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5/7/2012 7:53:00 PM
Knox County towns hope to unite and have a greater, united voice locally

Jason Tiller, Vincennes Sun-Commercial

There’s strength in numbers.

That’s what Bruceville Town Council President Tim Murphy believes and why he wants to form a coalition of the other town councils in the county to share ideas with one another and see what they can do as a united body to help their constituents along with having a louder voice to get the attention of county government.

“We all have about the same problems,” Murphy said. “We all have issues with our water lines and towers, the sewer and the septic systems. My goal is for us all to get together once a month and bounce ideas off of each other to help solve some of these problems and save some money in the process.”

Murphy claims that county government just isn’t interested in helping the smaller towns.

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“You never see the county council members at our meetings. It seems like all they care about are Vincennes and Bicknell. They forget about the smaller towns,” he said. “They’re more worried about the interests of Vincennes.”

He says that together the town council’s can make a difference.

“There’s strength in numbers,” Murphy said. “If we work together to help each other out and get the (county) council to pay a little more attention to the small towns.”

Murphy is proposing members of the respective town councils — Bruceville, Wheatland, Monroe City, Edwardsport, Sandborn, Oaktown and Decker — meet once a month, rotating the venue of the meeting so that the meetings are held in all of the towns.

“We want to be able to see who needs what the worst,” Murphy said. “Budgets are being cut and the cost of materials is going up while the amount of grant money that we receive is going down. If we can get a consensus on who needs what we can stop fighting each other for grant money to get our projects fixed.”

According to Murphy, there was an attempt to form a coalition of the small towns last year by James Newkirk, an Edwardsport council members, but the effort was stifled due to lack of interest.

But Murphy believes that this won’t be an issue.

“I think we’ve got enough interest now,” he said. “I’ve talked with just about every council except Decker and everyone seems to be on board.”

“I think the coalition is a good idea,” said Edwardsport Town Council President Jen Holscher. “We’re all facing the same problems with needing new infrastructure and having limited funds. Working together is always worth considering.”

“We’re interested, big time,” said Oaktown Council President Tim Waldroup. “We’ll jump in with both feet. It seems like Vincennes comes first and when it comes to the rest of the towns there’s a we’ll-get-to-it attitude.

“I believe that if the little towns band together it will mean a considerable amount of votes and will be a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

“I believe this will work if we get enough (interest) to make it worthwhile,” said Monroe City Town Council Bill Sampson. “Combining will give us the opportunity to buy in bulk and save some money and give us a bigger voice in the county government as long as participation is high.

"If we only have two or three it’s not going to make much difference,” he said. “I know (Murphy is) really going after this and I hope he gets it together. If he does, I’ll participate.”

“I think this is a great Idea,” Decker Town Council President Bob Dent said. “All of the small towns are in the same predicament and this might give us some good ideas. It’s possible that this could save us some money and give us a bigger voice in the county government.

"I like to know what the other towns are doing in their government,” he said. “We can always use ideas.

“Our town has come a long way,” Dant said. “For a while it was getting pretty shabby, but now we have our streets in better shape and ... we’ve just come a long way and I’m sure this can help us continue that.”

Representatives from Wheatland and Sandborn could not be reached for comment.

Copyright 2015 Vincennes Sun Commercial

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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