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Council, mayor still 'fencing' with its proposed vehicle, dirty lot ordinances

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For the past few months, the Sullivan City Council and Mayor Clint Lamb have been wrestling with how to best update a 14-year-old abandoned vehicle/dirty lots ordinance.

Well, at Tuesday’s monthly meeting, it was tabled yet again.

“This ordinance continues to grow hair on it,” Lamb mused.

“Instead of adopting a brand new ordinance, you (the council) instead decided to have the mayor clean up and rewrite ordinance 2004-13, then we read through it last month and made those corrections,” he stated.

“I was ready to have it finalized with those corrections for you this evening,” he continued. “But the reason I did not was I think one thing we need to add … we need to define what a fence is.”

The mayor mentioned examples of what a “fence” might be, mentioning a tarp, a rope or an actual wooden structure and should the city’s building inspector inspect the fence.

“Right now you can put up a fence without a permit,” Lamb said.

“Because the (current) ordinance states these things must be visible from the street, sometimes they are visible through a tarp that could blow down easily,” he added.

Lamb admits it has been a frustrating process to get this ordinance updated.

“It seems like every time you got something very defined, very clear-cut, something very enforceable, it goes back into that gray area to the next level,” he said.

Lamb then recalled an issue involving a fence on Broad Street where the residents brought the fence all the way to curb because they didn’t like their neighbors.

“Literally crossed the sidewalk,” he said.

The mayor told council members and city attorney Doug Followell he “wants to find the definition of a fence for this type of an ordinance.”

“We’ll work it out,” Followell assured.

“Having said that, we are still enforcing the current ordinance … we are attempting too,” the mayor added, getting an affirmative nod from Sullivan Police Chief Micheal Garrett

Lamb concluded by saying the proposed ordinance will be placed in old business for the November meeting.

In other business:

• Council president Steve Martindale commented the city is still seeking a person to represent them on the White River Military Coordination Alliance.

The WRMCA is a regional group formed earlier this year to improve communications between NSA/Crane/Lake Glendora Test Facility and its surrounding communities.

The organization updated the council in July on its progress and was seeking a city representative at that time.

The WRMCA held its inaugural meeting on Sept. 28, with no one from Sullivan County visible in a group picture of 18 people attending posted by @RadiusIndiana on Twitter.

• The council adopted its 2019 city salary ordinance.

• The council officially set the city’s Halloween trick-or-treat hours as 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31.


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