Government & School Board

Staff member from Rep. Banks’ office to be in Huntington next Thursday

A staff member from the office of Congressman Jim Banks will visit Huntington on Thursday, Aug. 10, to meet with local residents and assist those experiencing problems with a federal agency.

The staff member will be at the Huntington County Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St., Huntington, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Roanoke Town Council promotes Parker to asst. utility superintendent

The Roanoke Town Council promoted Eric Parker to assistant utility superintendent at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Parker, who had been the utility department’s senior maintenance worker, succeeds John Hitzemann, who recently retired.

The board also promoted Jason Porter, utility department employee, to Parker’s position and hired Macy McClellan to fill Porter’s role.

Update from the state


Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson addresses members of the Huntington Optimist Club Thursday, July 27, at Huntington University. Lawson spoke about the Secretary of State’s office functions and shared updates on the 2016 election cycle, the state’s business registration portal and efforts to improve financial literacy and prevent investor fraud.

Democrats meet Aug. 2 at HCTPL

The Huntington County Democrats will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

Guest speaker will be Courtney Tritch, Democrat candidate for the Third District congressional seat.

The public is welcome.

Rearrangement of administrators complete at HCCSC

Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.
Seth Parker

The rearrangement of administrators at the Huntington County Community School Corporation is complete, with the introduction at the board of school trustees’ July 24 meeting of Seth Parker as the new principal at Roanoke Elementary School.

Northwest, Lancaster to close in 2018; Horace Mann to re-open as elementary

A united Huntington County Community School Corporation school board decided on  Monday, July 24, to close Northwest and Lancaster elementary schools while re-opening Horace Mann building as an elementary school.

Those two schools will close after the current 2017-18 school year.

In addition, the board will begin the process of building a new school in the Roanoke area.

The board was deeply divided on the timetable for closing schools and whether to build a new school in Roanoke.

Andrews council discusses need to get construction insurance

The Andrews Town Council, meeting on Monday, July 24, discussed getting an insurance policy in place for the town’s wastewater treatment plant construction project.

The board hoped to move quickly on shoring up insurance as construction on the plant is now in progress.

Democratic Party has booth at 4-H fair

The Huntington County Democratic Party will have a booth at the Huntington County 4-H Fair, which continues through July 27.

Party members will register voters and a drawing will be held for a donated quilt. Gary Snyder, who has announced plans to run for the 17th District Senate seat, will be in attendance as scheduling permits to greet voters and answer questions.

The next meeting of the Democratic Party will be held on Aug. 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Branch of the Huntington City-Township Public Library. The public is welcome.

Hgtn. Board of Aviation Commissioners to hold special meeting today at 5:30 p.m.

The Huntington Board of Aviation Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 24, at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the terminal building at Huntington Municipal Airport, 1365 Warren Rd., Huntington.

Markle council approves CCD tax and study of sewer and water rates

Taxpayers in the Town of Markle were put on notice, but no one voiced any objections to a proposed tax increase at the public hearing held prior to the Markle Town Council meeting on Wednesday, July 19.

The establishment of the Cumulative Capital Development Fund will result in a tax levied on real and personal property within the town’s taxing district, not to exceed 5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

City council cancels July 25 meeting

The Huntington Common Council will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 25, at 6:45 a.m. due to a lack of agenda.

The council’s next meeting is on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the Huntington City Building. The meetings are open to the public.

Banks announces his legislation to expand, extend GI bill moving on in U.S. House of Representatives

Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, has announced that legislation he introduced in March has been included in a bipartisan legislative package that would expand and extend the GI Bill.

The Banks legislation would make permanent a pilot program called VetSuccess on Campus, which places counselors on college campuses to assist veterans in navigating their GI benefits and charting their higher education path.

County departments fine-tuning spending

Huntington County departments are fine-tuning their spending for 2017 as they hammer out budget proposals for 2018.

Four county officials appeared before Huntington County Council on Monday, July 17, seeking transfers or appropriations of funds already in their 2017 budgets.

Desiree Fritcha, Huntington County Drug Court coordinator, asked — and received permission from — the council to spend a $6,175 grant awarded to the local court by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Roanoke council authorizes water sampling at lagoon near wastewater treatment plant

The Roanoke Town Council authorized water sampling at a lagoon nearby the town’s wastewater treatment plant at its meeting on Tuesday, July 18.

A total of four samples will be taken at the lagoon on Monday, July 24, by Element Fort Wayne, an environmental testing laboratory. The samples are being taken to determine if it would be safe to discharge the lagoon into the nearby Little River.

State department of transport announces plans for Next Level

The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced road construction plans for the first five years of the 20-year Indiana’s Next Level roads program.

Over those five years, INDOT will resurface nearly 10,000 lane miles of pavement, including 191 lane miles in Huntington county, and repair or replace approximately 1,300 bridges, including 13 bridges in Huntington County.

The five year investment total in Huntington County is estimated at $31,842,150.

