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Greenville to update agreement with Floyd for inspections, services

Greenville to update agreement with Floyd for inspections, services Greenville to update agreement with Floyd for inspections, services
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

The Greenville Town Council agreed to continue pursuing an updated interlocal agreement with Floyd County to perform the town’s building inspections and services during its regular monthly meeting last Monday evening.

For several years, Houser Canter supplied those services to the town on a contract basis. Canter is no longer able to continue that work due to health issues, council president Greg Redden said.
An ordinance passed in 2009 named Floyd County as planning and zoning authority for the town. Its current practice was based on an existing interlocal agreement with the county for building inspections, but the revised pact will add building services, Redden said.

Under terms of the deal, Greenville would pay $200 per month to Floyd County ($100 for building inspections and $100 for building services). The proposal was blessed by the Floyd County Board of Commissioners earlier this month and was slated to go before the county council April 12. Redden said the town issued six building permits each of the past two years.

“I think that’s awesome,” town attorney Heather Peters said of the proposed rates for the plan.

The council voted 4-0 (councilman Kyle Kruer was absent) to fund the initiative with monies from the town’s share of Economic Development Income Tax revenue.

“That’s the perfect placement for it,” council vice president Andy Lemon said.

Redden noted Floyd County Planner Don Lopp was in support of the move and mentioned none of the money received for permits would stay with the town but would go straight back to Floyd County.

Lemon asked about responsibility for development of the town’s comprehensive plan. Redden said the town would likely have to update its planning and zoning ordinance, but the county would assist with its comprehensive plan. Redden mentioned several applications for building permits are pending and urged patience as the town adjusts to the new process.

“There’s going to be some delays while we work with the county,” he added.

In another matter, the council was addressed by developer Don Thieneman, along with his attorney, Justin Endris, and engineers from Primavera and Associates. Thieneman, who launched the Heritage Springs subdivision, is seeking approval to construct a 16-unit apartment complex on land he owns in Heritage Springs. Plans were presented at the town’s March meeting, and Thieneman was asked to make several revisions to the drawings, which included reducing the structure from three to two stories and cutting the amount of apartments. The number of dumpsters on site was also consolidated.

Endris said Thieneman was seeking a vote of confidence from the council before making any additional investment with Primavera to continue scoping the project. Redden said they would need to seek any approvals from the Floyd County Planning Commission, and the town would be working to see that the county’s regulations were upheld. Peters mentioned the town council, through the previously-noted interlocal agreement, is trying to establish additional clarity on its building ordinances. She suggested it might be best to wait until the interlocal agreement with the county is finalized, which should be soon.

“I just think we’re missing a step in the process,” Peters added.
Endris was provided copies of the March meeting minutes and the interlocal agreement, and Thieneman requested to be placed on the May meeting agenda. Lemon noted the original plat for Heritage Springs was approved in 2003. Redden said there would likely be no sewer capacity impact by adding the apartments and any resident concerns about curb appeal of properties, etc., would be a Homeowners Association matter, not a town matter.

“This was zoned by the county before it was annexed by the town,” Lemon added.

The council, along with police chief Justin Craig, also discussed two issues related to the condition of individual properties. The first was a reportedly vacant home in Parkland Heights, which had been the subject of complaints. Councilman Skip Powell said he viewed the home and did not see cause for alarm based on its outside appearance and agreed it was likely nobody was residing there.

“The property’s clean,” Powell added.
Redden said the town had little authority when it comes to individual properties and the county health department would generally not take any action unless a formal complaint was lodged.

Craig also viewed the residence and did not find it to be unsafe, just uninhabited.

“Thanks for checking it out,” Redden said to Powell and Craig.
An anonymous letter was also received, suggesting the presence of trash in the backyards of homes backing up to Greenville Park. Powell agreed to investigate, take pictures, and share with Craig.
A resident, attending the meeting through the Zoom online platform, also posed a question about the town’s ability to enact an ordinance prohibiting the use of compression release engine brakes or “jake brakes,” by tractor trailers traveling through town on U.S. 150. Peters said it was possible that type of ordinance might not be enforceable and would require approval by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation, but she would research case law to see if the town had any available options.

“Are people going to actually abide by it?” councilman David Gomes asked and Redden added that it was worth some additional discussion.

Town water superintendent Audi Findley also briefed the council on two water system initiatives. Findley noted Greenville was set to receive $129,000 in reappropriated American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, which had been preliminarily committed for use on its water main lowering project. Findley also reported the town was expecting a check with grant funding to cover a portion of the cost associated with recent upgrades to the Pekin Road booster station project. The project has been deemed a success and several reports have been received of increased water pressure from customers in the area.

“We have the duty to provide water at an expected pressure,” Redden said.

In other business, the council:

•Learned from Craig that he has been working a number of vehicle break-ins in town, which have largely occurred on vehicles left unlocked. Craig urged residents to remember to lock vehicles.

•Heard from Gomes that he completed some suggested updates to the draft standard operating procedure for the police department. He will send copies to any interested council members.

•Acknowledged, based on Lemon’s report, that patch work on potholes on town roadways should be completed later in the month. Lemon is also monitoring several places where Mainstream cut pavement to install fiber-optic cable in town. The repaired locations have begun to sink. Lemon said he would follow up with Lopp for additional guidance.

•Noted the town’s application for a Community Crossings Fund matching grant for road surface improvements bestowed through INDOT was submitted. Lemon said he didn’t expect the town would know the results of the grant award process until May or June. If awarded, work could begin as soon as August or September, Lemon added.

•Heard, as reported by Findley, that the water system’s loss for March was about 2.8 million gallons with a loss rate around 20%. Findley said the department continues to utilize leak detection equipment and has been successful in locating several significant leaks.

•Revived discussion of adding language to the town’s water ordinance to address costs associated with extraordinary water meter installation. Findley presented some proposed language at the March meeting and noted that in these situations customers would be billed based on cost of meter, parts, and associated labor. Findley agreed to revise the proposal and bring back to May meeting.

•Signed contracts for several technology and cybersecurity protection and training programs.

•Agreed to pay the $35 fee for the water utility to staff a booth at upcoming farmers market events with displays and as an opportunity for community outreach. Topics to be discussed would include leak prevention and water purity.

•Reviewed updated reports on its proposed sewer enhancement project, which remains in the planning phases. Redden said they are working on a list of priorities and suggested they complete a phase and then appropriate funding for the next aspect. It was also noted that the town’s sewer system is only operating at 25% to 30% capacity.