Bremen Town Council Meeting 5-12-14by Amy Wenger on May 13, 2014
A broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the routine to the somewhat alarming, dominated a busy agenda at the Monday evening meeting of the Bremen Town Council.
Alex Baker was awarded the Pride of Bremen Award for the property at 304 N. East St. in Bremen. Director of Operations Trend Weldy notified the council that a broken storm sewer line caused an extensive amount of leaking beneath North Center Street near the railroad tracks, just under the sidewalk at the former Tyson's grocery store. The erosion resulted in a significant amount of earth being washed away, Weldy said, to the extent that the only thing barricading the hole from the public view was the actual sidewalk. He marveled at the fact that heavy machinery had recently driven over that spot, yet the sidewalk did not cave in, nor were there other incidents of collapsing. The problem site has since been undergoing repair.
Members were given a brief presentation by Mindy Penrose, deputy assessor for the Marshall County assessor's office. She talked with the council about ways to simplify paperwork for the tax abatement application process. It was recommended that the council assign each case a specific resolution number, which will subsequently pass through council approval. Having the paperwork in place, with dates and other relevant information, will assist in record keeping, Penrose said, as it will be easier to determine the period of time through which a property would be eligible for tax abatements. Penrose also talked about composing a basic form that could easily be distributed and completed in a short duration, one that Weldy could offer to potential applicants.
Bill Reed, superintendent of the wastewater treatment plant, informed the council that the town is facing an emergency situation in how best to handle excess sludge. The problem was exacerbated by the harsh winter weather, Reed said, and advised the council that a solution needs to be sought out in fairly short order. Reed asked for, and received, permission to contact Commonwealth Engineers for the purpose of researching various options to remedy the situation, and the estimated costs involved.
Park Superintendent Brian Main received the council's blessing to implement a new position for the parks department, which would be a part-time job of Activities Coordinator. At present, Main estimated that the responsibilities would amount to around ten hours per week, but that the potential is there for the number of hours to be increased. Main noted that while the park is certainly a positive and beneficial environment for children, he would like to see the future Activities Coordinator organize events that would encourage families to also participate and utilize the park amenities.
Main also got an affirmative vote from the council to extend the hours at Sunnyside Park on the evening of Saturday, May 24. The park will be open until midnight on that night, Main said, to accommodate students who are hosting a "barn dance" at the site.
It was also announced by Main that a tree had recently fallen at Shadyside Park, which damaged the roof at the pavilion. Main said that the facility was due for a new roof anyway, so this project will commence a bit sooner than was originally planned.
Two individuals from the same family have jointly made the decision to retire as longtime members of the Bremen Fire Department, announced fire chief Matt Neher. Jay Stouder and Trent Stouder have accomplished nearly a half century of firefighting service to the community, Neher said, and both have decided to pursue other commitments. Jay Stouder's career with the department began in 1979, while Trent Stouder's tenure dates back to 1999.
Neher also shared that the Bremen Fire Department was among the recipients of a grant offered by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, in the amount of $4000. The community put forth a matching $1000, and the funds have been used to allow the department to purchase five new defibrillating units.
Alex Mikel, speaking as superintendent for the water department, informed the council that representatives from Peerless Midwest and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) will be visiting Bremen on May 19 at 10 a.m. The objective is to survey the town's reservoir system, to gather information that will be used in the approaching water treatment plant construction project.
Bremen Police Department Sgt. Brad Kile approached the council for a request of a temporary street closure, which was given a nod. The affected area will be the 300 block of North Jackson Street, between the Bremen Public Library and Mill Street, on May 24, from early morning through early afternoon. There is a public auction slated to occur at that region, and Mill Street will remain open to traffic while the auction is taking place.
A reminder was given in regards to the large size trash pick-up event that is set for this coming weekend. Collection will be ongoing Friday and Saturday between the hours of 6 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The next session of the Bremen Town Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. The council typically meets on the fourth Monday of the month, but rescheduled this particular meeting on account of the Memorial Day holiday. The council meeting will be held in the council chambers of the Bremen Town Hall.