By Liz Shepherd
CLAYPOOL — Claypool Town Council held an administrative meeting this week to discuss a Section Street property and the usage of K21 Health Foundation’s financial pledge to the town.
During a regular monthly meeting on May 19, council members heard an inquiry from Michael Engel about the property at 210 W. Section St. Initially, Engel said he was interested in placing a mobile home on the lot; however, the council noted that in the past, someone else had inquired about placing a mobile home there and that the idea was met with uneasiness from neighbors.
When the issue last arose in 2019, neighbors of the Section Street property expressed concerns about the possibility of a mobile home de-valuing their property; meanwhile, council members were concerned about a mobile home being one of the first homes that people would see when entering town limits.
Engel then asked about the possibility of placing a double-wide home on the property. At that time, council members moved to consider the idea.
Council assembled a list of questions about Engel’s plans for the property during their admin meeting in the town barn on Wednesday, June 3.
The council’s questions and requests included getting a picture of the proposed residence, determining what type of roof the residence will have, Engel hiring a surveyor for property setbacks, and seeing if an address change will be needed for the lot.
“It needs to have a solid foundation so that it looks like a home,” said Council Member Gene Warner. “Right now, there’s too many questions to answer.”
Town Employee Danny Warner mentioned to council a rumor regarding a resident in town planning to tear down a house and putting in a mobile home.
“If you allow one, you’re going to allow them all,” said Danny Warner.
“There’s already some mobile homes here in town that were here before we were on council,” said Gene. “But from there on, I don’t want mobile homes unless it’s in the park that’s already there.”
Gene said that Council Member Benny Stage Jr., who was not at Wednesday’s meeting, offered to call Engel about the council’s requests.
Council also discussed potentially establishing a committee with town residents to determine how to use a $200,000 K21 Health Foundation pledge to better the town.
In September 2019, the K21 Health Foundation made a commitment of $1.8 million that will be distributed to nine of the smaller communities in Kosciusko County, including Claypool. The money must be used for projects that will focus on health and wellness opportunities in the community.
Gene Warner discussed using part of the funds to purchase a tornado siren and creating handicap-accessible parking spaces outside of the town barn. Clerk-Treasurer Pat Warner and Town Marshal Ben Sanders’ offices are both located in the building.
“This is a great gift for them and it’s for the people,” said Council President Liz Heiman. “I think the community should weigh in with what they want. I’ve been on the board for I don’t know how many years and we’ve never done anything for the town, for the people, to make it just a little better. They might have some great ideas for what we could do.”
Council members decided to announce at the council’s June 16 meeting that a discussion on ideas for the $200,000 grant will be held following the council’s July meeting.
In other business, council also held a brief discussion on allowing residents to own chickens within town limits. Gene Warner showed interest in allowing chickens while Heiman opposed the idea. Council moved to table the discussion for the council’s monthly meeting in order to get Stage’s thoughts on the subject.
The town will also be holding its annual spring cleanup day on Wednesday, June 10. Residents who have large items that need disposed of are asked to set the items next to their trash cans. Appliances, tires and hazardous materials will not be accepted.
The council’s next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in the Claypool Lions Club building.