(OOLITIC) - The Oolitic Town Council President Delvin Nikirk says the town is moving forward with the Safe Routes To Schools project.
"We will begin letting bids for the project Wednesday," Nikirk told the town council Monday night. "I will be attending a meeting on March 19 at Purdue about the project."
Safe Routes to School would add sidewalks on the east side of Hoosier Avenue from Fourth Street to Ninth Street.
In other business:
* Nikirk introduced the news council member Charlie Luther.
Luther was appointed by Republican Chairman Patty Ford, to the position after councilmen Bill Burnett resigned in January because of work conflicts.
* Councilman Bill Kendall discussed the traffic situation in front of the schools.
"The other day some motorist was sitting in the middle of the road waiting to pick up kids. They were not pulled to the side, but in the middle of the blame road and traffic was lined up," Kendall says. "Something has to be done about this. It is happening every day. This warrants a ticket. We can't close a blind eye here. It is dangerous."
Police Chief Jon Jeffries agreed with Kendall and says he too has received complaints. But, Jeffries added the problem was catching motorist blocking the road.
"Well if a few of them start getting tickets maybe others would stop this nonsense," Kendall added. "This is totally unacceptable."
* Kendall also praised the Street Department for all the hard work they have done clearing roadways.
"I have heard nothing but people bragging about what a good job the Street Department did keeping the roads clear," Kendall says.
* Nikirk told the council that Ted Maze has been named fire chief of the Oolitic Fire Department. Jason Lewis will serve as assistant chief.
* Nikirk updated the council about a 10-inch water main break on Candlelight Lane. The main was repaired quickly restoring water to several residents.
* The council renewed their contract with the White River Humane Society. The town will pay $800 for services, the same amount as last year.
* Clerk-Treasure Jim Staley asked the council to allow him to take the advice of the State Board of Accounts and clear the books of old outstanding water and sewer bills.
"Many of these bills date back to 2004," Staley added.
With the total amount being more than $12,000, the board decided to have town attorney Nathan Nikirk, who was filling in for Greg Pittman, have their office will look into seeking payment of the bills through the courts.
If the town decides to go after those who own through the court system, the law office will not charge the town a fee, but will take a percentage of the money recovered.
Staley also presented a large unpaid bill that was sent to Indiana Limestone. Nikirk told councilmembers that the town received a letter from Indiana Limestone saying their were closing.
* Delvin Nikirk asked that the council look into updating the building permit ordinance.
"We charge the same amount for a building permit for a dog house that we do for a $100,000 home," Nikirk added. "They pay $15 no matter what they build."
* Staley told the board that Lisa Noland has approached the town to run a state-licensed day care in Oolitic Manor on West 10th Street.
But to do that, the council would have to pass a zoning variance and then grant Nolan a business permit. Nolan needs those items to receive her state license.
Delvin Nikirk had some reservations about granting those request, because when the town accepted the plat for Oolitic Manor there was a stipulation that no business could be established there.
The town's attorney will check into that and get back with the council.
But because of Nolan's request, Staley discovered that the town has not been following an ordinance that states every business in Oolitic should pay an annual fee of $15 to renew their business permit each year.
"The last time a business paid for a permit was March 16, 2009," Staley says.
* Police Chief Jon Jeffries asked the council to allow him and Deputy Marshal Bill Allen to spend $20 a month each from the police department budget, to participate in physical training at a fitness center in Bedford. The board approved the request.
* Jeffries also asked for clarification on who should be called out when the department needs help with downed trees or power lines.
The council told Jeffries he needed to call Street Department Superintendent Rick Hawkins.
"We had a situation the other night with lines down all over town and some of them in the middle of the road," Allen says. "I called Rick and he told me to go get some cones and put them in my car. The problem was I couldn't do that because we had live wires down. I don't mind going and getting the cones, but in this situation I couldn't leave because of safety reasons. So I had to call out the fire department for assistance."
Nikirk said he would talk to Hawkins about the situation.
*Vice President of the Oolitic Festival Committee Ray Lindsey told the council about the Oolitic Festival Golf Scramble at Otis Park Golf Course. The event will be held Saturday, May 10 at 8 a.m.
The cost for a 4-person team is $200 with cash prizes for the top three teams (depending on the number of participating teams). There will also be prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin and longest putt.
For more information or to register for the event call: Event Coordinator Dink Morrison at 279-5813, or President Glen Gross at 275-6605 or Lindsey at 675-1379.
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