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Corydon council satisfies property owner who had weed complaint

Corydon council satisfies property owner who had weed complaint
Corydon council satisfies property owner who had weed complaint
Members of the Corydon Town Council look at photos on a laptop computer, brought by Chris Hickel, far right, Monday night that show weeds on his neighbor's property. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor

A Corydon resident left the town council meeting Monday a pleased man.
Chris Hickel attended the meeting to complain about weeds, ranging from six feet to eight feet tall, at property next to his in the 200 block of Ashwood Drive.
He told the five-member council that his house is being overrun by mice, despite having two cats, and his legs become covered with mosquitoes within a few minutes of going outdoors.
‘It’s really becoming a health issue,’ Hickel said while showing the council pictures on his laptop computer of the problem.
The property, which is abandoned and in the process of being sold through a tax sale, has six to eight stray cats, he added.
‘I’m asking the town to send someone over there with a weed whacker,’ Hickel said.
He said he would cut down the weeds himself, but, due to the amount of poison ivy on the property, he can’t.
‘Last time, I ended up in the hospital with my eyes swollen shut,’ Hickel said.
Chris Byrd, the council’s legal counsel, said the board could be at risk of trepassing if the property owner hasn’t been properly served notice of being in violation of the town’s weed ordinance but the fact that the town is pursuing purchasing the property in the tax sale would help mitigate that.
‘I don’t know why we can’t go over there’ and remove these weeds, Eva Bates North, town council president, said after more discussion.
Chris Mattingly made a motion, seconded by Mark Parks, to have a town employee ‘knock the weeds down.’ The motion passed 5-0.
Before leaving the town hall, Hickel shook each board member’s hand and told them how much he appreciated their action.
Another attendee didn’t leave the meeting quite so satisfied.
Blake Cromwell, who lives outside of the town limits, took an opportunity during Catherine Turcotte’s request for the 2017 Main Street Corydon’s budget to ask questions.
Turcotte, executive director of Main Street Corydon, had highlighted what the agency has done in the past year as the economic development advocate for the town. Among them was obtaining $751,032 in grants, working with four businesses that have opened or will open and attracting two developers to the town.
Besides herself, the only paid position with Main Street Corydon, Turcotte said there are many volunteers who assist in the efforts.
‘We feel like this is a good return on your investment.’ Turcotte said before asking for the same commitment ‘ $130,000 ‘ for the next year.
‘I think you all have done a great job,’ Parks said.
John D. Kintner admitted to being hesitant last fall to commit that much money; however, Monday night he said he was ‘ready to go again.’
‘We couldn’t do it,’ he said. ‘We needed an arm to do it. I think you’ve done a great job.’
Cromwell asked if there was a reason why the town didn’t use the Harrison County Economic Development Corp. instead of Main Street.
North responded that Corydon is a Main Street community.
‘I’m all for fixing things up; don’t get me wrong … ‘ Cromwell said before asking how many local people will own property after repairs are made.
‘Some will be owned privately,’ North replied.
‘ … Local, small businesses have been involved in these projects.’
Cromwell, who refused to be interrupted when North or Turcotte attempted to respond further to his questions and comments, then turned his attention to the Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market, criticizing the town for not constructing the market like the one in New Albany, saying the one here sits empty except for Friday evenings.
North, with a few taps of her gavel, took back control of the meeting, telling Cromwell that they have responded to his ‘arguments’ in emails and that the market, which didn’t have to be designed like New Albany’s, is used for other things, including municipal parking.
Also during the meeting, the board unanimously gave approval to Darrin Carey’s request for a prayer walk to take place Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Oasis Center and traveling to the town square.
‘It’s the 15-year anniversary of 9/11,’ Carey said. ‘We want to have other churches come … pray for America.’
Carey encouraged everyone at the meeting to let their churches know about the walk and ‘to come and be a part of it.’
Bids were opened and taken under advisement for sanitary sewer system improvements that would include an eight-inch siphon replacement under Indian Creek.
Four bids, each with a price for an alternate, were submitted. The base bids were: $81,186.52 submitted by Quality Craft Construction Inc. in Dale; $167,059, Boyd & Co. Construction LLC, Washington; $177,809, Mitchell & Stark Construction Co. Inc., Medora; and $194,650, Infrastructure Systems Inc., Orleans.
John Wetzel, of Midwestern Engineers Inc. in Loogootee, told the council they had estimated the base bid at about $130,000.
The council did award a street paving contract to C & R Construction, which had the lowest of two bids, $70,325. E & B Paving had submitted a bid of $84,155.
‘Like I said, there’s going to be a lot going on,’ North said.
In other business, the council:
‘ Approved a bond for Bette Purucker, who serves on the Cedar Hill Cemetery board.
‘ Approved payment, in the amount of $17,323.60, for the Cherry Street/O’Bannon sidewalk repairs.
‘ Agreed to hold off approving treatment by Eco-Lab for sewer flies at the wastewater treatment plan. North said Larry Fessel was concerned the treatment could kill some of the ‘good’ bacteria.

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