Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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February 15, 2013

Shipshewana Town Council considers rate increase

SHIPSHEWANA — Based on the results of a rate study and sustainability analysis of the storm water system in Shipshewana, the Shipshewana Town Council is considering a proposal to double the storm water charge for larger residential lots.

Town Clerk Ruth Ann Downey told council members Thursday that all residential property owners in Shipshewana have been paying $8 per month for quite some time for using the town’s storm water drains for water runoff.  

The rate study, recently conducted by Financial Solutions Group of Indianapolis, recommends keeping that rate but instituting a second rate for larger properties. Under the proposal, the owners of lots over two acres in size would pay $16 per month.  

The council took no action on the proposal Thursday, but Downey urged members to discuss it over the next year.

The council did vote to send a letter of support to LaGrange County for a proposed project to construct an Interra Credit Union at the corner of Ind. 5 and Berkshire Drive. Andrew Cunningham of J.P.R. Engineering of South Bend presented a building site plan Thursday to the council for review.

Landmark Builders of Shipshewana would be the contractor on the project. Cunningham said that if it is approved, groundbreaking will be held around April 1.

The council also directed Town Manager Mike Sutter to continue negotiating a new lease with the Shipshewana Area Historical Society for use of the restored Farver Schoolhouse. The group is in its fourth year of a 10-year lease with the town for the building and is having trouble raising funds to pay rent to the town for the building.

Burdette Norris, member of the historical society, said that the group is proposing that the town grant a one-year lease. In return, the society would take over upkeep of the building. If approved, a one-year lease would buy the group enough time to see how the plan fares. He said that the society hopes that eventually the 10-year lease would be discontinued.

The council directed Downey to gather figures on the cost of hiring a full-time employee at the town hall to be shared with the police department.  The town hall’s part-time receptionist is resigning at the end of this month.

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