Bubba’s Taxi Service is back in business – in a limited capacity.

Just one week after issuing a cease-and-desist order, the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety decided to lift it immediately following the board meeting Wednesday due to the owners’ adherence to the ordinance. Lawrence E. Tucker and his wife, Betty, told the board that driver applications, endorsements, fingerprinting and background checks were completed.

The city also has been listed on the insurance policy, which was a necessity for liability issues.

But the taxi service will not be able to allow all of their drivers to continue working for them. According to Duane Ullom, clerk-treasurer, one of the background checks did not pan out. “There is one driver we have issues with,” he said.

Similarly, there will only be three vehicles available for use at this time. Betty said they were the ones that passed inspection by Logansport Police Department Officer Adam Morrow.

Thanking the couple for the efforts, City Attorney Kelly Leeman said that “we want to help you, but it needs to be done in a safe way.”

Board member Lisa Terry agreed, saying that “we want to work with you, but you have to stay in touch with us. There has to be a commitment to keeping these vehicles running properly.

“It’s your responsibility to be compliant,” she said.

Betty said they would work harder at maintaining safety and keeping current with the local rules and regulations. “We have people every day and they depend on us. The majority of the people we [transport] are Tyson employees. And we wouldn’t want to put children and grandchildren at harm.”

Acknowledging that their taxi business is important for the community, Leeman said he appreciates their effort to see to the safety of their passengers. “The basis for this ordinance is so you can have that trust.”

In order to keep tabs on compliance and to be assured that safety is a top priority, the board requested that the Tuckers meet with them on a quarterly basis to report on business operations.

Market Street Project

The board approved First Group Engineering’s extension request for the work being done on Market Street.

While the project is taking longer than initially anticipated, said Mayor Chris Martin, “it should not back up too much.” He anticipates West Market Street to have all lanes re-opened by the end of next week.

The majority of the work left to finish focuses on trees and street lights.

Deputy Mayor Jacob Pomasl said the extension will not equate to the city having to pay more money. The monies have already been designated through a relinquishment fund, he said.

Families feuding

An alleyway along 1401 Lobelia Street has escalated from a squabble to a possible civil case, and a restraining order being filed by one family against the other.

The two families, the Howells and Robert and Mary Barnes, have been arguing over usage of the alley, and the disagreement has become one that Leeman said “is the most problematic alley issue I’ve ever dealt with.”

The Howells have set up two gates along the alley, which prevents the Barnes from being able to use the path in one direction, said Leeman. However, the Barnes could put in a new driveway that would connect to another roadway.

But instead of hearing arguments from the family members who were present at the meeting, he advised them to hold a formal hearing at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 18. Both families are welcome to bring an attorney to the hearing. Then, if the board’s decision is not in agreement with either party, they would need to file a civil suit in a court of law.

Local laws state that when the city vacates an alley, it could be divided among those residents who have property near the path. Then, those residents would maintain ownership of a section of the alley.

Firefighter retirement

Per Logansport Fire Department Chief Rick Bair’s request, the board accepted Bernard Mittica’s retirement. Hired on June 4, 1999, he has served in various capacities, including assistant mechanic, chief mechanic, staff officer, assistant chief, and fire chief.

His last day on the job was Wednesday.

Reach Kristi Hileman at kristi.hileman@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5150

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