Oolitic Town Council members discussed multiple updates

OOLITIC – During the Oolitic Town meeting on Monday night, the council discussed multiple topics and upcoming events for the town.

Councilman Jon Broglin shared the update to utilities including the update on the new water meters. Last month the town had received 108 meters awaiting to be installed, and now all meters have been delivered. The anticipated installation will begin the week of December 6th.

These meters have a wide range that can be read by the software on tablets and computers for the town and can accurately read almost half from the front steps of Town Hall, if necessary. Crews can drive past each home and have an accurate reading from each device without having to leave the vehicle.

Councilman Jon Broglin

The reading will include the number on the meter and the corresponding customer number to that meter number, to more accurately read customer water usage which will avoid misreading.

What the meters look like disassembled

As a part of the new meters, some of the old meter locations will need to be updated to fit the new system. There is still a need to order 250 new lids to better equip the meters, and Councilman Broglin put a motion on the floor to pay $9,000 to Utility Supplies in Evansville for this service. He will check to see if the funds can be used from the ARP money that has been approved for the town. This motion was approved by the council.

Councilman Broglin also put a motion on the floor that was not well received by all council members. The clarifiers at the water treatment plant continue to get clogged by fallen leaves from the surrounding tree line around the property.

The Town has received an offer from Shane Christenberry of $3,800 to cut the trees down and leave them where they lie to keep the leaves from clogging up the system.

Councilman John Dillon shared his concern in regards to causing other issues with leaving the trees after they are taken down. The issue of rotting wood, or harvesting a new home for snakes were among his concerns, which were warranted by other council members.

The motion was withdrawn to be tabled for the December meeting; However, due to concern of having to pay more or even the issue with potential snow by the time of the next meeting, Council President Tangie Jenkins put the motion back on the floor. The motion was accepted 4-1 with Councilman Dillon voting against, due to wanting to discuss the issue further.

A motion was then put in place by Councilman Broglin in regards to the town dump truck that had been approved to be sent in for repairs to better equip the truck for winter months. The F-800 truck could not be properly equipped to be used as a snow plow as initially intended, but an offer from Harrison Concrete to purchase the vehicle as services rendered by the company was made.

The motion was to sell the truck for $6,559.28, and would take care of the $1,919.28 for the service to fix the truck and make it operational. This motion was approved by the council.

Councilman Dillon shared the update to the Town Fire Department with the inclusion of the NARCAN® box that was installed for individuals to anonymously use in the case of emergency. The council as a whole is pleased with this development, although replenishing the box fast enough is the only concern.

The final motion on the floor came from Councilman Broglin to make Town Hall more ADA compliant. An issue that has been ongoing for individuals is the inability for disabled community members to get to the drop box to pay their bills.

Some have had to call the building for assistance or handing the payment to the water utilities department to someone who can get down the stairs.

The motion called for installation of a drop box to be set near the curb in front of Town Hall for individuals to be able to drop their payments off, in a secure and locked service. The amount for this weatherproof option is in the range of $400 to $450 depending on taxes and installation. This motion was accepted by the council unanimously.

Councilman Broglin also called for amendments to a few town ordinances to give the town more “teeth” when it comes to individuals maintaining their properties.

According to town ordinance, the sidewalk in the front of community members homes are to be maintained by the homeowners. This would include the weeds or vegetation that grows in the cracks of the sidewalk.

Broglin asked to include the stipulation and wording that individuals are required to maintain the sidewalks and the weeds or growth of any vegetation. Should the homeowners fail to maintain these weeds or vegetation growth, a notice will be served and fines may be implemented.

The second amendment was set to include verbiage of how the notices or fines could be served. According to the town ordinance, the Clerk Treasurer was responsible for delivering notices and fines for those who have failed to comply with town ordinances. The amendment will include the wordage “The Clerk Treasurer or their designee, the Town Marshal or their designee and the Deputy Town Marshal or their designee can serve written notices to community members.” These amendments were both accepted by the council.

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Deputy Town Marshal James Harrington, when he was sworn in on October 21, 2021

Deputy Town Marshall James Harrington reviewed the K-9 unit calls for service during the period of November 2nd to November 25th. The 246 calls included:

  • One alarm
  • One arrest warrant served
  • 23 agencies assisted Oolitic, with seven assists from Oolitic to other agencies
  • Responded to two burglaries
  • 14 K-9 deployments with alerts, two deployments without alerts
  • Two citations were issued
  • Four case numbers assigned
  • Four Criminal Cases issued to Lawrence County Prosecutors office
  • One driving while suspended infraction
  • One driving while suspended with prior infraction
  • One subject taken to IU Health Bedford for mental evaluation
  • 14 drug investigations
  • 8 drug seizures
  • One medical assist
  • Two motorist assists
  • One OVWI investigation with an arrest, One OVWI without arrest
  • Assisted with search warrant, with K-9 alerting on a vehicle with 108.93 grams of methamphetamine seized from vehicle

Lastly, a building permit was requested by Devin Jones to build a tiny home at 312 Indiana Avenue. Utilities are lined up properly and the dimensions of the home are 12 feet by 30 feet, one floor built on a dug up and firm foundation and would be made of wood. This request was approved by the council.