Town manager receives raise in pay

WAKARUSA — Wakarusa Town Council members reviewed the performance of Town Manager, Jeff Troxel, over the past five months since he first took position in the office.
All were in agreement at the monthly meeting Dec. 4 that Troxel has had good performance warranting the need for a raise in pay. Troxel’s starting pay was $53,500 a year. The Council voted to immediately increase that amount by $4,000, and potentially another $1,500 upon his review after service of one full year.
Judy Smeltzer has announced retirement from the Wakarusa Tree Board. Anyone interested in filling that position is asked to contact Wakarusa Town Councilman Fred Avery at 574-862-4314.
Police Chief Marshal Cunningham’s request to disperse end-of-the-year clothing allowances to seven police reserve officers was approved.
Each of the officers will receive the amount of $3,500.
Cunningham also recommended purchase of a 2013 Dodge Charger from Sorg Dodge in the amount of $24,270.41. That was the lower of two bids on the vehicle which will serve with the police department. Town Council members voted in favor of his recommendation.
Money requests for needed operations continued when Town Maintenance Supervisor Terry Flickinger asked to hire Peerless Midwest, Inc. for work to overhaul Well Pump 2. That was approved at a cost of $11,807.
Flickinger’s request for purchase of a new water meter reading system was also given a favorable vote. The system will be purchased from Team EJP for a cost of $216,699.10.
The management supervisor said the updated equipment will save time and money in reading meters each month, and in bill calculation.
Town Councilpersons considered seeking purchase of the National Oil property located at the corner of S.R. 19 and E. Waterford St. The property was originally listed at $200,000 but has recently dropped to $198,000.
In 2007 two appraisals on the property had registered its worth at approximately $125,000 and $128,000.
In reflection of a major lowering of property values nationwide which has occurred since that time, an offer totaling only $22,400 was proposed. Laurelyn Street further recommended collecting more recent appraisals to ensure current market value. The Council supported her idea and estimates will be sought.