The Bourbon Town Council met on Tuesday, June 9 for a regular monthly session. The public was allowed to be present at the meeting for the first time in several months due to the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing requirements were observed by separation of seating. The meeting was also made available by live feed on the town’s Facebook page.
The council approved the bid from E & B Paving for $278,077.19 for paving of streets that have been identified by the state and funded through a Community Crossing Grant. The bid by E & B was the lowest bid that the council received at a special meeting on June 4.
It was noted that the work can begin once a purchase order is verified by the state and the paving project completion is expected to be completed by Labor Day, 2020.
Clerk/Treasurer Kim Berger advised the council that she had met with Triton School Superintendent, Jeremy Riffle, concerning the use of the Matchette Center in the case of an emergency and students/staff would need shelter. The request came after the Triton School Board voted on June 8 to proceed with the demolition of the old gym on the school property. The old gym had been used as an emergency site. The school does have access to the town’s park pavilion as well. No money will exchange hands due to the agreement.
Berger also asked the council to consider adding $2,000 to the funding for the Bell Tower renovations. The overrun is due to the discovery of rotten boards on the east and west sides of the building. It was noted that a lift truck is already in place and the fee if the truck would need to be rented again would be $1,500. The council approved the request by a unanimous vote.
Berger told the council that she had been in contact with the Marshall County Auditor’s Office concerning the distribution of funds from property taxes. She said the town received $445,000 in 2019; however, the distribution for 2020 is expected to be $67,000 less. An extension of the due date for property taxes payment until July could affect the anticipated amount.
Police Chief Bill Martin requested a change to the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) to allow reserve officers to have a beard. He said there was an incident where an officer was called in to cover a shift and the replacement officer did not have time to shave. The council approved the amendment, but reiterated that must be kept trimmed.
Martin also requested that a Smith & Wesson MP45 revolver that had been assigned to former Bourbon Police Officer, Rick Kanarr, be given to Kanarr as a token of appreciation for his work with the department. Kanarr retired officially on June 8. Upon council approval the weapon was declared as surplus.
According to Council President Ward Byers, INDOT crews brought special cameras into the town last week in an effort to obtain information concerning drain flooding on N. Main St. Byers said the cameras revealed that the clay tiles starting from the area near the General Dollar store showed no cracks, but were filled with rocks and debris. Byers said they worked for two full days with the help of the Bourbon Sewer Department employees to clean out the tiles.
The Council approved a fee of $2,800 form Apheus Solutions, LLC in Plymouth to build the town’s website. Maintenance fee of $100 per year for hosting the site was also approved.
In other matters, Byers, Berger, and council member P.J. Handley resigned from the Bourbon Plan Commission. Byers explained that the Plan Commission makes recommendations to the Council; thereby, reporting to themselves. The Council appointed Roger Terry to the seat that had been held by Byers and Bill Martin to the seat of P.J Handley. The empty seat left by Berger will be filled when a Democratic candidate is found.
Additionally, Terry Clemens will replace Bill Kizer in the Board of Zoning and Byers will replace Les McFarland to the Advisory Committee of the EMA.
McFarland will continue as the town’s representative to the Stellar Grant Committee. McFarland advised the Council that the town would be receiving an additional $200,000 for improvements to two lift stations within the town. The town was already receiving $640,000 for the project. Extra monies within the grant awards divided between the towns of Bourbon and LaPaz accounted for the increase in funding for the project.
McFarland briefly spoke to an Owner Occupied Housing Grant of $500,000 that will be divided among the six towns in the county. He said the monies could be used to provide better living conditions for patrons on a fixed income or other considerations ,such as roofing, furnaces, etc. after inspections. He indicated that there will be further notice of the application process in Community Outreach meetings in the future.
According to McFarland, when the initial $500,000 has been exhausted, there could be additional applications made by the county for more grant funding.