Mentone To Move Forward With Park Upgrade Project

October 4, 2023 at 9:30 p.m.
Mentone Town Council President Jill Gross (R) presents Town Marshal Jim Eads (L) with a gift from town employees. Eads will retire effective Oct. 30. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union
Mentone Town Council President Jill Gross (R) presents Town Marshal Jim Eads (L) with a gift from town employees. Eads will retire effective Oct. 30. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union

By JACKIE GORSKI Lifestyles Editor

MENTONE – Mentone Town Council approved a motion Wednesday to hire Troyer Group if it is recommended by town engineer James Emans.
Wednesday, Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Yaprak said the town is moving forward with the parks upgrade project. She presented the council with a proposal from Troyer Group to help design and plan the upgrade to Mentzer Park. She said Troyer Group has worked with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) on projects like this before.
At September’s meeting, Yaprak announced Mentone had been found eligible for Community Development Block Grant funding for $272,369.
Kosciusko County was one of three communities selected in 2021 by OCRA to participate in the first round of the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP). HELP assists and equips rural communities with developing strategic investment plans, resulting in a legacy project for each community.
The town is looking to use the money for things including upgrades to Mentzer Park.
Wednesday, Utilities Superintendent Josh Shepherd asked if the contract was something Emans could take a look at before it was signed.
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved its 2024 budget totaling $868,959. The casino/riverboat fund is $0. The rainy day fund is $2,415. The general fund is $608,921. The local roads and streets fund is $17,200. The motor vehicle fund is $73,700. The cemetery fund is $14,223. The cumulative capital improvements fund is $2,500. The cumulative capital development fund is $15,000. The economic development fund is $135,000.
In other business, the council:
• Presented Town Marshal Jim Eads with a gift on behalf of all town employees as he is retiring effective Oct. 30. Council President Jill Gross said the council is the process of interviewing for the position.
• Learned leaf pickup will start next week.
• Learned trick-or-treating will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 with costume judging starting at 7 p.m. at Mentone Elementary School.
• Learned from town attorney Andrew Grossnickle he is still working on getting information about the town setting up zoning, cemetery and park boards.
• Approved change order requests for Phend and Brown from $407,759.05 to $363,892.36 for paving work and for LI Excavating from $138,283.79 to $122,121.20 for excavation work.
• Heard from Councilman Tim Croy he met with representatives from APEX. There were no resident complaints that he heard of to bring to APEX.
However, APEX did have some complaints of some residents having a mix of the red APEX trash cans and other trash cans on the curb. APEX will not pick up trash that is not in the red APEX cans. If someone wants an extra trash bin, they can call APEX for one.
Croy also said a representative will present a new contract to the council in the first part of next year. They will also put together a recycling contract, but Croy said it would require townwide recycling participation.
• Heard from Yaprak she has uploaded the town’s ordinances to the town’s website. Croy said the Mentone News Facebook page is also linked to the town’s website, so if people have a hard time finding the town’s website, they can go to the Mentone News Facebook page for the link.

MENTONE – Mentone Town Council approved a motion Wednesday to hire Troyer Group if it is recommended by town engineer James Emans.
Wednesday, Clerk-Treasurer Amanda Yaprak said the town is moving forward with the parks upgrade project. She presented the council with a proposal from Troyer Group to help design and plan the upgrade to Mentzer Park. She said Troyer Group has worked with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) on projects like this before.
At September’s meeting, Yaprak announced Mentone had been found eligible for Community Development Block Grant funding for $272,369.
Kosciusko County was one of three communities selected in 2021 by OCRA to participate in the first round of the Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program (HELP). HELP assists and equips rural communities with developing strategic investment plans, resulting in a legacy project for each community.
The town is looking to use the money for things including upgrades to Mentzer Park.
Wednesday, Utilities Superintendent Josh Shepherd asked if the contract was something Emans could take a look at before it was signed.
Earlier in the meeting, the council approved its 2024 budget totaling $868,959. The casino/riverboat fund is $0. The rainy day fund is $2,415. The general fund is $608,921. The local roads and streets fund is $17,200. The motor vehicle fund is $73,700. The cemetery fund is $14,223. The cumulative capital improvements fund is $2,500. The cumulative capital development fund is $15,000. The economic development fund is $135,000.
In other business, the council:
• Presented Town Marshal Jim Eads with a gift on behalf of all town employees as he is retiring effective Oct. 30. Council President Jill Gross said the council is the process of interviewing for the position.
• Learned leaf pickup will start next week.
• Learned trick-or-treating will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 with costume judging starting at 7 p.m. at Mentone Elementary School.
• Learned from town attorney Andrew Grossnickle he is still working on getting information about the town setting up zoning, cemetery and park boards.
• Approved change order requests for Phend and Brown from $407,759.05 to $363,892.36 for paving work and for LI Excavating from $138,283.79 to $122,121.20 for excavation work.
• Heard from Councilman Tim Croy he met with representatives from APEX. There were no resident complaints that he heard of to bring to APEX.
However, APEX did have some complaints of some residents having a mix of the red APEX trash cans and other trash cans on the curb. APEX will not pick up trash that is not in the red APEX cans. If someone wants an extra trash bin, they can call APEX for one.
Croy also said a representative will present a new contract to the council in the first part of next year. They will also put together a recycling contract, but Croy said it would require townwide recycling participation.
• Heard from Yaprak she has uploaded the town’s ordinances to the town’s website. Croy said the Mentone News Facebook page is also linked to the town’s website, so if people have a hard time finding the town’s website, they can go to the Mentone News Facebook page for the link.

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