Patriot Town Council holds monthly meeting


The Patriot Town Council convened its monthly meeting June 20th with council president Jim Caudill and council member Darrell Kasson present along with clerk-treasurer Pam Hutchinson and utility superintendent Sherry Ogden. After the call to order and past meeting minutes approval, came the prayer and pledge.

The first order of business was a report from the July 4th committee. George Miller gave a report from two previous planning meetings and expenditures thus far. Council approved a $2,500 budget to cover costs for the celebration to be paid from Belterra Revenue Fund. The committee also announced that Jeremy Fisk was the winner of the annual T-shirt logo/design which will be printed up soon and go on sale shortly before the 4th of July for $10 each. The committee received four very nice entries and would like to thank all who submitted their work.

The committee submitted a letter of request to the Switzerland County Tourism board for a sponsorship grant for the 2006 celebration. David Attaway, tourism director, was present to notify Patriot Council that a $1,000 sponsorship grant was approved by the tourism board at their last meeting. A big thank you to the tourism board.

The Town of Patriot extends an invitation to all on the 4th of July for our Freedom Celebration. the parade begins at 11 a.m. with a pitch-in dinner picnic to follow at the ball park. The Town of Patriot will supply fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks. Everyone is encouraged to bring a covered dish, though it is not required.

In other business: Council agreed to pay $1,200 toward the cost of half the roof on the Masonic Lodge. Hilltop Basic Resources agreed to make a donation of fill dirt to raise a portion of town property for the Memorial Park on Third and Plum streets in Patriot. Harry McMurray was the only person to submit a bid for tree trimming but needed clarification. Council discussed some steps to better secure the town hall.

Fire Chief George Miller gave an update on the weather siren. The siren has been ordered and Joe Martin of J&N Electronics evaluated the chosen site and recommended mounting it on a 55 foot wood pole. George Miller asked REMC to make a donation of the pole through Harry Althoff, board president. The pole was delivered Monday, June 26th.

A request was made to have two existing sidewalks connected on Third Street behind the apartment building. Council will take bids. Council approved town worker James Smith to be paid weekly at a rate of $10 per hour.

Water business: Jim McNulty of Strand Engineers was present to give a project update. Strand has been informed that the delay is a result of a request for a letter of consent from Rural Development, since they hold the funding for past improvements to the system. The Indianapolis office of Rural Development reports that SRF has requested an approval or consent for “parity” with Rural Development, which is a more significant request since it gives SRF equal right to the utility’s assets in the event of a default. For this reason, Rural Development requires a significant amount of time to review the request and there is some chance they will deny the request.

As of Friday, June 26th, the Indianapolis office of Rural Development reports they have forwarded the consent request to Ohio for legal consent and they expect it back around June 21st. The Indianapolis office indicated the request for parity should be approved.

Jim McNulty went on to say that the delay to set a loan closing date has resulted in the Notice of Award not being sent out since there is no guarantee of funding. Without the Notice of Award, the contractors cannot order materials at today’s prices. A cost increase for PVC water main will likely occur by the end of June and the cost of the project will increase. The Notice of Award will be sent as soon as a closing date is set.

the continued delays are also increasing the engineering costs as Strand Associates spends significant time requesting bid extensions and requesting information from those involved in funding. Fred Marsh and Jim McNulty will continue to be present at board meetings to discuss these issues as needed.

Utility superintendent Sherry Ogden reported the following: Nine leaks repaired, Consumer Confidence Reports are completed, Patriot wells pumped 26,044,700 gallons and Florence well pumped 7,762,440 gallons, received three bids on dump truck, taken road bore permits to INDOT. Sherry Ogden will try to have a truck in the parade.

Mike Edwards was present to request a water service at 1768 Highway 250 but was informed by Council that none were available. The Council is working on systematic approach to releasing new meters but only after the improvement project has proceeded and IDEM has approved.

Patriot Town Council wishes reminds all customers there is a disconnect fee of $40 and a reconnect fee of $60 and payment of all past due fees and charges if your monthly bill is not paid on time. The field crews are instructed to pull the meter seven to 10 days after delinquent notices are sent out.

Council approved to increase fees on all returned checks to $100. Council agreed to continue to not charge for copies and faxes. Town Council was informed that the Homeland Security Grant application for fencing around the Patriot well field was denied.

In sewer business, Sherry Ogden reported that the flow meter was calibrated by River City Controls. Lift Station No. 4 has had grinder blades turned and cleaned. She also said the workers would be conducting smoke tests to check for storm water inflow to the sewer mains.

There was an executive session after the meeting with the topic being the Clerk-Treasurer and her job.

The next meeting will be held on July 18th.