MENTONE – The Mentone Town Council approved a motion Wednesday to seek bids to replace storm pipe in town.

James Emans, civil engineer with Emans Engineering, spoke to the Council “about a situation we’re dealing with a storm sewer that is located in an alley between Franklin and Wabash, south of Monroe and north of Jefferson.” It is a 4-inch storm pipe the town has already made half a dozen repairs to.

“And we’re currently experiencing a sink hole down at Walnut Street in the alley side,” Emans said.

It is 315 feet of pipe and Emans said it is time to replace it. The repairs that have been made have been band-aids.

The intent would be to drop a manhole on the west side of Franklin Street and, in the future, line the pipe under Franklin Street, Emans said. A manhole would be put on Walnut Street and remove and replace all the pipe between that.

The preliminary estimate is around $57,000, Emans said. At that price range, the town would have to solicit bids from at least three companies.

Emans said if the town doesn’t move forward, at a minimum it will have to spend around $20,000 to fix the area where the sinkhole is. However, Emans said there could be multiple other spots along the way that could fail. He said the town has probably spent more money fixing the pipe a piece at a time than it would cost to tear it out and replace it.

The Council also approved an increase to its the Cumulative Capital Development Fund rate for town residents. The rate will increase from $0.0383 to $0.05 per $100 of assessed valuation.

At January’s meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Nikki Norris said that would mean an increase of $4 for a house valued at $100,000. However, she said some people might not even notice a difference.

The approval came after the Council had a second hearing for the tax rate before its regular meeting. There was no public comment to the tax rate increase.

In other business, the Council:

• Decided to have its townwide trash day May 16. Residents can put items to be picked up curbside. Items must be in a 6-by-6 area plus one large item. Things that will not be picked up include tires, cement blocks, paint and electronic devices.

• Learned there will be an antique craft fair at the opening day of the farmer’s market on May 8. The market will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Learned the Mentone Chamber of Commerce is looking for Miss Mentone candidates. Candidates must be 14 to 20, turning 14 by May 1. Applications can be picked up at Java Jacks, 111 E. Main St., Mentone.

• Approved the utility department to seek bids for new gutters at their shop.