Markle puts newest council member to work immediately

Holding a Bible, new Markle Town Councilman Matthew Doss is sworn into office by the town’s clerk-treasurer, Carolyn Lane-Hamilton. The ceremony was held at the start of the regular town council meeting on Wednesday, May 15.
Holding a Bible, new Markle Town Councilman Matthew Doss is sworn into office by the town’s clerk-treasurer, Carolyn Lane-Hamilton. The ceremony was held at the start of the regular town council meeting on Wednesday, May 15. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

The Markle Town Council welcomed its newest member, Matthew Doss, at its regular meeting held Monday, May 15.

After a swearing-in ceremony, Doss, who replaced outgoing councilman Jeff Humbarger, got right to work conducting business, joining Mark Hamilton in his new role as council president and another freshman member, Aaron McClary.

Doss, an attorney, is general counsel and executive director of human resources at Tender Loving Care Management, in Marion. He also maintains a law office in Markle. Previously he was employed at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and UAW-GM Legal Services Plan, in Fort Wayne.

He is a veteran of the United States Army, and serves as adjunct faculty at Franklin University and the Center for Legal Studies. His professional and community affiliations include Amity 483 Free and Accepted Masons, Wells County Circuit Court Teen Court judge, Northern Illinois University College of Law Moot Court judge, Liberty Center United Methodist Church and the Grant County Human Resources Professionals Group.

Among Doss’ accolades and awards is the Gen. John H. Moellering JROTC Hall of Honor, Alumni Council Award for Distinguished Service and Commitment to Law, Law Faculty Award for Outstanding Performance in Advocacy Programs and the Public Interest Law Society Fellowship.
One of Doss’ first acts as councilman was to join his peers in unanimously approving Resolution 2019-5, which changes boundaries to enlarge the Markle Industrial Park Economic Development area or Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area.

The expansion includes two tracts of real estate annexed in 2018 next to the existing industrial park and the economic development plan amendments will allow the RDC to consider projects that will benefit the area and the community at large.

Markle Redevelopment Commission (RDC) President John Markley told the council the resolution will also give the council and the RDC the authority to use funds to pay for utility issues, sewer and stormwater lines, construct alleyways, sidewalks, streets, curbs and environment projects, among other TIF district projects.

The Town of Markle Plan Commission gave its approval, sending the resolution to the Markle Town Council. Next, the RDC will conduct a public hearing before the next town council meeting before the resolution is made official.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a plan to pursue Community Crossings Matching Grant (CCMG) funds to reconstruct Gardner Court, at an estimated total cost of $80,696.

Town Supervisor Rick Asher said if the town receives the grant, it will only need to pay 25 percent of that cost, or $20,173.75, leaving the remainder paid by grant funding.

Asher said the town would have to pay for a complete topographical survey that will be needed to add the design plan to the town’s application for the CCMG grant. In addition, he said the current asphalt pavement would likely need to be stripped to find the end of a six-inch water main. Once it’s located a hydrant would be attached to aid in flushing and fire protection in the area.

“That street’s never had anything done to it since it was built back in, I think, ’82 or so,” Asher added.

Town Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton said if the grant is approved, the town has the money to go ahead with construction.

“I feel good about moving forward and trying to take advantage of this state program, for this additional infrastructure improvement,” McClary said.

The additional project will total about $280,000 in requested CCMG street improvements. Asher said the application will be submitted to the state in July and the town hopes to hear back by October or November.

Another project – a recent speed study conducted by the Indiana Department of Transportation on East Morse Street – resulted in the speed limit being lowered along a stretch of the road on the east side of town. INDOT made the study at the request of Markle resident Ben Gerber, who lives on Morse Street (also known as Ind.-116).

Previously, the speed limit was 40 mph from Tracy Street to Markle Church of Christ, then dropped to 35 for a short portion before going down to 30 mph into town. The 35-mph zone will now be changed to 30 mph. The speed limit from Ind.-3 to Tracy Street will be 30 mph, then go to 40 mph east of Tracy Street.

“As you’re coming up the hill and around that curve coming into town, it will be 30 miles an hour all the way through town,” Town Marshal John Markley added.

The council voted 3-0 to accept the INDOT recommendation.

The council also unanimously voted to donate $250 to the annual Ride 2 Provide fund-raiser, which will have its 14th year on Aug. 17. This year the event will raise money for the Joel and Natalie Drayer family, following the birth of twin boys that included multiple complications. One of the twins is still in the hospital with multiple heart and lung issues.

The Ride 2 Provide event will include a motorcycle ride, raffle drawing, 50/50 drawing, silent auction, kids raffle, cookies and canvas, bake sale, disc golf tournament, 5K run/walk, Bingo and a benefit dinner. Most activities take place at the Markle Fish & Game Club Park.

Donations may be made to Ride 2 Provide, attention Lesa Asher, 3398 E. Markle Rd., Huntington, IN 46750.