Vigo County’s building inspection department will inspect properties in the town of Riley for possible violations of town ordinances through an interlocal agreement the Vigo County Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday.

Commissioners also learned Riley is in the midst of selling its sewer treatment facility to Indiana-American Water, and Riley is building a new town hall.

“The town of Riley has already adopted ordinances that mirror the county’s, so they are the same ordinances, so it is a matter of their building inspection department doing inspections and following up on complaints,” said Richard Shagley II, attorney for the town.

That includes complaints on high grass/weeds, trash, unsafe building complaints, as well as abandoned vehicles.

The county inspector would cite a violation, with the town attorney taking care of enforcement when needed in court.

Dale Sowards, a Vigo County code enforcement officer, said the county in the past used to perform the duties for the towns of Riley, West Terre Haute and Seelyville.

Police officers in West Terre Haute and a town marshal in Seelyville perform those duties, Sowards said. Riley had attempted the same with a part-time officer, but has since abandoned that.

“There are a couple of issues (in the town) we have been working on for years, but those are legal non-conforming status, meaning they were there before county zoning ordinances. That includes some businesses that maybe unsightly to some neighborhoods,” Sowards said after the meeting. “It will not be difficult to handle the inspections as I drive through there to go to other places in the county now.”

While Lakewood, a housing development, is adjacent, it is not in the town of Riley, which has about 250 homes. 

Sewer works sale, new town hall

In addition to the interlocal ordinance, the town is in the process of selling its sewer treatment facility to Indiana-American Water.

“Riley is a small community and it is not economical with today’s regulations for the town to attempt to maintain and run, not only the sewer plant, but the collection system. As a result, they have been in the process selling the utility to Indiana-American,” Shagley said. That sale is likely to close in the second quarter of 2020, Shagley said.

In addition, the town is in the process of designing and bidding out construction for a new town hall, to be about 1,100 square feet.

The project could be bid out this December. 

“It will be on the same property, but moved over a little bit. The one we have now was originally a fire house and added onto. Through discussions with engineers and architects, it would be more costly” to remain in the existing building, Shagley said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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