Official: Town updating ordinances

At first glance, it appeared the town council in Elizabethtown was embarking on a regulation frenzy.

Public-notice advertising published Sept. 1 listed several ordinance changes affecting the southeast Bartholomew County village of 400 residents, including the subject of guns.

Besides firearms, the ordinances also deal with swimming pools, outdoor burning and lowering speed limits.

But instead of creating new regulations, town officials are only attempting to clean up outdated language or definitions in existing ordinances, town council president Fred Barnett said.

These steps are being done to make sure the language in a local ordinance is consistent with any changes made at the county, state and federal levels, Barnett said.

“Nothing that has a different impact on people is being considered,” Barnett said. “It’s just wording.”

For example, the changes being considered to the swimming pool ordinance just alter the height of fences and partitions reflecting county ordinances dealing with the same topic, Barnett said.

While there are exceptions allowed, the gun ordinance being reviewed includes BB guns and air rifles, as well as bows and arrows, as projectile devices that cannot legally be fired within the town, Barnett said.

Some local laws being reviewed this year have not been examined by the town council since the 1970s, the council president said.

Last year, Elizabethtown officials updated the language in ordinances concerning inoperable and unlicensed vehicles, as well as trash and rubbish, Barnett said.

What's next?

The Elizabethtown Town Council will review its local ordinances concerning:

  • Definition of firearms
  • Perimeters of swimming pools
  • Speed limits
  • Outdoor burning

Only changes to ensure the language within local ordinances comply with existing county and state regulations are being considered, council president Fred Barnett said.

The meeting will be held 6 p.m. Monday inside the Elizabethtown Town Hall, 100 West Street. The public is invited to attend. 

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.