2010-11-26 / Front Page

Usage Of Remaining Grant Funds Approved At Tuesday Meeting Of Gosport Council

Invitation To Sit In On Building Department Discussion Declined
by Amanda York Staff Writer

The three-member panel of the Gosport Town Council came together Tuesday evening for their second meeting of November 2010. Town attorney Terry English and town clerk-treasurer Wyatt Holsapple were also in attendance.

Upon a motion from Ernie Arnold and second from Becky Welch, the council voted to approve the November 9 meeting minutes and quickly moved on to approve the claims register as well.

First on the agenda was a visit from Owen County Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Denise Shaw, who came before the council on behalf of Owen County and the Town of Spencer.

“The Owen County Economic Development Corporation is acting as a facilitator to help the county and the Town (of Spencer) to possibly combine their building departments,” Shaw explained. “The county is in very close danger of losing their building department for lack of funds in that department, so we are looking at trying to find ways to maybe combine the departments, which basically means the town planner, the county planner and the building inspectors would all come under one department and basically do it all. They would administer all the codes and all the ordinances for the county and the town under one heading.

“I realize that the Town of Gosport is just getting started in planning and zoning and putting together your comprehensive plan, at least that’s what I understand, and I think that is wonderful. We certainly don’t want to get in the middle of any of that, but at the same time, when resources are low sometimes it’s good to combine building departments. The invitation is being extended to the Town of Gosport to sit in on the conversation. You are certainly not committed to anything. You are certainly not obligated to anything. If you come to the meetings and sit in on the conversation, it does not mean that the Town of Gosport is committing to being part of the joint building department. It just means that you are willing to sit in on the conversations and see if there is some way that this building department might be of help to you once you get your comprehensive plan and ordinances up and going. We certainly don’t plan to interfere. You guys have done wonderful things in the last couple of years and the work that you’re doing in the community is to be commended. Like I said, we don’t want to get in the middle of that, but at the same time, we don’t want to leave you out either.”

After a discussion between the board, Mrs. Shaw and town attorney English, the board declined the invitation at this time, but announced their desire to be kept informed. Shaw agreed to report back to the Town of Gosport in March when more of the structure was in place.

The board moved on to hear information regarding remaining grant funds and possible usage for the funds. Town clerk-treasurer Holsapple told the board of $8,493.15 remaining funds for the drainage project and $8,806.85 for the streetscape project. After much discussion between the board members, it was decided that remaining grant funds should be used for sidewalks and safety grates, subject to the finalization of the details.

In final street department news, it was announced that leaf pick-up in the town of Gosport would end Friday, December 3.

In police department news, town marshal Randall VanArsdale came before the board with a report. He noted the issuance of two citations, five written warnings, 16 verbal warnings, four calls for service and five cases of theft currently being investigated.

Other items covered including announcements that the new fire truck should be ready by the end of the year, and survey crews will be in town until December 2 getting ready for the water main block grant project.

The next meeting of the Gosport Town Council will take place Tuesday, December 14 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Gosport Town Hall.

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