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LTC matches grant, vacates alley

By Tali Hunt, Staff Writer

Council members voted to match funds from the OCRA Planning Grant from Indiana Office of Rural Affairs of $4,400 with $4,450 from the town's general fund. These funds will benefit the development of public facility and infrastructure .

“The purpose of this plan is to look at streets, roads, infrastructure, public safety, current land use, future land use, transportation and to put together a capital improvement plan,” said Mike Kleinpeter, grant administrator.

Council Members Matt Barnhizer and Gerald Paul evaluated the three architecture firms that applied before Monday's meeting. Keystone Consulting earned the highest evaluation score. The grant application process will be complete on August 31.

After hearing a petition from the Union County Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperation (Co-Op), the council members voted to vacate an historically public thoroughfare. Council made this decision based on the fact most people believed the platted land, an alley, already belonged to Co-Op. It was only recently discovered by Co-Op that they did not in fact own the land used as their parking lot.

Co-Op and Duke Energy are trying to ensure they have updated their legal descriptions to be in good standing with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Co-Op needed the parcel to be under their ownership to be able to create a restrictive covenant over the land. This covenant will keep any wells from being dug on the parcel.

When council heard from their different department heads, they realized how poor their luck with vehicles must be. The arrival of a new fire truck they've been waiting for will be delayed. During a test run, the truck caught fire and will need repair work.

Police Chief Andrew Jordan informed them he installed a carbon monoxide sensor in his police cruiser, one of the department's new Ford Escapes. Jordan decided to take this precaution after learning Ford Escapes from 2014-2017 used by officers have had carbon monoxide issues leading to officer's losing consciousness while sitting inside their vehicles.

The issue is caused by mounting the equipment inside the vehicle. Jordan says he plans to put sensors in the department's other Escape, as well.

The last item the council heard about was more possible fundraising efforts by Liberty Police Officer Todd Dickenson to raise money for the K-9 fund, including a benefit ride.