MARKLEVILLE — The Markleville Town Council gave the first readings of two ordinances recently, one designed to improve the appearance of the town and the other to amend sewer utility rates for residents.
Council member Matt Gustin introduced the topic of trash containers being left on the sidewalks in town, after speaking with upset residents.
“We’ve had several complaints about waste and trash containers being left on the sidewalks all week after trash pick-up,” Gustin said during the Monday, Aug. 14, meeting.
The council said it viewed the situation as both a safety and health risk and agreed on wording for an amendment to the environmental ordinance requiring residents to keep their receptacles off the sidewalk.
“We had people in here with legitimate concerns about cleaning up the town and making it look more appealing,” Gustin said. “I don’t think any of us disagree with that. It’s unsightly, there are odors — just a number of issues.”
Original language instructing residents on where the receptacles have to be stored was removed. The second reading of the ordinance will take place at the Aug. 28 meeting.
The council also approved first reading of an amendment to sewer utility ordinances. For the first time in a dozen years, the rate structure will change, resulting in increases for residents and businesses.
Once passed, the rate for private single homes will be $52, duplexes $69, single apartment units $196 and churches $60. Businesses will see an increase of 26 percent from their prior rate.
Also, as a result of the ordinance, all property owners will be responsible for maintaining the grinder pit, pump, control box and laterals, up to the main line of the sewer utility.
Previously, just over half the town residents were responsible for maintenance, while the rest were “grandfathered” in without that responsibility. That action had been taken by previous councils.
“We had a rate study done a few months ago,” president Daniel Roseberry said. “It showed an extra $36,000 spent on maintaining the ‘grandfathered’ properties. That is less than 50 percent of the residents, and that money is paid by the rest of the residents.”
Anyone who purchased their home before August 2005 is part of the group that is “grandfathered.”
Several of those affected voiced their concerns to the council at the meeting. Some complained that they were uninformed of the changes that were going to happen.
But, Gustin said, “We have reached out in many different ways. We’ve done everything that is required, and we’re not turning anyone away.”
The second reading of this ordinance also will take place at the Aug. 28 meeting.
In other business:
• Gustin announced there will be an opening on the planning commission, as one of the current members will be moving out of town. Gustin asked that anyone interested in serving should contact him (765-620-8275) as soon as possible.
• Police Chief Tim Basey announced that $200 was raised by the department in the burger tent at the Markleville Jamboree. That money will be used to help purchase toys for children at Christmas.
• Wayne Fox, president of the park board, told the council there would be a car show at the park Saturday, Aug. 19. He said it is a fundraiser for a family who has two members suffering from cancer.
• Roseberry expects to know by the end of August what Markleville will receive after completing applications for state grants through the Community Crossings program. The town has applied for $266,000 in grants; with a town match of $142,000, and if all funds applied for are received, the town will have more than $400,000 for work on local roads and culverts.