Cloverdale Council members address utilities and crime

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CLOVERDALE -- In a meeting that addressed several old issues, the Cloverdale Town Council maintained composure and made several decisions on Wednesday.

Utility Manger Rich Saucerman updated the board in hopes of resolving several issues that have been brought up to the board in recent meetings.

Saucerman presented the board with a revised list for equipment rentals. The revision includes a 20 percent increase on most items, however some items may include a bit larger increase.

This will be the first change to the pricing since 2008.

The council was also presented with the status of Stardust Road, which Don Gedert previously asked to be looked into.

Saucerman noted that the road was breaking off in a few places, especially at the East and West entrances of Value Market.

"It's on their property, but if something is not done it will begin to damage our roads," said Saucerman.

The town advised Saucerman to contact Value Market and inform them that its entrances needed to be fixed or legal action would be pursued if they do not comply.

Saucerman also inspected Lazy River and Cool Evening roads for previous drainage issues. However, the town decided to have an engineer look at the situation.

A recent call from Lori Young, engineer with Robert E. Curry & Associates in Danville, put one more obstacle in the town's path as they are now required to produce a model of the lift station to be built with the recently awarded grant money.

The DNR would like a model of the lift station because it will be located in a flood zone.

The town must pay for it at a cost of $8,000.

"It is a requirement," said Sublett. "We can't get away from it."

The town will look into seeing if the grant will fund this project.

Building Inspector Mark Cassida once again addressed the town's issues with Smyser. Currently, the town is awaiting payment in nearly $2,500 worth of fines that have been racked up since May 18.

Cassida along with Yackey will be going to court in hopes of reaching yet another agreement on the 603 S. Main St. house.

"He has stopped working," said Cassida. "This has been going on nearly two and a half years."

Smyser currently owns 16 properties in Cloverdale, many of which the town has taken him to court over.

"Before he started (working) the place was a death trap," said Yackey. "At some point your patience will just run out."

A new legislation will be making this more formal for the town of Cloverdale in regard to billing issues.

Due to the recent judgment on Crothersville's utilities the town will soon have to adopt this new ruling, which changes the way bill penalties and disconnects are conducted.

Currently, Saucerman handles most issues regarding utilities as far as water main breaks and bill discrepancies. However, this new ruling will put the power in the clerk/treasure's hands.

If there would be a challenge to a bill, or a disconnect, residents will now be required to submit written notification to Galloway.

Galloway would then look at the records and determine if the town will be following up with any action.

"If she said 'No, you didn't pay the bill,' they (the resident) would have the opportunity to file a written appeal to the town council," said Yackey. "This now has to be a formalized process. Under the court ruling the party has to be given notice of this right to appeal."

This process will most likely go into effect following next month's meeting as they are waiting to approve a formal document written by Yackey.

Galloway updated the board on the status of several lingering issues.

For the police car, which was totaled back in February, the town has received $25,715. This money will be put into the general fund.

The roof at the firehouse, which was recently damaged by hailstorms, has been fixed. The cost totaled $19,469.27. The town will pay the fire department $1,000 toward this cost.

As the Tuesday meeting concluded, one resident, Charlotte Ponder, came before the council in hopes of gaining approval to start a crime watch.

"Right now there are a lot of people who are very scared," explained Ponder. "They are buying guns and I don't want nobody killed."

Ponder, who currently has been doing the duties of a crime watch on her own in her neighborhood, has already caught several thieves in the act.

"There's been lots of breaking into cars," Ponder said. "This is something that needs to be stopped. I will continue to go on the three streets."

The three streets Ponder currently patrols during the late evening and early morning hours are Lewis, Anna and Dianna.

After catching a thief red-handed stealing items off a resident's porch, neighbors are on high alert. However, having a town organized crime watch would require setting up rules and regulations along with insurance, for which the town just doesn't have the funding.

Many of the council members also explained their apprehension on the issue, especially after what happened in the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.

"We just want you to be aware of what's going on," said Ponder. "If it was your neighborhood you would want one, too."

Although the town decided against the approval of an organized crime watch, Ponder stated that she will continue her current efforts, but pleaded for more police support in the neighborhoods.

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  • Thank you, Charlotte Ponder! Cloverdale has other good citizens who are working to make Cloverdale as safe as possible!

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Thu, Jun 14, 2012, at 11:26 AM
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