Repair projects top Larwill council agenda

   LARWILL - The town’s 2011 budget has been established and was approved by council members Thursday evening in the amount of $94,619.
   “Only increases made for 2011 were outlook of possibly having construction or de-construction of a home and at least $9,000 for any other expenses which may arise,” clerk-treasurer Renee Sills said. “We would have to use the money that is intended for the capital outlay and rainy day funds.”
   The budget adoption has already been published and will be effective at the Sept. 9 meeting which begins at 7 p.m. in the town hall.
   “No raises for any employees or council members and nothing really raised just budgeted for the maybe situations we may have,” Sills said.
   In old business, a broken flow meter on Larwill’s sewer system was discussed. The meter which measures how much sewage pumps from Larwill to Pierceton is up to 15 years old and has malfunctioning parts, so it needs to be replaced at a cost of $5,250, or $2,775 just to repair the old meter. The town council’s plan to purchase a pickup truck in the near future will possibly have to be put on hold until this issue is resolved.
   “I don’t know anything about sewer rates, but updating with new technology will be better and the new sewer meter will be protected by some type of warranty,” Hobbs said. “I suggest we make a motion to buy a new one due to the age of the old one.”
   The council agreed to pay the $5,250 in order to replace the old meter.
   In May a complete sewer inspection was performed on the property located at 207 S. Center Street. A representative with Roto-Rooter, along with the Board of Health, put a camera in the sewer line and noticed a slight separation or settling of the line leading to the residence. Going downstream, there was an area in which there was no drainage and the line basically flooded. It was then verified that water was coming from the house when water was being used.
   After several lengthy tests, it was determined there is no dirt in the town’s main line. Since the property owner was not present at the May meeting, town attorney Greg Hockemeyer wrote a letter to the homeowners which outlined permits, inspections and current verification of improper connection.
   With the county already approving the line, Hockemeyer said it may be acceptable to the council, but they (town) could confirm with the county.
   “It would be my suggestion that the town accept this as evidence of an adequate connection,” Hockemeyer said. “It’s not ideal, but this is up to the town to say it is OK.”
   “I am okay with it if Scott Wagner (the county’s environmental health specialist) was there and seen it, that is good enough for me,” council member Phil Cameron said.
   Unsure how to handle the entire situation, the council has tabled this issue until the next meeting.
   Town employee Larry Sechrist will soon apply a fresh new coat of paint on the tornado tower.
   In other business, a broken window at the town hall has been replaced by Quality Glass in the amount of $431.93, with $200 of this amount going toward the insurance deductible, leaving a balance of $231.93, which was paid by the insurance company.
   “Hopefully this broken window was just an accident,” said council president Rick Hobbs.
   With no community feedback for the Citizen of the Year award, the council agreed to re-visit this award next year.
   In new business, several complaints of 4-wheelers riding around town is a concern as one particular 4-wheeler, which has been spotted by numerous individuals, is riding with three (sometimes four) young juveniles around town and on St. Rd. 5.
   “Four-wheeler laws fall under state statues and residents need to call the sheriff’s department when they see this,” Hobbs said.
   With police officer Scott Smith in attendance, he explained that any Larwill resident who witnesses this particular 4-wheeler (or any 4-wheelers who may be violating the law) to call the sheriff’s department and an officer will be on hand immediately to correct this reckless behavior.
   “I know these 4-wheelers cannot be on state roads,” Smith said. “I take offense when I hear that people call in and complain about this, and then I listen to the recorded phone tape and there is no complaint on it.”
   Smith reassured the council that once a call is made to the sheriff’s department, an officer will respond to the call. You must be over the age of 18 to drive a 4-wheeler and also be a licensed driver.
   Town attorney Greg Hockemeyer explained a few details on the golf cart ordinance for South Whitley and Columbia City which has many limitations such as the number of individuals on the golf cart, a  license, and lights must be on the cart.
   Hobbs commended the town employees for a job well done regarding maintenance issues within the town. Potholes in all the alleys within Larwill will also be repaired in the next few weeks by town employee Fred Stoffel.
   “I’ve had three people in the last month come and say how much nicer the town looks,” Hobbs said. “Like painting on sidewalks and the grass looks good, they said it looks like things are being taken care of.”
   The next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9.