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Mitchell Officials Discuss Roadblocks
Updated May 5, 2013 1:09 AM
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(MITCHELL) - Mitchell City officials discussed adopting new rules for roadblocks.

No decisions were made Monday night.

Concerns about safety, the number of road blocks held, and who is hosting them were discussed.

Councilman Everett Ferrell says he received two complaints from last weekend's roadblock.

"Two customers said they would not be back because of the roadblocks," Ferrell told the council.

Councilwoman Nancy Miller added several motorists complained they received "dirty looks" if they didn't donate.

"It is an issue that needs examined," said Mayor Gary Pruitt.

Ideas of holding a lottery, or limiting the numbers of roadblocks a group holds, or limiting the roadblocks to just 4-points were discussed.

Eddie McLain, who helps organize the Hillbilly Race told the council many of these groups depend on those funds.

"The Hillbilly Race depends on those funds," he says. "Without them it would be devastating and I know other groups depend on them too."

Councilwoman Vicky Schlegle told McLain the council didn't want to stop the roadblocks, but they did need to address the issue.

"We want to support our local organizations," she says. "That is not the issue. There are safety concerns and the concerns of local citizens that need to be addressed."

In other business:

The council adopted an ordinance to allow the city to accept a grant of $298,500. The grant will allow secured by Administrative Resources Association will use to rehab between 15 to 20 homes.

Eric Frye, executive director of ARa, says the money will allow seniors to stay in their homes longer.

"It will allow us to help build ramps, lower shelves, make bathrooms handicap assessable among other improvements," Frye says.

Mayor Pruett says Hoosier Uplands will supply the 10 percent match for the grant.

"They will also assist with inspections," Pruett added.

Frye says the city has received 10 applications, but are looking for more. There are some qualification guidelines and applications are available at city hall.

* The council will develop a comprehensive plan for the city. Frey provided the council with copies of the community needs assessment and capital improvement assessment.

From that Frye and city officials will develop a comprehensive plan for Mitchell.

"This will allow us to take step forward," Frye says. "It will be a working document which we can use to chase grants and move projects forward."

* The council passed an ordinance to amend the Fair Housing definition. According to HUD the ordinance had to redefine "family" to include those of all sexual orientation.

* The council approved Eddie McLain to move forward with the Mitchell Freedom Fest.

The festival will be at Lehigh Field on July 6.

The one-day festival would include a flea market, 5K run/walk, kick ball tournament, bicycle rodeo, bicycle race and ride, a punt, pass and kick competition, a motorcycle parade and a battle of the bands contest. The Mitchell's Fourth of July Fireworks will be set off at dusk.



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