Sunman town hall

The town hall will remain closed until June 1 except by appointment.

Sunman Town Council members gathered May 7 for a meeting that was livestreamed on Facebook. It may be viewed at (use headphones).

Council members Don Foley, Marilyn Decker and Carol Eckstein; Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Taylor; town attorney John Kellerman; and town Marshal Jason Huffman were in attendance.

“This was a make-up of the April meeting,” President Foley revealed. Members discussed several documents, which were all approved unanimously.

Kellerman said he crafted the Sunman Health Emergency Policy “from several forms. It was based on the governor’s executive orders .... This can apply to all kinds of health emergencies, not just the coronavirus.”

The policy’s purpose is to address town operations and procedures during a public epidemic or health emergency. Council members “should plan for staff being unavailable to report to work in the event of a serious infectious disease outbreak, epidemic or pandemic.

“Additionally, during a health emergency, other civil and governmental organizations may take measures to slow the spread of the illness or outbreak, such as closing town facilities by order of county, state or federal health or government officials. It is important that the core operations of the town of Sunman be maintained to the extent possible without jeopardizing the health and safety of the staff and public.”

The document stated, “There is a difference between a general emergency policy and a health emergency policy. If the town is required to close facilities due to a fire, tornado or other significant natural or manmade event, it is taken for granted that the staff of the town will return to the building(s) and begin recovery work almost immediately. If there is a serious infectious disease, epidemic or pandemic, it is also taken for granted recovery may be slow, the staff might be restricted from entering the building(s) and services and hours might be interrupted for extended lengths of time.”

The policy outlined when town facilities could be closed, types of closures, how employees will be compensated, communication procedures, prioritization of services, social distancing and additional cleaning measures.

The Town of Sunman Policy for Re-Open described the procedures that are in place for employees. It noted that the town hall will remain closed until June 1. However, utility payments will continue to be accepted in the drop box and online and new utility service and final service paperwork will be completed by appointment.

The Sunman Community Park will also remain closed until June 1. Public meetings will be limited to 25 people or less with required distancing precautions. The procedures for re-opening will be revisited May 27.

Ordinance 2020-4, which prohibits loud engine braking or Jake braking in town, was read. This is “the use or operation of any mechanical exhaust device designed to aid in the braking, decompression or deceleration of any motor vehicle, which results in the excessive, loud, unusual or explosive noise from such vehicle .... It shall be unlawful for the driver of any motor vehicle to use or to operate or to cause to be used or operated at any time and on any street or road over which Sunman has jurisdiction, any mechanical exhaust or decompression device, which results in the practice known as engine braking or Jake braking.”

A violation will be considered a Class C infraction.

Letters will be sent to local businesses informing them of this ordinance’s adoption. Enforcement will begin June 1.

Resolution 2020-8 said the clerk-treasurer will be given the authority to determine if a penalty shall be forgiven for a wastewater account in the amount of $500 or less if there was a leak that was confirmed by the utility department.

Foley read a letter from utility manager Terry Knueven, which said, “On March 31, both pumps in the Whitetail Lift Station were plugged up and had to be pulled and cleaned .... We had to call out an electrician to help reset the overloads. This is costly and unacceptable for us. A letter has been sent out to the people who live in Whitetail (Run Subdivision). They’re flushing things down the toilet that should not be flushed.”

Foley stressed, “The only thing we can really put down our commodes is toilet paper.”

A new utilities employee, Alexandrea Eckstein, was hired. According to Knueven, “She is doing a super job so far. She’s been subjected to a few of the worst environments we deal with and handled it well.”

Spring clean-up day for Sunman residents is Saturday, May 16, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. “We will have two dumpsters, one at the park and the other on Vine Street by the Sunman Community Church,” Foley noted. “The usual restrictions apply. You can’t put tires, paint cans, etc. in there.” Also, items cannot be left on the ground.

He stressed that the dumpsters are for Sunman residents only.

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

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