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. 

North Judson Council Hires Railroad Appraiser

posted May 26, 2017, 8:19 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 26, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The North Judson Town Council has hired an appraiser for their railroad line. During a special-called Wednesday meeting members agreed to pay Alexandria, Va.-based G.W. Fauth & Associates an amount not to exceed $35,000 for the work. It will mark the first appraisal the town has had of the rail line since taking over ownership in 2004.

The town council last July selected Michigan-based Lake State Railway to operate it.

Meanwhile, the Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad (CKIN), which formerly leased the line from the town, has not voluntarily vacated it. Their lease expired last Aug. 15th.

In July of 2015 farmer-owed grain handling cooperative Co-Alliance sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board stating the need for a rail line operator with knowledge of grain commodity shipping and expressing their support for a continued relationship with CKIN.

The town had a May 10th deadline to file an Application for Adverse Discontinuance of Service by Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad with the Surface Transportation Board. Such a filing would allow for the removal of CKIN as the operator by legal means.

Until that is done, the town cannot finalize the lease with Lake State Railway. The uncertainty is also keeping excursion trains operated by the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum from traveling past English Lake due to the storage of freight cars on the tracks. The train rides through the countryside to English Lake and LaCrosse are popular tourism draws.

Chicago-based Railroad Regulatory Attorney Thomas McFarlad is handling the STB filings for the town. Attempts by WKVI to reach him via email were not successful.

North Judson Council Discusses Compliance Officer Position

posted May 25, 2017, 8:18 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 25, 2017
Author Mary Perren, WKVI 

The North Judson Town Council is finalizing a job description for a compliance officer. The part-time employee will work under the supervision of the town marshal and will issue warnings and citations for tall grass and other code violations.

Interim Town Marshal Frank Thomas previously suggested the council consider adding such a position to allow the police department to focus on fighting crime.

Council members agree they want the compliance officer to live within the town limits so he or she will have a vested interest in keeping the community clean. They charged town attorney Justin Schramm with preparing a formal job description and will consider it along with wages at their June 5th meeting.

NJ Utilities Department Opening For Utility Worker

posted May 24, 2017, 10:38 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library


Chickens Complaints Lead to Lengthy Discussion During North Judson Town Council Meeting

posted May 23, 2017, 8:47 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 23, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

The North Judson Town Council may revisit its animal ordinance, following complaints about chickens during last week’s meeting. Nearly six years ago, council members voted to prohibit residents from keeping farm animals, including chickens, within town limits. But during last week’s meeting, some residents complained that they continue to see chickens in North Judson.

When council members decided to outlaw farm animals, they agreed to allow at least one household to keep their existing chickens. But there appears to be some confusion as to whether that meant keeping only those specific chickens until they died off or were otherwise disposed of or simply not exceeding that number in the future.

Council President Wendy Hoppe believed the exception only applied to that particular group of chickens, and they were not supposed to be replaced with new ones. However, resident Steve Ransom, whose daughter keeps several chickens, said she had received a letter from the town, stating otherwise. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins could find no record of such a letter having been sent, and Ransom didn’t specify which town official sent it.

Other residents complained that the chickens attract a rooster from outside the town limits, waking people up in the morning. Council members gave the Ransoms five days to present the letter to the town, and let Town Attorney Justin Schramm advise them on how to proceed. Schramm also suggested double checking the board’s actions on the matter, to make sure they were properly advertised and are legally enforceable.

North Judson Council Introduces Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Ordinances

posted May 22, 2017, 8:43 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 22, 2017Author Michael Gallenberger

North Judson water and sewer customers will soon have the chance to weigh in on proposed rate hikes. Updated water and sewer rate ordinances were introduced on first reading during last week’s town council meeting. The council’s next step will be to hold a public hearing, before making a final decision.

Under the proposal, the minimum monthly water bill would increase nearly four dollars to $16.75. Customers using up to 5,000 gallons would pay $5.05 per 1,000 gallons. Meanwhile, the minimum sewer bill would rise nearly eight dollars to $38.55, with a rate of $12.05 per 1,000 gallons of water used for up to 3,200 gallons. Those living outside the North Judson town limits who use the town’s utilities would pay more.

Council members pointed out those rates would still be lower than those of many other local communities. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins added that North Judson’s rates haven’t been keeping up with expenses. “The water bills went up six dollars in 18 years,” she said. “You cannot do that.”

The proposed rate hikes follow a study by accounting firm Umbaugh and Associates, which determined that the current levels are not adequate to cover operating costs. Additionally, the town’s water and wastewater infrastructure is in need of upgrades, requiring more revenue to cover future bond payments.

