By Lasca Randels
LEESBURG — The removal of tree debris after a recent storm was addressed at the Leesburg Town Council meeting Monday, Aug. 8.
Street Commissioner Craig Charlton said the town completed yet another storm damage cleanup July 23 that involved 10 loads of tree limbs being chipped by the town and five semi-trailer loads hired out.
Charlton stated that additional items were put out to be hauled away, along with storm damage items.
“You can identify it pretty easily – what blows down and what’s cut down. What was there, we hauled it out. We had it cleaned up. It’s an opportunity that people take. We probably will have to address it at some point in the future about what we will clean up and what we won’t,” Charlton said. “Pretty big price tag tied into cleaning that up and we don’t need any more stuff out there. If it’s been dead or whatever, don’t put it out there just because the town is going to clean it up.”
Council said they are happy to assist residents by providing storm damage cleanup but the town does not need the additional cost associated with hauling away additional items and suggested there are roll-off services/dumpster rentals that residents can pay for in order to take care of removal of other items from their property.
Council Vice-President Tom Moore said additional wording may need to be added to the current ordinance to address this specific issue. In addition, Moore said there will likely come a time, due to additional environmental laws that have been implemented over the years, that the town may need to consider having two cleanup days per year. The town currently has one cleanup day each year.
Next on the agenda, Derek Tenney of Tenney & Sons. provided a monthly sanitary sewer update. According to Tenney, there have been numerous calls to a location on Prairie Street.
“They are constantly in violation – with wipes and feminine products,” Tenney said. “We’re going in there constantly.”
Council has made increased efforts over the years to address the issue of prohibited items being flushed down the septic system, including distributing flyers and speaking with homeowners in order to educate residents about what items cannot be flushed.
Baby wipes, wet wipes, feminine products, paper towels, diapers, pills, condoms, dental floss, Q-tips and cotton balls should never be flushed.
Tenney said this specific location involves a shared pod. It is unclear which property the violations are coming from.
Council discussed how to address the situation, with one option being issuing a fine to both residents hooked up to the shared pod.
Moore suggested another option – installing a filter to identify which party is committing the violations.
“If we want to narrow it down to the guilty party, we’re going to have to do something of that nature, rather than just arbitrarily sending a fine to both parties.” Moore said.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Councilman Doug Jones said. “And this will alleviate some problems in the future, too.”
No motion was made, but council agreed to look into this further.
In another matter, town council approved a request for a block party/music festival submitted by Leesburg resident Mike Beezley. The event is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.
Beezley is the pastor of both Clunette United Methodist Church and Atwood Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
“The way it sounds, it’s going to be very well attended, just by the number of people involved in the organization and supporting it,” Jones said. “I know that they’ve purchased event insurance so the town is off the hook for any type of injuries or anything. They’re doing it right. I think it’s something kind of neat. I know Mike spent a lot of time on it.”
A section of Van Buren Street will be closed off during the event.
“I know the fire department is involved. The fire department and Lions Club are potentially going to go in together and get some ice cream brought in for people, free of charge,” Charlton said. “One of the churches is going to have some activities for kids. It’s not religiously-directed music. Pastor Mike is a musician and a very good musician. He plays at all different venues. I guarantee you’ll enjoy the music.”
The event will include special guest recording artist Jessie Mae of Fort Wayne. Food trucks will be available as well.
Some reminders from town officials:
- You must be at least 16 years old to operate a golf cart in Leesburg. A driver’s license is not required.
- No parking on any street between 3-5 a.m. This applies all seven days of the week. Vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.
- No burning. Indiana’s open burning laws and rules make it illegal to burn trash and generally prohibit open burning in Indiana.
- Please be mindful of what you flush into the septic system. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, baby wipes, cleaning wipes, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, tissues and trash.
- Residents are to place yard waste in the town-provided trash totes. Large fallen tree limbs are chipped on Fridays.
- Sidewalks and trees are the property and responsibility of the residents. Sidewalks and alleys are to be kept clear of low-hanging tree limbs to provide safe passage, per ordinance.
- Grass clippings and yard waste are not to be blown into the streets.
In other news:
Town council approved the purchase of 10 new sewer pumps.
Council continued discussion regarding specific language for revisions to the current refuse ordinance. Moore encouraged input from residents as well as from the town’s legal counsel as officials move forward with revisions to the ordinance.
Alan Tio, CEO of Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCo), attended the meeting to provide an update regarding things the company is working on in 2022, with three priority areas of entrepreneurship, housing and talent.
The next regular meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12.