Council officially leases land to firefighters, EMS

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By Todd Martin

Shelbyville City Council approved Thursday a municipal order that leases a landlocked parcel of land behind the recycling center and Doug’s Tire Center off 7th Street to the Shelby County Firefighters and Emergency Services Association.

The area has been a practice ground for the two groups for at least 30 years, Mayor Tom Hardesty said.

“We’ve never had a good lease agreement that covered insurance, utilities and the like, so we thought we’d get that taken care of,” he said.

Hardesty said he’s proud that the group uses the area for training, and the city will charge $1 per year for the lease, which will end in 2030.

“I encourage the members of the council to go back there and look at the area and the burned up cars and such, to see how they train,” he said. “It’s very impressive.”

The area has no entrance onto 7th Street and is in a floodplain along Clear Creek, so the city is fairly restricted in any way it could use the land.

Councilman Shane Suttor asked for one small change in the lease agreement, making an easement for the Clear Creek Conservation Trust.

City Attorney Frank Chuppe said that could be written into the lease, and the order was passed with the restriction of including room for the easement into the lease.

Water development fees

The council approved a second reading of an ordinance to raise the System Development Charges for the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission.

Manager Tom Doyle told the council that it was difficult to measure the city’s System Development Charges against other municipalities because each one adds them in a different way. This was the first change in the charges for the commission since 2003.

“They all finance [the system development charges] in different ways,” he said. “They range from $500 to $3,500, but some incorporate other charges and some try to make money off of them. We’re just looking to break even.”

The ordinance changed the rates for new developments inside and outside the city, and with sewer and water connections and raised the meter-setting fee.

Though the System Development Charges are difficult to track, Doyle said the city’s water and sewer rates were very competitive.

“Our regular water and sewer rates are very low compared to other areas,” he said. “That’s one reason we want to raise these new charges, so existing customers don’t have to pay for the new development.”

 New stop sign

City Public Works Director Jennifer Herrell told the city in her report that a new stop sign will be put up on Lee Nor Mack Street, off College Street behind the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission in Martinsville.

Herrell said she hopes to have the street painted with the stop bars either late this week or early next week, and then have the stop sign up and ready to go shortly after that.

“I think we’re going to put it up but keep it covered for a few days so people can get used to seeing it there,” she said.

Amnesty period

During his report, Mayor Hardesty took the opportunity to remind the council and those in attendance that the amnesty period for the Net Profit License Fee, which is in conjunction with Business Licenses, will end at the end of the month. “Then we’ll start going after some of the worst offenders,” he said.

Also at the meeting:

  • The council approved an ordinance that clarifies and condenses chapter 60 of the code of ordinances, which includes business licensing fees and regulatory fees.
  • Proclaimed April 17, 2010, Health & Fitness Day, and April 18-24, 2010, as National Volunteer Week.
  • Heard first readings of ordinances changing the job descriptions of administrative assistant for the office of the mayor, deputy city clerk, accounts payable/license clerk, receptionist/clerical, property maintenance.
  • Mayor Hardesty reported that the city will take precautions to protect the city’s ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.
  • Hardesty also reported that the new firehouse is nearly complete, with the firemen picking out fixtures and furniture and the city doing landscaping. “It should be open by the first or second week of May,” he said.