Council readies for lengthy vacant building cleanup
ROACHDALE -- In front of a packed room, the Roachdale Town Council addressed a number of lingering issues on Tuesday night.
Council member Zach Bowers presented a list of five vacant properties that he believes are priorities in the effort to clean up the town.
Clerk-treasurer Martha Louk has taken that list, which includes 302 E. Columbia, 204 W. Railroad, 206 West St., 500 N. Indiana and 209 N. East St., to the courthouse and located the owner of each property.
The plan now, town attorney Dave Peebles said, is to begin issuing unsafe building orders, enforcing town ordinances and issuing deadlines for cleanup.
When members of the community pressed for more immediate action, Bowers reassured them that although they are working to resolve the issue, there is "not an overnight" solution.
An update will be provided on Sept. 11 at the regular meeting.
The town council also discussed passing a water usage ban.
Council members, on the recommendation of town employees, decided it was not necessary to pass the ban, but with the ongoing drought and a burn ban already in place, the water usage ban will remain an option.
Were it to pass, residents would be forbidden from using a sprinkler for their lawns, washing their cars, filling swimming pools and using fire hydrants for any purpose beyond fire suppression.
The drought has had another impact in town: with no rain, it has become impossible to test the storm sewers for possible leaks.
That has left the town still unsure about its role in a pollution concern on the north side of Roachdale that occurred in April.
In other business:
- The council passed ordinance 8-2012, which bans exhaust and engine breaks within town limits. Signs will be purchased and installed on all roads that lead into town.
A first offense will be a warning, followed by fines of $50 (second offense) and $100 (all subsequent offenses).
- The council held a first reading for the 2013 budget, which will be voted on in September. The council also agreed to lower its existing 2012 budget by more than $20,000, which Bowers said will hopefully allow the town to have more funds available in 2013 and beyond.
- Bowers is hoping to have a new town website, www.townofroach-dale.org, in operation by next month.