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Peru continues ordinance updates

BUCKS FOR TRUCKS: The Peru Common Council approved about $64,000 to the purchase a new utility and command vehicle at the Peru Fire Department. That’s PFD Firefighter Nathan Hunt with one of the trucks that’s to be replaced.

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

The Peru Common Council tackled phase two of an ordinance update project during its meeting on Monday night.

Back in November, Mayor Gabe Greer, City Attorney Dustin Kern and others began the streamlining effort. 

The first step was eliminating the unnecessary ordinances, such as the one that prohibited kids from projecting missiles – such as snowballs or footballs – on city roads.

The idea was “let’s get rid of all the nonsense so that we can find what we need when we need it,” Kern said previously.

Now, they’re amending or adding needed ordinances – which is what took place on Monday night.

For example, Peru is changing its rule for requiring permits for home construction. In the past, citizens were supposed to be required to get a permit from the city when they spent $100 or more on home improvement – which could equate to painting a few rooms.  

“It was really vague and kind of crazy,” Greer said.

Now, residents will only be required to get city permits when they change 10 percent of their plumbing or electrical loads, make changes to their meter box or roof, and other significant projects. More information can be found by contacting City Hall. 

In other action, the council considered whether to vacate the alley between Logansport Road and West Main Street.

There are two sides to the controversy, and it was impossible to make everyone happy, Greer said.  That’s why council members tabled the vote during the past two council meetings.

Folks on one side wanted the alley vacated to build a shed, and other folks were concerned about garbage collectors being able to access their bins.

Ultimately, they voted to leave the alley open.

“It was a tough decision to be made,” Greer said.

The council also approved about $64,000 for the purchase of two new vehicles for the Peru Fire Department. The PFD needs a new command vehicle – which is like a first-responder vehicle – and a utility truck, Greer said.

Fortunately they don’t need to purchase any new firetrucks yet. Firetrucks can cost around a million dollars, Greer said.

Peru Police Chief Mike Meeks discussed recommendations on purchasing new police cars once again with the council, and Greer reminded him that the 2016 ordinance already contained a five-year plan.

A couple of years ago, the city decided to stop leasing vehicles and purchase them in one payment. “The city has the money to buy them outright,” Greer said. “Leases aren’t prudent.”

When purchasing a car, everyone knows that if you have the money, you buy the car, Greer said.