By KATHY CARVEY
It’s possible that the building that housed the former Hicks and Deaton Hardware may find new life as a coffee shop/fabric and sewing machine repair shop. Cherie Hartman informed the town council that she and her husband Jim are looking into these retail options as they consider purchasing the building.
Hartman had several questions for the council concerning the possibility of running a drive-thru for a coffee shop in the alley that runs between the building and the neighboring Green Parrot building. She pointed out that the alley is potentially wider than before with this summer’s removal of a small leaning building attached to the Green Parrot. A drive-thru would be one-way and exit onto to State Road 5, she said.
Hartman also brought up the possibility of blocking part of the alley that goes behind State Street to the car wash to allow construction of a deck for outdoor seating.
“People could sit outside, see the park and listen to music when there are concerts,” she said.
Council president Joanne Eberhart was cautious.
“I believe people go through the alley to use the car wash,” she said.
Town attorney Greg Hockemeyer laid out the steps involved in vacating a right-of-way. With this information, Hartman said she would be able to make further inquiries and develop ideas.
Councilwoman Tonya Warner relayed an update on the status of the Green Parrot from owner Randy Striggle. Striggle recently regained ownership after a contract sale of the business fell through. Adam Flores, current manager of the Green Parrot, will become the new owner and assume responsibility for repairs ordered to be done by November 29, 2010. In August, Striggle asked for and received a time extension until November for ordered building repairs.
Hockemeyer expressed some reservations about this plan.
“Are repairs being shoved off on a new owner?” he asked. “We gave an extension because we waited to clear the ownership situation. Frankly, I think it (the repairs) could be done before the next ownership change.”
Council members agreed to ask both Striggle and Whitley County Building Inspector Craig Wagner to come to the next council meeting to discuss the situation.
Hockemeyer said representatives from Duke Energy, supplier of electric power to the town utility, will attend the next meeting to discuss rate increases. The council will also ask a representative from Umbaugh, a financial advisory and accounting firm, to be present. Warner added that business owners and employers such as Whitko Community Schools may want to attend as well.
Clerk-Treasurer Mitch Winger said that the police department will purchase two new radios at a cost of $4,714 each in order to stay compatible with the radio system used by the county sheriff department.
In other police business, it was noted that Chuck Lewallen is due to graduate from the police academy and return to his town duties.