Meisberger elected Versailles Town Council president

Kari Moore
Contributing Writer

At the start of the Versailles Town Council meeting, council member Steve Mathes nominated Sue Meisberger to serve as the council’s president, replacing John Holzer in the position. All the members were in favor of the nomination and Meisberger was elected president unanimously. Mathes was elected to serve as vice president.

Just before the meeting, which was held January 12, council members Sue Meisberger, Steve Mathes, and John Holzer, were all sworn in for the 2012 year by attorney Larry Eaton, along with Kiersten Libby, who is the clerk-treasurer.

All members were in favor of keeping the town’s public meetings on the same night it has been, the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Versailles Town Hall.

Town Marshal Joe Mann updated the council on his search for a new police cruiser, and reported the police department responded to 24 calls during the month of December.

Mann told the council he was asked by the Drug Coalition, which he is a part of, to talk to the town about the prosecutor’s office establishing a 1-800 phone number and email address for people to call in, or email in, any kind of crime tips. “I think this will help solve some crimes,” said Mann. He explained to the board the cost involved to put the phone line in place and maintain it. He further explained they are currently looking at the idea of splitting the costs between the six towns in Ripley County that have police departments, and asked the board what their thoughts were on the tip line/inbox. Everyone was in agreement that it would be a good idea.

Fire Chief Ben Sieverding reported the Versailles Fire Department responded to 23 calls since the last meeting. The department responded to a total of 356 calls last year and making 2011 the seventh year in a row the Versailles Fire Department has been the busiest unit in Ripley County. “We’re down about 80 runs compared to last year,” said Sieverding. The fire department received a total of $49,000 in grants in 2011 that was used to upgrade equipment.
Town Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Hensley reported some monitors had quit working at the water plant and needed to be replaced. He also reported tires had blown on some of the town’s dump trucks and the town had to take care of a water leak at the laundromat last month. “Other than that, everything’s going all right,” said Hensley.

In other news:

• The board appointed Jim Waldo to serve on the Ripley County Zoning Board as a representative of the Town of Versailles.

• It was approved that Carol Evans be re-appointed to the Ripley County Planning Commission.

• Council agreed to hold a special meeting, open to the public, on Thursday, January 26 at 5:00 p.m. at the Versailles Town Hall to talk specifically about what can be done with the old police car. They will also discuss setting up a new website for the Town of Versailles.

• It was unanimously approved for council to advertise bids for remodeling of the old firehouse.

• Park Board member Gil Landwehr updated the council on the park board’s progress and explained the board is looking at all avenues for the Sports Complex and Tyson Auditorium.

• Jim Henson was in attendance to hear about the inspection of his barn on High Street. Council members asked Henson to update them in May on how is he progressing on the clean up to make the area more safe.

• Marshal Mann explained that the police department will be going to the state mandated Narrowbanding requirement in October of 2012.

• Council member Mathes has been approached with questions about the town annexing to 200 South. Attorney Eaton explained he could send out information to those the annex would impact.

• Council member Holzer explained Hoosier Hills Water will hear about the second part of the grant by January 31. If all goes as planned, Versailles will have a new water source by the end of 2013.

All council members were in attendance. The next regular monthly meeting of the Versailles Town Council is scheduled for Thursday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the town hall.