(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell City Council approved the 2012 estimate budget at their meeting Tuesday night.
"We were looking at giving city employees a 2 percent increase this year, but that is not going to happen," said Mitchell Mayor Dan Terrell "With concerns of a 20 to 30 percent increase in insurance costs we had to cancel out raises."
The total estimate budget approved was $2,271,499. The maximum estimated funds to be raised by the city, including appeals and levies exempt from maximum levy limitations, is $1,263,000. The current tax levy is $1,144,710.
The council also approved the city employee's salary ordinance.
"There were no changes," Terrell said. "It is the same as last year."
In other business the council:
* Approved the American Legion Riders to hold a roadblock on Oct. 8 at the 4-points intersection. The Riders are raising money for the Cloth-A-Child program.
* Approved to make the alley at the First Baptist Church one way. Drivers would enter on 8th Street travel east and exit on 7th Street.
* Heard concerns from Tammi Milligan that police needed to make extra patrols during school lunch hours because of students fighting and vandalizing property.
"We have 30 to 40 students gathering in the church parking lot causing fights and my concern is with the city police not doing their job," Milligan said. "I was told by an officer that the city police don't do their job, because they are afraid of loosing their jobs. This officer said he was told by his superior not to do his job. These officers have taken an oath to protect and serve and they should be doing that."
She suggested the school stop the open campus lunch program or police "beef up" patrols.
Mitchell Police Chief Jerry Presnell said he never gave any order to his officer not to perform their duties and he would address the issue with his officers.
He also added that he personally is at the school every day before school begins, during lunch hours and after school.
"I'm in the parking lot of the church every day in an unmarked black car," he said. "We break up a lot of fights and stop a lot before they happen. I am there, unless there is an emergency call or I have a meeting to attend. I have tried since I've become chief to get the open campus stopped."
* Heard residents concern on vacating a portion of Home Avenue. Bobby Henderson asked the board to vacate the unused alley to the adjacent homeowners.
But Lana Duncan, whose property boarders the alley has concerns about being able to up keep the property once she is given it.
"It is over-grown and is a swamp area when it rains," she said. "I am also concerned about the increases it may cause to my property taxes. I don't know if I want to be responsible for that."
Duncan asked the board to allow her time to talk the situation over with Henderson and see if they could come to an understanding.
*Heard concerns of flooding to businesses located on in the area of Fifth and Sixth and Warren streets. Kenny Hutchison, owner of an ice cream shop, said flooding has been so bad he has had to sand bag the front of his store so it doesn't flood.
Dave and Kathy Watson, whose laundromat is located on Warren Street, have similar issues.
Terrell said the flooding is caused because Hoosier Uplands black topped their parking area, making the property higher, so the rain water runs downhill.
"Drainage has been a problem for 30-years in Mitchell," Terrell said. "It's a big problem and I understand your concerns, but there is just no money in the budget to do anything about it."
Plus Terrell said it is illegal to pipe water onto another person's property.
"I can't and won't put the city at risk," Terrell added.
Terrell said he would have engineers from MidWest Engineering meet with business owners and see if a solution to the problem was possible.
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