Mentone Passes On Utility Connection

(photo supplied / Mentone Chamber of Commerce)

Mentone Town Council voted to not require a property owner to hook up to the town’s utilities and not to annex the property into the town’s corporate limits.

At March’s town council meeting, Councilman Tim?Croy said he was contacted by Brent Herendeen saying there’s no water or sewage on a property he was looking to buy, which is south on Ind. 19, right outside the town borders.

“I was told by the Kosciusko County Board of Health that we had that option to make them connect to our services, or we could pass and they would allow him to put his own well and septic (system) in,” Croy said.

Croy said he and town attorney Andrew Grossnickle both looked into the county ordinance about the requirements of having a property hook up to the town’s utilities. Croy was told it wasn’t a county ordinance, but a state ordinance.

“I contacted the Indiana Utilities and Regulation Council in Indianapolis. They weren’t too sure,” Croy said.

Two weeks later, the IURC got back to Croy with the state code, which does state the town does have the option of allowing a property within 300 feet to hook up. However, Croy was told towns can change the ordinance to suit the town.

Mentone’s ordinance says if the property is within town limits, then the town can make property owners connect to the town utilities.

The two codes “don’t jive,” Croy said.

“It’s not worth making Mr. Herendeen upset, when we might get $50 a month,” he said.

Herendeen said he would like a decision during the meeting.

“Your closing day has come and gone and we keep pushing you back and you’re going to walk away,” Croy said.

In another matter, Grossnickle updated the town council on a local mobile park.

He said Bill Baxter, environmental scientist with the health department, went to the mobile park and tried to see two trailers and wasn’t able to see either of them for varying reasons. He then saw the home of what seemed to be the property manager and saw some concerns there.

In other news:

• Councilwoman Shelly Krueger stated the town will have to wait and see if the farmer’s market, that usually opens the weekend of Mother’s Day, will be able to open as planned this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

• Clerk-Treasurer Nicki Norris said online payments through for utilities has been going well. Thirteen people have already paid that way. Bills just went out and the town will see if more people will pay that way this upcoming month.

• Starting Sunday, people can go onto the Mentone News Facebook page, as well as other places, and download a picture of an egg they can color and put in their window, Croy said. “And we’ll have our own little egg hunt,” he said.