Fillmore Town Council tackles variety of items on agenda
FILLMORE -- In its last regular meeting of 2018, the Fillmore Town Council quickly addressed a variety of issues Thursday evening.
The first concerned a Community Crossings matching grant that would support repairs on streets which urgently need them. The total construction cost amounts to just over $24,500 to repave sections from First Street from a dead end to Putnam Street, as well as all of North Street from East Street to Main Street. The state awarded a little over $18,380 toward the project in the 75-25 percent split, meaning that the town would pay about $6,126. As the award is a preliminary one, town officials did not take any action with regard to the grant.
The council also briefly revisited a recent proposal by Greencastle Mayor Bill Dory about installing a tank to introduce a corrosion-deterring chemical called hydrogen sulfide. Dory provided at the council’s November meeting that it would lengthen the lifespan of the sewage line between Fillmore and Greencastle, which is connected to a lift station on Westlane Road.
At that time, council members had expressed concern about potential environmental and health hazards that could arise from a spill, given that the proposed location for the tank was tentatively situated near a creek. Dory said he would provide a data sheet that detailed what those hazards could be; however, the council had not received it prior to Thursday’s meeting. Town Attorney Jeff Boggess related that he had read the sheet, which said the chemical was benign and posed little threat.
However, Boggess also said he had consulted with the mayor, saying that the city was now considering installing the tank at a lift station within its limits. He said the city was currently in communication with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) about the chemical’s impact, and that the location was still being determined.
The council next followed up on a previous discussion regarding the town’s prospects to establish its own zoning requirements. The council began to consider this move due to ongoing concerns with vacant housing within the town, as well as having a more robust relationship with county zoning officials. County Attorney Jim Ensley suggested that the council could either follow zoning modeled after that in Bainbridge or adopt an unsafe building ordinance.
Council President C.J. Huller said he had found an old unsafe building ordinance in town records which could be reinstated. However, he and the council recognized the ordinance will need rewritten to bring it up to date with the town’s needs. As an example, the ordinance called for the council president to make decisions on unsafe property. Huller believed someone with construction experience other than the president should make those decisions.
The council also discussed where the responsibility lies with regard to road repairs needed on Hendricks Street. Town Maintenance Director Joe Cash inquired whether the nearby Fillmore Christian Church or the town would be responsible for the repair, given that the work would take place at the church parking lot entrance. The council could not provide a direct answer, saying more input would be needed before the work could be done.
Cash also said he had switched to using only salt to treat icy roads, instead of using a sand-salt mix.
Additionally, the council publicly announced that rates for use of water utilities would increase with the next billing. The increase was approved at an earlier meeting. The rates will be posted at the Fillmore Town Hall.
The council also provided that all town ordinances and meeting minutes are available at the Town Hall, and are open for comments by residents at the monthly meetings.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Fillmore Town Hall.