Georgetown adopts overnight parking ordinance
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
The Georgetown Town Council adopted an overnight parking ordinance for town property during its regular monthly meeting Sept. 20 at the town hall.
Overnight parking regulations and enforcement have been discussed by the council on several prior occasions, dating back at least a couple of years. The period where parking will be prohibited (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.) was established at the council’s August meeting. Under the ordinance, vehicles are not to be left on town hall property — 9111 Highway 64; the old town hall complex to the north; any town-owned lots, as well as both town parks (Georgetown Ballpark and Ashley Mariah) — during those hours. Violating vehicles will face towing at the owner’s expense. The five-member council passed both readings of the ordinance unanimously.
The council also appropriated $1,500 as a tentative sign budget. The town will create a sign template, likely containing the hours where parking is banned and the ordinance number. A public works employee will use the template to obtain quotes for the new signs. The town plans to post signs on the town-owned spots around the Georgetown Bakery. It was also noted bakery employees would be exempt.
“We can talk to them about placing that signage,” town council president Chris Loop said of the final locations for signs at the bakery site.
In another matter, the council took action on a second previously-mentioned item, by approving an interlocal agreement with the Harrison County Regional Sewer District to treat sludge.
Sludge from the sewer district plant near New Salisbury is currently being treated by Lanesville. However, town engineer Bob Woosley said Georgetown, which has a newer treatment plant, has been approached about assuming the duties.
“We set the plant up for this opportunity,” Woosley said, adding it would be a good way to perform some additional testing on the system.
The pact is for one initial year with the possibility of extending annually for three individual renewal years. Sludge will be treated at a cost of five cents per gallon. Preliminary estimates showed the town could generate about $5,000 per year providing the treatment services.
At the July 19 regular council meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Julia Keibler received authorization to hire a new town employee with a proposed salary range of $14 to 18 per hour. During the September meeting, Keibler noted the hiring process was progressing and she planned to schedule second interviews the week of Sept. 27.
As a sideline to the hiring discussion, council vice president Ben Stocksdale mentioned the possibility of a market salary adjustment for town employees ahead of the annual salary ordinance adoption for 2022.
“I want to take care of the people we’ve got,” Stocksdale said.
Councilman Billy Haller suggested if office employees are considered for increases, public works staff should be afforded the same opportunity.
“We’ve got to be fair with everybody,” Haller said.
Loop suggested the council review not only pay, but all aspects of employees’ compensation packages, including health insurance, paid time off, etc. He recommended Stocksdale and Haller continue the conversation prior to the October meeting, where 2022 salaries would be a topic.
“Let’s get together and just talk about it,” Haller added, to which Stocksdale agreed.
Woosley provided the council with updates about several upcoming paving projects.
Libs Paving, Woosley said, was set to begin resurfacing work Sept. 24 at the Georgetown Police Station along Henriott Road, which will include building a new second entrance and widening the existing entrance. Striping and seal-coating will be completed next spring.
Libs is also scheduled to begin other paving work on town streets in October.
Woosley also mentioned Merrell Bierman Excavating was expected to begin work on the parking lot at the Georgetown Bakery before the end of September. He noted he requested they begin with the flashing crosswalk.
After some debate, the council tabled appointment of a new member for the town’s redevelopment commission. A question was raised as to if resumés, cover letters, etc., would be requested from prospects.
“It is just an appointment from the council,” Loop said.
The council settled on requesting a cover letter from applicants to explain why they would like to serve on the commission. Loop, who indicated he was aware of three possible candidates, said he would attend the October redevelopment commission meeting and the council should plan to finalize the appointment at its October council meeting.
“If you know somebody, have them put a cover letter up,” Loop added.
Police chief Travis Speece reported to the council that the town’s new Tesla compact SUV patrol vehicle had been received and put into service. The council, at Speece’s request, appropriated $1,500 to complete outfitting of the vehicle. A computer and mounts would need to be added to the car. Speece also noted town officer Harper was scheduled to graduate from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy on Sept. 24 and officer Fulkerson is scheduled for completion Dec. 10.
In other business, the council:
Voted to place funds it expects to receive from transfer of a police vehicle to the Marengo Police Department into the Police Continuing Education Fund. As of the meeting, Marengo had yet to pass its own resolution to finalize assuming possession of the vehicle or sending the money.
Agreed to allow the Copperfield Homeowners Association to have its annual meeting Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. at the town hall.
Heard from public works employees who requested the town consider purchasing locking trash cans for the town parks. Woosley said he would research options. Initial estimates are that six cans would be needed, along with the possibility of installing concrete pads to which they could be secured.
Passed on both readings of an ordinance repealing the fund earmarked for Community Crossings fund monies and establishing a new one. Keibler noted the Indiana State Board of Accounts mentioned the fund number should be changed.
Approved a resolution of support for the Georgetown Fire District and its 2022 budget, which includes remodeling of the district’s west station. Fire department and district leaders addressed the council regarding the project at its regular August meeting.
Listened to an update from John Beams of Destination Georgetown. Beams extended appreciation to several organizations, including the Georgetown Optimist and Lions clubs for helping produce a successful WhistleStop Showcase on the Optimist grounds Labor Day weekend. “We’re happy to build on it for next year,” Beams said. Beams also said the group is working on its 2022 budget and would like to be involved in discussions about the future use of the Mitsch Farm property on the town’s east side, which was donated for usage by Floyd County.
Confirmed Light Up Georgetown will be Dec. 4 and Breakfast with Santa is set for Dec. 11.
Learned, through Loop’s comments, that the Sherman Minton historical marker is scheduled for a mid-October ship date and will be installed shortly thereafter.
The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.