By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — Former Winona Lake Fire Chief Roger Gelbaugh was honored at the start of the June Winona Lake Town Council meeting.
Gelbaugh, who was fire chief from 1991-99 and 2003-06, passed away at age 80 on Saturday, June 18. He had served with the Winona Lake Fire Department for more than 50 years.
His son Kevin Gelbaugh, Winona Lake’s current fire chief, was at Tuesday night, June 21’s meeting to hear Town Council President Rick Swaim read from Roger’s obituary.
The council also held a moment of silence for Roger. Swaim also mentioned Roger in prayer.
“Father God, we are very, very thankful for people like Roger that have dedicated their lives, their hearts and their time to help communities like Winona Lake,” Swaim prayed. “Father, we thank you for his service, for his life and for his love of You and his family and his community.”
The council also heard of several staff changes amongst Winona Lake town employees.
In his report, Town Police Chief Joe Hawn mentioned the Winona Lake Police Department is working to hire an officer to replace Phillip Hawks, who has “decided that he wanted to open his own business.”
He said the department hoped to have a replacement for him soon.
The council also approved a resolution hiring Teena Pence as an utility clerk to fill a vacant spot.
She is to start next month and be paid a rate of $22.58 per hour. Pence currently works as a deputy in the Kosciusko County Auditor’s office, having worked in county government since 2009.
The council also heard of numerous events to be held in town over the next month.
Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club is having its triathlon from 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, June 25. Various events are happening during the town’s Fourth of July celebration on Saturday, July 2, including the Cutie Contest at noon, the parade at 4 p.m., and other activities including pony rides and face painting from 5-9 p.m.
The Wagon Wheel Center Symphony of the Lakes will have its “Salute to America” concert at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, in Circle Fountain Park and at 10 p.m. on that date, there will be fireworks over the lake.
At 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, the Winona Lake Flotilla will occur. On Thursday, July 14, through Sunday, July 17, Charis Fellowship will have its Access Conference at Grace College. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, Touch-A-Truck will be held in the Village at Winona.
Other upcoming events include the Jazz Festival on Saturday, July 23, and Winona Lake Family Festival on Saturday, July 30.
In other business, the council:
- Approved an ordinance raising the cost of an event permit in town from $25 to $50. Town Manager Craig Allebach said it had been some time since the fee had been raised.
- Heard from Town Parks Department Director Holly Hummitch that summer parks programs are going well.
The council’s next meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Winona Lake Town Hall.