2014-02-21 / Front Page

Town Council Discusses Future Of Owen Recycling Center; New SPD Reserve Officers Sworn-In

Staff Report

Spencer Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Moke, right, swears-in new reserve officers Craig Jefferies, Austin Combs, Seth Miller and Anthony Pope, left to right, as Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch looks on. (Courtesy Photo) Spencer Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Moke, right, swears-in new reserve officers Craig Jefferies, Austin Combs, Seth Miller and Anthony Pope, left to right, as Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch looks on. (Courtesy Photo) A wide-spread salt shortage may soon end for the Town of Spencer. Spencer Street Department Superintendent Larry Parrish told the Spencer Town Council on Monday evening that he was able to locate 22 tons of salt at a cost of $2,200. The council voted 3-0 to approve the purchase, which will be delivered from a southern state.

In other news, Parrish said he has contacted Chad Gates of Gosport Tree Service in regards to the removal of two trees on North Montgomery Street. Gates will remove the tops of the trees, allowing the street department to remove the remainders of each, at a total cost of $700. The council voted 3-0 to approve the request, pending proof of insurance from Gosport Tree Service.

Parrish also informed the council that he recently ordered new parts to replace busted inner and outer axles of the town’s Ford F-450 truck at a cost of $875, along with various other parts for town trucks.

The council was also told that the street department is currently utilizing cold mix in a hot box to patch pot holes throughout town.

Councilman Jon Stantz informed his fellow board members that the Owen-Clay Solid Waste District was recently reorganized, with Stantz himself serving as board president and Owen County Commissioner Tony Voelker serving as vice president. The news soon transition to a debate concerning the future of the Owen County “Robert (Bob) E. Clark” Recycling Center.

Council president Cynthia Hyde suggested if the Owen County Board of Commissioners were to reach a decision to close the recycling center, the Town should take over its operations.

“Tony Voelker would like to privatize it, and money is always the issue. They don’t want it going on the tax rolls and they want it to be self-supporting,” Stantz said. “One of the problems is that due to the economy, a lot of recyclables aren’t worth what they were three, four or five years ago. With that, their trash service was hit. When Clay, Owen and Vigo counties were together, there was an understanding with Mr. Clark and Republic that the fee for the dumpsters was $285, but since they have split off, that fee has raised to $415, which takes the profit out of the dumpster. I know Monroe County has talked about this, Rockville has and Crawfordsville has, that there will come a day that you will pay a fee for recycling.”

Local resident George Thurston suggested that a horizontal compactor could be utilized to cut down on the use of dumpsters.

“If you would be interested in that, so would I, because I don’t want to see it go away,” Stantz said. Councilman Dean Bruce agreed with the suggestion that the Town take over the center, if a decision were indeed reached by the county to close the center.

“If the Town taking it over makes it survive... I mean it’s taken this long to get it where it is, if we stop it now, we probably won’t ever get one started again,” Bruce added.

The council also briefly discussed a new temporary telephone line from the Owen County Courthouse to the health and building and emergency management agency offices at the corner of Market and Washington streets.

The council later spoke with Southern Indiana Development Commission’s Matt Sward regarding a resolution for a master parks plan, ultimately approving the plan contingent on recommendations and approval from the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs. The council voted 3-0 to sign Resolution 2014-2.

Sward also provided invoices for the integrated rural health clinic project for Centerstone. The council voted 3-0 to approve invoices for services from Tabor/Bruce Architecture & Design. With the Town serving as the lead applicant for grant funding, Centerstone will provide the Town with payment, which will then made by the Town to the vendor. The two invoices totaled $40,903.80.

In department updates, the council learned that the Spencer Police

Department recently received a check for $30,380 from traffic citations through the Owen County Circuit Court. The funds have been deposited into the Town’s general fund and Spencer Town Marshal Richard Foutch indicated he’d like to use a portion of those funds to purchase new weapons for the department.

Foutch also mentioned a recent methamphetamine lab bust on Beem Street by the SPD and Indiana State Police. He said an instructor will be coming to the SPD to teach officers specific indicators of one-pot meth lab operations.

Lastly, the council voted 3-0 to approve the appointment of three new reserve officers. Those individuals, Craig Jeffrey, Austin Combs and Anthony Pope, along with recent reserve appointee Seth Miller, were sworn-in by Spencer Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Moke. SPD Reserves are under the supervision of Spencer Deputy Town Marshal Marty Workman.

In new business, the council voted 3-0 to pay $3,281.25 to GRW, Inc for engineering services related to new street lighting along Morgan Street.

Lastly, the board discussed its desire to explore the acquisition of additional blighted properties in the Prospect Park area, to be purchased and improved through the Southern Indiana Development Commission (SIDC).

The Spencer Town Council will meet again on Monday, March 3, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Spencer Municipal Building, located at 90 North West Street.

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