Condemnation Of Property On W. Clay Street To Be Sought By Spencer Town Council, Attorney
Unkept and a potential public health hazard, the property located at 40 West Clay Street, at the corner of Main and Clay streets, was a new topic of discussion Monday night for members of the Spencer Town Council.
Local resident and neighbor to the property, Beverly Trester, came before the council to voice her concerns with the property, including an issue involving rats and mice. Trester lives on the opposite side of a narrow alleyway from the property. Two large trees located on the property, she said, are also growing branches through power lines, resulting in a potential safety hazard.
The council agreed that the property should be cleaned up and directed town attorney Richard Lorenz to proceed with the condemnation process. Lorenz noted that the “former owner” of the property is still the legal owner, as a financial institution with rights to the property has yet to acquire the land in a sheriff’s sale. Lorenz will petition the Owen County Circuit Court for condemnation.
Also in public matters, Tom and Valarie Gillaspy petitioned the council to vacate an alleyway which divides parcels of property owned by the couple on North Central Avenue and East Hillside Avenue. Adjacent landowner Mike Hammond was also on hand to voice is displeasure with the potential vacation of the alleyway. The council decided to table the issue until its June 4th meeting in order to further investigate what impact such a vacation would have.
The council later received a request from ABATE of Indiana to utilize Cooper Commons as the site of an annual memorial ride on Saturday, May 26, with a police escort across the Veterans Memorial Bridge to River Road. The council voted 3-0 in favor of the request.
The council accepted a cancellation from the Owen County Art Guild for a scheduled hog roast and art fair set for June 9th. The guild noted that the event would likely be rescheduled in the fall.
In police department matters, Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch requested the council grant him the authority to purchase 12 new digital parking meters to be placed on North and South Main street in Spencer. The meters cost $200 each for a total of $2,400 and will be placed in front of Casida’s Barber Shop and the Owen County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation. The council voted 3-0 in favor of the request.
The council also voted 3-0 to grant Foutch’s request to add reserve deputy town marshal Ryan Combs to the department’s roster.
In street department news, superintendent Larry Parrish told the council of a repaired cave-in at the intersection of Fletcher Avenue and Franklin Street.
The council voted 3-0 to grant a request from Parrish and Foutch to donate personal “sick time” totaling 20 hours each to a street department employee.
In sewer department business, the council voted 3-0 to grant a pair of sewer adjustments on Cooper Street and Mallorie Drive.
Spencer Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Shelley Edwards also told the board of his recent work to repair the lift station on Beem Street in Spencer.
In Owen Valley Fire Territory news, council president Cynthia Hyde noted that the territory and fire department are currently seeking to sell an old equipment truck as surplus.
In an update from Lorenz, the council voted 3-0 to sign a local ordinance establishing a four-way stop at the corner of South Montgomery and West Wayne streets.
The council also received a statement of benefits from Cook Urological in Spencer, which noted projected and actual numbers from when the Spencer facility was being built.
The projected real estate property was valued at $9,500,000, but today has an actual value of $22 million. The projected amount of salaries and benefits was $12.5 million, with an actual amount today of $21 million. The projected personal property was projected at a worth of $3 million, but has an actual value of $4.6 million today.
In old business, the council learned that Kenna Consulting has the first 11 contracts for the first phase of offers in the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program prepared for property owners and will begin making offers in the coming weeks. Offers cannot be made until figures are approved by the Department of Homeland Security. The council voted 3-0 to allow councilman Dean Bruce to serve as the designated signatory for the project.
The council also received a pair of engineering service invoices from HWC Engineers for a Safe Routes To Schools sidewalk improvement grant program. The council voted 3-0 to approve the invoices to be turned in for grant funding reimbursement.
Lastly, the council received todate statistics from the town and county building department. Stats noted that permits acquired have totaled 24 for the county and seven in town. There have been a total of 43 inspections performed in the county and 13 inspections inside town limits, with nine complaints filed with the county and four with the town. The county work has generated $3,041.35, while town work has generated $2,401.10.
The Spencer Town Council will meet again on Monday, June 4, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Spencer Municipal Building, located a 90 North West Street.
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