Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 9, 2012

Nappanee City Council districts reassigned


— NAPPANEE — Scouts from Troop 733 in Nappanee learned about redistricting, combined sewer overflows and the amount of money it takes to keep the city operating at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The four Scouts present ranged in age from 12 to 17 and were working on their communication merit badge — a requirement for Eagle Scout, according to Scoutmaster Wil Wilson.

The council passed an ordinance redistricting council districts. Mayor Thompson said the redistricting is something city officials do every 10 years following the census.

“We try to keep it as equal as we can per population,” Thompson said.  “We think our districts are as clean and neat as we can make them and with fair representation.”

Zoning Administrator and census committee member Don Lehman explained that District 2 was expanded to include North Main Street. Lehman said they also changed the lines of districts to make them straighter. District 1 includes 1,670 people, District 2 includes 1,673 people, District 3 includes 1,674 and District 4 “got a little shorted” with 1,631 people.

However, with continued growth in the Blackstone Subdivision, which lies within District 4, Lehman believes that shortage will soon be made up.

“Most of the growth in the last decade was to the east,” he said.

Councilwoman Jan Brown asked if redistricting would change any council seats and she was told it would not.

“Everybody has the same districts,” Lehman said.

CSO Project/Property Acquisitions

City attorney Brian Hoffer explained to the council changes in some of the property acquisitions that will be required to abide by the mandate for combined sewer overflow.

He said after reviewing the parcel on the west side of Ind. 19 with the engineers, the parcel known as Parcel A owned by Patrick and Jennifer Thompson, will need to have the driveway moved because the CSO line would go right under it.

The engineer also advised that the city acquire two additional parcels, known as parcel 1 and parcel 2, immediately to the north, owned by Larry and Linda Thompson. The engineer proposes moving the driveway to the newly acquired Parcel 1 and 2. Parcel 1 consists of 6,611 square feet (0.152 acres) and Parcel 2 consists of 820 square feet (0.019 acres).

Hoffer said the engineer also revised Parcel 4, owned by Patrick and Jennifer Thompson, and said it is likely only a construction easement will be necessary, not an acquisition —a portion of their garage sits on that parcel and may still need to be torn down.  

Parcel 4 is 3,556 square feet (0.082 acres).

Council member Jeff Kitson made the motion of a verbal resolution to express interest in acquiring the properties Parcel 1 and 2 and also the revised Parcel A, which is 31,104 square feet (0.714 acres). This resolution would allow the Board of Public Works to appoint appraisers.

Hoffer said construction on these parcels would likely not begin until 2014. He also reported that appraisals for the properties on the east side of Ind. 19 have come back from one appraiser and are expected back from the other sometime this week.

In other business, council members:

• Heard City Hall and all city offices will be closed Monday for Veterans Day.

• Next Monday’s Board of Public Works meeting will be held on Tuesday with an executive session at 3 p.m. followed by regular session.

• Heard there have been questions about who is digging up streets in the city and Clerk-Treasurer Kim Ingle said New Paris Telephone is putting in fiber optics.

• Heard Miracle at Main and Market Christmas parade will take place Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.