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Lanesville supports Lakeview sewer easement

Lanesville supports Lakeview sewer easement Lanesville supports Lakeview sewer easement
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

The Lanesville Town Council offered support for a proposed sewer easement to Lakeview Ministries’ Camp Cedarbrook site along Corydon Ridge Road north of town during its regular monthly meeting last Tuesday evening.

Representatives of Lakeview Ministries, which oversees the camp, came before the council at the request of town attorney John Smith to discuss specifics of the easement request. Lakeview intends to redevelop the property, eventually hoping to construct a series of cabins as part of a family ministry project. The camp’s lodge is also slated for renovation.

Lakeview Ministries will cover costs for the sewer line installation, which would tap into Lanesville’s system. Plans were approved by the Indiana Dept. of Environmental Management and the Harrison County Board of Commissioners. However, the situation was complicated when neighboring property owners declined to grant easements for the line to cross their land. As a result, without other easements, it was determined the line would need to be installed in Corydon Ridge Road to access Lanesville’s existing line.

“The problem is Corydon Ridge doesn’t have a right-of-way,” council president Herb Schneider said, explaining the rationale for installation in the roadway, which would be partially closed during that work.

Smith was not present at the meeting, and the council took no further action regarding the easement.

Since the town council was agreeable to Lakeview’s easement proposal, once the formal request is documented, it would need to be revisited by the council for a vote and will likely be a topic at an upcoming meeting. When all approvals are gained for the easement, Lakeview Ministries would move to the contracting phase of the project.

“We’re good to go on that,” councilman James Powers said.

In another matter, town marshal Melvin L. (Lee) Hancock announced town reserve officers worked 223 hours during September, with a significant portion of those during the Lanesville Heritage Weekend festival. Hancock reported those hours represented a savings to the town of $5,741.75 for the month, with year-to-date savings of $19,734.75 attributed to reserve service.

Hancock noted the town’s police department received a $1,500 donation during Heritage and also received a letter from Gary Sinise (whose foundation provided a grant to the department) totaling $6,510 which was used to purchase new ballistics vests for all officers on the force.

A Halloween camp-out is scheduled at the Heritage grounds from Oct. 29 and 31, Hancock said, and Light Up Lanesville will be Nov. 27. The Heritage grounds will also be the setting of a drive-thru Christmas event staged by Lakeview Ministries Dec. 3 and 4.

Utility clerk Millie Hancock reported billing for the most recent month totaled $55,393.86 on 478 bills. Fourteen new accounts were opened and, similarly, 14 were closed for the month. Three adjustments were granted, totaling $201.11, while 46 delinquent letters were mailed and 11 shut-offs executed. Hancock also announced her resignation from her position effective Nov. 5 but confirmed she would stay on through completion of the next billing cycle.

Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Ballew said the opening will be advertised.

Schneider said the town would like to use funds it receives from the American Rescue Plan to install leads to enable remote reading of its water meters. The town must solicit bids from three contractors to perform the work. Half of the monies are to be received this year, with the remaining dollars coming in 2022.

Ballew and utilities supervisor Terry Schmelz will draft specifications for the project and sending forms to suppliers. Sealed bids will be opened by the council at a public meeting.

Schneider addressed a complaint from a resident who said a Rumpke (the town’s trash collection contractor) truck drove across the resident’s driveway, causing it to crack. Schneider said he met with the property owner to discuss the damage and also showed three pictures to Powers and councilman John (Tom) Walter.

The property owner requested the town notify Rumpke to cease crossing the driveway and will likely ask for the damage to be repaired by the town, Schneider said.

Rumpke trucks are also suspected to have damaged a drain at the intersection of Cottage and Villa, and the council discussed including that issue along with the driveway problem in a letter to Rumpke. The town will likely contract for completion of the repairs and send Rumpke a bill.

Also, Schneider announced, according to the 2020 Census, Lanesville’s population was calculated to be 935. A significant part of that growth came from annexation of two subdivisions. Schneider said former Clerk-Treasurer Elizabeth (Betsy) Blocker was instrumental in ensuring necessary documentation was completed as part of the census effort.

“A lot of the credit for this goes to Betsy Blocker,” Schneider said. “Now, we’ve got to see what’s going to happen.”

The town includes 420 housing units. The council discussed possibly adding a marker with the updated population total to signs entering town.

“I thought that was fantastic news that we finally got our population,” Schneider said.

In other business, the council:

Adopted its 2022 budget by unanimous vote.

Revisited a matter involving a property being cleaned on the west side of town. Walter said progress is being made and what hasn’t been cleaned up has been covered. Hancock has also spoken with the property owner and made some suggestions.

Discussed ongoing work to clear brush in the creek running through town. Several volunteers have contributed, Schneider said, adding Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith indicated he might be able to send some inmates to load up the limbs.

Listened as two residents along Blue Jay Lane mentioned issues gaining access to their properties as a result of recent curb and gutter work there. The town will take a look at the situation.

Announced trick-or-treating will take place in town on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.