Meet and greet
by Lisa Tome
About two dozen residents turned out for Rising Sun's first ever Meet and Greet on Saturday, February 18.
The purpose of the event was to give residents a chance to meet the town board members and staff as well as to learn the path the town is taking in the future. There were also zoning maps and a map featuring potential economic and recreational opportunities set up for public view.
During the meeting residents portion of the event, Commissioner Allen Authenreath spent most of his time with a Boy Scout who was seeking a merit badge. Authenreath answered questions about the water and sewer systems.
Mayor Travis Marion introduced the board members. He said the role of the mayor is to be "the town's cheerleader". That was the phrase often used by former Mayor Sallie Teague. He also introduced Commissioners Dave Warnick, Pauline Braun, Authenreath, and Augie Pierson who all provided a brief history of their service to the town.
Mayor Marion said that town administrator wears many hats and serves as not only the town administrator but is also the grant writer, code enforcer, and town planner. Marion said "he inherited" Police Chief Chip Peterson.
Bonenberger shared information which he has revealed during town meetings. He also said that the town works so as not to become complacent. He also said he considers the town to be a $4 million a year business.
"The golden egg of any municipality of its infrastructure," said Bonenberger. He also said the town needs to work to get high paying jobs here. He explained the decrease in assessed home values. That has dropped 16 percent in the last half dozen years. Between 2010-2016 a $200,000 home lost $44,000 in value. Moratoriums on infrastructure also lower assessed value.
Chief Peterson recently expressed that his department is not a 24 hour department. Instead, they serve about 20 hours per day. Bonenberger disagreed with that and stated several times that Rising Sun has a full time police department.
Due to a water and sewer moratorium, the town hasn't had new development come in for more than a decade. Bonenberger also contradicted past statements regarding the cost of the new sewer plant.
For years he stated that it cost $13.1 million. On Saturday, he said it cost $16 million.
He also said that the town "dodged a bullet" by defeating a $120 million lawsuit. Bonenberger did not mention that the town lost a $600,000 lawsuit to the former contractor of the wastewater treatment plant.
In addition to the residents, three representatives from the Rising Sun Branch Library turned out including acting branch manager Katelyn McLimans.
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