Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 3, 2009

Public Eye - Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009

Getting out the watering can

As landscaping plans move forward for the Courthouse Square, one of the concerns raised by Howard County commissioners was how the plants are going to be watered.

The commissioners decided not to spend $1,500 on a new outdoor water faucet on the courthouse grounds. That means the one spigot will have to be used with lengths of garden hose stretched to each corner of the property.

The problem for the remainder of 2009 has been resolved with a landscaping contractor agreeing to water the plantings after 4 p.m. when the courthouse is closed so people won’t trip on the hose.

For 2010, John Wiles, executive director of the Kokomo Downtown Association, and Howard County Councilman Paul Wyman have volunteered to do the watering.

At a meeting last week of the committee working on a downtown comprehensive plan, Wyman said he plans to wear an apron when performing the watering chores.

He said the apron might include the words “County Tax Relief,” an obvious reference to the commissioners’ decision not to add a second outdoor faucet.

Even inmates get a holiday

At the meeting, Wiles said the landscaping work on the four sides of the Howard County Courthouse is set for Oct. 12, which happens to be Columbus Day. Wiles said volunteers were being sought to perform the work and said the Howard County inmate work crew would be asked to assist.

Wiles then noted that Columbus Day is a holiday for county employees and the inmate work crew wouldn’t be working because of the holiday. It would probably be ill-advised to have the crew work without county employees supervising anyway.

Pro-life argument

With the ongoing debate in Congress on health-care reform, Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd District, has joined with 183 members of the U.S. House in sending a letter to the leadership asking for a vote on an amendment to prohibit government funding of abortions.

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