Government & School Board

City finds 'stop-gap' to keep 2010 budget in black; seeks long-term solutions

A bare-bones spending plan, concessions from employees and an infusion of cash from city savings accounts may be enough to keep Huntington's 2010 budget in the black -- but more needs to be done, noted Mayor Steve Updike.

"This is a stop-gap; it's not a long-term solution," Updike told members of the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Dec. 8. "We're keeping the wheels slowly turning, but we're not answering the long-term question."

Roanoke council tables raising permit fees

The Roanoke Town Council tabled an amendment to the current Roanoke Zoning Ordinance, Section 360, which would raise fees charged for permits and other construction-related government expenses at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The new ordinance, proposed by the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, would override Roanoke's current policy, which allows most temporary signs to be placed without a permit free of charge.

Dillon invites students to serve as Senate pages

Sen. Gary Dillon recently invited area middle and high school students to make the Indiana Statehouse their "classroom for a day" by serving as Senate pages during the 2010 Indiana General Assembly.

During the legislative session, pages spend one day at the Statehouse working with their senator and Senate staff.

Final leaf pick-up of season in Huntington to be week of Dec. 7

Final pick-up of leaves in Huntington that are curbside will be made the week of Dec. 7.

The city street department asks to have all leaves raked the curb by Monday, Dec. 7.

 

Commissioners asked to back grant to fund Andrews library renovation

The Andrews/Dallas Township Library is looking to make its 83-year-old home handicap accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act through a construction project that will potentially add ramps, an elevator and a new restroom, said Nancy Disbro, Andrews Library director.

SBA offers free Internet workshop Dec. 15 to provide guidance

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) will host a free Internet small business workshop.
The online workshop will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Parrett completes training at Fort Sill

Army National Guard Pvt. Marc O. Parrett recently graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, in Lawton, OK.

During the nine weeks of training, Parrett studied the Army mission and received instruc-tion and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army history, core values and tradi-tions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, rifle marksmanship, weapons use, map reading and land navigation, foot marches, armed and unarmed com-bat, and field maneuvers and tactics.

He is a 2008 graduate of Huntington North High School.

HCCSC income numbers also down this year

The numbers tossed around at the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Nov.23, could suggest HCCSC finances are following those of the city of y, but Assistant Superintendent for Business David McKee says that the circumstances are different.

Three existing HNHS courses to be recognized as senior year math credits

Three of Huntington North High School's existing courses will now be recognized as senior year math credits.

The decision was approved 4-0 during the Monday, Nov. 23 Huntington County Community School Board of Trustees meeting, with Vice President Rick Brubaker and members Dr. Jennifer Goff and Troy Smart absent for the vote.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Charles Grable said those classes are Machine Trades, Agricultural Economics and Family Economics and Financial Education.

Trash pick-fee up to rise $3 in Warren

The cost of trash and recycling pickup in Warren will increase by $3 per household, the Warren Town Council learned at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.

The service provider, Marion Services, told the council that rates would have to be increased in order for the company to continue to provide the best service to the town.

Costs will be increased by $3 to $9.49 per household.

Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison noted that Warren is a high recycling town, which means that a large percentage of residents participate in recycling.

Council shoots down two revenue proposals; mayor says more layoffs in store

Huntington Common Council members Erv Ebersole and Brooks Fetters (from left, backs to camera) listen as Huntington resident Mark Krumanaker discusses a proposed trash fee during a packed public hearing Monday, Nov. 23, at Heritage Hall.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

A shocked Mayor Steve Updike was left trying to figure out what to do next after the Huntington Common Council on Tuesday, Nov. 24, shot down both of his proposals for keeping the city from drowning in red ink.

"I am just overwhelmed," Updike said as he stood in his office following the two-hour council meeting. "I am speechless. I thought that vote was in."

The result, he says, will be the loss of more city employees.

"Layoffs are coming," Updike said. "I have to save money.

Markle council to have Wells County GIS access

The November Markle Town Council meeting was filled with routine business.

The council agreed to pay $452.60 to Wells County in order to have access to the GIS system Wells County is looking into purchasing. Upon payment, Markle will have full access to all of the data the system offers, which helps with economic development activities.

Half of Markle lies in Wells County.

Warren gets Main Street approval

Members of the Warren Area Economic Development group met with Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman Friday, Nov. 13, at the Indiana Statehouse to mark the agency’s inclusion in the Indiana Main Street program.
Photo provided.

Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman welcomed the Warren Area Economic Development group and the Huntington Main Street group to the Indiana Main Street program at a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Indiana Main Street is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). The program provides assistance to participating Indiana cities and towns for economic development efforts in their local downtown and commercial business districts.

County council to discuss 2010 salary ordinance

The Huntington County Council will meet tonight, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. in the G.A.R. Room of the Huntington County Courthouse.

The agenda includes adoption of a salary ordinance for 2010, a discussion of the leaky roof at the Huntington County Jail, a discussion of part-time help by Linda Aldridge, representing Huntington County Purdue Cooperative Extension, and a discussion of a retiring employee by Mike Bir, head of the courthouse custodial staff.

Fletcher graduates recently from Army basic combat training

Scott Fletcher.
Photo provided.

Army Private E-2 Class Scott T. Fletcher, of Huntington, recently graduated from basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

During the nine weeks of training, Fletcher studied army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches and field training exercises.

Smyser graduates from Air Force basic training

Benjamin Smyser.
Photo provided.

