Hamlet Officials Considering Options to Encourage Development of SYSCO Property

A lack of development at the SYSCO property continues to frustrate Hamlet officials. Beverage manufacturer Common Collabs is planning to set up operations in Knox, creating up to 80 jobs in the coming years. Ron Gifford with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation told the Hamlet Town Council Wednesday that the company was also shown the Hamlet East Industrial Park.

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Oregon-Davis Officials, Parents Consider Ideas to Stop Enrollment Decline

Superintendent Dr. Don Harman discusses O-D’s enrollment trends during Wednesday’s work session.

To try to keep the Oregon-Davis School Corporation’s finances in the black, parents are now brainstorming ways to boost enrollment. During a school board work session Wednesday, Superintendent Dr. Don Harman said the pace of the enrollment decline has exceeded the projections he made during the referendum discussions in late 2017.

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O-D School Board Accepts Donations for T-Shirts, Lunch Accounts, Signage

A number of donations were accepted by the Oregon-Davis School Board Monday. Some students will getting new t-shirts, thanks to a pair of donations from Lee Nagai, according to Superintendent Dr. Don Harman. “[He] donated $100 to help with the cost of first [and second] grade t-shirts and then also 35 t-shirts that were purchased for the pep band,” Harman explains. “So we appreciate Lee Nagai’s assistance there.”

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No Major Changes Proposed for 2019 Hamlet Budget

The Hamlet Town Council reviewed its 2019 budget proposal last week. It calls for a total budget of just over $467,000. About $323,000 of that would be the town’s General Fund. The Motor Vehicle Highway Fund would be budgeted at $58,200, while the Park budget would be $11,900. Clerk-Treasurer Kristina Pitts noted that there are no major changes from the 2018 budget.

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Possible Impact Flooding Could Have on Agriculture

Though much of the high water we were seeing last week has receded, you may have noticed that there are still several fields that are looking more like lakes recently.

Depending on when these flood waters clear up completely, Hoosier farmers may run into some issues this farm season.

Purdue Extension Agriculture Educator Phil Woolery mentioned that the severity of impact will depend on how long a farmers’ field stays underwater. He said fields that dried up rather quickly probably won’t have any issues, while those that are having trouble draining may run into some problems down the line. Continue reading

Civic Pride Shines in Hamlet

Hamlet Fall 3Work continues to revitalize downtown Hamlet. Lee Nagai has installed a street light at the downtown intersection of Davis and Starke Streets that is similar to those used there decades ago. The town board is considering installation of additional street lights, of the same style, in the downtown area sometime in the future. Nagai has also remodeled the south-east corner building to fit the theme of “old time” business buildings. Continue reading

Hamlet Council Talks Town Improvements

Hamlet Town HallThe improvement of the downtown area in Hamlet was discussed Wednesday night by the Town Board with business owner Lee Nagai.

Nagai is remodeling a downtown business building and is an advocate for the installation of conduit to serve new street lights in the area over the next several years. The lights may be financed by offering sponsorship to businesses and individuals. Continue reading

Oregon-Davis School Board Holds Public Hearing for 2015 Budget

 The Oregon-Davis School Board members held a public hearing for the 2015 budget during their meeting last night.

The General Fund budget was budgeted at $4.6 million. The General Fund takes care of the salaries for the staff, including coaches and extra-curricular coaches and more. Board member Lee Nagai stressed that the General Fund had a shortfall due to state budget cuts and the referendum money supplemented that fund to cover salaries.

Other funds discussed include the Capital Projects Fund, Transportation Fund, Debt Fund Plan, Retirement/Severance Bond, Debt Service Fund, Referendum/Exempt Operating, Rainy Day Fund.

Superintendent Greg Briles explained that the Average Daily Membership, or ADM, is 609 which is higher than the state-projected student count of 580. Briles added that the corporation is three students down from last year.

The tax rate will be 1.5702 which is less than 2014.

Briles said the budget will be sent to the state. The board approved a motion to authorize any cuts that are mandated by the state.