Sunman Town Council members (from left) Carol Eckstein, Don Foley and Marilyn Decker were ready for their first meeting. Foley was elected president.

SUNMAN – Two new members, Marilyn Decker and Carol Eckstein, joined Don Foley, who was re-elected to the Sunman Town Council, for the trio’s first meeting Jan. 16.

Evan Jenner, the town’s representative for Ripley County’s planning and zoning commissions, said, “Don contacted me last week and was inquiring about a notice he received from Ripley County saying they’re proposing a rezone south of town on County Road 1100.”

Foley noted, “Wire Tek wants to move into a new building in front of the sewer plant and wants 14 acres rezoned for industrial use ... from Agriculture-2 to Industrial-1 (closed industrial).” The owner (Greg Hauck) also wants to build a house on the surrounding acreage he owns there. Currently, the business is located at 234 Industrial Drive, Sunman.

The Ripley County Area Planning Commission “has a public meeting Feb. 4 on this zoning proposal .... They want us to write a letter saying we’re in favor of him rezoning.”

Jenner pointed out, “We all have concerns about zoning now (referring to MGPI of Indiana, which has a distilled spirits aging warehouse facility in town), but MGPI is I-2, heavy industrial. This (Wire Tek) is light industrial .... Probably 99% of businesses we have here are I-1.”

Randy Ashcraft, Adams Township trustee, reported, “My main concern is the access road to the sewer plant.”

Decker revealed, “Terry (Knueven, utility manager) said the access road we use now belongs to that property, but we have an easement. County surveyor Jeff French said the owner plans to expand the road. He will maintain it, and the town will have an easement for as long as we need it.”

“I have no problem with what Wire Tek does,” announced Dave Bruns, “but if they decide to get out of the business and they have this empty building and they want to rezone, that’s something to think about, but that’s way into the future.”

Decker said, “None of us can tell the future, but it appears to me if he’s going to build a home there, he’s fairly invested in the community.”

Members decided to support the rezoning.

Jeremy Schmitt, Commonwealth Engineers, Indianapolis, project manager, presented an update on the upgrades being made to West Washington Street, Fremont Road and Western Avenue thanks to a Community Crossings matching grant through the Indiana Department of Transportation.

“The contractor has started working .... Everything now is focused on the storm drain lines and inlets. After that, work will be done on the sidewalks and in the spring, he will do asphalt paving .... So far, everything is going pretty well.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 220114.

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