Air Force Airman Benjamin M. Smyser has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Smyser is the son of Stacey Smyser, of Bluffton, and the grandson of April Shaw, of Markle.

Annual Christmas lights display at Sunken Gardens falsl victim to Huntington's financial crisis

Huntington employee Larry Hayes unwinds lights from around a tree at Sunken Gardens on Thursday, Nov. 19. The Sunken Gardens Christmas display has been canceled as the city tries to work its way out of a budget crunch.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Sunken Gardens has gone to black.

What would have been the 27th annual Christmas light display has been canceled, a victim of Huntington's financial crisis.

"It's hard to justify putting these lights up when people are losing their jobs," says Denise Bard, superintendent of the Huntington Parks and Recreation Department.

Health department confirms H1N! death

The Huntington County Department of Health is urging area residents to take advantage of the H1N1 influenza vaccine following the confirmation of an H1N1-related death in Huntington County.

Huntington Street Dept. sets holiday schedule

The Huntington Street Department will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27.

Thursday's trash will be collected on Wednesday, Nov. 25, along with Wednesday's regular trash route.

The trash route for Friday, Nov. 27 will be collected on Monday, Nov. 30, along with Monday's regular trash.

It is asked that items be available for pickup by 7 a.m.

 

For a good cause


Photo by Matt Murphy.

Huntington County employees Tony Poff, assistant superintendent of the Huntington County Highway Department (left); Jordan Beaver, intern (center); and Nate Schacht, executive director of the Department of Community Development; throw pies at County Commissioner Jerry Helvie on Monday, Nov. 16, at the Huntington County Courthouse. Employees who donated $10 to the United Way were eligible to throw a pie.

Dillon looks at issues for lawmakers' short session

Indiana state lawmakers returned to the Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to organize for next year's legislative session.

Because the state passes budgets in odd numbered years, 2010 is known as a "short session" and will adjourn by law no later than March 14.

However, State Sen. Gary Dillon (R-Columbia City) says next year's short session may be long on major issues.

Deadline for FSA election ballots is Dec. 7

The Farm Service Agency has mailed ballots for the 2009 FSA County Committee elections to eligible voters.
The deadline for eligible voters to return ballots to their local FSA offices is Dec. 7.

Ballots will be counted at the Huntington County FSA office at 2040 Riverfork Drive West in Huntington on Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

FSA county committee members make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other important agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms.

Christmas elf


Photo by Jessica Williams.

Tim Bischoff of the Huntington Street Department straightens a wooden candy cane on Friday afternoon, Nov. 20, as he and several other street department employees put up the town's Christmas decorations -- on their own time -- so the act wouldn't cost the city overtime pay during the current poor financial situation.

DNR selling pins to help feed the hungry

Citizens can help feed the hungry through the Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund by purchasing the fund's lapel pins.

The pins are available for purchase from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. Proceeds go to organizations such as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, helping pay for the processing of deer donated to the program by hunters. The venison is given to various food banks across Indiana.

In 2008, officials say more than 75,000 pounds of donated meat to FHFH was processed into 300,216 meals.

BZA releases agenda for next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24

The Huntington County Board of Zoning Appeals has released its meeting agenda for the Tuesday, Nov. 24 gathering in the GAR Room at 7:30 p.m. in the courthouse, room 207.

Under old business, an application filed by JB Towers, LLC will be looked at, which requests a special exception to allow a wireless communications tower on property zoned agricultural, located on SR 105 in Andrews.

Oct. 26 neighborhood association meeting a success

The Northeast Neighborhood Association meeting on Oct. 26 was a success, officials say, and was attended by several interested neighbors, landlords and some people from outside of the pilot area interested in what is taking place.

The group decided to pursue the organization of the Association and will be meeting again and would like to have anyone interested in attendance.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the Trinity United Methodist Church, at the corner of Guilford and Market Streets in Huntington.

Huntington considering buying proroperty for new well sites

The Board of Public Works and Safety and a Huntington family negotiated deals on Monday, Nov. 16, that will allow the city of Huntington to test for wells and possibly buy 5.6 acres of land at CR 300W and CR 600N from Pam and Jack Scher.

The Scher family and the city struck a package deal that will allow the city to test the family's land for three possible well sites at a fee of $3,000.

INDOT closes tracks at US 224/Ind.-5 for emergency repair

INDOT closed the railroad tracks crossing between Court Street and East State Street in Huntington due to emergency repair, today, Monday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. The crossing is expected to be open again by Saturday, Nov. 21, at noon.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District announces that US 224/Ind.-5 in Huntington will be closed due to emergency repair, by Norfolk Southern Railroad, on the railroad crossing between Court Street and East State Street beginning Monday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m.

The closure should be lifted by Saturday, Nov. 21, by noon, INDOT officials note.

The detour for eastbound US 224 traffic is: US 224 west, to US 24/Ind.-9 west, to Ind.-9 south, to Ind.-124 east, to Ind.-5 south, to I-69 north, to US 224 west.

Main steet revival


Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development Director Nate Schacht and downtown business owner Teresa Plasterer (from left) cut a ribbon on Jefferson Street in front of The New Huntington Theater signifying the acceptance of Huntington's downtown business district into the Indiana Main Street program. Local organizers say the program can offer financial assistance to downtown property owners who follow design guidelines in improving their facades.

Poe graduates from Air Force basic training

Air Force Airman Jared A. Poe, of Huntington, recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.

The airman completed an intensive eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies; Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Poe is the son of Abby Woods, of Tampa, FL.

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