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Commissioner address more building issues


Items concerning three different buildings were brought before county commissioners at Monday’s meeting.

A person has been reported as living in a garage building on the west side of Royer Lake. The building does not have water or sanitation facilities and is not hooked up to the county sewer district. The property does have electric service.

After considerable discussion and input from County Planner Robert Shanahan, the commissioners directed that a letter be sent to Health Department Administrator Alfredo Garcia, asking him to investigate this incident and report back to both the health board and commissioners regarding his findings.

Shanahan also told commissioners he has received one written complaint and four telephone calls regarding an alleged unsafe building at 8980E 500S. According to records in the treasurer’s office, the property is owned by Tami Sparkman and some property taxes are outstanding on the real estate.

“We have not been able to effect service to this person either in person or by sheriff’s service,” Shanahan explained. “Our next option is to bring this matter to you for resolution.”

Commissioners decided to perform a title search and determine the value of the property before taking any action.

Topeka Town Attorney Bill Eberhard has requested county assistance regarding the demolition of a building in downtown Topeka. A tear-down started a number of months ago and has been left unattended with no further work done for some time.

Commissioners decided that this is a Town of Topeka issue and should be address by the Topeka Town Board.

Commissioners noted that bids for the technology bond issue of $1.2 million will be taken in the office of financial advisor Jeff Peters in Noblesville. A legal notice detailing instructions to potential bidders has been running in the LaGrange Standard and LaGrange News.

A grant in the amount of $129 was awarded to the Historic Graveyard Committee for use in erecting a historical sign. The signage will direct people to the historic county farm (infirmary) cemetery.

An amendment to the county ordinance directing fees from contractor registration fees and building department fees to a fund designated for attorney fees was passed. The amendment allows that money from these funds can now be used to pay wages.

Commissioners felt the change was necessary to help with funding the county nuisance officer since the Town of Wolcottville has decided to drop out of this cooperative agreement.

A hearing date for the Knepp property on CR 100N east of Shipshewana was set for Dec. 17. Knepp has been given until that date to perform more cleanup tasks at the residence.

An additional executive session was announced for Thursday, Nov. 8, for more interviews regarding the maintenance position at the county office building and courthouse.

An application was signed for a competitive Homeland Security grant in the amount of $4,049. Stewart Bender, director of the agency, noted that not all counties are eligible to submit this grant. Last year the local emergency response unit was awarded a grant the provided iPads to Bender and Communications Director Arron Knisley.