Town passes rule for safebuildings

Thursday, February 1, 2007
A large group of Indianapolis Colts fans gathered in Greencastle City Hall for the proclamation of Blue Friday in the city. The first 100 people to visit city hall on Friday can enjoy a Colts cake and blue Gatorade in support of the Super Bowl-bound Colts. City hall opens at 8 a.m.

A new town ordinance will assist the Russellville Town Council with making buildings safe once again for inhabitants.

Council President Sally McAfee presented Ordinance 2007-1, an ordinance providing for the inspection, repair, or removal of unsafe buildings within the town, to the rest of the council members during Tuesday's meeting. This ordinance was created by Putnam County Planning Director Kim Hyten.

According to the ordinance, an "unsafe building means any building or structure which has any or all of the conditions or defects hereinafter described, provided that such conditions or defects exist to the extent that life, health, property, or safety of the public or its occupants are endangered."

McAfee said within the ordinance, the council must establish the unsafe building law for the town under Indiana Code 36-7-9.

The ordinance states that "all buildings or portions thereof within the County of Putnam which are determined after inspection by the Building Commissioner to be unsafe as defined in this ordinance are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated by repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal."

The ordinance also provides an description of what is considered an unsafe building under Indiana Code 36-7-9-4. One description of how a building or structure can be considered unsafe is "whenever the building or structure, or any portion thereof, because of (1) dilapidation, deterioration, or decay; (2) faulty construction; (3) the removal, movement, or instability or any portion of the ground necessary for the purpose of supporting such building; (4) the deterioration, decay, or inadequacy of its foundation; or (5) any other cause, is likely to partially or completely collapse."

McAfee said that the ordinance would cover the hotel and the two buildings next to the town hall on Harrison Street. McAfee was reminded that the hotel was going up for auction at the sheriff's sale.

"We need this," McAfee said.

The council approved the ordinance.

The council also discussed the date and time of the regular monthly meetings in the town hall. Some council members had scheduling conflicts and were unable to keep the meeting date to the second Thursday of the month.

The council decided to go with the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.

In other business, the council:

  • Swore in Don Reddish as the new council member. Reddish took over the seat vacated by Scot Bushong.

  • Heard water report update from Mike Varvel. Varvel informed the council he is waiting for good weather to install the flushing hydrant on well two and the valves to isolate the plant.

    Varvel also said he had found all the equipment to upgrade the computer system. This should make the system a lot more dependable, and Varvel believes the price, $1,800, is quite reasonable. The council approved the purchasing of computerized upgrade.

  • Approved the general 2007 election contract with the county. Offices up for election this year are members of the council and clerk-treasurer. Those wishing to file for an office must do so before noon on Friday, Feb. 23 in the Putnam County Clerk's Office.

  • Received a letter from Co-Alliance saying the town had been identified as an entity that was purchasing fuel from the company. Council member Jim Rodgers said the town has never purchased fuel from Co-Alliance. But the council will compare the costs from Co-Alliance to the costs the town currently pays.

  • Corrected Ordinance 2006-14, the salary ordinance. The errors were due to typing mistakes. The council corrected the mistakes and initialed the corrections on the original.

  • Approved second reading of Ordinance 2006-15 which rescinds Ordinance 2006-12, "establishing a water rate for rental properties with multiple units that have only one or two water lines servicing the property."

  • Approved McAfee to stay council president.

  • Discussed listening to a meeting with R. Curry and Associates and the water/sewer board to discuss the feasibility of Russellville and Waveland running on the same water system. This would mean the town would no longer by a water plant operator, but rather a water distribution operator.

    The next regular meeting is set for Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the town hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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