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 Alley Will Remain Open During Car Show

March 5, 2008 - One month after agreeing to close certain roads in town to accommodate a local group's annual summer car show, the Knightstown Town Council has clarified that the closures will not include an alley running between two area businesses just east of the town's public square.

At their February 20 meeting, council members agreed to keep traffic open on part of an east-west alley off Adams Street, just south of the entrance into Marty's Tire & Auto. The request to keep the roadway open during the June 21 car show put on by Make a Difference Knightstown, Inc., and others came from Jerry Jordan, chairman of the American Legion Post 152's board of trustees.

"I understand that (Make a Difference) asked to have the same boundaries that they had used in the past," Jordan said with respect to a vote the council had taken at their Jan. 16 meeting. "As you know, last year at this time, we were not at our present location … at 224 E. Main."

Jordan said that if the east-west alley that runs between the Legion and Marty's is closed to traffic, Legion members and visitors would only be able to reach the building by walking. Noting that there might also be deliveries made to the Legion that day, Jordan asked the council to keep the alley open from Adams Street to the parking lot on the Legion's west side.

Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker told the council that he thought the alley needed to be kept open for emergency access. Council member Steve Nelson said he didn't think the town had any right to close the alley and deny access to the Legion or Marty's.

"That wasn't our intent," council member Terry Guerin said.

"We understand that," Jordan said. "And we understand they need to have some of that blocked off. They do a nice job and it's a good thing for the community, and we're not trying to interfere with that. We're just trying to make sure we have some access for our members to use our facility."

Council President Valerie Trump said the council will send a letter to Make a Difference advising them that the alley will be kept open in accordance with the Legion's request. Nelson remarked that the town had avoided what "could have been an embarrassing situation."

In other business, the council approved a ride-a-long policy for the Knightstown Police Department that will permit officers' family members, students and others to ride in KPD patrol cars, so long as a waiver has been signed. Baker said family members will not be allowed to ride in cars while an officer is on-duty, and Trump clarified that students riding along as part of a career shadowing program would not be allowed to go on emergency runs.

The council passed a resolution entering into an interlocal agreement with the town of Kennard for assistance with the cleaning of that town's sewer mains and storm drains. The council's attorney, David Copenhaver, said he had prepared a similar resolution for the Kennard Town Council to approve. Under the agreement, Kennard will pay a minimum of $100, at $50 an hour, for use of Knightstown's equipment, plus labor costs for the Knightstown employees who run the machinery.

The council took no action at the Feb. 20 meeting on an interlocal agreement between the town and Wayne Township regarding fire protection services. Nelson said Copenhaver had answered some questions that members of the local fire board had and that he hoped the agreement will be ready for the council's consideration by the March 19 meeting.

The council took no action on the Knightstown Chamber of Commerce's request that the town purchase one of two road-spanning Christmas decorations for $1,377. South said he thought there should be competitive bidding, and Guerin said the chamber had looked at a number of vendors and could provide information about cost. Trump said the decorations were not the least expensive, but that the chamber felt they would be best for the town.

Guerin said he wanted to know where the town would get the money to pay for this. He also said he would like to hear more from the chamber about "plans more reaching than just a banner across the street."

Haines told the council she was not aware of the town helping to pay for things like this in the past and the council tabled the matter pending receipt of further information.

In response to concerns about the authorization needed before purchases costing more than $500 can be made, Trump said town department heads would be given council members' cell phone numbers. While purchases over $500 must have the signatures of Haines and at least two council members, Trump said council members will be able to give their initial OK over the phone to expedite purchases that need to be made immediately.

Guerin said a citizen who lives near the Hoosier Gym had contacted him about parking in the area. He said the citizen had requested that people using the gym use the parking area just to the south of the facility, leaving the parking spaces on the street in front of the gym for area residents.

Trump reported that the Jubilee Days parade will be held on Friday evening, May 30. She said it was not being held on Saturday because that's when the high school graduation is scheduled.


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