By MATT KOESTERS
Without much ado and little discussion, the Clarksville Town Council voted unanimously to terminate the contract of its redevelopment director at its meeting on Monday.
Councilman Bob Popp, who currently serves as the president of the town’s redevelopment commission, made the motion to terminate the contract of Redevelopment Director Rick Dickman.
“I think the council is wanting to go in a new and different direction with the redevelopment director, probably someone that has experience, well-qualified as far as degrees,” Popp said. “At the same time, I think Rick also is looking at some other opportunities that he would like to pursue towards the end of his career. So I see this as kind of an agreement for both parties, the town and the redevelopment director, to go in different directions.”
Council President John Gilkey was deferential to Popp’s assessment of the need for a new direction.
“Well, Mr. Popp is the president of the redevelopment commission at present, and I would presume he knows very well the direction we need to be going in,” Gilkey said.
At the end of the meeting, the council unanimously adopted a motion made by Councilman Bob Polston to make it the town’s policy not to grant year-long contracts to salaried town employees.
Dickman said that he didn’t believe that his time working for the town is over yet.
“We’re disputing on a couple of the issues associated with it, but I’m working with Chris [Sturgeon], their attorney, and a couple of councilmen, and to be honest with you, I plan on being here,” Dickman said. “In this particular case, they just didn’t like having contracts with anybody that they couldn’t do something about.”
Dickman’s contract self-renews annually unless the council gives advanced notice to terminate the contract. Dickman’s contract originally called for 90 days notice for termination, but the council voted to amend the contract to reduce that time to 60 days.
The council voted unanimously to authorize Gilkey to sign a letter addressed to Indiana American Water notifying the water company of the town’s intent to take over the wastewater treatment plant.
Gilkey estimated the town will save around $100,000 to 200,000 per year by taking over the plant operations.
“And in addition to that, we’re getting a lot closer control of the operation of the plant, and I think we’ll be in a situation where we’re going to see better operation, better service,” Gilkey said. “Now that will require that we go out and extend job offers to the existing employees at the plant and start laying a foundation.”
The savings isn’t likely to be passed on to Clarksville taxpayers. The town is planning a $26-million sewer-plant expansion.
“That’s the big deciding factor on what the rates are going to be,” Gilkey said.
The council unanimously adopted a resolution amending the town’s policy on resident-only parking.
Resident-only parking permits must be renewed annually at the cost of $50, and the need for resident-only parking will be re-evaluated every three years, per the new ordinance.