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 Carthage Council Waives Tap-on Fee for Church

December 5, 2007 - The Carthage Town Council recently voted to waive a $1,500 water utility tap-on fee for a local church.

At the council's November 19 meeting, Dennis Muncy, speaking for Fletcher United Methodist Church, said the church wants to move its water connection to East Street from Walnut Street to address a leakage issue. With recent water bills of $280 and $230, he said the church preferred moving its service rather than digging up their parking lot to look for a leak.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of waiving the tap-on fee, and the town's works manager, Jimmy Alcorn, said he would try to get to the job the following week, weather permitting. The council's sixth member, Wanda Henderson, was not in attendance.

Clerk-Treasurer Linda McMahan told the council a local business owner had called earlier that day complaining that Carthage police officers were "stalking his business" and stopping his customers once they leave his establishment. Town Marshal Mike Onkst said he thought his department had only stopped about six people in the past year who had just left this particular business.

Onkst said a woman who had left this business the night before was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and tested close to twice the legal limit. He said he didn't know what the complaining business owner's relationship was to the person who was arrested, but said his officers had acted professionally and followed the law.

Onkst introduced two new reserve officers, Brandon Ashley and Brad Rogers, to the council, and said he expects both to be "huge assets" to the Carthage Police Department. A dog Onkst had hoped to have trained for law enforcement use, however, did not work out.

"He's going to be more of a family pet than anything," Onkst said. With a propensity for biting, Onkst said he thought the dog might be more of a liability to the town. He will continue looking for another, more suitable dog, and plans to attend a five-week police canine training course in February.

Onkst told the council the CPD finally received the passwords needed to use a laptop computer the department received from Rush County last year. After the hard drive is removed or erased, he said the department's old computer will be ready to be donated.

It was announced that Reith-Riley Construction planned to donate concrete for a 20 ft. by 40 ft. skateboarding area at McNabb Park and that Buster Souder will make some accessory equipment to install there. The council OK'd purchase of a truckload of sand to put down beneath the concrete, and McMahan reported that other park equipment was also expected to arrive soon.

The council approved the purchase of new tires for the town truck Alcorn drives. Alcorn was also given permission to spend up to $300 on insulated coveralls for himself and two other town employees.

Council member Tim Wehr asked council member Rob Cooper if he had finished moving. Cooper said he had, and in response to a question from Wehr's wife, Abbie, Cooper disclosed his new address as 301 N. Main St.

The Carthage Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, to address financing issues for the town's water utility improvement project. This meeting is open to the public and will be held at Carthage Town Hall, 6 W. First St. Due to the holidays, the council will hold its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 17.


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