Monrovia City Council discusses county efforts to dissolve buffer zones

MONROVIA – The concept of buffer zones was a topic of discussion within the Monrovia City Council at its recent meeting, with most members voicing concerns about the county’s efforts to dissolve all of Morgan County’s buffer zones.

Buffer zones are areas outside the boundaries of municipalities like Martinsville, Mooresville, and Monrovia that give towns and villages planning and zoning jurisdiction, but residents of those areas cannot vote for them. elected municipal officials.

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The Morgan County Planning Commission discussed the dissolution of the buffer zones at its November 8 meeting.

“We absolutely don’t want that to happen,” City Councilor Kevin Collier said Tuesday evening.

“One problem for cities and such is that (the county planning commission) will be able to make a decision on something that goes against our wishes,” said Councilor Loren Moore.

“On the other hand, the people who live in the buffer zone (…) have no recourse to go ahead and vote for the city officials,” said the chairman of the Monrovia city council. , Philip Fowler. “It’s a double-edged sword.”

“If they are trying to dissolve the buffer zones, we have to make the effort to propose incorporation, if they are cooperative,” added City Councilor Bonnie Silsby-Inman. “It gives more protection.”

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Collier suggested that city attorney Jim Wisco could prepare a statement expressing council’s opposition to dissolving the buffer zones, but City Councilor Carol Youngblood noted that she “was not necessarily opposed” to removal of buffer zones.

Asked by Silsby-Inman, Youngblood said she didn’t see much benefit in keeping the buffer zones in place.

“I think the people who are in the buffer zones are kind of in a no man’s land,” Youngblood said. “They are bound by the decisions we make and yet they have no elected representation on this board.”

Youngblood added that she did not believe the county would make bad decisions for Monrovia.

“We may not agree with (…) the decisions the county may make, but no, I’m not necessarily one of those who thinks that buffer zones (…) are a good thing. “said Youngblood. “I think having lived in the buffer zone at one point, it’s very frustrating not to have elected representation.”

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Wisco also mentioned that since he was a lawyer for Morgan County, as well as a member of the City of Martinsville council, he would “stay out” of the problem, but could refer other resources if necessary.

The matter was postponed until the planning committee meeting on December 13.

Property request

Also during the council meeting, local businessman Caleb Gluff approached the council with an interest in purchasing town property.

Gluff, owner of Gluff Plumbing, has expressed interest in building a small plumbing office for his expanding business on the four lots on the corner of Ind. 39 and Ind. 42.

“Our little plumbing business has really grown… it has grown from scratch,” said Gluff. “We’re looking to build a small plumbing shop, something local. I could build anywhere, but my heart is in Monrovia.”

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The property, which totals 0.64 acres and is zoned R6, was purchased by the city in 2013/14 for a total of $ 41,500, and the assessed value as of March 2021 is $ 32,500.

“I love this city, I love this community, and I would love to have the opportunity to build here,” Gluff noted.

Fowler asked why Gluff was interested in this particular property, and Gluff said he knew the surrounding owners and also liked the exposure he would get at this location.

“It’s something you really can’t buy, they’re good neighbors,” Gluff added.

Collier mentioned that if the city decides to sell the property, it should be put on an offer. The city couldn’t sell directly to Gluff.

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The property in question was, at one point, under consideration for a new town hall, but council has yet to make a firm decision.

Sewers

On November 15, Fowler sent a letter on behalf of the council requesting $ 1 million from the county’s American Relief Plan Act (ARP Act) funds to cover the cost of the upcoming water treatment plant expansion. worn.

The board also discussed the change in solid waste disposal services from Just Dewatering to Merrell Bros. Just Dewatering charged around $ 200 per tonne for solid waste disposal, while Merrell Brothers only charges $ 28.50 per tonne.

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Just Dewatering had been serving the city since around 2001, and the change was made for the sake of profitability.

The savings for the city will be approximately $ 40,000.

Merrell Brothers’ proposal was accepted unanimously.

Police

City Marshal Mike Richardson briefed council on hiring updates. At the previous board meeting, he nominated Bryan Bowling as a candidate for the reserve officer position. The bowling alley will be officially sworn in on December 1.

Richardson also mentioned that, as of September 1, the Monrovia Police Department has only covered about 30% of calls received. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office covered about 70% of calls received.

The sheriff’s office takes the majority of calls because Monrovia has never had a full-time police officer.

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However, Richardson will be full time in January and he hopes to increase the police presence throughout the city and make the Monrovia Police Department the first responder to Monrovia appeals.

In addition to the donations from the City of Mooresville mentioned at last month’s meeting, the Indiana University – Indianapolis Police Department also donated a light bar, lighting equipment, a cargo cage and two gun or cargo boxes.

Richardson estimates that all donated and grant-funded combined equipment received totals approximately $ 10,000.

Fowler asked if the department could receive donations from Tasers, but Richardson clarified that most places would not grant or donate weapons or Tasers.

Economic news: US Brick acquires General Shale’s manufacturing plant in Mooresville.

The city’s Jeep, which was approved for auction at a previous meeting, is scheduled to go up for auction on Dec. 16 along with the Kessler and Schaefer auction in Indianapolis. The auction will be public and around 300 potential buyers will be in attendance.

The next City Council meeting will be on December 28 at 6:30 p.m. at 140 E. Main St, Monrovia.

Contact Reporter-Times reporter Grace Phillips at [email protected] or 765-346-4815


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