Community members address concerns at town meeting

CHURUBUSCO — A personal property utility issue and the lawn mowing ordinance were issues brought before the Churubusco Town Council by two members of the community spoke during the council’s regular meeting last week.

Nick Bianski attended once again to discuss an issue with his property, for which he believes the town is at fault.

“I want to know what you’re going to do about my house,” Bianski asked the council.

“I think I made my position pretty clear,” said Council President Frank Kessler. “On the advice of our attorney, the town has no liability for that.”

“I wanted to see if that sounded as ludicrous outloud as it did in your email,” Bianski said.

Bianski told the council that his home has been sinking into the ground. He believes the sinkage is related to the town repairing a utility issue on Bianski’s property in December.

The town more recently received a report from a structural engineer that states the house is stable, but Bianski disagrees.

In a meeting last month, Kessler reiterated that the issue cannot be fixed within weeks. It remains unclear who is at fault for the reported sinkage, because since Bianski’s initial complaint, crews found an abandoned pipe under Bianski’s home.

“I’m going to have this discussion here every two weeks,” Bianski said.

“We’re not going to try this in the public,” Kessler said. “Let me make this clear — we’re going to follow the advice of our attorney. Allowing you to speak (during the meeting) is a courtesy.”

“Then you can call one of Churubusco’s finest to have me escorted out,” Bianski responded.

Kessler said the council isn’t being “insensitive” to his plight, but emphasized that the town is not responsible.

Also at the meeting, a community member spoke up about the town’s lawn mowing ordinance. Recently, all residents of Churubusco received a postcard with information about lawn mowing.

The man said he sees “pesky” animals to be more of an issue than tall grass. He has seen raccoons and opossums on his property. He sought the town’s advice and assistance on removing the animals.

“There’s not a lot we can do with wildlife,” Kessler said.

The town advised the man to either contact pest control professionals or set traps for for the animals.

“I don’t know that we as a town have anything to deal with that,” Kessler said.

Also at the meeting:

  • Brandon and Tara Rittenhouse are seeking an alley vacation on the west side of their Mill Street property — an alley between Railroad and East streets. They indicated no one has been able to use it as an alley for “some time” and that their home sits about a foot into the easement. “In talking to neighbors, it used to be an alley a long time ago, but not for many years now,” Rittenhouse said. The proposal is set to go before council on July 5.
  • The town approved Bob Amber’s request to use the park for its annual Cam’s Cause mush ball tournament on Aug. 25.
  • The town opened bids for trash service from Republic Services and Advanced Disposal. Advanced Disposal offered the service at fees under $10 per property per month, while Republic Services came in over $10. “At first blush, Advanced Disposal is the lower bid, but we need time to review and make sure bid specifications have been met,” Kessler said. “We will take it under advisement and notify the successful bidder.”
  • A fund was created for the Community Crossings grant money, which is a state disbursement. “We have received $720,000 for that and we need the fund to start paying out of it,” said Clerk-Treasurer Madalyn Sade-Bartl.
  • A date of July 7 has been set for the opening of the Franklin Promenade alley park on North Main Street in Churubusco. Swick and Jones will be performing free of charge.
  • The Oscar’s Playland park has an anticipated opening date of Aug. 27.

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