Collins said last week that a date for the public hearing hasn’t been finalized, but tentative plans call for it to be held Monday, June 5.


Public Hearing Scheduled for North Judson Town Marshal Termination Appeal

posted May 19, 2017, 9:02 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 19, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

North Judson residents will have the chance to weigh in on the firing of Town Marshal John Ramos next week. The town council has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the North Judson-San Pierre High School Auditorium.

Ramos is appealing his termination, after council members voted to fire him on April 21. Ramos had been serving as North Judson town marshal since July 2016, following the death of Doug Vessely the previous April.

Town officials had previously said his appeal would be considered by council members during a closed executive session. But during this week’s regular council meeting, it was announced that a public hearing will take place.

In the meantime, Officer Frank Thomas is running the police department on an interim basis. He told council members Monday he hopes to focus more on crime and crime prevention. “I won’t say why or how or anything else like that, but we really need to get back to policing the town,” he said. “Officer Rico [Simpson] here has really been hitting it hard here recently. He’s kind of got a little elbow room to go back to doing his job, and he’s done a really good job here lately, putting in a lot of hours. But I’m just going to say, the last six to nine months, we kind of dropped down in what we call in the police world our productivity.”

Thomas is asking the town council to hire a part-time ordinance enforcement officer, to allow police to spend more time pursuing criminals.

North Judson Recycling Drop-Off Site to Be Removed, Curbside Recycling Discussions Continue (5/18)

posted May 18, 2017, 8:38 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 18, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

Whether or not North Judson gets curbside recycling pickup, the recycling drop-off site currently offered by the Starke County Environmental Management District will be removed by July 1. That’s what town council member Jane Ellen Felchuk told the rest of the council Monday. Town officials say it’s been difficult to keep the site clean, and they want the bins taken away as soon as possible.

As an alternative, North Judson may hire Republic Services, the company that handles the town’s garbage, to pick up recycling as well. The cost to residents would be $36 a year.

But the $20 a year in tax money that currently goes to the Starke County Environmental Management District would not decrease, since the organization still provides other services. That drew a few complaints from residents during Monday’s meeting.

Council member John Rowe said up until now, he hadn’t heard from anyone who opposed curbside recycling, and he welcomes any input. “Every single community has curbside,” he pointed out. “Bass Lake is going to have it this summer. Knox has it. Everybody has it. So we’re behind, as it is.”

Concerns were also expressed about the fact that Republic Services now collects trash from the streets, rather than the alleys, creating some challenges when cars are parked there. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins explained that it’s Republic’s policy not to go through alleys, and the town has no control over the matter.

The town council is expected to make a decision on curbside recycling at an upcoming meeting.

North Judson Council Hires Engineering Firm to Evaluate 205 and 207 Lane Street

posted May 16, 2017, 8:58 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library

Posted on May 16, 2017
Author Michael Gallenberger, WKVI 

North Judson officials hope to move forward soon with the demolition of a downtown building. Pulaski Circuit Judge Michael Shurn approved an emergency demolition order Monday morning, allowing the town to tear down the structure at 205 and 207 Lane Street without having to go through a bid process. But before that can happen, Shurn also asked that a structural engineering report be completed, to determine whether Doug Cassel can safely remove several pieces of his personal property.

The town council voted Monday evening to hire DLZ Engineering to put together that report for a cost of $700. Town Attorney Justin Schramm said the town may eventually be able to recoup that cost from Cassel.

Once the engineering report is complete, the town has 24 hours to notify Cassel’s attorney of the result. If it’s deemed safe, he has 14 days to remove his stuff. Otherwise, the town can hire a contractor and proceed with demolition.

Council members also authorized Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann to choose a contractor for a pre-demolition survey to look for hazardous materials like asbestos on the property. Horstmann told council members he already called one company but hadn’t heard back as of Monday night’s meeting. He said there were two more that he planned to contact Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the area around the building has been blocked off and “no trespassing” signs have been posted since a portion of the structure collapsed last Thursday. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins emphasized that the structure is extremely dangerous. “Thursday night, there were seven junior high kids coming out of the back of the building at 8:15, and I called [Officer] Rico [Simpson] to come help me get these guys out of there,” Collins said. “There was an adult there that was probably 40 with a five-year-old. I mean, they were climbing in and out of the building. We have to keep people out of there because it is not safe. So if you see anybody, call the police department, for sure.”

The goal is to have the building removed in time for next month’s Mint Festival. If not, town officials plan to put additional fencing around the structure. Speaking on behalf of Mint Festival organizers, Donna Henry thanked council members and the town attorney for their efforts in demolishing the building in a timely manner.

North Judson Brush Pick Up

posted May 2, 2017, 9:32 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library


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