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 State Says It Has Money for K-town

June 24, 2009 - The Knightstown Town Council learned last week that the town may be due to receive as much as $27,000 from a state agency that helped with a town improvement project in the late 1990s.

The town's attorney, Gregg Morelock, shared the good news with the council at their June 18 regular monthly meeting. While he said, the town apparently does owe the Indiana Department of Transportation $18,000 related to Knightstown Improvement Project, he said INDOT actually owes the town $45,000.

The original contract for the KIP was executed in 1995, and, according to Morelock, had been amended two or three times after that to reflect changes in the project and its funding. He said he would check with INDOT to see whether the agency would simply offset what the town owes and pay Knightstown the $27,000 difference, or whether the town will first have to make an $18,000 payment.

In other business last week, the council awarded a fuel contract to VanHoy Oil for the town's police cars. The contract, which runs from July through September, locks in a price of $2.48 a gallon for unleaded fuel.

Jeff VanHoy also discussed with the council the possibility of the town vacating an alley that's adjacent to his bulk oil facility on the north side of town. He said that he would need to use some of the alley property -- which he said had never been paved or used as an alley by the town -- to make needed upgrades to the business. Morelock told the council that VanHoy will need to file a petition with the town requesting that the alley be vacated. Once that's done, he said the council will need to hold a public hearing and then adopt an ordinance vacating the alley if they decide to grant VanHoy's request.

The council also voted to approve a mutual access easement with Norm and Ruthie Bohnert, who had donated property to the town so that the Sunset Park ball diamond's right field fence would match the left field fence in distance. The agreement gives the town a 10-foot onto the Bohnert's property, and provides the Bohnert's with an identical easement on the town's side of the property.

The council rescheduled a public hearing on plans to apply for $45,000 in grant funds to reimburse the town for expenses that resulted from storms that hit in May 2008. Because the town failed to advertise the hearing at least 10 days in advance, as statute requires - notice in The Banner was published on June 17, just one day before the hearing - original plans to hold the hearing during last week's meeting had to be dropped. The hearing will be held at Knightstown Town Hall on Monday, June 29, at 7 p.m.

The council voted to have the town's works manager, Mel Matlock, fill out paperwork that will clear the way for the state to post signs on the Interstate advertising Knightstown attractions, like the Hoosier Gym. Council Vice President Terry Guerin said there will be no cost to the town for the signs.

Council member Steve Nelson advised the council that during recent routine maintenance of the town's water tower, a broken weld was discovered. He said there had been leakage and that there was no choice other than to have the company that was doing the maintenance work repair it.

The council briefly discussed options for protecting the town's investment in police officers the town pays while they are being trained at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Morelock said the council could have officers to sign a reimbursement agreement that would require them to pay back a portion of what the town paid them while they were at the ILEA in the event they don't continue working for the KPD for a set time period.

Knightstown resident Cort Swincher lodged a complaint at the end of the meeting over a recent water bill that showed over 12,000 gallons of use at his residence in one month. He said that over the past three years, his normal monthly usage had been about half that, and questioned whether a leaking water hydrant near his home could have been the cause.

Nelson told Swincher that the fire hydrant should have no effect on his water bill, saying the water meter at Swincher's residence should have no connection to the hydrant. Council members Clyde South and Nelson, who serve on the council's utility committee, said they would discuss the matter with Matlock.

Nelson also advised the council that a citizen had called him and lodged a complaint about parking on South Harrison Street, just south of Main Street. Because the street is so narrow, he said the person had asked if the council would consider making that part of the street a no parking zone.

Guerin asked whether parking in front of Todd Funeral Home needs to be 30-minute parking, and Chief of Police Danny Baker said he didn't think so. South suggested making South Harrison one-way as another option, and Baker told the council he would review the town's parking and traffic ordinances for possible action at a later time.


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