LIGONIER — To protect and serve.
That is what two people pledged at the Ligonier Board of Works and Park Authority meeting Wednesday morning.
Chris Shearer and Brandon Chordas took the oath of office at the meeting, as they will begin their positions as full-time school resource officer and part-time Ligonier police officer, respectively. Chordas also is the new director of transportation and safety at West Noble School Corp.
Chordas worked for the Noble County Sherriff’s Department as a SRO for the south campus at West Noble. Shearer worked for the Kendallville Police Department and was the SRO for East Noble before making the transition to back to Ligonier.
“We’re excited to get these guys started,” Chief of Police and Public Safety Director Bryan Shearer said at the meeting.
Clerk-treasurer Barb Hawn swore Chordas in first, then Chris Shearer.
“Welcome aboard,” Hawn said. “We are happy to have you.”
The two will work together at West Noble to ensure the safety of the students.
The board also discussed a water bill for the property on 911 Gerber St. The owner was not in attendance at the meeting Wednesday but was at the June 26 meeting.
“There were three months that he had a high bill, and back on April 24, the board approved to give him a credit for the excess sewage charges,” Hawn said. “So everything that is owed is water and stormwater and penalties.”
The balance on this account is $6,881.16, and a payment of $500 has been made toward the bill so far. This bill includes the credit that the city gave him. Prior to that credit, the bill was more than $9,000.
Water Superintendent Jeff Boyle said the customer did not pay the bill regularly though. The owner would wait two months, then pay the bill. Boyle said that water was visibly leaking out of the building.
“He let his bill go for two months then pay it,” Boyle said. “This time he has a leak the first month and a leak the second month and that’s when he found it.”
Hawn added that there was a third month with a leak as well. The first month the customer used 44,000 cubic feet, the second month 76,800 cubic feet was consumed and 66,600 cubic feet was used the third month.
The owner did not ask for a credit at the last meeting but requested a payment plan. Per Ligonier city policy, the city will allow the customer three months to pay it. They have to pay their current bill, plus some of the balance each month. The bill will be split into three amounts.
There have been no payments made on the account since May.
Board member Tom Janes shared his opinion on the matter.
“I’m willing to work with someone, but they have to show that he’s going to pay his current bills,” Janes said. “It’s not our fault that he doesn’t pay attention to his bills. I’m not trying to be cold-hearted, but if you own a business you have certain responsibilities that go with that.”
Ligonier Building Inspector Earle Franklin, also on the board, agreed with Janes. He does not want to set a standard for people to let their bills get large and expect a payment plan.
The board decided that the building owner will have to pay $2,293.72 for three months to catch up, per city policy.
The board also:
• Approved the purchase of a truck for the park department and water department for $9,184 and $50,259.80, respectively. The water truck money was built into the city’s capital plan. A plow for the water truck was also approved at $6,827.
• Promoted Jerod Bechtold from reserve police officer to part-time police officer.