Town of North Judson

Need to contact the town of North Judson?  

The town hall is open: 
Monday - Friday 
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Currently they do not have a website but you can find them on Facebook.  

"Our page was set up for informational posts. We keep the Council Minutes updated, remind you of office closures, when we will be picking up brush and/or leaves, doing hydrant flushing etc.. Occasionally as we have time we will post pictures of community events that we have attended. We don't always see your messages on here because we only check the page as time allows. If you have questions we recommend calling our office at one of the numbers listed below." 

Phone number:  574-896-3340 or 574-896-2711
Email address:  
njwater@embarqmail.com

To Pay UTILITIES Online click https://pay.paygov.us/EndUser/PaymentAgency.aspx?ttid=15021.


SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES THAT REQUIRE PERMITS: 

The Town of North Judson has several special circumstances that require permits.  Below is a list of the more frequently required permits (list may not be inclusive):
  • Pet Tags (Dogs & Cats) – ANNUALLY:   $10 each if spayed/neutered.  $25 non-spayed/neutered.  A late fee of $10 will be added if tags are not purchased by February 15, 2016. 
  • Contractor’s Permits – ANNUALLY:  $25 Renewal / $50 New.  All contractor permits purchased after February 15, 2016 are $75
  • Temporary Pool – Annually prior to installing 
  • Permanent Pool – Prior to installing 
  • Yard Sale Permit – 1 or 2 days = $10 / 3 or 4 days = $17 

The following types of “construction” projects require a permit prior to beginning the project (list may not be inclusive):
  • New Structure (Residential or Commercial)
  • Additions, Signs, Porch, Decks/Patios/Lean to, Fences, Electrical, Sidewalk, Demolition, Utility Sheds, Structural Improvements/Inspection. 
NOTE:  Fees are associated with all of the above permits. 

ORDINANCE VIOLATION CITATIONS MAY BE ISSUED FOR NON-COMPLIANCE INCLUDING THE ASSOCIATED FINES. 
These fees and fines are according to a schedule of fees/fines, as shall be modified from time to time by the Town Council and made available for public inspection in the Clerk-Treasurer’s office located at 310 Lane St. 
We remind the public that failure to be aware of the Ordinance requiring a permit is not a defense to the issuance of a ticket. 

We encourage all residents to contact the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office (open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. – closed 12 noon to 1 p.m.) at 574-896-3340 for more information. 


BRUSH PICK-UP WILL NOW BE THE LAST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH.  
 Have your brush lying next to the alley.  If you don’t have an alley, place it along the street.  This is for brush only, no mixed piles.  Thank You!


Attorney’s Fees Adding Up in North Judson Railroad Dispute

posted by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 25, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Legal costs continue to add up for North Judson in the dispute over the town’s short line railroad. The town is paying several thousand dollars a month to Chicago-based railroad regulatory attorney Thomas McFarland to help deal with two ongoing lawsuits.

Last week, the town council approved a payment of over $4,700 to McFarland, which is a bit higher than the last couple of months’ payments. One reason for the increase, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins, was that the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum emailed McFarland directly with questions. “You can figure out how much we’re paying an hour fairly easy,” Collins said. “That’s a lot of money. So his email, all that stuff, it’s adding up.”

Museum officials were seeking information about what impact the litigation would have on a $32,000 tourism grant the museum’s set to get from the state.

The town council decided a year ago to lease the line to Michigan-based Lake State Railway, but the Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad still hasn’t vacated it. Meanwhile, Chesapeake and Indiana has blocked the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum from running excursion trains beyond English Lake and into LaCrosse.

Museum officials say that and other issues with Chesapeake and Indiana have cost the museum over $200,000 in lost revenue over the past four years. The museum has turned to crowdfunding to help cover its own legal expenses in the dispute.

At the same time, North Judson officials say the town has spent around $300,000 in legal fees and maintenance costs since the dispute began. While North Judson has a specified fund for its railroad, town officials say that money’s currently unavailable because of the litigation.

