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 Carthage May Hire New Lawyer

May 13, 2009 - With the town's current attorney about to step down to accept a judicial appointment, the Carthage Town Council could soon have new legal counsel. At last Wednesday's regular monthly meeting, attorney Chuck Todd advised council members that he had recently agreed to sell his Cambridge City law practice to a firm based in Richmond. This action was taken in response to the governor's decision in late March to appoint Todd to be judge of Wayne County's Superior Court 1; Todd is expected to take the bench sometime after the first of June.

Todd told the council that the Richmond firm, Boston, Bever, Klinge, Cross & Chidester, is willing to continue representing Carthage under the same terms of the contract the town had with him. Although he has sold his law practice, Todd assured the council that Carthage had not been sold as a client, and that any decision about who represents the town is ultimately up to them.

"You remain in the driver seat," Todd said.

At the request of the council, Todd agreed to set up a meeting between the council and Adam Forrest, the attorney who would represent Carthage for the new firm. "He's a stand-up fellow," Todd said of Forrest. "I feel like he would serve Carthage well."

Todd said that Forrest has served as an assistant attorney for the city of Richmond and that his firm has experience with municipal clients. He also said they have experience with major public works projects like the water improvement project Carthage completed last year and the wastewater improvement project that's about to get underway.

In other business at last week's meeting, the council learned about a new nonprofit organization setting up shop just north of town that will help those in the community who need assistance with food and clothing. The Blue River Community Harvest, Inc., located in the old Premier Automotive building on Carthage Pike, is expected to have its grand opening on June 13, the same day the town and local fire department have set aside for town-wide activities.

Jennifer Cochran and Maury Fouts briefly addressed the council on behalf of BRCH. Both said the group hopes to be an asset to the community, and said they welcome assistance and involvement from churches and other groups and individuals in the community.

"Our job is to feed each other and help each other," Cochran said. She said the BRCH is looking for donations of freezers for food storage and is also collecting waste oil that will be used to help heat the place during colder months.

Jon Query, an engineer with Hannum Wagle & Cline, gave a brief update on the town's upcoming wastewater improvement project. According to a preliminary timeline he provided the council, actual work on the project is not expected to begin until early 2010. Query's firm is expected to begin their design work as soon as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Rural Development obligates funds for the project, which could happen this month.

The council approved spending up to $5,000 to replace a one-inch water line with a new six-inch line along Center Street, between Harrison and Oak streets. Jimmie Alcorn, the town's works manager, said he will contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, which must approve the line extension, to get any needed permits for the work.

A resolution establishing a capital assets ledger for the town received the council's approval at last week's meeting. Todd, who drafted the resolution, said this is being done at the urging of the State Board of Accounts.

The council also approved a resolution establishing a capital improvement plan so that the town would be able to spend any Economic Development Income Tax funds it receives. Three proposed projects identified in the resolution included redoing the town's sidewalks, tree removal and restoration, and refurbishing the town hall exterior.


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