Paul Shambroom, MEETINGS SERIES / IN,-Van-Buren

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Van Buren, Indiana (population 955) Town Council, July 21, 1999 (L to R): Michelle Sexton (Clerk, Treasurer), Tony Manry (President), Marvin Surber, Dean Baker
(#8595/5-6) 1999, Archival pigmented inkjet on canvas with varnish, 33X66 inches

July 21, 1999

Pres. Tony Manry called the regular meeting of the Van Buren Town Council to order at 7:00 P.M. on July 21, 1999. All Council Members were present. The minutes were approved as submitted.

CITIZENS Several concerned citizens from the North end of town voiced several complaints on the houses that were brought in and left

"abandoned". Weeds have grown up and all around and the houses are in great need of repair. The concern is that the houses are degrading to the neighborhood. They want the owner Mike Helms to get the houses fixed up or get them out of there. Mr. Helms was also in attendance and stated that if he lived there, he would be mad also. He said that when he brought the houses in, the utilities were suppose to be run within two weeks and they are yet to be done. Supt. Webb mentioned that as long as the houses look like they do, the utilities will not be put in. He stated that he feels that the town has gone out of the way to help Mr. Helms and he hasn't helped the town. Jim also stated that if the Council wants to sign permits for Mr. Helms they can, but he is not signing anymore paperwork pertaining to Mr. Helms. Dean Baker had been approached by Mr. Helms to sign another Utility permit. He stated that he doesn't have a problem signing for utilities, however he does have a problem with all of the weeds. Dean stated that Council will not sign anymore permits until the properties are cleaned up and some improvements have been made. He also stated that the Council wants to work with Mr. Helms, but he is making it impossible. Pres. Manry informed citizens that Tonya Ford, director of Area Plan will be attending the next Council Meeting, Aug. 4. Karen Webb also stated that Van Buren is on the agenda for the Area Plan meeting on Aug. 2 at 6:30 for anyone interested in going.


Mr. Paul Shambroom asked Council's permission to take pictures of the meeting. Mr. Shamboom is an artist/photographer from Minniapolis and is working on a project photographing government meetings through–out the United States. President Manry gave permission.

JUNK OR ABANDONED VEHICLES Discussion was made on some of the junk or abandoned vehicles around town. Linda Long stated that their truck and weeds around it have been taken care and apologized for letting it go for so long.

FLAGS Waneta Linton mentioned that the flag by the Antique Shop really needs repaired. Jim stated that Mr. Karl Harte takes care of the flags, however he is out of town right now. He will get flag taken care of when he gets home.

ENGINEERS Ken Smith/Fanning/Howey gave letters to Clerk to submit for Build Indiana Fund money. He also asked Council's permission to have the last income survey recertified by Jeff Hornsby for the community Focus Fund Grant. The survey will run out the end of August. If it is not recertified, it will have to be redone this fall. Marvin made motion to have recertification done, Dean seconded, passed 3-0.

POLICE REPORT Deputy Kevin Wetherington gave the police report in Marshal Collins absence. He is on vacation. Deputy Wetherington reported a situation at Harvey's Trailer Court involving some juveniles and teenage adults has been taken care of. Everything is working out well. Deputy Meyer obtained estimates on the 1999 Ford Police Car. There is a dent in the right rear quarter panel and the paint is starting to peel around it. The estimates were from Exel Body in the amount of $461.80 and Southworth Ford in the amount of $395.70. Kevin reminded Council that he will be gone August 4 for his orientation at the indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

UTILITIES Supt. Jim Webb reported they repaired the Water/Sewer lines at 304 N First St. He is waiting for Lowell Taylor to come in and help run the new lines next week. Jim commented that Water Solutions came in this week and worked extensively on trying to figure out why we keep failing the copper/lead testing on our water. We may have to change chemicals. The new Backhoe was delivered today for Council's inspection. Marvin made motion to buy new (used) backhoe for $11,000.00. Dean seconded motion, 3-0. Jim said he had two bids on selling the old Backhoe, one for $1500.00 the other for $2500.00. Marvin made motion to accept the bid for $2500.00. Dean seconded, 3-0. Pres. Manry asked Jim if we have a pressure washer and instructed him to get some quotes. Jim reported of the three court dates, no one showed up. .

Marvin made motion to pay Claim #'s 990575-990608. Dean seconded and the Claim Docket was signed. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.




Council Members