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June 20, 2013

First time in decades Versailles board raises sewer rates

Mary Mattingly

For the first time since the late '90s, the Town of Versailles will be raising sewer rates. No public citizen was present at the hearing, which was advertised and held at the monthly town council meeting on June 13. The rate proposed is a 7 percent increase, which is $2 more on a minimum bill. The minimum bill is currently $15.16. The council looked into other towns of similar size and in proximity and noted, their rates are lower compared to other nearby communities..

They agreed unanimously to the rate; however, users will not notice it on their bill for about six to eight weeks.

Town Attorney Larry Eaton noted during the meeting that the ordinances need to be updated and codified as it has been two years.

Security improved

There will be improved surveillance at the Versailles parks soon. Versailles Town Marshal Joe Mann investigated security camera costs and presented his findings to the council. He looked at mobile and permanent systems for the Sports Complex and Pangburn park. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of cameras. .

Mann said, "We've had some incidents at the sports complex where bathrooms were vandazlied. They tore up the tin and made a ramp out of it." He looked into internet service set-up at the parks for remote monitoring, but it too will cost.

The mobile units would cost about $1,000 per camera. Council member Steve Mathes recommended purchasing one permanent set, which comes with eight cameras. He also suggested looking into Rising Sun Regional Foundation or Tyson grant for the others. The council agreed. Mann will follow up next month. Mathes also reported that he had a productive meeting with the Gilpins and the Sports Complex Board. They resolved the uniform purchases for the league for next year.

Yard sales

'Tis the season…for yard sales! However, Versailles town leaders don't want to see the signs posted on utility poles or traffic signs. They may be placed on private property. Mann and the council remind the public there is an ordinance that includes a fine of up $2,500 if such signs are placed illegally. Utilities manager Kevin Hensley also brought up that they are mowing several properties that have been abandoned. Notices are sent if residential or commercial property owners neglect their lawns.

Fire house plans

President Sue Meisberger wants to ask the Rising Sun Regional Foundation for $50,000 to renovate the old firehouse. Plans have already been drawn up for potential use by the town police department. A new meeting room and upgraded restrooms were part of the designs. The council will walk through the firehouse and discuss options before the next meeting. Also, Ben Sieverding, fire chief, reported 58 calls since April. The department was denied a grant to help purchase a fire truck.

Utility pole removed

Hensley reminded council that a 30-foot electric pole on North Adams Street needs to be replaced. Duke Energy will set the new pole, but the town will be responsible for the cost of $2,500.

The town will also be responsible for removing and replacing the blue spruce tree there. The tree was put in many years ago to hide the lift station. Affected homeowner will be contacted about the tree replacement.

Hensley also gave a quote for a safety harness for cleaning the lift stations. It has a 50-foot cable, tripod and gas monitor at a cost of $3,600, and council agreed to purchase it through the sewer account.

Mainstreet interest

Versailles Town Council is interested in forming a Mainstreet committee. This is a state program that can help revitalize downtown through various grants. Anyone interested should contact Mathes, or council members, John Holzer, Mathes, Meisberger or town clerk Kiersten Libby.

Requests from citizens

Doug Rump, on behalf of LifeTime Resources, requested the town include a $1,000 donation for the agency. All towns in their county service area are being requested to support the agency. LifeTime Resources provides Catch-a-Ride transportation, one of their more visible services. Council will consider it when they discuss the 2014 budget. A special meeting will be held about the 2014 budget for July 10, at 6 p.m.

Bridget Back with Child Evangelism Fellowship (sponsor of the Good News Clubs in area schools) received permission from the council to have a fundraising walk around downtown, starting and ending at the Tyson Activity Center. It will be Aug. 10, at 3 p.m., and is targeted to adults. A well-known acapella band is also slated to perform as part of the event. More details to come.

The Versailles Town Council meets the second Thursday of the month at the town hall. The meetings generally begin at 7 p.m, and are open to the public.

Relay, auction, 5K, barbecue... Weekend bustling with activities to do

Carla Thomas, co-chair of the Handbags for Hope event, prepares the over 60 bags for this Saturday's auction at the Batesville Middle School Commons. The event benefits Safe Passage. The silent auction is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, and includes a salad luncheon. For more information: 934-5192

There's plenty to do this weekend in the area.

Things actually kick off tonight (Thursday) with a free concert at Batesville's Liberty Park. The Cincinnati Regional Pops Orchestra revs up around 8 p.m. On Friday, the Batesville Music and Arts Festival continues with the Colgate Country Music Showdown at the pavilion in the park.

On Saturday activities get going early in Versailles at 8 a.m.

The annual Ripley County Chamber of Commerce 5K walk/run is scheduled at that time.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. in front of the Schuerman Law Firm office on the east side of the courthouse. The race starts at the courthouse square. The cost is $15 day of race, or $10 by Friday and includes a t-shirt. Age groups are divided, and begin at 13. Top three runners in each of seven categories will receive medals, with four overall trophies to the top male and female in both walkers and runners.

Also, beginning Saturday morning is the annual Ripley County Relay for Life at the Batesville High school track. Opening ceremonies are at 8 a.m., and various activities will continue for 24 hours. The goal is to raise over $118,000. A highlight is the evening luminaria service at 9:30 p.m.

Entertainment line-up includes the 11 a.m. Little Mr. and Miss Relay pageant, the 4 p.m. Road to Recovery 500 Car parade, the 11:30 p.m. talent show and the 7:30 a.m. closing ceremonies on Sunday, plus many more events. (See the ad in today's newspaper for more information.)

Live entertainment is featured throughout the day, with food and drink also available. Bring the whole family, as there are lots of kids games and activities planned.

Another Saturday event is in Versailles. The 47th annual Lions Club Chicken Barbecue is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the square. In conjunction with this, the Versailles American Legion Post is also presenting classic cars.

Also on Saturday, is the first Handbags for Hope fundraiser. It will be held at the Batesville Middle School Commons, and is sponsored by The Church on the Rock. For $5, you can enjoy a salad luncheon and bid on a variety of handbags filled with themed goods. Proceeds go to the Safe Passage domestic shelter that serves five counties, including Ripley. The purse event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sunday, St. Nicholas is having a church picnic from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Next weekend, check out the antique farm show at the fairgrounds in Osgood. More details to come!

To read these and more articles pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican at your local store or subscribe by clicking on the link above or by calling 812-689-6364.
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