Zay joins governor to sign bill


Photo provided.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (seated at right) ceremonially signs into law Senate Enrolled Act 366, which waives fees associated with obtaining an identification card, learner’s permit or operator’s license for foster children, Wednesday, July 12. SEA 366 also allows foster children to contract for a policy of motor vehicle insurance as well as complete driving practice with individuals approved by the Indiana Department of Child Services. State Sen. Andy Zay, R-Huntington, (seated at left) authored the bill in the Senate.

DNR wants help to monitor turkeys

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is asking for help from the public to monitor summer production of wild turkeys. 

Volunteers will use a web-based survey to record wild turkey sightings during July and August to help provide information about annual turkey reproduction. This online system allows for broader coverage across the state and greater participation from the public. 

The surveys provide useful estimates about annual production by hens and the survival of poults (young turkeys) through the summer brood-rearing period.

Fort Wayne resident Tritch to seek Democrat Third District nomination

Photo provided.
Courtney Tritch

Fort Wayne resident Courtney Tritch has announced that she plans to be a candidate in the 2018 Democrat primary for Third District congressional nomination.

The seat is currently held by Republican Jim Banks.

Tritch recently started Courtney Tritch Consulting after serving as vice president of marketing for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. While living in Chicago, she owned a small business, Sweets by Courtney.

Andrews TC addresses wastewater rate complaints

The Andrews Town Council addressed complaints about the town’s new wastewater rate at its meeting on Monday, July 10.

In May, the board voted to raise the rate to $72.87 for 4,000 gallons of water consumption. Residents’ July bills are the first to reflect that increase.

While council members said they regretted that the rate hike would be difficult for some residents to bear, they defended the increase, stating that it was necessary in order for the town to secure financing for its wastewater treatment plant project.

Lots of questions directed at HCCSC board in Monday eve work session

Members of the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees spent most of their time during a public work session Monday, July 10, answering questions and concerns posed during a previous session by residents, parents and teachers.

The board also noted that a vote on proposed school realignment plans will take place on July 24.

Board President Matt Roth and Superintendent Randy Harris presented most of those answers, going through topics one by one:

Next phase of sewage plan to cost Huntington almost $10 million

The area outlined in red will be the site of a 2018 project to separate storm and sanitary sewers.
Graphic provided.

The next phase of a long-term plan to keep sewage out of area rivers will cost nearly $10 million, the Huntington Common Council learned on Tuesday, July 11.

The City of Huntington will sell bonds to pay for the work, and those bonds will be repaid through an increase in sewage fees of around $6 a month.

The three separate projects, scheduled to be under construction next year, are part of a nine-phase long-term control plan designed to keep untreated wastewater from flowing into area rivers as mandated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

IDOE seeking input from the public

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is seeking public comments on the first draft Indiana’s plan to fulfill the new federal education requirements, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The public comment period will stay open though 11:59 p.m. on July 20.

ESSA was signed into law in December 2015 as the update to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. ESSA replaces the previous update to the law, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Roanoke council agrees to extend water main

The Roanoke Town Council voted to extend a water main out to the under-construction Dollar General along U.S.-24 at its meeting on Wednesday, July 5.

A total of 360 feet of pipe will be extended underneath the highway to the business. Phil Hibbert, the town’s supervisor of operations, stated that the cost of the project would be $25,000, but requested $27,000 from council to ensure that any unforeseen overages could be covered.

The board opted to pay for the project using TIF funds.

In other business:

HCCSC to hold exec session, then public work session this evening

The Huntington County Community School Corporation’s Board of Trustees will hold an executive session on July 10, at 6 p.m., followed by a special public work session at 7 p.m. at the Horace Mann Education Center.

Agendas are accessible on the HCCSC website, http://www.hccsc.k12.in.us/.

Banks’ staff member to be in Huntington July 13 to meet locals

A member of Congressman Jim Banks’ staff will visit Huntington on Thursday, July 13, to meet with local residents and assist Hoosiers experiencing problems with a federal agency.

Hours are 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Huntington County Courthouse Annex, 1350 S. Jefferson St., Huntington.

Huntington County gets emergency food, shelter funds from DHS

Huntington County has been notified that it will be awarded federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) funds through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as appropriated by Congress.

Huntington County has been recommended to receive an estimated $4,561 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

Warren council cancels

The Warren Town Council will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 10.

A special meeting may be scheduled later in July, town officials said.

Local DCD invites residents to apply for funds for home rehab projects

The Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development invites Huntington County residents who satisfy certain qualifications to apply for grant money that would fund rehabilitation projects at their homes.

To qualify, a resident must either be disabled or age 55 or older. Applicants must also own their homes and make no more than 80 percent of the median Huntington County income.

Additionally, applicants must be willing to accept a forgivable loan and allow a lien to be placed on their home for up to three years.

Huntington County Soil, Water Conservation District to meet

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the district office, 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington.

The meeting is open to the public.   

Children now qualify for more hearing aid assistance

The Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education at the Indiana State Department of Health is working to make hearing aids more available to deaf and hard of hearing children in Indiana through changes to the Hearing Aid Assistance Program of Indiana.

As of July 1, children age 3 and older are eligible for up to $2,000 per hearing aid, including bone anchored hearing aids, through a participating audiologist. Previously, children age 5 and up qualified for up to $1,500 per hearing aid.

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