North Judson Town Council Approves Phone Upgrades, Discusses Website Plans

posted Jul 24, 2017, 8:33 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 24, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The Town of North Judson is looking to save some money by upgrading its phone system. Last week, the town council approved a proposal from IT company Datacrates to install an Internet-based phone system.

The town will get five phones for a cost of $199 a month, plus a one-time installation charge. Currently, the town pays CenturyLink about $974 a month for combined phone and Internet service, according to Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins. While the town plans to switch the phone service, it will continue to pay CenturyLink nearly $245 a month for Internet.

Council member John Rowe said the switch seemed like a no-brainer. “After three months, it pays for itself, basically,” he said. “Four months, it’s completely paid for, and then we’re just saving $450 a month, every month.”

Datacrates has also offered to build and maintain a website for North Judson, for $45 a month, plus a one-time setup charge. Under the plan, each town department would get its own web page, and residents would be able to pay water bills and view the town’s ordinances online. Collins suggested that the town hold off on the website until next year, but use Datacrates’ estimate to build the cost into the 2018 budget.

Council member James Young has also been gathering estimates for a new website. Datacrates was recommended by Town Marshal Kelly Fisher. Company owner Brian Pinson used to be Starke County’s IT director. He’s built websites for the Starke County government, the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, and the City of Knox.

Council members agreed that Collins should include the cost of a website when working on next year’s budget.

North Judson Council Accepts Property Donation for High School Memorial

posted Jul 22, 2017, 8:31 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 22, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Plans to mark the site of the old North Judson High School are moving ahead. A group of volunteers has been working for the past year and a half to construct a memorial where the school used to stand on Keller Avenue.

Committee member Marshall Field told the town council Monday the bank that currently owns the land has agreed to donate it to the town. The town council voted unanimously to accept the property. Field says the updated deed will be presented to the council at a later date.

North Judson Compliance Officer Gets to Work, Pay Raise Approved for Part-Time Police Officers

posted Jul 21, 2017, 8:28 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 21, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

North Judson’s new compliance officer is getting to work. Joe Leszek was selected earlier this month to fill the part-time position. Town Marshal Kelly Fisher told the town council Monday that Leszek has been working on addressing issues at 202 Lane Street.

Also during Monday’s meeting, council members approved a pay raise for part-time police officers. They’ll be paid $18 an hour, rather than $15, following this week’s amendment to the salary ordinance.

North Judson Council Decides Not to Revise Golf Cart Ordinance

posted Jul 20, 2017, 8:36 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 20, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

North Judson residents will no longer be able to register their utility vehicles as golf carts. Some Gators and similar types of vehicles have been permitted in the past, even though the town’s golf cart ordinance is not designed to apply to any other vehicles.

After discussing the issue with Town Marshal Kelly Fisher and Chief Deputy Frank Thomas, the town council has decided to leave the ordinance alone, and stop granting permits for vehicles that aren’t golf carts. Council member John Rowe said Monday there are too many variables to consider, to allow other vehicles. “There’s some that do 40 miles an hour. There’s some that only do 25,” he explained. “But those variations are just too hard to decipher between which is which. It’s just too hard. So by sticking with the ordinance, the ordinance just states, simply, ‘golf carts.'”

As for what qualifies as a golf cart, the ordinance gives this definition: “A motorized cart or car in the context of this ordinance is an electric- or gasoline-powered motor vehicle commonly called a ‘golf cart,’ designed and intended to transport one or more individuals and golf clubs for the purpose of playing the game of golf on a golf course.”

Town officials say there are two vehicles that don’t fit that description that currently have valid golf cart permits. Those vehicles will be allowed on town streets for the rest of the year, but their permits will not be renewed next year.

Collins pointed out that the only utility vehicle explicitly allowed by the town is owned by Osborn Advantage Real Estate for use during the Mint Festival.

