By Keith Knepp
NORTH WEBSTER — Members of the North Webster Town Council gathered for the first time in the new year Tuesday evening. The first order of business was to reelect Dan Thystrup as council president, who was unanimously chosen by his colleagues.
The council then approved the following appointments: Jack Birch, town attorney; Greg Church, town marshal; Dave May, detective sergeant; James Curtis, deputy marshal; and Noah Kiessling, deputy marshal. It also approved the town’s memberships in the Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers, Accelerate Indiana Municipalities, Indiana Association Chiefs of Police, North Webster-Tippecanoe Township Chamber of Commerce and the Kosciusko County Terminal Services Agreement.
The mileage reimbursement rate for town employees was set at 50 cents per mile.
In the utilities report, Mike Noe informed the council that brush collection has been completed. He also informed the council of his desire to upgrade the downtown light poles with LED fixtures, which would be both brighter and more energy efficient. Additionally, he would like to add power outlets to poles, which would allow lighted Christmas decorations to be affixed during the holidays.
Noe also informed the council that both pumps at Lift Station Four recently malfunctioned and spares have been installed. He requested the purchase of two new lift pumps at $7,728 each, which was approved by the council.
In the police report, Chief Church said the department is seeking applicants for additional officers. He also noted two of the town’s officers currently are in training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
For the 2022 calendar year, Church reported the police department completed 7,541.75 hours, drove 44,730 miles and used 3,600.97 gallons of fuel. Officers responded to 3,244 calls for service in the year.
In new business, Thystrup emphasized that moving forward, the council would be enforcing its previously approved rule that anyone wishing to address the council during open floor would be limited to three minutes.
The council approved Clerk-Treasurer Leigh Anne Jessop’s request for $13,179.94 to patch the town’s computer servers. Jessop said a complete update would be necessary in the near future, but the requested patch would suffice at this time. Her request for the purchase of a laptop computer for $1,384.94 also was approved by the council.
Thystrup informed the council he is meeting with Indiana Department of Transportation Thursday to discuss the proposed North Webster trail. He is hopeful to get approval and additional funding for the project from INDOT.
Rick Pharis of Triad Associates provided an update to the council on the upcoming INDOT Community Crossings Matching Grant deadlines. He said there are two rounds of dates for the town to apply for grants, including one upcoming soon and the second in the summer.
The council decided to forgo applying for any additional grants now, but rather to wait until the second round to consider any additional requests for funding. Pharis recommended this action, saying it would give the town and Triad additional time to look more closely at the town’s needs and resources for matching funds.
The next meeting of the council will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the North Webster Community Center. It will be followed immediately by the Tippecanoe Township Fire Territory board meeting and then by the Tippecanoe Township Advisory Board meeting. The public is invited to attend.