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 Carthage Drops Local Insurer After 30 Years

December 3, 2008 - The Carthage Town Council recently voted to drop a local insurance agent who had represented the town for over 30 years.

During a special meeting on Nov. 19, the council voted to replace Lowell French of French Insurance Agency, the town’s agent since 1977, with Tyler Edon of Greenfield agency Pence Low & Brooks. The change was to take place Dec. 1.

Edon told the council he could get the town 12 months of coverage for $19,343 through Selective Insurance, a slightly lower price than what French was able to offer. The town is expected to receive a prorated refund from French, who had already been paid a full year’s premium through May of 2009.

The council also held a public hearing on Nov. 19 with respect to two unsafe residential properties, located at 202 E. First St. and 309 E. Fifth St. Attorney Leigh Morning addressed the council on behalf of property owners William “Randy” Chandler and Sherry Chandler, who were not in attendance.

Morning advised the council that the Chandlers had divorced about 15 years ago and Sherry Chandler no longer had any ownership interest in the properties. She said that Randy Chandler, however, had not recorded deeds reflecting this change.

Bob Bullock, Carthage’s building inspector, issued orders in early November, requiring the problems on the two properties to be addressed by Dec. 6. The orders called for the residence on East First Street to be torn down and removed, and the same thing for the one on East Fifth Street unless extensive repairs are made.

Council members voted at the Nov. 19 meeting to give Randy Chandler until Dec. 19 to comply with the order for the house at 202 E. First St. They also voted to give him two weeks to board up the house at 309 E. Fifth St. and agreed to hold a continuation of the public hearings on the two properties on Dec. 17.

In other business, Council President Rick Bush reported that he and council member Jack Taylor had met the day before with Chief Boyd Duncan of the Carthage Volunteer Fire Department and CVFD member Mike Erwin. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues related to the renewal of the town’s fire protection contract with the CVFD.

Bush said he and Taylor had learned that the fire department had not filed tax returns since 2004, something that complicated their efforts to learn more about the department’s financial standing. He also said he doesn’t think it’s fair that the town pays more for fire protection than Ripley Township does when the CVFD makes more fire runs in the township than in the town.

Another issue Bush said the town needs to resolve with the CVFD is the fire department’s practice of selling water to fill up swimming pools. Bush said the CVFD charges $100 for this service, but that the town’s clerk-treasurer, Linda McMahan, has no record that the department has been paying the town for the water its selling.


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