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Steve Angel

August 18, 2017


Poetic License

We're assuming this is Peterson 2. It's a Hancock County plate the Icon spotted on a black Ford Expedition EL at the Bluffton Community Swimming Pool.

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Bluffton Council/School Board

2017 sidewalk connectivity price tag: $48,408

Roughly 2,017 linear feet of 4-foot sidewalks involved

Bluffton council approved a 2017 sidewalk connectivity plan anticipated to cost $48,408. The plan was approved on Aug. 14.

Projects in this year’s plan call for 4-foot sidewalks in the following areas:
• East College Avenue gap
• Cherry Street – 465 Cherry to County Line
• Augsburger Bike Path – Riverbend to Hawthorn
• Jefferson Street – beside 204 N. Jackson

This project includes roughly 2,017 linear feet of connectivity. This year’s budget for the project was $50,000.

West Riley Street structure now in 30-day waiting period

On Aug. 14, Bluffton council passed the third reading of a resolution for demolition of the structure at 145 W. Riley St. A 30-day waiting period take place for the resolution to take effect.

Bluffton council set the following meetings for August:

• Monday, Aug. 21, personnel, 4:30 p.m.
• Monday, Aug. 21, council meeting, 8 p.m.

Mobile food trucks, police pay ranges, village park pond, Shannon Cemetery

Several items on Monday's council agenda

Several items are on Monday’s Bluffton council agenda. These include consideration of:

• First reading of ordinance creating licensing and regulation of mobile food providers in the village

• Final reading of resolution calling for demolition and removal of a structure at 145 W. Riley St.

• Ordinance setting pay ranges for members of the police department

• Shannon Cemetery update – the first tombstone will be returned to the cemetery

• Update on filling in village park pond

• Report on 2017 sidewalk program summary

Ottawa water contract addendum on Monday's council table

2017 rate for water is $2.29 per 100 cubic feet

Bluffton council will act on legislation on Monday involving its 2005 water contract with Ottawa.

An ordinance to be considered is an addendum to the 2005 contract. The addendum addresses issues between Bluffton and Ottawa that need clarification.

The legislation states that Bluffton is paid up for all water contracts prior to this year and that Bluffton owes no other money to Ottawa. It continues that both Ottawa and Bluffton agree that no penalties or interest are owed for any prior years.

School appropriations for 2017-18 reaches $17,684,012

Several substitute contacts on Monday's school board agenda

Bluffton school board will act on approval of its 2017-18 appropriations certificate on Monday.

The board will act on appropriations totaling $17,684,012. The action means the board has sufficient funds to meet contract obligations, payment and expenditures for the coming school year.

In other action the board will consider:

• Resignation of Eric Fleharty as assistant high school football coach

• Substitute custodian contracts for eight persons

• Substitute bus driver contracts for seven persons

Bluffton council sets committee meeting schedule

Bluffton council set several committee meetings for July and August. These follow:

July 17 – Utilities to discuss West Elm Street waterline project, town hall, 5:30 p.m.

July 17- Personnel to discuss wage ordinance, town hall, 6:30 p.m.

July 18 – Utilities to discuss west side interceptor change orders, town hall, 6 p.m.

July 20 – Airport commission, Bluffton Airport, 7:30 p.m.

July 24 – Sidewalk connectivity public hearing, town hall, 8:15 p.m.

Aug. 14 – K-9 options, town hall, 6 p.m.

2018 village budget's general fund projected at $2,925,690

Council holds its 2018 budget hearing Monday night

Bluffton council will hold its 2018 budget hearing at 8:15 p.m. Monday during the July 10 council session. The proposed budget projects a general fund with a beginning balance of $2,925,690. The budget contains 21 pages of information.

Once the budget is approved – it is a fiscal roadmap for the village - the council acts on 2018 appropriations. That action generally takes place in the final meeting of 2017. The appropriations are much more clearly defined that the budget.

The proposed budget is attached at the bottom of this story.

School intends to expand elementary playground

Skelly property purchased for $110,000

Watch this property. The house will disappear this year.

Bluffton’s school board announced the purchase of this residence on North Lawn Avenue owned by John R. Skelly, formerly of Bluffton. The purchase price was $110,000. In recent years the house served as a rental property.

According to Greg Denecker, Bluffton superintendent, the house will eventually be razed to expand the elementary playground.

“Our intention is to make this property a green space in the playground,” he told The Icon.

Public reception for new village administrator on Friday

Jack Huber starts his new job on Thursday

Bluffton native Jack Huber of Troy was hired as the new Bluffton village administrator earlier this month during a special council meeting.

Huber's first day on the job is Thursday. A public reception for Huber is from 1 to 3 p.m., Friday, in the town hall.

His salary will be $60,000 annually during a six-month probationary period. Following the probationary period council can consider a recommendation from the mayor for a salary increase up to an additional $5,000 per year.

Council announces committee meetings

Bluffton council has set several committee meetings. Those follow:

Wednesday, July 5, street and alley committee, 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 6, State Route 103 corridor study, 5:30 p.m.
Monday, July 10, public hearing on 2018 village budget, 8:15 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 14, public hearing on sidewalk connectivity, 8:15 p.m.