Pictured (L to R) are Les McFarland, president, Bourbon Town Council; Brandon Chapman, fire chief; Doug Eyrich, former fire chief and retiree; and Mike Chapman, former fire chief and firefighter. Photo by Carol Anders.
Pictured (L to R) are Les McFarland, president, Bourbon Town Council; Brandon Chapman, fire chief; Doug Eyrich, former fire chief and retiree; and Mike Chapman, former fire chief and firefighter. Photo by Carol Anders.
BOURBON – During its February meeting, the Bourbon Town Council honored retiring Doug Eyrich for his 33 years as a volunteer on the Bourbon Fire Department.
In his 33 years with the department, he served seven years as the fire chief.
Eyrich said, ”I enjoyed it, especially with the kids.” As a part of his service, Eyrich spoke to classes at the Triton schools about fire safety.
The council members shared their appreciation for both Eyrich and his wife, Barb. Council President Les McFarland spoke of Barb’s “support behind the scenes” and her help with years of fundraising.
Council members Larry Wattenbarger and P.J. Hanley thanked Eyrich on behalf of the community. The council plans to give the couple a gift certificate as a token of their appreciation.
The council continues its efforts to clean up unsightly properties and demolish unsafe houses throughout town. It has been working through legal channels to force the owner of a house at 606 N. Washington St. to bring the home up to code.
A property owner adjacent to that house appeared before the council to speak to the difficulties she is experiencing.
Jamie Westafer said the inside of her home was wrecked last December when raccoons entered through her unused chimney. Westafer said there were two baby raccoons that weighed an estimated 20 pounds each that were finally captured, along with a mother raccoon weighing 40 pounds, that were stuck in the chimney. She said another large raccoon was discovered last week in the chimney.
Westafer claims the raccoons are coming from the vacant house, where she has seen destruction to curtains and blinds in the upstairs windows.
The council voted unanimously to proceed with further legal action, including filing for a lien for outstanding utility bills of $1,600 to $1,700.
Town attorney Mark Wagner said, “We will be pursuing all avenues of relief.”
It was noted that the accumulated utility bills were from the four properties owned by the same person.
The council agreed unanimously to schedule yet another meeting with the general manager of Shell, John Edminister.
In previous meetings and through numerous correspondence, the company was informed of the need to clear mounds of debris from their property. Wagner confirmed that the latest weigh tickets provided by Shell show 94 tons of materials was hauled offsite Jan. 30 and an additional 235 tons were removed Feb. 1 and 2.
Wagner said, “We don’t know how much they are producing today.”
The main area of concern is mounds of debris that was placed on top of water lines. The water lines not only provide water to Shell, but also to neighboring residential houses.
Bill Keyser, zoning/building, said, “If the water line breaks, there is no way we could get to it.”
McFarland said, “They agreed to clear the water lines, but nothing has been done.”
The council tentatively set an auction time in April of this year to sell the recently cleared property at 308 E Center St. After several months of legal battles, the town was able to proceed with the demolition of a dilapidated house and clearing of the property.
According to Keyser, an entire Center Street strip has been rezoned as residential by the county. The Bourbon Council voted unanimously to approve the residential zoning.
Keyser said the average of two appraisals done on the large lot is $19,250. The town spent some $18,000 to obtain and clear the property. A minimum purchase price would be the appraisals’ averages.
It was not decided what specific day for the auction or what type of auction they plan to hold. It is anticipated that the final details will be released at the March meeting. McFarland proposed that the sale include stipulations that a purchaser must begin construction of a home within one year and have it finished within two years. Failure to compete the deadlines would mean the town could take ownership back from the purchaser.
The town will realize significant savings for emergency ambulance coverage over the next few years. Clerk-Treasurer Kim Berger said they had been paying over $31,000 per year on a three-year contract with Lutheran EMS. Berger said the service is now a part of Lutheran Health Network. Berger said the fees for 2017 have now been reduced to $15,935. In 2018, the fees will be lowered to $$7,968 and there will be no charge in subsequent years.
Residents using golf carts on town streets must pay an annual fee of $10 or be subject to fines. Berger said the sticker showing payment will be attached to a slow-moving vehicle sign on the rear of a cart and is larger than in previous years. Golf carts are not allowed on state highways.
Bourbon Police Department officers logged 3,969 miles during January, according to Police Chief Bill Martin. Among a long list of other activity, there were six speeding tickets issued ranging from 63 mph in a 45 mph zone to 94 mph in a 55 mph zone. Martin said the average speed over the posted limit was 23 mph.