Survey ends property question

SOUTH WHITLEY — Repairs to the Green Parrot’s exposed wall are finally on the horizon.Town attorney Greg Hockemeyer revealed the results of a property survey to town council members Tuesday evening. The survey was to determine if the existing building encroached on neighboring property. The ongoing property line dispute is holding up completion of ordered repair on an exposed wall in the downtown business. Hockemeyer ordered a survey in January to determine the property line before repairs can be made.Randy and Linda Striggle are the owners of the Green Parrot and Betty Deaton is the owner of the property where a former storage building sat for the Hicks and Deaton Hardware. Gary Hicks, Deaton’s son-in-law, is representing her in the discussions. The Green Parrot and the former storage building shared a common wall. Since demolition, the southern wall of the Green Parrot has been exposed.In November it came to the attention of the board that there was question as to where the property line ran. The council was told the line may well divide the approximately six-inch wall, with part of it belonging to Striggle and part to Deaton. “The survey basically shows (at the ground level) that there is no encroachment on the existing Green Parrot building onto the Royce and Betty Deaton property. Now that is at ground level,” Hockemeyer said. “The building leans and I think at the farthest point over (above ground) it is over eight-tenths of a foot onto the other property, now this doesn’t cause a problem or encroachment in a technical sense, but it does, however, mean that as far as the Deaton property, they don’t have any responsibility for the remaining structure there.”Unfortunately, in order to make the building safe, one of the proposals called for drawing a plumb line from the farthest leaning point down, and buttressing the property giving it a straight wall which would cause encroachment.“This would not work unless there is property purchased between owners,” Hockemeyer said. “There are other possibilities to try and straighten that building, I’m suggesting the council go ahead and set a deadline to have the building brought into compliance with the order which has already been issued.”If there is no compromise made between the property owners by the next scheduled meeting, the council will issue a repair deadline with no exceptions.“There is hope they (Striggles and Deaton) may work this out,” council president John Dunn said.In new business, council member Joan Eberhart was contacted by Kim Balser, who is a member of the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, regarding the tenth annual community wide garage sale, which is set for April 30. “Kim Balser contacted me and would like to have a two-day focus on the annual garage sale this year because some people start on Friday too,” Eberhart said. “They (Whitley County Chamber of Commerce) would like to call it the South Whitley Annual Garage Sale and Craft Festival and would like to have permission to have vendors on Mulberry Street, with Mulberry closed on Friday, as well as Saturday.”Town utilities manager Dennis Eberhart and council vice president Tonya Warner questioned how much power would be needed, stating that Front Street might be an option for vendors.“We need to know if they (Whitley County Chamber of Commerce) want a lot of power, and if so, Front Street is better,” Warner said. “We are not against it at all, we just need some clarification as far as power.” In old business, a drainage problem on property located at 212 Collamer Road was (again) discussed as engineer David Harvey of Fleis and Vandenbrink continues to evaluate the situation. With an easement for existing discharge and a pond located on Ruckman’s property, Harvey suggested that a pipe be routed into the pond with any overflow going directly into the Eel River.“By chance, I was able to get out there (Ruckman residence) last week and performed a survey,” Harvey said. “By the end of this week or next, I will have a design.”In other business, Alan Tio with The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is meeting with town council members today to discuss making Hathaway Industrial Park, located on the north side of town a shovel-ready site.Duke Energy has committed to $5,000 toward the project, and the town has agreed to invest $5,000 as well, along with authorization on a survey, studies and soil samples. Tio is planning to attend the March 8 town council meeting in order to discuss the project in detail.