Town working to get abandoned property issue resolved

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LAPEL — Residents living near an abandoned building located at 210 W. Ninth St. spoke at the Nov. 19 Lapel Town Council meeting, stating the unkempt property has created a rodent problem in the area.

According to Lapel Plan Commission President Gary Shuck, the issue at the property includes possums and raccoons.

“There’s enough stuff in there they can make their home in there for a long time,” he said.

Shuck and council President Chad Blake both told the concerned residents that they were going through the proper legal channels to get the problem fixed.

Blake said they had reached out to Madison County Health Department, which came out to investigate the property.

“They said there was nothing considered a health hazard with (the) property that would allow (them) to accelerate the process.

“We’re taking this very seriously. We’re going through all the channels and moving as fast as the law allows.”

Shuck said they are hopeful to have more answers at the upcoming planning board meeting scheduled for Dec. 10.

“It will be on the homeowner to fix or remedy all of those problems,” Shuck said. “It’s just a matter of how do we do it legally.”

Purchase ratified

The council ratified an emergency purchase of two fluoride pumps for the water department.

Blake made an emergency declaration to purchase the pumps so they could get the issue taken care of prior to the scheduled Nov. 19 meeting.

Cost for the two pumps, which are not part of an upcoming multi-million-dollar water project, was $1,396.

Council member Teresa Retherford told the board and others who joined the meeting virtually that one of the department’s two fluoride pumps went down and could not be repaired.

“The one that is running now is not running well. We needed to get (the new pumps) ordered right away. If the other went down, we’d be in a lot of trouble,” she said.

The council voted unanimously to ratify the emergency purchase.

Police station approval

The council approved a bid from Anderson company Moss Glass to replace two windows at the Lapel police station.

The bid is for $1,418 to replace a cracked window and another window with moisture damage.

Blake said the cracked window was not a security issue.

Town Hall closed

With concerns about coronavirus, the council voted to close town hall to the public until further notice.

Blake said public business could be conducted using the drop box, drive-up window, by appointment, digitally or by phone.

Meeting update

The council announced Tuesday it will conduct a special meeting at 7 p.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 3.

A link to join the meeting virtually is on Lapel’s town Facebook page.