The Shelbyville City Council met on Tuesday night this week, due to the Monday Labor day holiday and dealt with road work, a backhoe, and mobile food trucks.

The city council approved a bid for work on Sylvester Drive related to expansion at IHI Turbo.

“We had a bid opening on August 23,” said City Engineer Alan Spesard. “We had 4 bids and the low bid $483,187. Our estimate was that it would be over $700,000. We recommend this bid and would like to start this month.”

The bill is to be paid out of a 50% grant and the rest from the city’s West Business District Fund.

Street Commissioner Thom Schafer reported that they are looking to place their backhoe.

“We were offered a good trade-in,” said Schafer. “This is in the interest of keeping up our equipment. We took a beating the last time we had a replacement, because of the age of our old backhoe.”

Schafer said they were offered $40,000 for a $100,00 piece of equipment, similar to what they had. He said money would come out of the motor fuel tax fund. He asked to advertise for bids on a new backhoe. The council approved unanimously.

There was still discussion on a map for locations available to mobile food trucks in town. Commissioner Schafer said his concern was just that it just doesn’t restrict traffic flow.

“There are too many different scenarios with the food trucks to foresee all of them,” said Police Chief Dave Tallman. “If the map doesn’t work, we hope they’d cooperate with us.”

Commissioner Mark Shanks said people from the school expressed concern about being located near the school.

“They do not want them on school property and they are uncomfortable with food trucks on the side streets near the school,” Shanks said. “At the same time, they don’t want to be perceived as anti-business.”

Chief Tallman referenced a no-compete clause with the school lunch provider. Commissioner Firnhaber said the students already cross the street and leave at lunch time.

“If they don’t want the kids to leave for lunch they could always close their campus,” Firnhaber said.

“Whatever we approve, we should let it go for 6 months and see hot it goes,” said Mayor Jeff Johnson.

“The map can change without a formal vote of the council,” said City Attorney Jack Kiley.

Firnhaber moved to accept the map with out the highlighted spots around the school. The motion was approved unanimously.

Commissioner Firnhaber reported that the newest Shelbyville police officer, Lou Maxedon is graduating from the academy and will be on the job.

Commissioner Schafer reported they were still waiting on the repairs to be done to their bucket truck. Commissioner Shanks reported that the bucket truck they were hoping to purchase was sold out from under them, just hours before they had approval.

Commissioner Debe Wright reported that a semi truck had hit a water hydrant on Main Street near the West Main Party House on Labor Day and that the city water department worked until 4:30 Tuesday morning to get it all fixed up. Water ran down Main Street and around the corner, north on Cedar Street.

Shanks reported that repair work on the roof of city hall needs to be done, so they will be looking at putting out a bid.

Schafer reported that the inspection of the walls in vaulted basements downtown was better than they anticipated.

The council approved two locations for the Downtown Lending Library, at 108 W. Main and the Corner of Rt 16 & South Washington.

The council was asked about progress on the Chautauqua Building decision. There is one proposal on the table for restoration and one estimate on demolition.

“Discussion on the Chautauqua will be on the agenda for the next meeting,” said Mayor Jeff Johnson, “We may be looking at a referendum.”

Commissioner Shanks announced that there will be a visit from Shelbyville’s Sister City in Japan during the month of October.

John Curtis can be reached at

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