By BRADEN LAMMERS
The town of Sellersburg has taken yet another step in finalizing its effort to annex the Covered Bridge subdivision.
At the end of its meeting Monday night, Sellersburg Town Council President Paul Rhodes announced the Indiana Court of Appeals had denied Covered Bridge its request for a rehearing.
“The appeals court turned down the request ... so, the issue is over,” he said. “The annexation is complete unless there is some legal maneuvering or wrangling that we’re not aware of.”
Indiana’s Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 in July that agreed the town of Sellersburg was “first in time” in beginning its annexation proceedings and that a waiver signed in the 1990s by the developer was valid, limiting the number of residents that could be considered when filing a remonstrance against annexation.
The ruling effectively allowed the town of Sellersburg to move forward with its annexation plans.
Sellersburg began the effort to annex the golf community more than four years ago, which includes Covered Bridge and the Willows of Covered Bridge subdivisions, Sterling Oaks and property along Allentown Road, a total of 1,852 acres. The denial for the rehearing was made last week, but it does not mean the another appeal won’t be made.
Larry Gupton, a leader in the remonstrance effort for Covered Bridge said, “we’re discussing that with our attorney now. That’s still a very viable option,” he said, referring to an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.
A message left with Perry McCall, attorney for Sellersburg for the annexation proceeding, was not returned as of press time.
The council began the budget review process for the 2013 budget at its meeting Monday.
There were very few changes from what was approved in the 2012 budget, which included a $3.17 million general fund budget, $250,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax fund and $234,083 in Local Option Income Tax safety funds.
“The only change would be a minimal change in the tax rate,” Rhodes said.
He said the tax rate changed from .6659 in 2012 to .6851 in 2013.
The budget will be reviewed and is expected to be approved at the council’s next meeting Monday, Oct. 22.
Water works bonds
An ordinance — 2012-16 — seeking bonds of up to $6 million for water works improvements was introduced at the council meeting.
No vote was taken, and financial adviser for the bond Umbaugh and Associates, will be at the council’s next meeting to answer questions and offer an estimate on water rate changes. The bond is being sought in order to complete improvements to the town’s water treatment plant, drilling for two new supply wells, construction of a new booster station, a new 500,000-gallon water storage tank and to refurbish two of the towns existing water tanks.
The ordinance was tabled until the next meeting
A paving contract with New Albany-based MAC Construction and Excavating was approved for $75,000
Sellersburg Municipal Works Director Ken Alexander said the bid was nearly $30,000 less than his estimate for paving three roads — Avco Boulevard, North Fern Street and Popp Avenue. He said the difference in cost was based on what he thought the cost of oil would total.
A contract to replace seven air conditioners on the town’s police department building also was approved. The contract was awarded to Davis Heating and Cooling for $65,241 and the money will be paid out of the police department’s budget.
The council announced that this week will be known as Job’s Daughters week in Sellersburg. The organization is affiliated with the Buckner Masonic Lodge.
Amanda Rehkamp, who works as the guardian for the group, presented the group of 10 to 20-year-old girls who participate in philanthropic work in the region, including for the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment fund.
It is the second year in existence for the Sellersburg organization.