By DAVE MARTIN
Two weeks after changing the name of the Shipshewana Town Center to the Shipshewana Event Center, the Town Council followed up Thursday by purchasing a new sign for the center.
Premiere Signs of Goshen was hired to erect the sign for $51,150. Premiere submitted the lowest of three quotes for the project, beating out the nearest competitor by $1,650.
In another matter related to the Event Center, located along Ind. 5, council members approved hourly wages for the center’s employees. The facilities manager will be paid $13 per hour, the event coordinator $11.75, and two part-time employees will earn $8.50 hourly, when needed, for set up and tear down work.
Town Manager Mike Sutter informed the council two weeks ago that he had hired an event coordinator for the facility, which has had financial problems.
Town Attorney Kurt Bachman told council members Thursday that Focus Hospitality Group, the former management group for the Shipshewana Town Center, has agreed to a release agreement. If approved by the council and the town’s redevelopment commission, the pact would have three Focus bank accounts formerly earmarked for center operations at First State Bank in Shipshewana closed and a portion of the funds released to the town as compensation for the management company’s early exit from managing the center.
Focus would receive $3,496, and the town would receive $1,805 as reimbursement, Bachman said.
The council opted not to vote on approval of the agreement until the redevelopment commission first decides whether to support it.
In other business, council members voted to purchase from Sorg Dodge of Goshen a 2013 Dodge Charger squad car for Shipshewana’s police department at a cost of $22,933. Even though a quote from Pletcher Dodge of Franklin was $164 lower, the council chose Sorg because the local company has serviced the police department’s vehicles before.
Councilwoman Lynn Bontrager announced that the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in neighboring Elkhart County is closed until May 31 from C.R. 43 to Ind. 13 in Middlebury for work on the trail.
Town Clerk Ruth Ann Downey said that the Hudson Car Museum in Shipshewana will open for the season on Tuesday.