Logansport will be without one taxi service starting immediately.
The Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety voted Wednesday to issue a cease-and-desist order on Bubba’s Taxi Service.
The company had been in business since Jan. 1, 2020. Over the course of the year, several notices have been issued for violations. The owner, Lawrence E. Tucker, has failed to register with the city and provide liability insurance. Further, there is no proof that the taxi drivers were licensed, and no one had undergone fingerprinting or background checks.
City Attorney Kelly Leeman stated in a letter to Tucker that he had been provided a copy of the ordinance, but Tucker failed to adhere to the regulations. The board had been willing to work with Tucker since July.
In fact, said Mayor Chris Martin, the extension of time was granted because of COVID-related issues the city faced since March. However, he said, Tucker never made an effort to provide the city with the correct documentation and proof that his business was operating legally.
Even when Tucker approached the board during the call for adjournment Wednesday, the mayor opted not to extend the business owner’s time for filing paperwork. Martin said that Tucker was to have been at the meeting at 9:30 a.m. and arrived late. He had been approached numerous times about resolving the patent issues, but nothing had been done, the mayor continued. “I’m not willing to give any more extensions.”
“We were going to give more time, but when you don’t show up on time … we’re not going to work with you,” he said.
Board member Lisa Terry wondered why it had taken this long to put an end to the service. “They’ve been operating way too long and it’s a liability for us,” she said.
The board also considered another potential liability within the terms of a contract drafted by Alexis Fire Equipment Co. of Illinois. The company has agreed to sell the city a $773,454 Rescue 6 truck to be used by the Logansport Fire Department. However, Leeman said the language could present liability problems down the road.
Fire Chief Rick Bair assured the vehicle would not be used to transport residents. It would be for the transportation of firefighters.
Upon the board’s recommendation, Leeman plans to further review the document before the board consents.
Meanwhile, the City Council appropriated $250,000 toward a “down payment” of the truck.
Bair also informed the board that crews were dispatched to three fires during September. On Sept. 9, Cass Plaza Apartments sustained minor damage from bedding material that was contained to one apartment.
On Sept. 25, Matthew Warren’s Plant 5 on Bates Street had a fire in the ventilation system that was extinguished without resulting in much damage. Then on Sept. 30, crews were dispatched to High Street Laundry for a commercial dryer fire. Heavy smoke was coming from outside the building through the windows, Bair stated in a report. Everyone had exited the building.
No injuries occurred from any of the fires.
Logansport Police Department Assistant Chief Shawn Heishman told the board that the department would be holding awards in recognition of service. Lt. Adam Morrow and Sgt. Dan Frye will receive police commendation honors for saving an individual who was prepared to commit suicide by jumping off of a bridge. Detective Jason Rozzi and officers Joseph Schlosser and Quinn McGovern will receive certificates of merit for rescuing residents at Cass Plaza during the apartment fire.
The board agreed to offer Josh Stark another opportunity to make improvements to his property at 111 W. Ottawa St. According to Building Commissioner Wayne Erwin, neighbors have reported rodents coming from Stark’s property onto theirs.
Erwin sent previous notifications to Stark that his property needed to be cleaned up. However, Stark told the board he had not had enough time. With a different job and attempts to get a loan, he hopes to have the funds necessary to refurbish the property.
The board gave Stark two weeks to clean up the outside area of the residence. He is to appear at the Oct. 28 meeting to present a plan of action for future work.