Town of Markle gets three parcels of land from county commissioners

The Town of Markle is now the owner of three properties, after members of the Markle Town Council voted to adopt Resolution 2019-2 to accept assignment of the county’s tax liens against the properties during the council’s regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The parcels are located at 480 N. Clark St. along with a small vacant lot located next door on North Clark Street and the third at 145 E. Morse St.
Council President Jeff Humbarger said the properties did not sell at a tax sale on Sept. 19, and the Huntington County Commissioners have turned them over to the town, which will obtain the titles by issuance of a tax deed from the Huntington County auditor. Humbarger added that one of the properties, which has a garage built on it, will be used for storage.

Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton said the commissioners have already signed a similar resolution approving the transfer.

The council’s resolution takes effect immediately.

On another property issue, the council gave Teresa Bartrom more time to get repairs completed on the property at 425 N. Clark St. owned by her brother, Travis Lee.

Bartrom, acting on behalf of Lee, who is disabled, said a contractor started work on the house and was involved in an automobile accident and, being hospitalized, was unable to finish the work.

Bartrom said either the current contractor or another one can finish the project in the spring, but a new contractor would not be able to look at it until April.

She also told the council that the property had been taxed at full value but is unlivable. A reassessment was made a few weeks ago and will make the tax different in 2020 until any improvements are made.

The deadline to make repairs was up at the end of this month, Bartrom said. In the meantime, she said she intends to sell the house for her brother.

Humbarger told her that if the house does not sell by April 1, the council would be willing to give an extension to get it finished.

On another agenda item, the council heard a proposal and hourly rates from H.J. Umbaugh and Associates of Indianapolis to do a reassessment of the town’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

Among other tasks, the firm will work with the town to analyze the boundaries of the existing and amended TIF area and potential assessed value impacts of proposed new construction and/or demolition projects within the town’s TIF area. Umbaugh will also provide municipal advisory and consulting services.

The agreement will be signed by the Markle Redevelopment Commission.

In other business:

• The council elected to keep Humbarger as president of the council, with Mark Hamilton continuing to serve as vice president.

• The town council has called a special meeting for Friday, March 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Markle Town Hall, 197 E. Morse St. The purpose of the meeting will be to vote on a new council member, who will replace outgoing councilman Eric Bower.

The meeting is open to the public.

• Carolyn Hamilton also presented the Town of Markle Annual Report to Council for 2018. The report outlines statistics for the town’s water utility and wastewater treatment plant. It also lists a project summary for the water treatment and wastewater treatment plants and other town projects including paving streets.

Copies of the report may be picked up at the Markle Town Hall, 197 E. Morse St.

The next regular town council meeting will be held Wednesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Markle Volunteer Fire Station.