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Council says no to chickens, yes to roads

November 2nd, 2016

KPC News - Albion New Era

There shouldn’t be any chickens, but there will be street work in Albion next year.

The Albion Town Council voted 4-0 to advertise for bids on its TIF Legacy paving projects at its regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 25 at the Albion Municipal Building.

On May 10, the council voted to have its engineering firm, Engineering Resources Inc., develop bid specifications for more than $600,000 in infrastructure improvements to be done in 2016.

The bulk of the money was to come from TIF legacy funds, with the remainder coming from other town funds.

The proposed street projects were:

  • Seventh Street, resurface existing pavement between S.R. 8 and Weber Road;
  • South Park Drive, reconstruct approximately 600 feet of completely failed roadway; and
  • East Park Drive, reconstruct approximately 450 feet of pavement to handle excessive truck traffic.

At its June 14 meeting, the Albion Town Council decided to postpone these projects until 2017.

Council members Chris Magnuson, John Morr, Vicki Jellison and Max Weber gave its engineering firm, Engineering Resources Inc., the OK to put together a bid package.

According to firm vice president Derek Frederickson, the bids should be ready to be advertised by the end of November, with the council able to open bids at some point before Christmas.

Work could then be scheduled in 2017.

Councilman Don Shultz was absent from the meeting.

Part of the bid package will include an option to pave approximately 800 feet of Hidden Diamonds Drive.

According to Clerk-Treasurer Carol Selby, the council currently has approximately $384,000 in its TIF Legacy fund.

The road projects may be a go, but the council said no to allowing chickens within the town limits.

James and Brenda Cureton, 207 Weeks St., asked the council during its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 9 to amend an ordinance that forbids many types of livestock — including chickens — from being kept in town.

James Cureton told the council that he has 10 hens on his property, which abuts the town limits line. He said he did not know it was against a town ordinance to have chickens.

“It’s all open field behind us,” Cureton said. “We’re only 12 feet from the city-county line.”

Morr told the Curetons that he had been contacted by approximately a half dozen people about the issue, and all of those were opposed to the idea.

The problem was not necessarily with the Curetons’ request, but rather, it would open up the entire town to small chicken operations.

“My biggest concern are predators coming into town,” Weber said.

Chickens attract animals such as raccoons that can create havoc, Weber said.

Morr said that while he was sure the Curetons would maintain their coop, he had pictures of coops that were eyesores.

After expressing sympathy for the Curetons’ intentions, the council voted against the measure, 4-0.

“We all feel bad for you,” Magnuson said. “I wish you could move your chickens 12 feet to the other side.”

The decision wasn’t what the Curetons wanted to hear.

“I just don’t understand,” James Cureton said. “We’re talking about Albion, not Fort Wayne.”

The council gave the couple until Dec. 31 to remove the birds from the property.

Town Marshal Tom Lock said he appreciated the Curetons going about the process the right way in seeking council approval.

Also at the Oct. 25 meeting:

  • The council approved spending $3,243.90 to rebuild the main pump at a lift station located near the Dollar General in Albion. A back-up pump is currently handling the load while the main pump is being repaired.
Categories Infrastructure