Milan property owner questions bond amount

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Milan property owner Dr. Tim Alward requested the town council consider reducing the performance bond required by the town at the regular meeting held on Monday, March 8. Dr. Alward owns property on Carr Street next to the town hall.

Dr. Alward was asked by the town council to submit a plan as well as obtain a performance bond of $50,000 at the December 2009 meeting. According to the board, there has not been adequate evidence that the building was being restored during the five years since it was purchased by Dr. Alward.

According to Dr. Alward, although negotiations have reduced the bond from $50,000 to $35,000 he still finds the amount excessive. According to board president Paul Hildebrand, the amount was determined by an estimate cost of demolition.

Dr. Alward stated that the town ordinance for unsafe buildings does not have a set schedule of fees and that the board requested amount was “arbitrary.”

According to town attorney Larry Eaton, this is the first time the town has ever had a need for a performance bond. It is his belief that the amount is reasonable.

Hildebrand explained that the board has been more than patient. According to Hildebrand, the town had planned to purchase the property with the intent to remove the building, when they were approached by Dr. Alward, who expressed interest in restoring it.

Dr. Alward told the board that he plans to hire an attorney to fight the requested performance bond amount.

Due to an error in the water billing program, town manager John Ingram requested the board consider waiving the late fees for the February billing. According to Ingram, the bill mistakenly posted a due date of March 29. The board unanimously approved to waive delinquent fees and credit the accounts of those who have already paid a late fee.

There will be representatives available to answer questions about the census beginning next week at the town hall. According to Ingram, anyone with questions can stop in Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. until April 19.

Park Board President Angela Beck announced that a volunteer is needed to act as a liaison for the park board and the Lions Club regarding additional lights on the walking trail. Anyone not associated with either the park board or the Lions Club and would like to help can contact Beck at 812-621-2855 or via email at

The board also agreed to the installation of a fence at the softball field used by the high school. According to Beck, this will allow for the hosting of future tournaments.

In other business:
• The board unanimously approved the appointment of Rodney Crabtree as the town representative to the Ripley County Board of Zoning Appeals.
• The request to collect donations by the We Care Packages organization on May 22 at the flashing lights was unanimously approved.
• The board approved the cost of $400 to file for non-profit status requested by the Milan Main Street.
• Milan High School senior class sponsor Richard Dobson received permission for the senior class to perform community service for the town.

All board members were in attendance along with clerk treasurer Gladys Moody and town attorney Larry Eaton to advise. The next meeting will be held on Monday, April 12 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Milan Town Hall.