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 Property Subject of Continuing Complaints

January 9, 2008 - Unsatisfied with the response to her prior complaints, a Knightstown resident again voiced concern about the condition of the property located behind her East Carey Street home at the Knightstown Town Council's December 19 meeting.

Shirley Richardson told the council that the offending property's owner had cleaned up the outside of the premises, which she said she appreciated. However, she said there was more that needed to be done.

"What I was most concerned with was the garage full of garbage, and it has not been removed," Richardson said. "They did not have trash pick up, probably, for a year or more. That's how much garbage is in that garage."

Richardson reminded the council that they could pass a resolution declaring the property a public nuisance. Under Chapter 94 of the town's ordinance code, the council can pass a resolution declaring any building, structure or premises to be a public nuisance if there are unsafe structural conditions, if they constitute fire hazards, or if pests like "rates, mice, termites or other vermin or animals" are present or there is a potential for harboring such pests.

Council member Steve Nelson told Richardson that the town's works manager, Mel Matlock, had spoken to the property's owner, who happens to be Matlock's brother. He said he would check with Matlock, who had not yet arrived at the meeting.

"It just attracts too many vermin - rats and stuff," Richardson said. "We don't need that in the neighborhood."

Council member Cort Swincher also told Richardson the council would get an answer from Matlock later when he arrived. Richardson said she appreciated the council's help, but that she planned on returning the following month if the problem still hasn't been remedied.

Later in the meeting, Matlock arrived and was advised of Richardson's complaint. He replied that the garage door was shut and there was nothing on the outside, so he didn't think there was a hazard. He said some neighbors had thanked him for the work that had been done on the outside of the offending property.

(Note: Richardson advised The Banner yesterday that her complaint has still not been satisfactorily addressed and that the garage is still full of trash. - Ed.)

In other business at the December 19 meeting, the council passed three ordinances. In addition to the new salary ordinance for 2008 (see story in last week's Banner), the other two ordinances established a fee schedule for violations of town ordinances and raised the fee for cremations at Glen Cove Cemetery to $300.

The council passed a resolution allowing the Knightstown Police Department to purchase a used 2003 Crown Victoria police cruiser from the Lawrence Police Department (Marion County) for $3,000. Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker told the council that the car will be purchased with a $1,000 grant the KPD obtained from Sam's Club, combined with money raised at a golf outing and other donations.

The council agreed to allow KPD officer Dan Denny to roll his remaining vacation days for 2007 over to 2008. Baker said Denny had been unable to use the vacation days while training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

Baker thanked the council for allowing him to serve the town and for "not micromanaging" his department. He said he thought the KPD was moving in the right direction and that it was "one of the best departments" the town has had in years.

Knightstown resident Dan Webber advised the council and all present that the town's Neighborhood Crime Watch group would be meeting on January 12. The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the Sunset Park shelter house.

The council gave its approval for Clerk-Treasurer Judy Haines to issue licenses to trash collectors who do business in town. The council also approved allowing sewer department head Richard Grizzell and department employee Rick Taylor switch positions and pay.

During a special meeting on December 27, the council approved payment of year-end claims and transfers needed to close out the books for 2007, although the amounts and specific nature of the transfers were not disclosed by the council or the town's clerk-treasurer. The council also voted that night to pass a resolution adopting a comprehensive plan drafted by the town's plan commission.

The council tabled further consideration of the animal control contract it has with Henry County at the December 27 meeting. This issue is expected to be revisited when they meet January 16.

 

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