BOURBON — Bourbon’s Police Department is now at full strength with the hiring of its fifth full-time officer last Tuesday evening.
At its regular monthly meeting, the Town Council voted to hire Matthew Cottrill at a salary of $31,000. After interviewing four candidates, all of whom were well qualified, the Council chose Cottrill, who is a Police Academy graduate and has worked as an officer in the Michigan City department for three years.
Chief Bill Martin also reported that the newly-commissioned police reserve officers (volunteers) were in Phase I of their training, and that all have logged in some duty hours. The department made two felony and 11 misdemeanor arrests in July, and logged 3,007 miles on patrol for the month.
Water Department Superintendent Mike Shoda noted that there was a problem with grass debris in the streets. Residents mow yards with some clippings blowing into the street, which clogs the town’s sewer drains after a rain. Residents will be asked to remove grass clippings and debris from the street in a letter sent with their monthly water bill.
In addition, Town Attorney Mark Wagner will bring the draft of an ordinance enforcing this act to the next council meeting for review. Once the ordinance is in place, it is expected that tickets will be issued for failure to comply. On the continuing business of replacing a lift station, bids for the work went out Aug. 2, and will be available to be opened at the next meeting.
The town, which is heavily involved in the annual SummerFest, was chagrined last weekend when toilets backed up at Community Park where the event is held. Councilman Larry Wattenbarger gave special thanks to Craig Simpson and his company for making an emergency delivery of six portable toilets within an hour of the phone call. It was noted that Simpson’s company also came Sunday morning to clean out the toilets. It was discovered that NIPSCO had ruptured a sewer line when running electricity for the new Kyle’s Koncessions stand.
Councilman PJ Hanley raised a concern about an open pit where a sewer line is being repaired on the edge of Harris Street on the residence at 207 E. Pine St. (corner of Pine and Harris). Since Triton Elementary School has implemented a new policy this year requiring students to cross the playground and walk down Harris Street, he is concerned that children might play in the hole and get hurt. Bill Keyser, Code Enforcement officer, said it falls vaguely under the nuisance ordinance. He will contact the homeowner requesting that the hole at least be covered. Hanley also pointed out that town sidewalks were in bad shape, and needed to be repaired, especially on Main Street downtown. It was noted that this work would have to wait until the next fiscal year, since the tree/sidewalk fund is depleted.
Keyser also reported on the notice given the owner of the former Bourbon News Mirror building that it must be repaired or removed. The firm of 3D Structural Solutions will handle repairs in the fall. He said that it is not known when exactly and what repairs will be made to the building, which is entirely missing a rear wall.
The Council approved Bourbon’s participation in an area emergency management plan formulated by the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency. The plan coordinates responses to disasters and emergencies by county fire, police, and EMT agencies.
Kim Berger, town clerk/treasurer, noted that a public hearing on the new budget proposal will be held Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. as required by law.
A representative of Umbaugh and Associates will be present at the next Council meeting to discuss their recommendation on a storm drain fund.
Street Department Superintendent Roger Terry reported that the new leaf pick-up equipment has arrived. He requested permission to get rid of the old leaf machine and an old patch buggy.
It was decided that Wattenbarger, a local auctioneer with Ball Auction and Realty, would place the items in an upcoming auction.
Terry reported that the road paving, which originally was to be coordinated with paving at Triton Jr./Sr. High School, will now be started Sept. 1.
The brief meeting adjourned without further business.