Meeting: Jasper Common Council

The Jasper Common Council met Wednesday and:

• Held a public hearing regarding a petition to vacate the public right of way on a portion of Royal Street between Kellerville Road and Margaret Drive near Kimball International. A representative from Kimball International said the company is currently in the middle of a project that aims to better utilize space and increase safety at the building site. The council then passed and adopted an ordinance allowing the vacation of the right of way. The city’s Utility Service Board previously approved a favorable recommendation of the request.

• Heard from Lisa Bower that the city’s website has been updated to have a new design and new features. The web address — — remains the same.

• Heard the Jasper Utility Service Board report from General Utilities Manager Bud Hauersperger. That board will meet again at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, at City Hall, 610 Main St.

• Accepted a donation of land from Steve and Chris Berg to the City of Jasper. The land is located along State Road 164 near Greener Road. The utility service board previously approved a favorable recommendation of the donation.

• Approved a resolution that allows a loan from the electric department to the water department that will be used to pay for the U.S. 231 water supply and pressure improvement project. Federal dollars are also being used to pay for the ongoing project.

• Approved the appropriation of funds for the 2019 City of Jasper budget and the city’s 2019 tax rate. No comments were made. The budget is valued at approximately $20 million, with about $8 million coming from property taxes. The advertised property tax rate is 1.0722, but will likely fall when the rate is finalized by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance based on property assessments near the end of the year. For example, the advertised rate for the 2018 budget was 1.0432, but the actual rate was 0.8560.

• Approved the creation of the Arts Sponsorship Fund, a special fund that will hold money from a corporate sponsorship program established by the Jasper Arts Department.

• Approved a rezoning ordinance for the property the future Thyen-Clark Cultural Center will be located on at the corner of Third and Mill streets. The zoning changed from central business to a planned unit development. City Attorney Renee Kabrick said the cultural center will comply with many central business standards, but there are some differences.

• Heard that construction bids for the cultural center project will be advertised later this month and are slated to be opened on Monday, Nov. 19.

More on