Consultant urges town to prepare for growth

town hall, 3D rendering, traffic sign

INGALLS — In a report to Ingalls Town Council, consultant Dax Norton recommended gatherings with other town boards to create a strategy for the town’s expected growth.

“In my opinion, the plan commission, redevelopment commission and town council should meet whether there’s something on the agenda or not,” Norton told the council at its Nov. 9 meeting at town hall.

Norton noted updating a comprehensive plan, UDO (Unified Development Ordinance) and thoroughfare plans among other ideas for the future.

“You really can’t get far without knowing where it is you’re going,” Norton told the council.

Norton, a municipal administration and management specialist from MS Consultants Inc., has been working with the town since the beginning of July. Norton has done, and is doing, similar work with other Indiana towns, including Nashville and Jamestown. He was formerly the town manager, for six years, in Whitestown.

Town council President Scot Lawyer later said one of the reasons Norton was brought on board was his ample experience in working with towns like Ingalls, a community on the verge of growth.

“We all know that the growth is coming. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when,” Lawyer said. “That’s one of the reasons I brought Dax in, for his experience of dealing with these types of things.

“He can provide a lot of education to all of us so we can be more proactive than reactive. If we’re going to have any say in the growth and control the growth, I think education of the boards is essential.”

At the meeting, Norton told the council he wants to put together some information-gathering workshops for the council, redevelopment commission, planning commission and board of zoning appeals.

Another council member expressed her view that supports the idea that Ingalls might be headed for a growth spurt.

“I think we have a wonderful position here,” town council vice-president Georgia Parker said of Ingalls location. “(With the proximity) of State Road 67 and State Road 13 to the interstate, we’ve got a lot of potential here.”

New employees

Recently-hired street supervisor Carl Marlett introduced Caleb Maynard to the council as the newest member of his staff.

Maynard, from Knightstown, was approved by the board to begin working the following morning at a rate of $17 per hour.

Marlett still has another full-time employee to hire and will also be getting a part-time seasonal employee on his staff.

Marlett was hired to be town street supervisor at the end of October.

Lawyer said it was crucial getting a full-time street supervisor on board, which was a position that was part of the town manager’s job description.

“(Hiring a street supervisor) was one of the things that I saw in January that I wanted to,” said Lawyer, who became town council president at the beginning of 2020. “We had the (town manager) doing it and doing the town manager job. Getting that separated was one of my goals.”

Marlett comes to Ingalls with a lot of experience. He was part of the street department in McCordsville for 12 years.

Along with an additional full-time employee, Lawyer said he wants to create another full-time job that will include being the town’s building inspector and code enforcement and include part-time seasonal duties with the street department.

“Carl is getting in and getting comfortable and getting things ready for winter,” Lawyer told the council.


In other news, the council approved:

• A request by Ingalls Fire Department Chief Seth Smith to pay $2,500 to ASC Graphics of Pendleton to do Ingalls decals, graphics and logos for the department’s ambulance.

• A $900 charge for an EMT class for Ingalls firefighter Bradley Grant. Smith also introduced to the council the department’s new fire captain, John Myers, who was voted into the position in early November.

• Approved $7,000 to purchase laptop tablets for council members and clerk-treasurer.