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Lanesville salutes Sizemore for service

Lanesville salutes Sizemore for service
Lanesville salutes Sizemore for service
Former Lanesville town marshal Rusty Sizemore shakes hands with councilman James Powers during the town council meeting last Monday. Sizemore, who recently retired, was presented with a plaque honoring his years of service. Photo by Mike Arnold
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

Recently-retired marshal Russel (Rusty) Sizemore was honored for his service to Lanesville during the town’s regular monthly council meeting Sept. 14 at the town hall.

Current marshal Lee Hancock gave Sizemore a plaque and thanked him for his dedication. Hancock also presented Sizemore’s wife, Vickie, with a gift of flowers. Both were congratulated by the town council, employees and audience members.

Sizemore said a chance meeting between he and Hancock helped begin a conversation that culminated with Hancock assuming the marshal role.

“It was just meant to be that I ran into Lee at the ballgame that night,” Sizemore said.

In another matter, town attorney John Smith said he agreed with the town’s approach for annexation and sewer system extensions.

So far, the town has been discussing tapping on to the town system or opting out with adjoining property owners, then letters are sent.

Once areas are annexed, the town would be obligated to provide sewer service within three years, but residents may tap on sooner.

Smith said the town may need to begin looking at funding for future expansion and, in an effort to move the planning phase along, would likely get plans to Derrick Engineering before the end of the year.

Sewer expansion will be a good thing eventually for those who choose to join, Smith said.

“It will increase the property value,” he added.

Hancock, during his report, indicated the town’s police and utility departments collaborated to complete a successful sign installation, which has garnered positive results thus far.

“It seems to be working the way we wanted it to,” he added.

Hancock also stated the department stripped and sold some old police cars, generating $4,300. He asked the council for its recommendation on use of the funds.

The council advised its wish is the $4,300 be put toward the pending purchase of the town’s new Dodge Durango police vehicle, slated to be delivered in about three weeks.

Hancock agreed the funds should be put toward the vehicle. He mentioned the new unit will be black and white and distributed a packet with pictures of how the vehicle will look.

Hancock also mentioned the police department recently received an automated external defibrillator purchased solely with donations. The AED will be placed in a police unit, whenever patrolling occurs in town.

“It could, indeed, be a good life-saving tool for us,” Hancock said.

Reserve marshal John Gott said the AED was the same brand as those in Harrison County Hospital ambulances and would be a quick changeover.

“It’s a very economical way, plus integrated with the hospital’s pads,” Gott added.

Hancock agreed, saying, “If we do need them, somebody’s going to be really glad we had them.”

Hancock also mentioned the department’s reserves worked 93 hours in August, duties that saved the town about $1,600, and explained those numbers were likely to increase as the department’s fleet of vehicles improves, allowing additional patrolling.

Town utility clerk Amanda Ballew reported on utility billing work for August. Four hundred sixty-six bills were issued, while three accounts were opened and five closed. Fifteen adjustments were made, totaling $397.57, and $64.92 was granted in leakage adjustments. Delinquent letters were sent to 43 account holders and shut-offs occurred on 17 accounts.

The council discussed the policy on shut-offs (the moratorium on shut-offs related to COVID-19 expired Aug. 14).

“We don’t have any real problem accounts,” Ballew said.

Ballew said numerous billing corrections were completed in August, due to an issue causing the Edwardsville Water Co. meter readings to be off. A fix was implemented for the issue, she said.

“That’s why we have so many adjustments,” Ballew added.

Ballew also provided an update on the survey sent to residents on curbside recycling. As of the meeting, Ballew said 87 “no’s” had been tallied, against 39 “yes’s.”

Clerk-treasurer Betsy Blocker mentioned she prepared and distributed to the council a packet on the 2021 budget, including the amounts she entered on the Indiana State Board of Accounts website.

The council will review and vote on the budget at the Oct. 13 meeting (moved from the second Monday because of Columbus Day).

Blocker also said all of the Indiana Dept. of Transportation accounts associated with the town’s Community Crossings grant had been closed.

There is a second Community Crossings grant period beginning Sept. 25. Blocker said she sent that information to town utility supervisor Matthew Beckman, so he could begin reviewing the town’s assets.

Town council president Herb Schneider gave an update on an ongoing sign project to place a sign on the town’s eastern side. Schneider said he and councilman Tom Walter spoke with a property owner who agreed to allow the sign to be erected.

Schneider said the town would assist with clearing some brush at the site and added the sign would likely be purple and white and, when the town’s population is announced  following results of the 2020 census, a hanging sign proclaiming the count could be added below the main sign.

“We can probably put the sign up any time,” Schneider said. “That’s something that’s going to be good for the town.”

In other business, the council:

Heard from attorney Smith that he received a transcript of the July 8 closing of the town’s waterworks bond.

Listened to a utility department report that indicated several town manholes had been located.

Evaluated options regarding all-terrain vehicle use and complaints within town limits but took no official action. Hancock added ATV riders are not permitted on the state highway (S.R. 62) and only are allowed to cross it.

Discussed creek clean-up in Franklin Township.