By Lasca Randels
LEESBURG — The town of Leesburg may be receiving assistance with their traffic control problem – from Claypool.
At the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday, June 14, Council Member Doug Jones presented an “Agreement for Patrol Services” contract.
The agreement, between the Town of Leesburg and the Claypool Police Department, states that Leesburg does not have a law enforcement department but desires to have routine patrol and law enforcement activities within the boundaries of the town.
Interest in providing some kind of patrols stems from concerns about speeding motorists aired at the March town council meeting.
At that time, Leesburg Street Commissioner Craig Charlton said he had looked into having county law enforcement monitor the area for people speeding but was informed the town would have to pay for the service.
In April, Jones said he was contacted by Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office following the March meeting.
“The sheriff’s department was very receptive when we had an issue,” Jones said. “They came in and helped us out, but they also have the whole county to patrol and it’s obvious that they can’t be here every minute. We do have some issues that we as a town board can’t deal with, traffic control being one of them, and we need some help.”
Moore said the last Leesburg town marshal quit in the late 1970s.
“It was decided to use the county sheriff’s department and it worked very well,” Council President Tom Moore said. “The county filled the requirement for many years. And as already stated, that arrangement is no longer working.”
Under the current proposal, Claypool Police will provide about 384 hours of patrol services each year. Jones said the rate will be about $13 an hour, with an annual cost of around $5,000.
“We will have use of this individual or these individuals for more than simply traffic control,” Jones said. “We’ll be able to use them to help enforce our ordinances also if we need that help. I will add that the officer that has been up here in the past working what they call “OPO,” which is Operation Pullover, is the officer that we would have here, generally speaking.”
That officer works for the Claypool Police Department but resides in Leesburg.
“He lives here in town and he does a good job,” Jones said. “When he’s here, he’s all business. He doesn’t mess around, so he will do a good job for us, that I’m certain of.”
Jones said there is an agreement in the clause in which either party can get out of the contract in 45 days if for some reason things are not working out.
“I think this is a solution,” Jones said. “I’ve got a couple of months invested in this and this is the best thing I’ve come up with.”
“I think this is the best way to have traffic control here in town,” Council Vice President Christina Archer agreed.
The matter has been tabled until next month in order to give Town Attorney Vern Landis time to review the contract.
Town officials would like residents to be aware of the following: No parking is allowed on any street between 3-5 a.m. This applies seven days a week; No burning anything, anytime; Please be mindful of what you flush; Yard waste is to be placed in the town-provided trash tote; Sidewalks and trees are the responsibility of residents; and the Street Department phone number is (574) 527-2884.
In other news:
- Town clean-up will be held the weekend of June 25 & 26.
- A budget meeting will be held at 6 p.m. July 19.
- The town will be purchasing one new sewage pump at a cost of $4,570 and will monitor to see if there is any improvement before purchasing additional pumps.
- Derek Tenney of Tenney & Sons Inc. provided a sanitary sewer report.
- Sewer fees for churches, restaurants and bars will return to the standard rate beginning June 30. The rates were reduced for a period of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The next regular meeting will be 6:30 p.m. July 12.