Markle Council votes to fix standing water

With Councilman Nick Lund abstaining, the Markle Town Council voted 2-0 at its meeting Wednesday, July 15, to hire Wolf Excavating to fix the standing water problem behind homes at 110, 120 and 130 Woodfield Ct.

Lund abstained from the vote because his property is one of those affected by the standing water.

“The swale right behind Nick’s house is out of the easement. That’s where the swale is supposed to be,” said Town Superintendent Rick Asher. “Why it was done that way, nobody knows.”

Asher told the council that he recommended an option to move the swale into the utility right-of-way and install 260 feet of drainage with the 6-inch pipe to be bedded with limestone then covered with topsoil. The area would be regraded to drain the surface water to a culvert at Ind.-116.

The cost of the project is $3,500. The town opted not to pay for additional grading, seeding and placement of straw at the site. The town will provide that work once the drainage project has been completed, saving $800.

Following the vote, Lund said the underlying issue is there is no storm system in the neighborhood.

On another matter, Asher notified the council that Ind.-3 may be resurfaced through town. He said manholes and grates may be raised to accommodate the new road surface. He added there was no date given for the start of the resurfacing.

The council also conducted a public hearing to invite input about the property it has for sale located at 480 N. Clark St.

“The town acquired that property, and there has been discussion over time as to what exactly to do with that, whether to use that building for town storage, explained Council President Aaron McClary. “It was determined to do some work on that building and the property to prepare it for sale.”

No one tendered bids for the property, but Markle resident Troy Hott, who lives on Clark Street, said he was interested in purchasing it, but not for the $65,000 appraisal price the town received.

Hott asked if there were any tanks buried on the property. McClary said the Indiana Department of Environmental Management informed the council that they had no record of any tanks on the property.

Another resident, Jessica Hunnicutt, who also lives on Clark Street, asked about traffic flow access to the property. Town Assistant Mike Grant said there shouldn’t be any restrictions and the property could be accessed via Clark Street.

Grant added there is a new water line going to the building on the property and the power has been turned on.

Since the council received no bids the matter will now be transitioned to BKM Realty to list and sell the property.

A tax abatement compliance statement on personal property from K-K Tool & Design was approved 3-0.

McClary said he recently took a walk-through of the company and met with the leadership.

“I’m impressed by their continuing investment in their own company and by extension, the community,” he added, noting that K-K increased both its investment and number of employees since its initial statement of benefits.

In old business, Councilman Matthew Doss suggested the town begin entertaining bids for trash collection, since the current company’s contract will expire at the end of the year. He wanted to see bids from companies that also handle recycled materials collections.

Doss also noted that several residents have asked him about the fiber optic service coming to Markle. He said it’s becoming a problem to use the current service, especially for those who do business from their homes.

McClary said in light of the pandemic, installation of the internet service is not happening as fast as many thought.

“It’s the same old song – one foot is going in front of the other, but it’s very slow,” he said. “COVID has delayed that supply chain from beginning to end. It’s moving forward, but not nearly at the pace that any of us would like.”