ARGOS – The Argos Town Council met in regular session Wednesday and heard a report from town attorney Derek Jones that the town had successfully bid on the property at 313 N. Grove Street, and now owns the lot. The property, sold at a foreclosure auction, will protect the town’s interest in back taxes due.
During citizen input, Charlie Howard complimented the town departments for the services they provide. He also lifted up Russell Wagers, a local resident, for voluntary and unheralded work replacing gravel at the cemetery.
In old business, Kim Smock, the town’s wastewater facilities operator, requested a part-time employee to help with her workload. The Council took the request under advisement. In filling out committee appointments, Brenda Hutchison was appointed unanimously to the Police Commission Board, and Mary Correll was reappointed to the Cemetery Board for another four-year term, a council president appointment.
The District #2 Mutual Aid Inter-Local Government Agreement document was reviewed covering the counties of Marshall, Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, Pulaski, Starke, and St. Joseph. The agreement provides policies and procedures for local towns, cities, and counties assisting each other in case of emergencies such as natural disasters. The seven counties and 28 cities and towns involved must each sign on to the agreement individually. Each governmental entity also has the privilege of opting out of the agreement. Attorney Jones agreed to prepare a resolution for the Council’s consideration at the next meeting.
It was reported that Don Mahoney, Argos’ representative to the Marshall County Economic Development Commission, will be attending a meeting called by the Commission on Feb. 20 at Swan Lake. There, MCEDC will review current projects and requested support from the counties and municipalities involved.
In new business, a request by Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester to add a high-speed internet receptor to the Argos water tower was approved.
The hospital wants to be able to communicate easily with its Woodlawn Medical facility in Argos. The Council ruled that Woodlawn’s installation must not interfere with reception or bands already in use by 4-Way Communications and DC Tech installations on the same water tower.
Residents Shirley Montgomery and Charlie Elmore presented an oral request through town Clerk-Treasurer Patty Jones that the town vacates the alley from Grove Street west to the railroad tracks which borders their properties.
They are the only two property owners affected. They will be notified of the proper procedure to follow which begins with a written petition to the Council. The matter will be addressed at the next meeting.
Town Superintendent John Archambeault reported that he is getting quotes to replace the main switch at the town’s substation, which has been in use for thirty years.
He estimates the cost of such an installation at +/- $25,000. He also requested that the Council look into his transportation situation when he goes out of town for meetings.
He currently drives his old truck with plow attached at a cost of about six miles per gallon of gas. The Council took his request under advisement and asked him to put figures in writing. Claims were presented and approved for $299,509.74.
Following a brief recess, the Police Commission held its regular meeting with newly-appointed member Brenda Hutchison in attendance. Officer Jeff Markley has accepted the town’s offer for full-time status and has taken the required tests.
When the test results come back, he will be hired full-time. Officer Jeremy Enyer’s resignation has not become effective yet because his application with the Plymouth Police Department is still in the works. It is expected that this personnel matter will take place about March first. In the meanwhile, Chief Rodney Rudd reported that he had two viable applications for Enyer’s replacement. Rudd also reported that the department’s new Durango squad vehicle is fully equipped and is being used on different shifts.
Commission member Shawn Harley thanked Rudd for keeping him well abreast of department matters while he was recovering from an illness and was out of commission for several weeks. In final business, the Commission needed to elect a vice president for the 2013 year. Harley was unanimously elected.