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December 20, 2016 • Headline News
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Holton storm drainage project hits snag, but proceeds

Wanda English Burnett

A project that has been needed in the Town of Holton for several years is finally coming to fruition, but the project manager told the town council there are some hurdles. According to David Talbott with Curry & Associates, Inc., consulting engineers and architects, the ditch line in a portion of Versailles Street has been classified a wetland. He came before the council requesting an extension in garnering permits and noted while they do have other options to pursue in this situation, it could take just a little more time

Holton council members WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Pictured from left, Holton Council members, Amber May and Paul Hughes, along with Andy Stratton, president, seated, look over drawings for the storm drain project for the town at their December meeting. The council is pleased with the progress. Curry and Associates Inc. are the consulting engineers and architects for the project that should be a solution to the town’s drainage problem it’s had for years.

Talbott noted he expects to hear any day from the Army Corp of Engineers about the situation, which is whether the place in question is classified Regional General or Individual Permit. He did note the ditch has been there for many years. The good news was that the project is still coming in on budget even if they have to make some changes to comply with the law on the wetland issue. “We are moving forward,” Talbott, told the council members at their meeting December 14. Clerk-treasurer Angi Farrell noted that the advertising and pre-bidding for the project is on track with advertising set to come out in the local newspapers January 17, 19, 24, and 26. She noted the pre-bid meeting has been set for January 30 at the town hall at 5 p.m. with the anticipation of bid openings being on February 15.

In other business Ron Palmer was once again appointed to represent the town on the Ripley County Planning Commission Board. Town worker Jimmy Adkins has resigned from his position with the town with his last day being December 23. The council discussed paying part-time employee Ron Downey additional money since he’s been carrying a lot of the load and keeping the town going in Adkin’s absence. A bill was submitted by Hoosier Electric for a grinder pump, but no action was taken. Marshal Josh Royalty was in attendance and gave his report for the month before. He had 19 calls, 2 citations, 18 warnings, made 4 arrests, and worked 2 accidents. Repairing the old police car was discussed with council members moving forward to get it in running order. Farrell noted she had heard from their attorney, John Ertel, who advised them that a new law makes it so Andy Stratton, president of the council, can now serve on the township fire department. Before he couldn’t.

The meeting ended with council members signing paperwork and looking over plans for the storm drain project. Amber May, Paul Hughes, members, Andy Stratton, president, and Angi Farrell, clerk-treasurer were in attendance at the meeting. A special meeting has been set to close out the books for the year on December 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the town hall.

Heaton retires, new supt. appointed
County agrees to assume operation of Rescue 30

Wanda English Burnett

Scott Huffman, Ripley County EMS director, came before the commissioners at their December 5 meeting requesting the county take on the responsibility of operating Rescue 30, Milan’s lifesquad. There was no arguing by the members of the lifesquad, but, rather they said due to not having the financial means to continue to operate it would benefit the town for the county to manage the agency. Huffman asked if the operations of Rescue 30 facility could begin February 1, 2017. This would keep the Basic Life Support operation within the Town of Milan. It was noted that the county’s attorney, John Ertel, will meet with the rescue squad’s attorney, Larry Eaton, along with Attorney Lynn Fledderman, the town’s legal counsel, to work out the right terms for the contract. With that in mind the commissioners moved to accept the proposal.

Commissioner Bob Linville moved to appoint Ray Toops to the position of County Highway Superintendent beginning January 1, 2017, when Owen Heaton, present superintendent, will retire. Toops has been a long time employee with the county. This motion passed with two yes votes with Commissioner Mark Busching abstaining.

Appointments for the next year were approved as follows: Rodney Stratton was appointed to serve on the Solid Waste Board as the commissioners’ appointment. He asked to be removed from that appointment, which was done with Commissioner Linville appointed. Dr. James Hollis was appointed to the Health Board. All passed with unanimous votes. Patrick Rose accepted the additional responsibilities of ADA and Title 6 Coordinator beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

In other business, Auditor Bill Wagner advised commissioners that Traditions Group had submitted a quote to touch up and seal the gold on the courthouse tower. When the quote was reviewed it was noted the company did not have any workers’ compensation coverage and did not meet the requirements of the county for contractors to do the work. Commissioner Linville made a motion to not accept the quote, which was passed unanimously.

County Highway

Linville moved to contract 30,000 gallons of gas and 30,000 gallons of diesel under the escalating and de-escalating quote of $1.713 for gas and $1.746 for off road diesel and $1.903 for on road diesel for a three-month period. The price will fluctuate with each delivery. This was passed unanimously. Linville then moved to rescind his motion and make it a six-month period, which again garnered unanimous approval. Highway foreman Pat Kissell reported the trucks and cinder boxes are ready for winter. David Osborne requested commissioners sign the contact between Purdue and the county for the Extension Office services for 2017. This passed unanimously.

Editor’s Note: This article was written from unofficial minutes, which will not be voted on until the next meeting of the commissioners, which was December 19.


Local Bulletin Board

Polar Plunge seeks sponsors

Special Olympics Indiana’s largest signature fundraising event, the Polar Plunge, has raised more than $3 million dollars since its inception in 2000.
The 18 Polar Plunges around the state feature 2,900 plungers braving the icy cold waters in Indiana, as they fundraiser to support athletes with intellectual disabilities. Over 5,000 spectators and volunteers watch as both individuals and teams in costumes jump in freezing water to participate in this incredible team-building, bucket-list challenge. Sponsorship opportunities for the Polar Plunge are available for companies that want to partner with Special Olympics Indiana. Contact Greg Townsend at 812-584-6861 or by email at, or visit to download a sponsorship form.

Jan. 7: First responder breakfast with legislator
Police, Fire, and EMS members please join State Representative Randy Frye for a breakfast to discuss public safety issues for the upcoming legislative session. The breakfast, sponsored by the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, will be on Saturday, Jan. 7 beginning at 8 a.m.

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