North Judson Town Council Considers Request from Habitat for Humanity

A Habitat for Humanity Representative submitted a request to the North Judson Town Council Monday night.

Ernie Smith spoke on behalf of the organization and said that volunteers are going to install a wheelchair ramp at a residence near the Girl Scout Cabin on Talmer Avenue. He asked the council if they’d be willing to waive the $50 permit fee to do the work. Continue reading

North Judson Town Marshal Highlights School Involvement

At Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting, Town Marshal Kelly Fisher highlighted some of the ways that the police department stays involved with the school corporation.

She told the members that she and Officer Rico Simpson recently assisted with a drill at the North Judson-San Pierre Schools.

Fisher explained, “I was very impressed, especially with the high school kids. We went into the school and if I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t think that there was staff or students or anybody anywhere in the school.” Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Addresses Property Classification Concern

North Judson Town Council members addressed a property classification concern when they met last Monday.

Don Ward and Gus Curran came before council members last week to ask whether they knew if a particular piece of property was zoned within the town limits or if it fell in the county’s jurisdiction.

He added that they were looking to get some kind of definitive statement from the council as soon as possible since Curran is attempting to sell the property and already had one client turn away due to the zoning complications. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council President Addresses Procedure Needed on Railroad

North Judson Town Council President Wendy Hoppe shared some railroad information with council members Monday night.

She noted that the weeds that pop up on the railroad tracks need to be sprayed from time to time to keep them from catching on fire. Hoppe said there is a company in New Haven that provided a quote and mentioned that they’re the only business in the state that is licensed to do the procedure. Continue reading

North Judson Billing Clerk Recognized During Town Council Meeting for Census Assistance

North Judson Councilwoman Jane Ellen Felchuck took a moment during Monday night’s council meeting to express her gratitude toward a town employee for their assistance with a recent project.

When it came time to discuss additional business deemed necessary by the council, Felchuck thanked Town Billing Clerk Jennifer Vanek for helping with a census-related report that needed to be submitted. Continue reading

North Judson Officials Plan to Attend Open House Celebrating the Upcoming One-Year Milestone of a Local Business

Outstanding Trade Exhibit Services, also known as OTES Signs and Graphics is coming up on their one year anniversary of being established in North Judson. Local officials intend to celebrate the company’s one-year milestone this week.

When the North Judson Town Council met Monday evening, Council President Wendy Hoppe reminded the members that an open house to celebrate the anniversary will be held at the business on Wednesday. Continue reading

Date and Fee Established for Annual Town Wide Garage Sale in North Judson

Requests pertaining to the date and permit fee for the North Judson town-wide yard sale were brought before the town council during their meeting last Monday.

Billing Clerk Jennifer Vanek asked council members if the annual sale could be held on the first Saturday in August, which will be the 4th. She also requested that the yard sale permit fee, which typically costs $10, be reduced to $5 for the event. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Receives Updates from CommonWealth Engineers, Considers Amended Agreement

An amended Owner-Engineer Agreement was presented at Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting.

CommonWealth Engineers Vice President of Business Development Vince Sommers gave members a few updates over the town’s Water Treatment Plant and Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) Improvement projects. He also submitted an amended owner-engineer agreement for their consideration. Continue reading

Permit Question Brought Before the North Judson Town Council

With this weekend’s pleasant weather, you may have noticed ice cream trucks making their first rounds of the season. A citizen of North Judson submitted a question to town council members Monday night, about a truck he saw driving around town over the weekend.

He asked what kind of permit is required for those drivers to sell their wares. Town Council President Wendy Hoppe responded that they need a peddler’s permit to legally sell the treats within the town limits. Continue reading

Highland Cemetery Concern Brought Before North Judson Town Council

Some concerns about the Highland Cemetery were brought to the attention of the North Judson Town Council Members when they met Monday night.

Resident Vicki Richey informed members that she was speaking on behalf of everyone who has a loved one buried in the cemetery.

She stated that she used to own a tree-service company and recently looked over the land at Highland and found about 45 tree stumps. She added that there is also split tree that should be taken care of because if it falls it runs the risk of damaging some headstones. Continue reading

Amended Salary Ordinance Fails to Pass on First Reading at NJ Town Council Meeting

An ordinance amending the approved 2018 salary ordinance was considered on first reading during Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting.

When the town council members passed the salary ordinance back in January, it included a 3 percent raise across the board, except for Town Marshal Kelly Fisher who forfeited her raise to supplement the raises of her officers.

