Five local luminaries who made lasting contributions to life in Hagerstown will be remembered with signs.

Town manager Chris LaMar told the Town Council June 5 that they hope to have the signs up by Jubilee Days in mid-August.

The five, all deceased within the last 50 years, are Ralph Teetor, an inventor and the last president of his family’s Perfect Circle Co. before it sold to Dana Corp.; Rhea Abbott, who grew Abbott’s Candy from a backyard candymaker to a local retailer employing more than 20 people; Dr. William Miller, who served local families in a half-century medical career and made a substantial bequest to the town; Ruth Dutro, an educator who served many years on the Park Board and left the town a sizable bequest that has enabled growth of recreational facilities; and Guy Welliver, who founded Welliver’s Smorgasbord and grew it into a well-known eatery that attracts customers from many states and countries.

LaMar said it is hoped this first group of honorees will be joined in future years by others who have contributed to local life.

In business, the council left two decisions on the table. Members delayed consideration of a grant that could be an early step toward renovating, expanding or replacing the fire station. They also made no decision about allocating money to activities for the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse.

The council considered a request by Fire Chief Rick Cole to seek $3,000 in grant funding for an income survey of residents in the Hagerstown Fire Department service area. If more than half of respondents are low to moderate income, additional funding could be unlocked to study the existing fire station, and possibly lead to further funding for construction. Expressing concern about the challenge of obtaining postal addresses for the survey as well as possibly creating expectations for a construction project, council members delayed a decision until July.

In other business

  • While planning continues for the 2024 solar eclipse, no decision on fund allocation was made. The town already had one planning meeting for eclipse activities. Another is scheduled June 22. The town has already committed to renting 24 portable toilets for the festivities, LaMar said.
  • The council also agreed to work with Phyllis Mattheis on placings signs marking the path of the Hagerstown Canal, a northern extension of the Whitewater Canal which went from Cambridge City to Lawrenceburg in the 1830s-1840s. Members of Canal Society of Indiana contributed funds in memory of Mattheis` late husband Jerry.
  • The council also agreed to make a 10-year economic development loan for $103,000 at 2% interest to KLC Properties for renovation of Dale’s Pizza and Wannabee’s, a bar connected to it. KLC Properties is Kyle and Lori Cross.
  • Police Chief Keith Folkner said he is looking into the enforcement of town regulations about parking RVs and trailers in yards. After the police department issued warnings for vehicles parked on the street without moving for weeks, some owners moved them into their front or side yards, which also is not legal, he said. The department will issue citations where necessary.
  • Council asked Folkner to respond to complaints of golf carts being driven around in West Lawn Cemetery. Unless the vehicle is taking people to visit gravesites, they shouldn’t be in the cemetery, said council member Allan Bullock.

The council’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 10, delayed from the previous Monday because of the Independence Day holiday. The public may attend at Town Hall, 49 E. College St.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 14 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.