MOUNT CARMEL — Marie and Troy Jacobs certainly captivated the headline from last Monday’s City Council meeting with the announcement of Rosati’s coming to Mount Carmel.
But their presence was one of a handful of notable topics from the meeting.
Sept. 8 deadline for water bill payment
While many struggled to make ends meet and stay on schedule with bills amid COVID-19 mandated shutdowns, the city of Mount Carmel — like many others — was lenient in its disconnections.
They ceased water disconnections from April through September, allowing residents to create payment plans while catching up on their water bills.
That nearly five-month buffer will be coming to an end on Sept. 8, however.
City Administrator Rudy Witsman reminded residents of the rapidly approaching deadline at Monday’s meeting. Witsman also added that residents are still responsible for their current bills while playing catch up on their past balance.
“That is the day that your water bill must be paid in full,” Witsman said. “It can’t be one month late, it can’t be two months late, and for heavens sake it can’t be three months late. As of right now it can be, but I’m just telling you, after Sept. 8, if your bill is not current, you’re subject to cutoff.
“No if’s and’s or but’s about it. If you come in telling us you have to wait a week to pay it, we’ve given you three and a half, four, five months to pay it. I don’t want to come across as the bad guy, but when you come in and say sorry, I can’t pay it, you’re subject to cutoff.”
Unrelated to the approaching water bill date — Witsman also said the city has received two proposals for health insurance following a public notice on Friday, July 10.
“That will be an ongoing thing we’ll have going on for the next several weeks.” Witsman said.
A Fantastic Fourth
Mount Carmel’s Fantastic Fourth of July weekend by all intensive purposes went extremely well.
Headlined by the Clayton Mann concert on Friday and ending with the firework show on the Fourth of July, the weekend drew pretty sizable crowds to Mount Carmel — though masks and social distancing were prevalent throughout the weekend.
Mount Carmel Mayor Joe Judge said the firework show — which traditionally lasts about 17 minutes — ran for nearly 30 minutes this year.
“Fourth of July went off really well,” We had a little extra on the fireworks primarily because of COVID. They had a couple shows cancelled, so we’ve been a longtime customer of the firework company. A gentleman named Josh Smith is the one who does ours and he did a really nice show...”
“It was a nice show this year. A lot of people social distanced, there were a lot of people wearing masks and things like that. The stadium was about a third of the way filled. People were everywhere.”
Mount Carmel Fire Chief Francis Speth reported zero firework-related injuries from the Fourth of July weekend as well, and thanked residents for their compliance with safety.
Still no word on grant status for city pool
For those expecting word pertaining to the city pool renovations — it didn’t come this meeting.
Judge reported the city hadn’t received word in regards to the city’s application for the city pool, or Wabash General Hospital’s grant application as of July 13.
An update — and official word — could come at the July 27 meeting.
Caution on leaving keys in car
Due to a number of recent thefts — including one as recently as last week — Mount Carmel Police Chief Ryan Turner cautioned residents from leaving their keys inside their vehicles.
“We do have vehicle thefts here,” Turner said. “We’re noticing a spike in people getting into other people’s cars. Last Friday we spent the majority of our day tracking down — we found the vehicle — but tracking down the individuals involved in it. The keys were left in the car.”
Turner’s comments reference to four arrests made last Friday, including the arrest of Richard Perry III.
Tow Mater on the move
Tow Mater, a truck inspired by the movie “Cars,” which currently resides in front of the Starcade, will be moving to a new home.
The council OK’ed the move of Tow Mater to city park, where he’ll find his new residence near the tank at the park.
Concerns had arisen in regards to Tow Mater not having brakes, violating city ordinances, and snow route concerns. At the same time, Judge and city commissioners understood the appeal of the truck to younger audiences. He had reportedly also been the victim of some recent vandalism.
“Tow Mater isn’t fastened down,” Judge explained. “He doesn’t have brakes and if we allow him to sit there we’re allowing ordinances to be broken.”
At his new home, Tow Mater might draw some new appreciation to the younger crowd.
Starcade’s BYOB application to be revisited
According to Judge, the Starcade’s application for special liquor licensing will be revisited at the July 27 City Council Meeting.
The request had been shelved at the June 29 meeting, citing concerns from other businesses pertaining to the ramifications of such a policy.