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G'town residents get first glimpse of new town hall

Some residents hope to save old town office

November 06, 2013
In a meeting that began at the Georgetown Optimist Club and ended at the new Georgetown Town Hall, residents were able to sneak a peek at the newly renovated town offices.

The first half of the meeting included the 2014 budget, which, after little discussion, was adopted unanimously.

"Anything left out will have to have an additional appropriation later. This is the budget that we discussed and that the state has signed off on," said Kim Sweet, town treasurer, when asked about the possibility of sidewalk funds by council member Kathy Haller.

Roger Jeffers, of the Floyd County Parks Department, was on hand to discuss the county's involvement with the Georgetown Park softball field.

Jeffers said he was "real pleased" with the way things had transpired during the season and expressed his hope that the town and county could continue to facilitate the interlocal agreement in the future that would allow the county to maintain and run the park and leagues.

"We're hoping to eventually begin a spring, summer and fall league," Jeffers said.

He said that the only thing the county would like to change would be the maintenance agreement. Currently, the county maintains the diamond and the town maintains the outside area. In the future, the county would like to maintain the entire grassed area.

"Right now, we're on different mowing schedules," he said. "We'd like to make it so we do all of the mowing and take some of that responsibility off of the town."

Jeffers said he wasn't unhappy with the job the town was doing, just that it would only take a small amount of time for the county to cover it while there, so everything could be kept uniform.

Town council members were optimistic that they would be able to reach an agreement and even offered to create a multi-year contract, with the option to revisit the agreement each year, in order to facilitate the county involvement.

Once again, the old Georgetown Bank building, former home of the town hall and located at 9110 S.R. 64, came up in discussion, this time due to questions by resident Don Farnsley about the Unsafe Building Fund. The town council vacated the space due to costly repairs and the presence of mold and has intermittently discussed what should be done with the space.

Council president Mike Mills once again said he believes the building should be taken down due to disrepair, a sentiment that was expressed by several town council members but refuted by members of the community.

"There are several people who would like to have that building," Farnsley said. "It should be maintained."

Council members and town employees, however, disagreed.

"We're getting all the stuff out of the upstairs, and the roof is leaking terrible," Sweet said. "So, we're either going to take it down or it's going to come down by itself."

The new building, at 9111 S.R. 64, across from the old town hall, is an improvement upon the town's temporary home at Copperfield Commons that forced meetings to take place at a separate location. Now, town business and meetings can be held in the same facility with no trouble.

Parking has long been a concern for the new facility; however, the house was almost full during the Oct. 21 meeting and there were no complaints from the community members.

In other non-building-related news, Police Chief Dennis Kunkel gave his monthly report and said that the town is still having increased issues with speeding and accidents.

"We're out hitting the streets, but we can't be everywhere at once," he said. "Accidents are up, and most of it is just driver inattention with the texting and everyone's in a hurry."

In addition to traffic infractions, narcotics arrests have been climbing in recent months, Kunkel said.

"We had a meth house we shut down, and the state police came in and cleaned it up," he said. "We had two felony arrests out of that."

Public works projects are well under way and Bob Woosley, town engineer, gave an appraisal of the work that accomplished in the previous month.

The drainage work at 7765 Frank Ott Road has been completed and the current project at 1006 Brookstone Court is underway as is the repair work on the east lift station.

A water line repair at Dalby Creek will need to be re-quoted due to lack of interest the first round.

"We tried to get quotes, and no one responded, but I've been told by at least one of those contractors that they can get to it now," he said. "They just didn't have the time before."

Woosley said the variable frequency drive at the booster station is operating properly and is ready to run when the water tank needs to be taken out of service for maintenance.

"We have tested the procedure; it met all criteria, it passed its test," he said. "Now, in the case of a disaster, the town will still have water pressure."

Jim Reynolds, public works manager, gave an update on the sidewalk project at 9225 S.R. 64. Previously, the town could not repair the sidewalk due to confusion about who owned the property ­— the town or state.

After a title report was requested and completed, the only town-related item on the deed was a sewer easement. Indiana Department of Transportation maintains that, when it gave back the property, it would have given the sidewalk back to the town. However, the town holds no record of the exchange.

It was decided that the town would repair the sidewalk. Charges for repairs by an outside entity were estimated at between $7,000 and $8,000. The town's public works department would be able to complete the job for a fraction of the cost. Reynolds said it can cut expenses to approximately $1,287.89.

It was decided that the town will handle the repair.

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