The Shipshewana Town Council approved the recommendations to make some streets “No Parking” around town.
The first is a no parking zone on the east side of State Street that would extend north from Middlebury Street. It was noted that, with parking on both sides, it is difficult to get emergency vehicles and town maintenance trucks through that area.
No parking was also approved on both sides of Berkshire Drive from SR 5 to the E&S Warehouse driveway on the south side of the street.
The third area falls under the county’s jurisdiction, but it was believed that the county would support the recommendation to have no parking along CR 250N and CR 735W surrounding the soccer fields. “This one is the most serious area for safety reasons,” Shipshewana Town Manager Mike Sutter told the council. “We have got to be conscious of the safety of the children.” Sutter did point out that the town plans to extend the parking area at the soccer fields.
The recommendation is for no parking along CR 250N, as well as CR 735W from CR 250N to the treatment plant entry.
Town Marshal Tom Fitch told the council that his department would work to direct drivers away from parking in those areas and issue warnings first. He noted that the concern around the soccer fields is a real safety issue with kids running between cars and crossing the road.
The council approved the recommendations, with the soccer field area contingent on county approval as those areas lie outside the town limits.
The council also discussed what could be done in two other areas, including State Street and School Street around the Shipshewana-Scott Elementary School. Sutter noted that the area is very congested when students are released from school. The initial recommendation was to make School Street one way heading east. Council member Nate Jones said the idea was a start, but didn’t think it would solve the entire problem of congestion in the area. Sutter said that they would continue to look at that area.
The board did approve signage at the post office to help prevent drivers from parking against the traffic. Fitch told the council that he had given warnings to some drivers, but continues to see them parking against oncoming traffic. The installation of the sign would allow the police department to start enforcement in that area.
In other business:
The police department was approved to purchase 11 new Multi-Purpose Immobilization Devices (also known as tasers) from Karbon Arms at a total cost of $7,849. Fitch told the council that the department needed to update their equipment to remain compliant. The cost includes the equipment, holsters, cartridges and training kit. Fitch said the Karbon Arms would save the department money, as they could be repaired and updated to remain usable, unlike the current equipment.
The council approved hiring a new officer, Brandon Hooley, who currently serves as a reserve for the police department. Fitch said that one of their officers, Derrick Baldridge, was expected to be hired shortly by the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department.
The council approved street closures for the 2013 Mayfest.
The council approved hiring one person for summer help to handle lawn care and other jobs.
The council approved engineering for either improvement or replacement of the lift station at SR 5 and US 20.
It was announced that Spike and the Bulldogs would be at the Shipshewana Event Center on June 8 and Nov. 9.