NORTH MANCHESTER – At Wednesday’s meeting, the North Manchester town council reviewed a zoning ordinance amendment and the 2020 budget adoption ordinance.

The council also welcomed representatives from Grow Wabash County and the Wabash County Community Foundation for an in-depth presentation on population dynamics.

Completing old business, the council heard both a second and third reading of Zoning Ordinance Amendment 5 before approving it.

In new business, Clerk-Treasurer Carrie Mugford introduced the 2020 budget adoption, general ordinance 4. Per Mugford’s recommendation, the council suspended rules to move to a third reading so the finalized budget could be submitted within two days.

Also approved was the renewal of a five-year contract with Wellhead Protection Services whose staff ensure a lack of contaminants in the town’s water supply. The cost is approximately $5,000 per year, according to town manager Adam Penrod.

Tenille Zartman, of Grow Wabash County, and Patty Grant, of the Wabash County Community Foundation, presented statistics and survey results regarding the population decline in the area.

Zartman and Grant reported a lack of job growth and decreases in school enrollment for Wabash County over the last 17 years, and offered suggestions on how to reverse the population decline in future.

In departmental reports, police chief Jim Kirk announced a fifth school resource officer, Cody Cook, for Manchester Community Schools. The school corporation has paid for the officer’s supplemental training following Cook’s graduation from the police academy.

Penrod informed the council of the 9th Street project’s progress, including a recent sewer installation. The developer’s first spec home is expected in November.

The council will next meet Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.