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Illness, shouting matches and more at the Dugger council meeting

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The Dugger Council meeting included shouting matches and had discussions on water lines, adding stop signs and more.

They started the meeting with how the new water lines are going in.

“Thirty more days until they are done,” Council President Bill Pirtle said.

Larry Bedwell asked about where they were and how it was going.

“They started by the school,” Gene Talpas, the utility and maintenance worker for the town, said. “They are moving right along.”

After the water lines are finished, with grant money the town will start seeing more roads going under construction.

The Dugger Town Marshal Justin Todd asked to see if the town would be able to add a stop or yield sign to the exits from the Dollar General parking lot.

“We could put one on the south side,” Pirtle said. “To put one on the other exit we will have to get permission from (Indiana Department of Transportation).”

The discussion was tabled while Pirtle found out more information.

A resident asked again about payments with the Dugger Community Building to see if everyone was caught up on their bills. Mendy Smith, the clerk-treasurer, stated that was hard to know since a certain individual was given a key and is not made to follow the same protocols as other town members.

This conversation soon changed to arguments as town members and Pirtle yelled at each other. Pirtle again threatened to have the individual removed from the meeting.

“That’s not my job to check on (him) every 10 minutes,” Pirtle said.

The resident reminded Pirtle that watching over the community building and making sure it was bringing in money correctly was his job.

“Listen, you either shut up or you are going out,” Pirtle said.

Larry Bedwell ended the conversation by saying he would speak with the town utility clerk, to see what the individual owes and if he has paid or not.

In a previous meeting, Bedwell and Sandy Stinson agreed if this individual did not catch up on his payments that they would take away his key to the community building.

In other business:

• A payroll error was discovered and that error caused the town to place around $21,000 back into the cemetery fund.

The money to fund one paycheck was found to have come from the cemetery fund when it shouldn’t have. The money was paid back into the fund.

• Last October, Smith brought up PERF and the fact they were on a soft-freeze. The town council voted in a soft-freeze in 2012.

At that meeting, Smith said, “If we continue the soft-freeze, the town is going to have to pay $82,339. If we don’t continue, there is no cost if we don’t have a soft-freeze.”

It was decided by the council to table the discussion until more answers were found.

The issue has now come to a head with the town owing around $126,000 now due to a return on the investment that has compounded 6.75 percent the last six years.

Smith gave the board different options on how this can be paid and town attorney Richard J. Shagley II said he would look into the issue and get back with the board.

• A discussion was also brought up again on the Dugger Town Marshal’s Office needing new equipment such as tasers and radios.

Pirtle said he has looked into prices with Jim Pirtle, the Sullivan County Emergency Management Agency director.

No formal decision was made as Pirtle suggested setting down with the DTMO to see what all equipment was needed.

• Stinson left the meeting early due to illness.

• A possibility of a one-way street for Fourth Street in Dugger was brought up.

One resident who lives on that street was in the audience and said he was against this street change.

• Another citizen asked if vehicles were blocking views of traffic if the DTMO could have them move the vehicle for safety. Pirtle said he would talk to the DTMO.


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