LAPEL — Lapel recently took steps to address road weight limits on Main Street, a personnel deficit at the police department and confusion about who will provide gas service to a concrete plant.
The council is back on track with its road weight limit ordinance, replacing one missing from 2016. The ordinance is updated and designates Main Street a “no-truck” zone, off limits to vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or more.
There are a few exemptions, including farm and grain vehicles, local deliveries to businesses on Main Street and public safety vehicles. There will be fines associated with violating the new ordinance, town leaders said.
The town also is working to get its police force back to full strength.
The town will hire an officer to replace Korey Whisler, whose last day after resigning was Dec. 15.
As per town policy, Whisler was asked to repay the town the cost of training because he did not work with the town at least two years after graduating from that training.
One of the town’s reserve officers also resigned, along with two part-time officers who have taken jobs with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Part-time officer Jason Thomas will join the department in a full-time capacity.
Chief Kelly Naselroad is reviewing 12 candidates for the other full-time and part-time positions the department has open.
In related news, the council approved buying a Dodge Durango 2019 police vehicle for $31,528.
The council has asked Naselroad to come back with quotes to install a half-cage in the vehicle and all the other police vehicles to provide safety to officers when transporting people.
One of the other police vehicles driven by Whisler was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer. The insurer of the truck is expected to pay about $13,000 to repair the vehicle.
In other town business, the town and representatives from gas service provider Vectren are engaged in talks to discuss serving the Shelby Materials concrete plant along County Road 650 South, inside town limits on the far south side.
Vectren has installed hardware to facilitate providing gas to the location, but the town, which also provides gas service, was not offered first refusal for the project.
Most council members agreed Shelby Materials should have known the property was in Lapel and asked the town to provide the service.
Councilman Tom Marvel suggested town officials reach out to Shelby Materials for a conversation.
The town is in talks with Vectren to clear up the issues and any other misconceptions.
The council asked the town utility department to get pricing so it can order the final section of pipe to run gas service to the area as well as obtain other necessary equipment.