Government

City council OKs U.S. 231S annexation

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The Crawfordsville City Council on Tuesday approved the annexation of land just south of Woodcreek Shoppes into the city limits, potentially clearing the way for new business or housing.

The owner of the property in the 2600 block of South U.S. 231 requested the annexation for access to the city sewer after interested buyers wanted assurances that utilities would be available.

The annexation covers more than 75 acres of land, including the surrounding property and right-of-way. The area may have to be rezoned once a buyer is found.

“In this situation, there are multiple possibilities for development,” said Brandy Allen, director of planning and community development.

In other zoning matters, the council passed first reading of an ordinance to rezone the former Save-A-Lot building on East South Boulevard. The facility will house a training and recruitment center for Tempur Sealy. The company is leasing the building from B&L Engineering, which purchased the site earlier this year.

In other business, the council set the 2022 salaries for the mayor, clerk-treasurer and city council by a 5-1 vote, with Mike Reidy voting “no.” Reidy opposes pay increases for the council. Council member Jennifer Lowe was absent.

Mayor Todd Barton’s salary will increase to $92,000 from $78,146. Clerk-treasurer Terri Gadd’s salary increases to $66,169 from $64,872. The council’s salary goes to $4,921.50 from $4,825.

The council voted 6-0 to set the salaries of appointed officers and employees. City employees will receive a 2% pay raise.

The council also:

• Approved the appropriation of the first installment of Crawfordsville’s CARES Act funds. The city has received about half of its $3.5 million allocation.

• Passed the first reading of changes to the structure of the Human Rights Commission. After the board sat dormant for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and lack of a quorum for meetings, Mayor Todd Barton is seeking to combine it with the Mayor’s Commission on Racial Equality, which has completed its work. Under the proposed changes, up to 20 people can serve on the board and membership will no longer be limited to Crawfordsville residents. Barton appoints the members.

• Appointed Sue Lucas to serve on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals following the resignation of member Phil Wray. (Council member Jeff Lucas, Sue’s husband, abstained.) The council acknowledged that Sue Lucas, who sits on the Historic Preservation Commission, cannot serve on more than one appointed board and would have to resign to fill the BZA vacancy. No other nominations were made.

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