NORTH WEBSTER — Citing its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers, North Webster Town Council tabled an add on payment of $21,782 to Crosby Construction, Fort Wayne, during its Tuesday, Sept. 20, meeting at the North Webster Community Center.
All three council members, Jon Sroufe, Lisa Strombeck and David Waliczek, expressed dismay about the price to repair a 10-inch leaking pipe that may or may not have been damaged by the contractor during work on the state mandated improvements to the North Webster sewage treatment plant and system.
Rick Pharis, Triad Associates Inc., the town’s engineering firm for the project, will work with Crosby to see if a better price can be obtained. The council did approve a $173,313 payment to Crosby for work completed as well as $287,249.49 to Selge Construction, Granger, for work on the project.
W.A. Jones Truck Bodies & Equipment, Columbia City, received approval for a salter purchase in the amount of $9,096. The stainless steel piece will be installed in the smaller of the town’s two dump trucks. It has a two year parts and labor warranty.
Severn Trent Utilities Manager Mike Noe explained, “It will give us flexibility to service the town during bad weather. The smaller truck has more maneuverability and can serve as a backup to the other truck. Both dump trucks are also equipped with plows.”
The first of two budget hearings was held as part of the meeting. The total town budget is $1,447,019 with the maximum estimated funds to be raised including appeals and levies exempt from maximum levy limitations of $407,128. It was pointed out by Clerk-Treasurer Betsy Luce this is under the maximum allowed of $412,396.
Residents of North Webster can read the town budget online at gatewayifionline.org/Budget/BudgetNotice Report.aspx?type. The state no longer requires budget notices to be published in local newspapers and the town has opted for the online use allowed by the new legislation.
A zoning change from commercial to residential was affirmed by the council for the property of Candyce Smythe. Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission had recommended approval for the zoning change.
Police Chief Greg Church received permission to purchase four new vests for officers as the five year use period is ending. With the grant the police department has received for $1,450 the town will be responsible for the remainder of the approximate cost of $3,000.
Due to officer training, Church and Officer Smythe will not be taking vacation as usual in December and received approval to carry over the days into 2017. Halloween trick or treat hours in North Webster will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
Strombeck brought up changing the hours to Saturday but Church pointed out other area towns usually do it on Halloween. He added, “If we move it to Saturday, kids from other communities may overwhelm us with a chance to trick or treat on that day too.”
The police department answered 212 calls of service in August with the most being citizens assists and traffic related. Officers worked 621.5 hours and drove 3,118 miles using 290.1 gallons of fuel.
The next meeting of the North Webster Town Council will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, North Webster Community Center, 301 N. Main St.