Oolitic Conducts Public Hearing On Proposed Budget

(OOLITIC) – The Oolitic Town Council held a public hearing on the proposed budget for 2020.

There were only two changes to the proposed budget. 

The police department tire budget went up from $600 to $1,000 and the Motor/Vehicle/Highway Fund was raised from $1,000 to $6,000.

The total budget is $356,514.

The only two questions about the budget during the public hearing were from Leah Gross. She asked about employee raises, which there were none in the 2020 budget. She also asked about cell phones being paid for by the town.

The town pays for cell phones for the police department and street department employees. Those phones are paid for out of the town budget and the water/sewer budget.

 The budget passed by 4-0 vote.

Town Regular Meeting

After the two hearings on grant and the budget, the town council went onto town business. They purchased a used one-ton Sterling dump truck for $5,250. The dump truck has an estimated 53,000 miles on it.

There remains a vacancy for a laborer which was advertised in the Times-Mail newspaper and with WorkOne. The town received one response from an Orleans resident. That individual will be interviewed.

The pay rate for a laborer is $14 an hour and they must possess a CDL license.

Zac Bell of the Street Department reports that the transmission went out on one of the trucks and is currently needing to be repaired. The Town Council approved the repair which will cost $2,450.

Bell also reported the fire hydrant at 7th and Oak street was replaced, and the one at the Dollar General Store will be fixed by next week.

He was able to purchase two fire hydrants from the City of Bloomington for $4,480. Normally, a new fire hydrant costs $5,000.

Bell also reports they were getting caught up on work requests. The public thanked Bell and his crew – two full-time employees and one part-time employee – for all their hard work.

Glenn Gross challenging the present vacation ordinance. In the end, it passed by a 3-1 vote. It requires town employees to notify their supervisors 14 days in advance of vacation. Gross wanted the ordinance to reflect that the town council needs to be notified. President Kendall told Gross he could call Town Hall and get that information, and the vacation requests on a daily basis.

The Old Oolitic High School is still facing issues with the North building and the Brownfield Grant for the building has not been approved. The Town Council will look at options at a later time.

 Town Council members passed an ordinance stating those conducting roadblocks must have signage in place and wear reflective clothing. The rule is effective immediately.

Damage to 11th Street, by a contractor, has been repaired. The road was damaged during the construction of a home.

Glenn Gross asked about a home that is being demolished on Lafayette Street. The home has been partially taken down. Gross wanted to know what option the town has if the site is not cleared and cleaned up.

Town officials will notify the owner of their concerns and if the problem is not addressed the town will start condemnation proceedings.

Town Attorney Greg Pitman told the council they need to appoint a hearing officer. The council appointed Glenn Gross.

Town Council reports there were 50 to 60 warnings issued this year for weeds, grass, and property ordinance violations.

Jerry Garland approached the town council on making a minor subdivision on a property he owns on Hoosier Avenue. He will have to get with Zac Bell on the Water/Sewer Lines first, then proceed to obtain a business permit.

Two other residents complained about issues they are having with animals such as dog and cats that are damaging their properties. Feral Cats being a major issue on Lafayette Avenue. Some 20-30 feral cats in the neighborhood and local residents are feeding them.

Jessica Staggs reporting that a person, did not file a business permit. John Mathias will now occupy that building at Trader John’s Flea Market and the town council will approve his business permit. Mathias will occupy this building after the other persons no longer will occupy that building.

In final business, they voted to wait on applying for the grant for the storm/water project until January 2020.