Lapel considers rate study for gas, sewer service

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LAPEL — The Town of Lapel has taken preliminary steps toward conducting a gas and sewer service rate study, a move that could lead to an increase in rates.
Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Paula Lee asked permission to contact area consultant Pat Callahan about initiating a study of the town’s rates. Lee said local rates have not gone up since 2011.
Council President Mike Cates asked for a vote, and council member Dave Taylor seconded the motion.
Council members Tony Pearson and Lindsay Washmuth voted yes and instructed Lee to make the necessary contacts to determine the costs related to a study prior to consideration of any rate hike.
Council member Debra Wainscott and Clerk-Treasurer Dennis Molina were not present for the monthly meeting.
The council also approved a request from Lee to consider having the Indianapolis firm USDI run the town’s gas department. She said the town would continue to own the gas company, but the outside firm would manage it.
The council called for a special meeting with USDI at 6 p.m. March 16 at Town Hall to discuss the gas company. A regular council meeting follows at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge at Ninth and John streets.
In other business, the council:
• Voted unanimously to appoint Trefin Luker to the planning commission. Gary Shuck, chairman of the planning commission, said Luker will fill a vacancy left by the resignation of resident Homa Honorarian.
• Accepted the bid submitted by Myers Insurance to provide coverage for town employees. Lee said one other bid was submitted, but it quoted only Worker’s Compensation coverage, and Myers submitted a complete bid. Myers currently provides the town insurance.
• Set a 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, public hearing at the Eagles Lodge to discuss the Pleasantview Apartments development. Shuck said developers returned to the planning commission recently with a new design that will mean fewer apartments in the complex.
• Approved a four-way stop at 10th and Woodward streets after residents complained of excessive speed in the area.
• Approved a request for Lee to attend training for clerk-treasurers. Lee said the event cost is $450.