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Bluffton elects a mayor and five-member Common Council, a clerk-treasurer and a City Court judge. The mayor heads the executive branch and the city council is the legislative branch and makes all appropriations. The mayor appoints two persons to serve with him on the Bluffton Board of Public Works and Safety, which manages the city utilities, authorizes and contracts for purchases, and approves payment of bills. The clerk-treasurer is the city’s financial officer, issuing checks and serving as secretary for the city council and board of works. The City Court judge operates the court, which has jurisdiction on city ordinances and on traffic cases. The mayor and clerk-treasurer are full-time positions.


Ted Ellis (D), Mayor, City Hall, 128 E. Market St., Bluffton, 824-1520. Home address: 1507 Highland Court, Bluffton, phone 824-3839. Email:

Tamara Runyon (R), Clerk-Treasurer, City Hall, 128 E. Market St., Bluffton, 824-0612.  Home address: 127 E. Wiley Ave., Bluffton, 824-0053.  Email:

Robert Bate (R), City Court Judge, Police-Fire Building, 200 E. Market St., Bluffton, 824-3392. Email:

John Whicker (R), 1st District Common Council.  Home address: 510 Channing Way, Bluffton, 824-5742.  Email:

Carl W. Perry (R), 2nd District Common Council. Home address: 42 Hi-Lo Drive, Bluffton, 824-2822. Email:

Michael Morrissey (D), 3rd District Common Council. Home address: 426 W. Spring St., Bluffton, 824-4067. Email:

James Phillabaum (D), 4th District Common Council and Common Council president. Home address: 1125 Summit Ave., Bluffton, 824-4244. Email:

Melanie Durr (D), Common Council at-large, 421 E. Central Ave., Bluffton, 824-1525. Email:

All eight Bluffton elected officials are elected for four-year terms at the same time. The last election was in 2015 for terms which expire at the end of 2019. The next municipal election will be in 2019. Each district council member must reside in that district and is elected by only the voters in that district. The at-large council member and the mayor, clerk-treasurer and City Court judge are elected citywide.

The Bluffton Common Council meets at 7:30 p.m. every other Tuesday in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 128 E. Market St. The Bluffton Board of Public Works and Safety,  composed of Mayor Ted Ellis and Common Council members James Phillabaum and Melanie Durr, meets at 1:15 p.m. each Tuesday in the board room at City Hall, 128 E. Market St.

The mayor’s assistant and secretary is Brenda Jackson. Her email address is

The city attorney is Tony Crowell.


The city of Bluffton operates three utilities — electric, water and sewage. Working hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The city also bills for trash and recycling pickup. Regular office hours at the Utility Office are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 824-2500. Emergencies during after hours and weekends should be reported to the Bluffton Police Department by calling 824-3320.

Jon Oman is operations manager of Bluffton Utilities in City Hall, 128 E. Market St. Phone: 824-2500. Email: utilities1@

For new residential service, a deposit of $150 is required. If you have a reference from previous utility service or a good credit report, the deposit is only $25. The deposit is refundable when leaving Bluffton Utilities.

A temporary connection to the electric utility is $50.

Taps into the water utility of 5/8″ to 3/4″ are $750. The cost of others is according to material and costs.

For sewer tap inquiries and fees, contact the Bluffton Utilities office.

Earnest Castle is the wastewater superintendent. The phone number is 824-6057. Email:


Ted Smith is the city’s building commissioner. He has an office at Wells Carnegie Government Annex, 223 W. Washington St., and his phone number is 824-6068. Email:


The Street Department is at 1205 S. Wayne St., phone 824-0714. Tim Simpson is the street commissioner. Working hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Emergencies after hours and weekends should be reported to the Bluffton Police Department by calling 824-3320. Email:

Brush and Limbs Pickup: These are collected by the Street Department the first 10 days of the month, April through November, as conditions allow. Brush and limbs should be placed out on the first day of each month. Items are collected as weather and volume permits.

Leaves will be collected in 2018 according to your trash pickup days. If your trash/recycling day is Monday, your leaves will be picked up the weeks of Oct. 8 and Nov. 5. If your trash/recycling day is Tuesday, your leaves will be picked up the weeks of Oct. 15 and Nov. 12. If your trash/recycling day is Wednesday, your leaves will be picked up the weeks of Oct. 22 and Nov. 19.

Trash (garbage) and recycling services are weekly services provided by National Serv-All; the company’s toll-free phone number is 800-876-9001. The garbage and recycling fee is $15 per month per residence, with that amount covering both garbage and recycling.

Trash and recyclables are picked up on the following schedule:

• Monday — Homes north of the river.

