Town Looks To Buy Methodist Annex For Town Hall

The quest to find a new town hall moved off dead center last week when the Crothersville town council voted to pursue purchasing the Methodist Church annex on Howard Street.
The building is adjacent to the present town hall which is in a leased building.
Council president Ardell Mitchell noted that the town hall issue has been debated and discussed for more than a year and that it was time to make a decision.
“I say we look to purchase the Methodist Annex,” he said. The church is asking $50,000 for the approximately 1,300 square foot building.
But councilwoman Karen Mains voiced her opposition. “It’s not big enough. It’s just no big enough. It’s too small for our needs,” she said.
However, councilman Bill Nagle said he wanted to pursue finding a new home for town government and agreed with Mitchell to explore the purchase of the church property.
In order for the town to purchase any real estate two appraisals must be obtained and the town cannot pay any more than the appraised price.
The council directed the town attorney to contact two real estate appraisors to begin the process.
The council decided to look at speed limits throughout town. The decision came about when concerns by neighbors along Mill Street about speeding traffic were met with the revelation that Mill Street has a 30 mph limit.
Mitchell presented a list of streets and proposed speed limits.
He said collector streets such as Seymour Road, Vine, Walnut, Kovener, Bethany road, Howard, East, Moore, Industrial Way and Main Street should have a 30 mph limit. All other streets in town should have a 20 mph limit, he proposed.
The council will consider the proposed ordinance at its January meeting.
The council acted on two residents’ concerns.
Barbara Reynolds was granted a variance from the size of a newer mobile home on East Bard Street. She told the council that when she inquired at town hall about the requirements for replacing an older mobile home all she was told was that that replacement home must be no more than 10 years old.
“No one said anything about square footage,” she said. “Since the newer home meets the age restriction I made the purchase thinking I was in compliance.”
It wasn’t until the home was delivered that local officials noted the square footage requirement. The newer home is 80 square feet smaller than the former home.
While acknowledging that they may be opening themselves to additional requests to vary from local laws, the council agreed 2-1 grant the variance. Ardell Mitchell opposed the variance.
In light of the lack of information being disclosed, the council agreed to make all local ordinances more available to answer residents’ questions.
A second request came from Kelly Schmelzle of Children’s Time Pre-School and Daycare on East Main Street.
She asked for a 15 minute loading and unloading zone in front of her business to accommodate parents who drop off and pick up their children.
“It gets congested and is unsafe,” she said.
The council agreed to re-designate the area in front of her business to restrict parking.
In a final matter, the council will consider passage of the 2011 salary ordinance at tonight’s (Dec. 15) special meeting.
That salary ordinance proposes the following salary ranges: Office Manager, $24,935-$29,000; 1st Deputy, $23,905-$27,000; 2nd Deputy, $18,692-$21,000.
Chief of Police, $39,291-$41,000; Officers, $21,850-$28,000.
Street Superintendent: $26.208-$28,000.
Sewer Superintendent: $31,824-$33,000.
Water Superintendent: $22,880-$24,000.
Other full time and skilled part-time employees: $9/hour; unskilled part-time employees, $7.50/hour.
The clerk-treasurer’s salary will remain at $9,500 per year and the town council pay will remain fixed at $2,400 per year,