson, who is the water superintendent in Bainbridge and has been helping out the town. McCammack will receive the same salary as Nelson -- $6,000 a year.
A search is underway for a new town marshal. Tom Helmer agreed to stay in the position until a new marshal is hired. There are currently three candidates.
"Qualifications and proximity are the priorities in hiring a new marshal," said Osborne.
Town Council members planned to talk with all three candidates after the evening meeting.
Here is a copy of the proposed ordinance. If you wish to see the current ordinance go to www.fillmoreindiana.com
AN ORDINANCE REGULATING FIREARMS
WITHIN THE TOWN OF FILLMORE
WHEREAS, it is in the interest of the citizens of the Fillmore Community to regulate the use and discharge of firearms and weapons.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Town Board of the Town of Fillmore, Indiana:
The Town Board or its designee may authorize activities that would otherwise be a violation of this ordinance for parades, ceremonial occasions or under special circumstances as determined by the Town Board.
The use of firearms shall be permitted in open areas within the corporate limits subject to Rules and Regulations of the Department of Natural Resources so long as the activity is with permission of the owner and at least 300 feet from any dwelling, unless the owner of said dwelling has granted permission.
This Ordinance shall not be construed to prohibit any law enforcement officer from 'discharging a firearm in the performance of his duty; nor a citizen from discharging a firearm when lawfully defending his person or property, or the property of another that is in that person's best interest of defense and within the laws of the State of Indiana.
Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed or applied to necessarily require or excuse noncompliance with any provision of the laws of the State of Indiana or to the laws of the United States. This ordinance and the penalties prescribed for violation hereof shall not supersede, but shall supplement all statutes of the State of Indiana or of the United States in which similar conduct may be prohibited or regulated.
Penalty - Any persons violating this ordinance shall be fined the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for a first offense and Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for a second offense.
This Ordinance shall repeal Ordinance 1990-1 and be in full force and effect after its passage, as provided by law.
THIS ORDINANCE was passed and adopted this 2nd - day of April, 2009.
TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF FILLMORE, INDIANA
Jeff Osborn, President (Ward 3)
Alan Jones, Ward 2
Wes Terhune, Ward 1
Wanda Seidler, Clerk/Treasurer