• Tuesday — Homes south of the river, west of Wayne Street and north of Wiley Avenue.

• Wednesday — Homes south of Wiley Avenue and west of Wayne Street. Also, homes east of Wayne Street.

If a pickup day falls on or follows a holiday, trash and recyclables will  be collected on the following day.

Unlimited bagged trash pickup is scheduled for May 7, 8, and 9; Oct. 8, 9, and 10; and Dec. 26, 27, and 31.

Wells County maintains a dropoff recycling center at 702 W. Wabash St. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. The center is closed on Monday. You can contact the recycling center at 824-4828.

The Wells County Solid Waste District will have a household hazardous materials collection day. It is usually held on a Saturday morning in May at the parking lot of the Bluffton Middle School.

The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) provides natural gas service in Bluffton. For 24-hour customer service, call toll-free 800-464-7726. For gas leak emergencies only, call 800-634-3524.

Bluffton has telephone service from AdamsWells Telecom, 565-3131, and AT&T, 800-288-2020.

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Police-Fire Building, 204 E. Market St., phone (non-emergency) 824-3320. Nathan Huss is the police chief; his email is Kyle Randall is the deputy police chief. Other members of the Bluffton Police Department are Sgts. Mike Miller, Brent Archbold, and Jason Baker; Detectives Andrew Ellis and Cliff Thomas; School Resource Officer Bruce Holland; and officers Greg Steele, Geoff Gilbert, Josh Smith, Travis Ford, Marijean Tipton, Philip Kurut, Jeffrey Belda, Benjamin Griner, Justin Pitman, Amanda Ballard, and Ethan Daggett. Jim Mettler is the ordinance enforcement officer. Dispatchers are Adam McCartney (911 director), Christine Bennett, Andrea Garrett, Dan Green, Kim Noble, Tonia Evans, Michelle Ripple, Devin Smith, Megan Hunter, Courtney Carpenter and Tiffany Bost. Ordinance enforcement officer: Jim Mettler. Secretary/court clerk: Jennifer Krinn.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Police-Fire Building, 204 E. Market St, phone (non-emergency) 824-6050. Don Craig is the fire chief; his email is Chris Wolf is the deputy fire chief.; his email is Engineers are Kurt Beer, Tim Franklin, Ryan Stahly, Brian Ehrman, Jim Platt, and Dane Zoda. Kelly engineers are Kevin Osborn and Mike Moriarity. Squad 1 — Capt. Jesse Marley, Lt. Zach Gaskill, Kyle Morphew, Dallas Moser, Cory Parteko, and Adam Heyerly. Squad 2 — Capt. Justin King, Lt. Ryan Crist, Denny Gerwig, Shane Bennett, Jordan Ehrman, Bryan Speidel, and Landon Eads. Squad 3 — Capt. Mike Harris, Lt. Justin Gerdom, Kelly Thompson, Joshua Moriarity, Jeremy Wolf and Justin Speidel. Squad 4 — Capt. Brandon Mechling, Lt. Derick Marshall, William France, Jeremy Heckel, Brian Hubble, and Zach Lewis.


The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department office is in City Hall, 128 E. Market St., phone 824-6069. Pam Vanderkolk is the superintendent.

The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Board members are Susan Campbell, Rick McEvoy, John Gerber and Christine Zadylak.  The board meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 128 E. Market St. The board is in charge of operating and maintaining the Bluffton city parks and the Wells Community Swimming Pool.

Bluffton parks are:

Rotary Park — River Road and Orchard Drive.

Kehoe Park — 400 N. Main St.

Veterans Park — Main and Arnold streets.

Washington Park — 310 E. Ohio St.

Jefferson Park — 315 E. Horton St.

Lions Park — 228 Midway St.

Roush Park — 925 W. Silver St.

Wells Community Swimming Pool — 310 W. Spring St.

Wabash River Park — 225 E. Wabash St.

Angel of Hope — Bennett and Wabash streets

Pickett’s Run (splash pad and fitness trail) — East Washington Street.

Lancaster Park — 200 E. Jackson St.

The Bluffton Parks-Wells Community Pool superintendent is Pam Vanderkolk; phone, 824-6069; email,


The Bluffton-Wells County Animal Shelter, 1613 W. Cherry St., Bluffton, IN 46714 (phone 260-824-6063) is a joint facility of the Bluffton and Wells County governments, which share the costs. Tina Morris, manager/animal control officer; her email address is Other animal control officers are Kyle Morphew and Benjamin Valentine.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to  5:30 p.m. Friday.

Services offered at the shelter include animal control, adoption, reclaiming, neutering, and microchipping.

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