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City Council hears update from Advantage Shelby County

The Shelbyville Common Council approved four items and heard an update from Advantage Shelby County at its Monday evening meeting.

Stephanie Amos and Ami Carter from Advantage Shelby County provided the council with an update on the educational program’s success.

Advantage Shelby County is a two-year college program that makes higher education attainable for Shelby County high school graduates and prepare them to be ready for the workforce, according to its website.

Amos started by saying that Shelby County’s Ivy Tech program would be aligned with the Columbus campus, rather than the Indianapolis Campus.

“About a year ago, Ivy Tech started looking at the Indianapolis service area to review a restructure,” she said. “Indianapolis currently serves Marion County as well as all the donut counties, so it’s the largest campus in our portfolio of campuses. It currently serves one-fourth of the student population within the state and one-third of the entire state population, so it’s a very large campus.

“As we were looking at that, we thought it would be good to break off some of those donut counties, and with that, we are aligning Johnson and Shelby County with the Columbus campus,” she added.

Amos reported that in 2018, 44 percent of Shelby County graduates enrolled in the Advantage Shelby County program, which is significantly larger than the statewide average of students attending Ivy Tech.

“That goes to show the program is working, students are coming out and going to school, and thanks to your support and the community support, that is showing a larger average than our statewide average of students attending Ivy Tech,” Amos told the council.

Carter said what she’s most proud of is the number of volunteer hours the students complete.

“Advantage Shelby County students do 10 hours of service every semester they take,” she said. “Those hours are done back in Shelby County at 501(c)3 vendors. ... Those students have completed 11,220 hours back to the county. If you put a dollar amount on that of $10 an hour ... you’re looking at over $100,000 in value they’ve contributed back in return for their scholarship, tuition and fees.”

Other business

The council approved a late edition to the agenda – a resolution to extend an executive order regarding face coverings.

Mayor Tom DeBaun signed an executive order earlier that day that requires masks be worn at all city-controlled buildings.

“The discussion basically revolved around making sure the hospital is not overwhelmed, should there be an uptick in any COVID cases once the mask mandate does expire,” he said, referencing Governor Holcomb’s mask mandate expiring on Tuesday.

The council approved this resolution, which will expire on May 3, or the first council meeting in May.

City-controlled facilities include the Excel Center at Intelliplex, the airport, the animal shelter, City Hall, the conference center, all three fire stations, the Parks Department, the Police Department, the Public Utilities Office, the Street Department, and the Water Resource Recovery Facility.

The council also approved the second reading of the rezoning of the Progress Parkway rezoning.

This rezoned a 12-acre piece of property (known as the Summerford Property) located at the southwest corner of Progress Parkway from neighborhood business to single-family residential.

The Plan Commission issued a “favorable, unanimous” recommendation for the rezoning. This acreage will be combined with an additional 52 acres nearby (known as the Fansler Property) to form a 180-ish lot subdivision.

Under new business, the council approved a salary ordinance amendment that will extend the salary ranges for certain Parks Department jobs and the Assistant Engineer.

“We are trying to keep pace with the current trend in the private sector,” Mayor Tom DeBaun explained. “We’ve been having difficulty finding some employees at the Parks Department, specifically lifeguard, lifeguard supervisor, assistant pool manager and pool manager. And then on the engineering side, our assistant engineer is actually receiving solicitations to leave the city at a much higher rate.”

Parks Department Director Karen Martin told the council that the lifeguard and pool manager role are pretty competitive.

“It’s pretty competitive now that White Rock Park is hiring lifeguards in Franklin and stuff, but we’re not just competing with that,” she said. “We’re competing with Walmarts and restaurants and stuff, because as Scott [Ferguson] probably knows” – she gestured to the city council member who also owns Cagney’s Pizza King – “restaurants are having a hard time hiring people as well.”

The council also approved the 2020 financial reports.

A person in a red truck accidentally drove into the Dairy Queen on Michigan Road on Tuesday, said Shelbyville Fire Department Battalion Chief Doug Lutes. The driver of the truck was checked out by medics and did not go to the hospital. One employee was transported to the hospital for an elbow injury. One other employee was also in the building at the time and was not injured.

Truck drives into Dairy Queen

Board of Works approves Fortune Ditch contracts

The Fortune Ditch project can proceed now that the city’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) funds have been released.

“On Feb. 18, we preliminarily awarded the bid to Brad Schutte Excavating for $566,192.75 for the Meridian Park Detention Basin, that we call the Fortune Ditch Project,” City Engineer Matt House told the Board of Works Tuesday morning.

The board officially awarded the bid Tuesday and issued an order to proceed on the project.

House also requested to employ Tom Zimmer with Thomas Zimmer Builders LLC. to provide inspection on this project. He said Zimmer provided inspection services on previous projects. The board approved this request.

Under new business, the board issued an order to appear for the owner of the property located at 305 Sunset Drive.

Mayor Tom DeBaun referred to the property as a “recurring nuisance case.” He asked Plan Director Adam Rude if the location was owner occupied.

“My understanding is that it’s owner occupied by Barbara Johnson, and she allows people to live there, and that’s who’s been, over the years, scrapping and everything else,” Rude said. “I’ll follow up on that, though.”

Lastly, the board approved for Police Chief Mark Weidner to amend Standard Operating Procedure 38, which would allow him to hire a detective sergeant. SPD does not currently have this position.

“We’re getting ready to launch on some promotions that we have available, and I want to add a detective sergeant just for fallback for the chief of detectives in his absence or when he designates that he needs something done in his capacity,” Weidner said.

This is already in the budget, Weidner said.

DeBaun made the following announcements at the end of the meeting:

First, Street Commissioner Doug Hunt would like the public to know heavy trash pickup week is the last week of April, not this week.

Second, DeBaun explained that while the governor’s mask mandate ended Tuesday, the City of Shelbyville will require masks in city-controlled facilities.

“We have a list of those on hand,” he said. “For example, they would be the police station lobby, the fire stations (all three), Parks Department, Intelliplex Conference Center, Intelliplex Excel IN building, the City Hall of course, and the Sewage Utility Office on the Public Square.”

The county and MHP will be following the same restrictions. These will expire on May 3.

Klosterman Baking Company to hold job fair

Klosterman Baking Company is holding a job fair from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday at its Morristown location, 2618 US-52.

The company is hiring for a wide variety of positions with pay starting at $15 an hour. Compensation packages include “excellent benefits” and “on-the-job training” for career development, according to a media release.

Walk-ins are welcome to attend the fair. Applicants are encouraged to bring a printed copy of their resume if they have one.

More information can be obtained about specific positions on Klosterman Baking Company’s website, www.klosterman bakery.com/careers.

Health Department announces mask restriction updates

The Shelby County Department of Health announced Monday that the county will follow Governor Holcomb’s orders “Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required by the state to be seated. Six feet of spacing between tables and other seating will still be recommended as is spacing between non-household parties.”

The statewide mask mandate became a mask advisory April 6. Face coverings remain mandatory in all County/City buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and COVID testing sites until further notice. K-12 schools will continue under current requirements through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Private businesses and other entities may institute more stringent guidelines. The Indiana Department of Health will continue to provide county level, color coded metrics to provide easy to understand information about whether virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally.

The state public health emergency will be renewed for another 30 days, beginning April 1. This declaration allows the state to act quickly if conditions take a turn for the worse and allows the state to continue to access hundreds of millions of federal dollars to support Hoosiers recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

The Shelby County Health Department strongly recommends continuing mask wearing and social distancing as a preventative measure. Governor Holcomb strongly encourages mask wearing and social distancing.