By Leah Sander
MENTONE — Mentone first responders have been honored with the gift of a flag recognizing their service.
At Mentone Town Council’s regular meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Johnny Butler gave the town an Honor and Sacrifice flag.
Butler is involved with the organization Honor and Remember, which was started by George Lutz to acknowledge the sacrifice of fallen military members. Lutz’s son, Tony Lutz, was killed while serving in Iraq in December 2005. The organization created the Honor and Remember flag to further memorialize these heroes, with one such flag flying outside the Kosciusko County Courthouse.
Butler explained Wednesday that the organization has since created the Honor and Sacrifice flag for first responders.
“It was unveiled on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, five years ago, and it specifically honors those who have fallen in all communities of public safety, to express our specific statement of thanks to those who openly gave their lives and to those family members who continue to grieve them every day,” he said. “And as a token of (thanks) to our communities, I’ve been trying to get out and just provide one for every town or fire department in our county and you’re lucky to be the first that I get to do this for.”
“So for the town council, for Mentone fire, Mentone police, Mentone EMS, I just want to say thank you for what you do every single day and just know that we do not forget what the sacrifices you made for your friends, for your families to go out and serve us,” he continued.
The council also OK’d moving its public hearing on the 2022 budget to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at Mentone Town Hall.
The hearing was originally supposed to happen Wednesday. However, as Town Clerk-Treasurer Nicki Norris explained, she had trouble with Internet connection during a meeting with the state regarding the budget.
She was able to meet online with a state representative on a later date, but that pushed back the date of the public hearing as entities must wait at least 10 days after meeting with the state on the budget to have a public hearing.
The council also tabled selecting a contractor for a storm sewer project.
Town Engineer James Emans opened three bids before the council. The project will replace a two-foot diameter pipe for a sewer located in the alley between Franklin and Walnut Streets.
Emans asked each contractor to submit bids based on a pipe material he recommended. However, as some contractors said they would have trouble getting the material quickly, he asked them to resubmit last minute with an additional quote for an alternate material just in case.
One, Steve’s Hauling, Excavating & Snow Removal of Warsaw, was unable to respond with a quote for an alternate material, so it just had the bid with the preferred material for $78,851.42.
The other two bidders were: G&G Hauling and Excavating of Warsaw, with $113,000 with the preferred material and $92,606.90 with the alternate; and Selge Construction Co. of Niles, Mich., with $191,596 for the preferred material and $167,656 for the alternate.
Emans explained that he really hoped to get the project done as soon as possible due to the current pipe’s condition.
He asked the council to factor in timing of starting the project in its choice of contractor.
The council decided to postpone making a decision until it could do more review.
In other business, the council:
- Heard from Dennis Boyd. His company wants to build multi-unit housing at 516 N. Broadway St., and he wanted to see if the town had any prohibitions against doing so. Town Attorney Andrew Grossnickle will double-check town ordinances and communicate with Boyd about the process before Boyd comes before the council again.
- Heard a reminder from Council Member Tim Croy that Chalk the Walk will be Saturday, Sept. 4, starting at 10 a.m. People may chalk on sidewalks downtown on both sides of the street from Tucker Street to Morgan Street.
- Heard from Croy that Rotors Over Mentone, put on by the Lawrence D. Bell Museum/Mentone Historical Museum, starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11.
- Heard a reminder from Council Member Shelly Krueger that a craft fair will be in town on Saturday, Oct. 2. It will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. “There’s no setup fee,” she said. To have a booth, people should email Krueger at [email protected] or send a message via the Mentone Community Farmer’s Market Facebook page or Mentone News & Information Facebook page.
- Heard from Town Utilities Superintendent Josh Shepherd that a picnic table has been placed at the town’s park at Main and Morgan Streets. Dayne Manwaring paid for the table, said Shepherd.
- Heard from Town Marshal Jim Eads that he ordered two laptops for the police department. He’s having Microsoft Office installed on them for $149 each.
- Heard from Shepherd he’s finished a round of sidewalk work in front of Terri’s This and That, Java Jacks and the post office.
- Heard from Shepherd that he got three quotes for doing paving around the town shop and from Jefferson Street from Franklin Street to Tucker Street, High Street from Morgan Street to Franklin Street and Harrison Street from Yale Street to Broadway Street. The quotes are from Phend & Brown for $95,766; E&B Paving for $90,472; and Gaunt & Son for $101,905.85. The council approved the E&B quote.
The council’s next regular meeting is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Mentone Town Hall.