ETNA GREEN — A passionate discussion was held during the Etna Green Town Council’s meeting Tuesday, Oct. 9, regarding the future use of the former Interra Credit Union building.
The council voted to send a letter of intent to Interra Credit Union for the building, located at 106 S. Walnut St. During the meeting, the council members said they held an executive session Sept. 24 to inspect the building. They announced that the council is considering purchasing the building and using it as a town hall.
However, both council members Todd Slabaugh and Keith Claassen said that a final decision hasn’t been made on the building.
“The odds of us getting another bank in there are next to zero,” said Slabaugh. “Banks aren’t making enough money in towns this size.”
Several town citizens were present at the meeting to speak against using the vacant building as a town hall.
“Why not add an extension to the Heritage Park building for a town hall?” asked Jeff Klinefelter.
The council said it would be expensive to construct an extension for the park building. The former Interra building is fire-safe and would allow for town documents to be stored safely and securely.
“The town was not supposed to ever have its office here at all,” said Town Attorney Jay Rigdon. The clerk-treasurer’s office and all town documents are currently located in the Etna Green Fire Department building.
The Etna Green Town Council said it’s not feasible to upload all town documents online, as, according to council member Keith Claassen, it would be “an enormous job and expense.”
There is a possibility that Interra may put in an ATM at the vacant building. The council said that Interra would not hire tellers for the building due to low foot traffic. Clerk-Treasurer Laura Baker said if the town purchases the building, it’ll cost a maximum of $10,000 for upgrades to the facility.
Citizens present had a lengthy discussion about promoting more business in the town and requested the town council consider selling the building to another bank or to a business before purchasing it for use as a town hall.
Claassen said the council has been in talks with KEDCo regarding the building’s usage.
The council announced upcoming re-pavement projects for the city, including an alleyway near Spring Street and the Heritage Park parking lot.
Paul Sharkey also addressed the council regarding hydrant maintenance fees. Sharkey said the fees have jumped approximately $3.
“My water bills are a constant up and down,” said Sharkey. “And I don’t understand that since it’s just a dog and I at my place. Where’s that money going?”
Council member Todd Slabaugh said he understands the issue and that each town citizen gets the same bills regarding hydrant maintenance.
In other news:
- The council approved a wastewater adjustment of $240.85 for Heather Jones.
- Trick-or-treat hours for the town are 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.
- The council’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13.