Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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October 24, 2012

Board OKs animal control contract

NAPPANEE — On Monday, the Nappanee Board of Public Works dealt with a couple of agreements for the coming year — animal control and The Crossing.

The 2013 agreement with Kosciusko County Animal Welfare League for animal control was renewed and at a lower cost than what the city has been paying.

Police Chief Julie Dijkstra said last year Elkhart County Humane Society came to her asking for a chance to provide services to Nappanee once again. When the Humane Society raised prices considerably to municipalities years ago, Nappanee chose to investigate getting its animal control needs met by Kosciusko County since the city limits are within both counties.

Dijkstra said she asked both organizations to provide proposals and she said Kosciusko County’s proposal came in even lower than what the city had been paying.

“In the number of years since they’ve been providing our service they’ve been able to get better numbers,” she said. The shelter came up with the initial proposal for Nappanee hurriedly and it’s basically stayed the same, the chief explained.

“Elkhart County has an excellent facility,” Dijkstra said, but not enough to justify the extra cost.

Board member Rod Stump asked if she’d been happy with Kosciusko’s service and Dijkstra replied that she had.

Board Member Phil Jenkins, presiding in Mayor Thompson’s absence said, “We’re in the unique position that we can do either. Kosciusko County’s been good to us and I look forward to working with them another year.”

The cost for the agreement for the year is $7,045.

A 2013 agreement that was tabled until the next meeting was the lease agreement for The Crossing. Clerk-Treasurer Kim Ingle said that how the city has handled the leases at the old Central School Building, now Main Street Suites, is to have leases end after a year and then grant an extension. She said The Crossing officials have asked for the lease not to end.

City attorney Brian Hoffer said he’d not had a chance to look over the request, so the board tabled the item.

Request approved

Pete Yoder of Ace Builders, 154 E. Market St., asked for a Dumpster at a property he’s purchased and is renovating on South Main Street — the old First National Bank Building next to Hunter’s. Board members approved allowing the Dumpster to take up two parking spaces in front of the building from Tuesday morning until Monday at 5 p.m.

New sidewalk

A new section of sidewalk along Woodview Drive was approved by the board. The walk will be 5 feet wide by 1,000 feet long and the proposal was for a total cost of $17,000.

Scheumann said he doesn’t think it will be 1,000 foot but more like 750 to 850. The cost is $5 per linear foot and the board agreed to approve at $5 per linear foot, not to exceed $17,000.

‘I’m Thankful Four’ Memorial Walk

The board approved a request from Mark S. Mikel, executive director of the Kelsey Mikel Memorial Foundation, to use the bike paths and streets of Nappanee for the 4-mile run and walk and 2-mile walk on Thanksgiving morning.

Mikel said they’ve been using the same route since 2007 and the race starts at 8 a.m.

They are also requesting police coverage of Panther Drive and Woodview Drive at the start of the race and also at the intersection of C.R. 7 and Dierkson Drive and Heritage Parkway and Northwood Drive. Emergency Medical Services standing by at the high school is also requested.

The “I’m Thankful Four” run and walk provides scholarship money for Northwood High School students.

Jenkins said, “It’s a great event for the community and a great way to honor Kelsey.”

Hardship application

The board received a hardship application to review for an ambulance bill totaling $644.

Ingle said that when city officials decided to have an outside billing service for ambulance billing, if someone requested hardship the board would review.

Applicants can request being relieved of the debt or make payments. The applicant in this instance was requesting full relief from the bill and Ingle recommended to the board that they ask the applicant to make payments of $10 a month until it’s paid off.

Jenkins agreed with Ingle saying that the applicant said he was not willing to make payments and the income information on the application shows the income above minimum wage.

City Attorney Brian Hoffer agreed with the recommendation stating, “The board is aware this could have a precedential effect — not that we don’t want to have compassion — but we are willing to have a good faith agreement with him.

In other business, board members:

• Heard the water department, in conjunction with the tree board, will begin planting 40 trees along U.S. 6 where trees were taking down because of a water main project.

• Approved hiring two police reserve officers, Kenny Beachy and Kevin Burckhart, effective Oct. 19.

• Heard appraisals on real estate at Hartman Knoll and Fervida Drive should be back this week.

• Heard the 2012 street resurfacing project is completed.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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