North Judson Town Council Updated on 205 and 207 Lane Street Demolition Process

posted Jul 19, 2017, 8:27 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 19, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Demolition plans for a partially collapsed downtown North Judson building are being finalized by the town council. A contract with Dirt Works Excavating is complete, and Town Attorney Justin Schramm presented it to council members for their signatures Monday. “One thing we did work out between he and I is on the original bid, he talked about having salvage rights to that property once it’s knocked down,” Schramm said. “I just wanted to make sure we had the right to repurpose those windows through a third-party contractor. He said he had no problem with that.”

An individual has offered to buy the building’s windows for an estimated $2,000. So far, it looks like that’s all of the demolition cost the town will be able to recoup. Dirt Works’ bid was for nearly $100,000, plus the cost of asbestos handling.

But there are still a couple more steps to be taken before the building at 205 and 207 Lane Street can finally be torn down. As of Monday, Dirt Works was still waiting for the necessary permits from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

On top of that, the demolition contractor and the structural engineer who evaluated the building will both have to give information during a hearing in Starke Circuit Court. Schramm said Monday he was still trying to finalize a court date with Special Judge Michael Shurn of Pulaski County. “The judge seemed confused why I was asking for another hearing, and I reminded him that he told me I had to go in on another hearing before we were to demolish the building,” Schramm said. “Then I was referred to Starke Circuit Court. So I’m hoping we can get it in this week. I’m really hoping. But at the latest, before we get those certifications back from IDEM because I don’t want to hold up our contractor any longer. I know he has other projects he wants to get to.”

Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall has recused himself due to a conflict of interest. Once the court hearing takes place and the certifications are received, Dirt Works has 60 days to complete the demolition.

North Judson Council Requests Petition, Before Moving Ahead with Urban Chicken Ordinance

posted Jul 18, 2017, 11:45 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on July 18, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The North Judson Town Council is willing to consider an urban chicken ordinance, but first, they’re asking for a petition with 300 residents’ signatures. Council member John Rowe proposed the petition Monday, to gauge the amount of support that exists out in the community and not just among people showing up at council meetings. “If the town wants something, the town can speak and want that,” he said. “If it’s the entire town, then we should change it. That’s how this is meant to be. That’s why we’re here. It isn’t personal. It shouldn’t be our personal feelings.”

For the petition to be accepted by the town council, the 300 residents who sign it must live within the North Judson town limits, be at least 18 years of age, and provide their address or another way of verifying their residency. If the 300 signatures are obtained by August 31, council members will then begin discussing the specifics of the ordinance, such as permit fees, space requirements, and limits to the number of chickens at a particular home. The town council narrowly voted to accept Rowe’s proposal to request the petition, with members Jane Ellen Felchuk and Wendy Hoppe opposing the measure.

Resident Sarah Burkett will be responsible for gathering the necessary signatures. She has been leading the renewed push for an urban chicken ordinance in North Judson, after the town council decided to more strictly enforce the existing animal ordinance. That would have forced Burkett to remove her chickens, but council members have backed down from that decision, at least temporarily.

While Burkett says her chickens were grandfathered in six years ago, there’s an ongoing debate about whether that still applies to the chickens she has now. Council President Wendy Hoppe said Monday that wasn’t the council’s intention at the time the decision was made. “I can say because I sat on that board, and I can honestly say it was said it would be grandfathered until the time the chickens were deceased. . . . If you read the thing, that’s how it was.”

Burkett’s father and landlord Steve Ransom disagreed. “I’ve got an attorney that will argue with you on that,” he said.

“Well, Todd’s going to cite what he wants, but let me cover this now,” responded Town Attorney Justin Schramm. “I haven’t covered this yet because there’s a very convoluted, long, complex, legal argument when it comes to grandfather clauses. I’ve heard this term now for a month, ‘grandfather, grandfather, grandfather.’ A grandfather clause is built into an ordinance or resolution when it is written.”

Schramm said that’s not what happened in this case. “It’s not on that resolution, and it’s not of legal effect,” he said. “They shouldn’t have done that to you. It was bad that they did that to you. But if it didn’t make it into that final resolution or ordinance, my position and my reading has indicated that it is not a legally-enforceable grandfather clause.” However, he pointed out that Burkett is not in violation of the ordinance because the ordinance has not been fully enforced.

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