Bassett stays with status quo

BASSETT — Three of Bassett’s 21 citizens attended Monday night’s Thrive Allen County meeting at the home of Joy and Neil Westervelt — percentage-wise, a healthy turnout.
Thrive’s mission to represent the entire county lead to meeting in the Westervelt’s spacious garage, giving an opportunity to hear from residents of the burg immediately south of Iola on old U.S. 169.
Besides the Westervelts, Carol Crawford represented Bassett. The town, incorporated in 1903, is a shadow of its original self when LeHigh Cement employed hundreds of workers. Gone are its churches, grocery store, city park and mansions built for LeHigh executives.
What’s left is privately held land whose owners are content with what is. The city has an annual budget of about $3,000, Crawford said. Its five council members and mayor meet “when needed,” she said, usually on an annual basis to approve the budget.
Maintaining the grass along roadsides is their biggest concern, Crawford said. Unhappy with Allen County maintenance of the grassways, the city recently purchased a Bush Hog to take the responsibility into their own hands.
Maintenance of roads, however, will remain with the county.
The boundaries of Bassett extend from Elm Creek to “my driveway,” said Crawford, who lives at 1821 S. State St., and from the perimeter of Gates Manufacturing to the railroad bed on the west. Gates itself is in the city of Iola.