Heritage Park A Topic Of Discussion At Etna Green Meeting

ETNA GREEN – There will be improvements to Heritage Park in the near future.

Etna Green Clerk-Treasurer Patti Cook told the Town Council Tuesday cameras will be installed at the park by Hyperwave Telephones. It will cost $750 to be installed and $250 for wiring for the cameras. The cameras are being put in after park property was recently damaged.

Also, Cook said, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of park rentals has gone up, so she’s going to address some things at the park. Some of the things Cook mentioned included two windows at the park building being broken, the fascia on one side of the pavilion needs to be replaced and mulch is needed at the front of the park.

Amy Sharp asked for permission from the Council for her and Keith Robins to paint five picnic tables at the park. Cook said she believed the town had some paint that could be used to paint the picnic tables.

Councilman Jason Hanes said the town wasn’t going to make Sharp and Robins pay for supplies, and Cook said she might even come down and help them paint the picnic tables.

The Council also discussed putting memorial plaques in honor of Carol Hoffer at the pavilion. She died Nov. 4, 2020.

Cook said two plaques would be approximately $450 if they put them on two sides of the pavillion and could say “Carol Hoffer Memorial Pavillion.”

Hanes said he was thinking of more of a marker stone with a plaque to honor Hoffer. Council President Keith Claassen said he was thinking more of a brass plaque on one of the pavilion posts.

Cook said there is all ready a marker stone with a plaque for Etna Green School.

She said she will look more into plaque options and will bring that information to the Council at its August meeting.

In other business, Aubrey and Matt Jones asked the Council why they wrote a letter saying the Council did not object to a variance for Bryan Moriarty of Broadway Street to build a structure 1 foot from the Jones’ property line.

Hanes said, from his point of view, he talked to Moriarty when he bought the property about his plans for the property. Moriarty has made the property better and Hanes said he didn’t hear of any complaints from anyone in what he was doing.

Aubrey said the Jones don’t mind if their neighbor builds on his property. She just questioned why the variance was approved. Claassen said it was so the property could be used since the property is small.

Aubrey said the structure was too close to the Jones’ property and had concerns about if it caught fire and its proximity to the transformer near the property. She also questioned why the Council approved the 1-foot variance.

Hanes said the Council didn’t approve anything. They wrote a letter to the Kosciusko County Board of Zoning Appeals saying the Council didn’t object to the variance. The Board of Zoning Appealsthen approved the variance. The Jones remonstrated the variance at the Plan Commission meeting.

Hanes said he will take that issue as a learning process and will ask for things like letters from neighbors on issues in similar issues going forward.

Also, the Council:

• Learned there was a mistake made in the submission of paperwork to the Indiana Department of Transportation for a grant to pave Spring and Pearl streets.

Cook said only Spring Street was showing in the paperwork.

Hanes said he would like Cook to talk to Niblock Excavating, Bristol, to see if they can put both streets into the grant or if they can do just Spring Street due what was shown in the paperwork.

In June, the Council approved a bid from Niblock’s for the paving projects totaling $105,440. Hanes said the town has enough money to do the paving of Pearl Street, but would like to have it paved with grant money.

Hanes also suggested Cook talk to Niblock to see if INDOT can’t approve the grant money for Pearl Street for this grant at this time if they could possibly do that the next time the grant is opened.

• Learned town attorney Nick Jacobs will reach out to the mortgage company about a property at the corner of Walnut and Railroad streets by the end of the week.

He said he will also talk to Kosciusko County Health Department environmental scientist Bill Baxter about his thoughts of what the town could do since Hanes said the town doesn’t know who the property owners are and the property has been condemned.

Hanes said he wanted to know what the town could do to remedy the situation.

• Learned from Hanes the new Etna Green Community Food Pantry will be put in the feed mill parking lot at Etna Elevator Aug. 15.

He asked for Jacobs’ help in making it a 501(c)3.

Hanes said he has had a lot of people and organizations turn down donations because the pantry can’t give receipts for tax deductions. Jacobs said he could help and it would be separate from what he does from the town. Hanes said he doesn’t want the town to pay for Jacobs’ fee to take care of it and would have to find the money from other sources.