In the initial ordinance, town council members were included in the individuals who would receive the raise. However, Town Attorney Justin Schramm said that due to when the ordinance was passed, that raise could potentially be seen as questionable by state officials. Continue reading

House Bill That Would Affect Bidding Process Faces Opposition from NJ Town Council

A proposed House Bill was brought to the attention of North Judson Town Council members during a special meeting Monday night.

Council President Wendy Hoppe informed council members that House Bill 1313 is currently being considered by the House of Representatives. She explained that if enacted, it would affect the bidding process.

Hoppe said, “What the state is trying to say is the bidder can bid it and we have no way that we can check their background; who they are, what they are, what their work is. Where now we do have that [capability] and that in a nutshell is what that bill is about.” Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Include 3% Raise in Amended Salary Ordinance

The North Judson Town Council members met for a special session to discuss the town salary ordinance prior to their regular meeting last week.

Members approved three percent raises across the board for the council, clerk-treasurer and department heads. The only position that remained unchanged was the park caretaker position.

Town Marshal Kelly Fisher requested forgoing her raise and giving it to her full-time officers. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Establishes Fund for North Judson Police Department K9

Last night, North Judson Town Council members considered an ordinance that establishes a fund for the police department’s K9 donations. Town Attorney Justin Schramm said the ordinance also allows for the flexibility to make additional purchases related to the K9.

Town Council President Wendy Hoppe read the ordinance aloud and specified that the fund can be used by the K9 handler, Rico Simpson and other law enforcement officials for any purposes related to obtaining, training or maintaining the dog. Additionally, it was mentioned that any requests to utilize the funds must come before the town council in a meeting open to the public. Continue reading

North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Alerts Town Council Members of $6,000 Insurance Policy Premium Increase

When the North Judson Town Council met Tuesday evening, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted town council members that the town’s insurance policy premium increased from $56,000 in 2017 to about $62,000 for this year.

Rowe said he has recently been working with Christin Romine, an insurance accountant executive with 1st Source Bank in order to familiarize himself with the town’s history and current policy. He explained that after talking with her, he found that a large factor for the increase is the amount of claims that the town filed over the last few years.

Council President Wendy Hoppe recalled that in 2015, within the span of a few months they lost three police vehicles, including a Dodge Charger and two Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Members Make Additional Appointments and Agree to Advertise for Open Positions

North Judson Town Council members voted unanimously to retain Wendy Hoppe as the town council president when they met Tuesday night.

As a part of their new bylaws, members also needed to establish a vice president. Councilman John Rowe was nominated and council members collectively agreed to appoint him to the position. Members also voted to retain Justin Schramm as their town attorney.

Additionally, members discussed remaining appointments. Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe will serve as the town representative for Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission and Wendy Hoppe volunteered to serve on the Rail Road Committee. Continue reading

North Judson Town Attorney Presents Council Members with Railroad Bylaws

Railroad Committee bylaws were up for discussion during Monday night’s North Judson Town Council meeting. Town Attorney Justin Schramm informed members that he received the bylaws from Rachel Arndt, the town’s former attorney.

He told the council that part of the bylaws indicates that the committee would be comprised of at least four members. It would consist of one town council member, a representative from Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum and representatives from Chesapeake and Indian Railroad and Co-Alliance. He mentioned that any freight carrier who hauls more than 20 percent of product on the railway would be able to appoint a member as well. Continue reading

North Judson Code Enforcement Officer Provides Update to Town Council, Suggests Removing Outdated Ordinances

North Judson Code Enforcement Officer Joe Leszek provided an update about the code enforcement program that was implemented in mid-July.

Leszek said that they’ve seen good results and they continue to make improvements. He alerted council members that Town Marshal Kelly Fisher is currently working on a procedure to “put a little more teeth” into the abandoned vehicle policy.

He also mentioned that for the first few months, they were being more lenient by giving warnings and allowing people a few weeks to deal with citations. However, he said now that they’re more than six months into the code enforcement program, they’ll cut that down to 48 hour warnings and then ticketing if the issue is not handled.

North Judson’s town photographer Peggy Bohac presented a concern that she received from a fixed-income resident who was worried that stricter code enforcement could result in fines that would potentially be unmanageable.

Marshal Fisher responded, saying as long as citizens are making a noticeable effort to correct the violation, then they will not be continuously fined. Continue reading