By Lasca Randels
LEESBURG — Council members agree that a police presence has made a difference with speeding issues the town has been experiencing.
At the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday, July 12, Councilmember Doug Jones said it is anticipated that a contract between the Town of Leesburg and the Claypool Police Department will be completed and ready to be signed at the August town council meeting.
“There are two things that stop speeders – police presence and traffic tickets,” Jones said.
The agreement 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.
Under the current proposal, Claypool Police will provide about 384 hours of patrol services for Leesburg each year at an annual cost of around $5,000.
Leesburg has been looking at options to have a police presence, in part, to help slow down speeding motorists.
Town officials saw some improvement when Kosciusko County Sheriff deputies provided some coverage months ago.
In another matter, Leesburg Street Commissioner Craig Charlton provided a monthly update on projects that have been completed and others that are pending. Charlton said he will be adding “Slow, Children at Play” signs in the area of School Street.
Three parking ordinance violations were issued during the past month, Charlton said. There is no parking allowed on streets between 3-5 a.m. in order for the street department to perform duties such as sweeping and plowing.
Leesburg resident Brad Bibler commended Charlton’s efforts in ensuring the town stays clean and well-maintained.
“I notice when you go out and sweep, like on a weekend, especially holiday weekends. That is noticed. You probably don’t get told that. I can tell every day when I come home if Craig Charlton has been down my road with the sweeper or not,” Bibler said. “I want you to know that is is observed and we do appreciate it.”
The topic of the town’s sewer ordinance, which was brought up at a previous meeting, was discussed again. The thought is that the language in the town’s sewer ordinance needs to be clarified regarding new connections to the sewer system.
Council President Tom Moore said the language related to property owners connecting to the existing sewer main is clear; however, council members are considering an amendment addressing who pays for what with regards to any prospective developer.
“We don’t have any language to hand to a prospective developer. If the XYZ person who owns acreage up here at any given side of town wants to add a subdivision, we don’t have any language in our current language addressing who pays for what,” said Council President Tom Moore. “My recommendation is not to leave it completely unaddressed.”
According to the state statute, the town has two options: pay the cost entirely or split the cost between the developer and the town, with the developer being reimbursed via a specific financial formula.
“I just feel uncomfortable leaving it like that,” Moore said.
Charlton questioned if this would lead to increased sewer rates for residents.
“If someone wants to put an addition in, those lots could be sold for an upcharge because there’s gonna be sewer available to them. The owner of that lot who’s selling it is going to profit from that and have nothing involved with getting that sewer to it,” Charlton said. “So if that is gonna be a charge that the town is gonna have to pay and incur that cost, will that cost be transferred to these people that are sitting in here paying monthly sewer bills and will that sewer bill go up?”
Moore replied that it would not.
“The original bond issue would stay the same. In the event that whoever the council is at that time would decide that the Town of Leesburg will do the main sewer line work, which includes the grinder, if there’s a 50-lot subdivision going on, most likely that will require, because of the financial impact, that work would require another bond issue to pay for that. That would be a separate issue,” Moore said. “With most municipalities, the folks in that 50-lot subdivision may have a different sewer rate than the people living here in town.”
No decision was made Monday, and the topic will be addressed again at the August meeting.
Town officials would like residents to be reminded of the following items: No parking on any street between 3-5 a.m. (every day); no burning anything anytime; and please be mindful of what you flush.
In other news:
- Dan Tenney of Tenney & Sons Inc. provided a sanitary sewer report.
- Council Vice-President Christina Archer was asked to submit a more detailed plan for the K21 Pledge Project.
- The budget workshop meeting is 6 p.m. July 19.
- The next regular meeting is 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9.