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Mitchell City Council Members Continue To Debate Road Block Rules

Last updated on Tuesday, January 8, 2013

(MITCHELL) - Mitchell City Council members are still debating the road block issue.

Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel suggested roadblocks be held only the first and third weekend of the month beginning in April and ending in October and not during the Persimmon Festival.

The roadblocks would only be held at Four Points.

Last year the city approved 22 road blocks, but plan to limit that number. Schlegel suggested limiting the number to 13 a year.

She also suggested no one younger then high school age be allowed to participate in the road blocks and all groups need to have the proper signage and wear reflective vest.

Other council members had concerned with limiting the number of road blocks, but agreed with most of Schlegel's proposed changes.

Councilman Everett Ferrel added he was concerned with the safety issues.

"More people are for the road blocks then against," Ferrel says. "But I think we need to limit the age of those participating and the number of people because it becomes a dangerous situation when the younger kids are horse-playing around."

He also stressed groups needed to have proper signage so those who donate know who they are donating to.

Mayor Gary Pruett stressed the council will not make everyone happy no matter what they agree on.

"Groups need to be more creative to make up the difference (if the road blocks are limited)," Pruett says. "(the council) needs to do what is reasonable and appropriate."

The council agreed to email concerns to each other and come up with rules. They then will alert City Attorney Byron Steele so he can draft a set of rules for the council to vote on at their February meeting.

In other business:

* Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel was elected to serve as 2013 council president. She will replace Councilwoman Nancy Miller.

* Building Commissioner Danny Baker has moved into the officer of former 9th District Representative Todd Rokita at city hall.

*The council reminds residents that they have 24-hours to clean their sidewalks after a snowfall, or they are in violation of the city ordinance. Councilwoman Schlegel told the council she had some complaints about the sidewalks. She told the council she those that complained were concerned children had to walk in the roadways because they couldn't use the sidewalk and was afraid a child would be injured.

* City Attorney Bryon Steele presented the council an updated building code ordinance. The council approved the ordinance. Steele informed the council that he had met with Baker to create a citation form for those that violate city building codes.

* The council approved an ordinance for the additional appropriations need to close out the city's books for 2012. Clerk-treasurer George James explained the money was moved from one department to another to cover shortfalls. The total amount of appropriations was $64,124.66.

* The city received five proposals, one each from: Midwestern Engineers of Loogootee, Houseal Lavigne Associates of Chicago, Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group of Indianapolis, Bernardin Lochmueller and Associates of Evansville and Strategic Development Group Inc. of Bloomington.

A group consisting of Mayor Pruett, Street Commissioner Larry Harris and Danny Baker scored each proposal.

Pruett says after scoring the bids four were called back for interviews.

"The group was impressed by Bernardin Lochmueller," Pruett says of the interviews. "They very clearly carried the day."

The city's current comprehensive plan is more than six years old. A new plan must be drawn up to allow the city to continue to seek grant funding. The city must pay for the comprehensive plan, although grants providing funding for that are available.

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