New members, curbside waste pickup, police department move — all topics at first 2019 Batesville City Council meet

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UPDATE, Jan. 10, 2019, 10:30 a.m.: White River Now’s Gary B. spoke with Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh this morning regarding the proposed ordinance to amend the city’s residential curbside waste ordinance and potential violations if the requirements are approved and implemented. “We’re not going to throw anyone under the bus,” Elumbaugh said, noting the city will have a grace period before fines will be levied in order for citizens to get used to the requirements. This was referenced at Tuesday’s Batesville City Council meeting during the engineering report when council members were informed a learning curve is expected for the new ordinance. Because of that, citations won’t be handed out to ordinance violators for a period until city officials and departments overseeing waste pickup feel citizens are familiar with the new process.

The second reading of an ordinance to amend the city’s curbside waste removal ordinance along with news of new members, new police cruisers and the impending move to the new Batesville Police Department headquarters made for a busy agenda at last night’s Batesville City Council meeting.

In the council’s first meeting of the year, Scott Fredricks and Fred Krug were introduced as new members from Wards 1 and 2, respectively. Fredricks has served on the city’s parks and recreation committee while Krug is making a return to the council after previously serving for more than a decade in past years.

The council reviewed an ordinance to amend the residential curbside waste pickup ordinance for its second reading. (To read highlights of the ordinance, click here.)

A learning curve is expected for the new ordinance, the council was told, so citations won’t be handed out to ordinance violators for a period until city officials and departments overseeing waste pickup feel citizens are on board with the new process.

The ordinance amendment will be on the next meeting’s agenda for a third and final reading.

During the city engineer’s report, council members learned the new specialized garbage truck is to arrive sometime this month. Upon arrival, training for both city personnel and citizens will begin along with familiarization of the new procedures.

The council approved two ordinances: one to solidify procedures for the transaction of business of the council for the city and one to waive competitive bidding on certain items throughout the year.

After going into executive session for about 20 minutes, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh and the council emerged with announcements of appointments and reappointments to four different committees. Kyle Christopher was newly appointed to the planning and zoning committee. Julia Nail was appointed to the tree committee while Kenny Smothers was reappointed to the same group. Ron Autry and Mayfan Thomas were reappointed to the historic district committee while David Thompson was newly appointed. The parks and recreation committee appointed Lackey Moody and Amanda Roberts to fulfill positions opened by the exits of Chris Beller and Fredricks.

In his report, Batesville Police Chief Alan Cockrill noted the department is receiving five new patrol units. Upon their arrival, the necessary policing equipment and technology will be installed, and the units will be painted and on the streets of Batesville in a month, the chief noted.

Cockrill also told the council the lease of the former Wood dealership building where the department is currently headquartered at 300 S. Central ends Feb. 28, and they are in the process of preparing the new headquarters in the former Dowell Transport location at 51 Industrial Dr. for the move. (For more information on the move, click here and here.)

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