Larwill property returned to habitable status

LARWILL — Chief Inspector Craig Wagner with the Whitley County Planning and Building Department was in attendance at the Larwill Town Council meeting last Thursday to provide updates on the property located at 202 North Center Street. The property was evacuated last spring due to several violations of the town’s unsafe building ordinance.Owner of the unsafe structure is Ralph Fitch, who has been represented by Katrina Osterman Wagner presented pictures of the flue and fuel source for the structure which is satisfactory, along with the floor completed. Council agreed that the written complaint is now complete.Council president Rick Hobbs questioned Fitch if the structure would be used as a one-unit rental or storage.“One rental unit,” Fitch said.Wagner advised the council that the unit could be turned into a two-unit rental with additional work.“It only has one electrical panel and two units take two panels,” Wagner said. “A lot of work to convert to two units.”With bids for demolition of the property in process and opened at the January meeting, the council voted to reject all bids since all repairs have been competed as requested. In old business, the town’s sewer ordinance has been amended and approved by council members, which will include an official inspection, along with an installation fee when the initial application is filled out by the homeowner. “The owners (of the new sewage hook-up) will bear the cost including, but not limited to, the cost of inspection of services,” Hockemeyer said at the January meeting. “The town now has the right to inspect before the line is covered. I have substantially changed this (sewer ordinance).”In other business, four bids were received on the annual garbage contract, with council members voting unanimously for Sweetheimer, which offered the lowest bid.With the current snow removal contract expiring in April, council members will be soliciting bids for next year. Included in the new contract will be lift station areas and in front of the town hall.Four to six no-through truck signs will soon be posted on 100 North (coming off of U.S. 30), along with McLelland and North Streets. These signs will prohibit large trucks from going down these particular streets. Emergency vehicles will be exempt from the restriction.The town is having dog issues, with two children being bitten by a pit bull. The sheriff’s department was called to the scene and a report was filed with the dog now under quarantine for rabies. “It’s a felony offense to not have proof of vaccination,” town attorney Greg Hockemeyer said. The town’s nuisance ordinance states that no person (owner, harboring or having the care of a vicious or fierce dog) shall suffer or permit such animal to go unconfined and run at large. Also noted was the town’s (and state) leash law.The next meeting is at 7 p.m. on March 8.