Hebron approves 5-year master plan for parks

2013-05-21T20:45:00Z 2013-05-21T21:27:26Z Hebron approves 5-year master plan for parksBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

HEBRON | After taking a year to prepare the town's five-year park and recreation master plan, Steve Sibbrell can now try to find the money to implement it.

Sibbrell, who also is the Hebron police chief, said he spent a lot of time on research on the history of the town's seven parks and doing surveys online and in the schools to find out what children want in the parks. The research proved educational for him, too.

Sibbrell said he learned Alyea Park is named for Louis Alyea, a soldier who was killed in World War II. His family donated the park land to the town in 1950.

The five-year plan is a prerequisite for applying for state or federal grants for the parks. It was approved by the Park Board last week and by the Council at its meeting Tuesday. The plan now goes to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for final approval.

The goal is to try to update some of the older parks, Sibbrell said.

"Two of the parks need new playground equipment," he said. "We also want to put a basketball court in Cohen Park."

Although the plan makes the town eligible for grants, Sibbrell said he hadn't had time to research what grants might be available.

"I will starting looking now," he said.

Town Attorney Ted Fitzgerald said he was asked to proofread the finished plan and praised Sibbrell for the many hours needed to prepare it while teasing him about the effort.

"The spelling was not too good, but he did a lot of work on it," Fitzgerald said.

The Town Council also approved an ordinance setting the policy for writing off bad utility debts and handling unclaimed water deposits. Uncollected utility debts can be written off after two years, but anyone with past-due bills cannot get new service without paying the old debt.

Any water service deposits or overpayments refunded by check to a customer that are not cashed within two years also will be written off. Fitzgerald said the state Board of Accounts said the town is doing everything correctly but just needed to codify the procedure, which follows the wording of the state law.

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