TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

SEPTEMBER  22, 2016    6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

345 N MORTON STREET

SHIPSHEWANA, IN  46565

 

PRESENT:  Council; Roger D. Yoder, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher.  Staff; Mike Sutter, Kurt R. Bachman, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Marvin Yoder, Guy Thompson, George Bachman.

 

Council President, R. Yoder called the meeting to order, noted that all Council Members were present, welcomed everyone, and asked that they sign in.  Agendas were available.

 

INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  J.M. Wilcher gave the invocation and L. Bontrager led the pledge.

 

PUBLIC HEARING 2017 BUDGET:  R. Yoder opened the public hearing and asked Clerk-Treasurer R. Downey to give a brief summary of the 2017 Budget.  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a copy of Budget Form #3 along with Budget Form #1 and reported that the 2017 budget was put together with the help of Town Financial Consultant Greg Guerrettaz, along with input from the Town Manager, department heads, and the Town Council.  This is the first year that SBOA and the DLGF are taking circuit breaker into consideration when working through and approving the Budget.  You will notice that the totals on Budget Form #1 do not match the amount advertised on Budget Form #3 for those funds supported by taxes.  That is because Form #3 subtracts the dollar amounts on your Form #1’s listed for circuit breaker.  Keep in mind that the SBOA will not approve a budget higher than what is advertised on Form #3.   With the help of the Town Financial Consultant the Town of Shipshewana has included circuit breaker in their budget for the past several years, it has been a line item on our Form #1 that I knew was not to be spent.  This year when the budget is approved the appropriation line item for circuit breaker will just be zeroed out. The budget growth factor for 2017 is 3.8%, for 2016 the growth factor was 2.6%.  This number is set by the State and it controls how much your tax supported funds can grow.  Due to the annexation to SR 5 & US 20 we are petitioning to appeal for an increase above the maximum levy for the 2017 Budget in the amount of $45,000.00.  Should this be approved in full by the State it will allow for an additional $35,000.00 in the General Fund and an additional $5,000.00 in both the MVH and Fire Funds to help cover the cost of services to this newly annexed area.  There are no major changes in the 2017 Budget but there are two new funds.  One Fund is the Special LOIT Distribution Fund which is to be used for road improvements.  The money in this fund is a one-time special distribution from the State.     The second fund is titled Local Income Tax and currently has no cash in it.  This Fund will only receive revenue if the County decides to pass a Local Income Tax for Public Safety.  If the County doesn’t pass the tax the fund will not receive any money, since it is something that the County is considering we were trying to be pro-active.     R. Yoder asked for input from the public regarding the 2017 Budget.   There being no public input, R. Yoder closed the public hearing portion of the meeting.

 

  1. Yoder asked for a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Yoder asked for corrections or additions to the July 28, 2016 or September 8, 2016 Town Council minutes. Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the July 28, 2016 and the September 8, 2016 Town Council meeting minutes as presented.   C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

APPROVE & SIGN MAIN STREET PAVING AGREEMENT:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork for the Agreement for the East Main Street Improvements.  The contractor Pulver Asphalt Paving Inc. plans on beginning this project next Thursday, by milling and putting down the first coat of asphalt, concrete work will be done the week of October 9th.  Weather permitting final paving will be done by the third week of October.  The contract amount is $82,095.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve and sign the Agreement Form for the East Main Street Improvements in the amount of $82,095.00 between Pulver Asphalt Paving, Inc. and the Town of Shipshewana.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

LEAF PICK-UP SCHEDULE:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork and reported that leaf pick-up will begin the week of October 9th with scheduled pickups on Tuesdays and Thursdays weather permitting.  Staff will be out more often during the heavy leaf fall.  They will do one section of Town at a time and cannot cover the whole Town in one day.  They will pick up leaves only.  Leaves are to be raked into piles and left at the edge of the road.  Piles with grass clippings, plants, twigs, etc. will be left and it is the property owner’s responsibility to take them out to the compost site by the WWTP.  Discussion followed.

 

WATER DEPARTMENT TAP KIT PURCHASE:  M. Sutter reported that by purchasing a Tap Kit Town employees would be able make the tap to the Water Main for up to a 2” tap.  Most residential connections and some business and industrial connections will be under 2”.  The larger taps would still have to be done by a contractor.  In your paperwork you will find two quotes for an Aqua-tap Standard Machine.  One quote is from Utility Supply at $1,995.00 and the second quote is from USA Bluebook at a cost of $2,195.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the low quote and purchase an Aqua-tap Kit from Utility Supply Company in the amount of $1,995.00 for the Water Department.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SET 2017 RATE FOR EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PROGRAM:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a letter from Edward Jones regarding Required Employee Notification for the Town’s SIMPLE IRA Plan and reported that any changes to the plan must be made before October 20th.  As the Employer you have two option with the SIMPLE IRA Plan.  #1. Make a 2% non-elective contribution to all eligible employees, or:  #2 make a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution up to 3% of compensation to those employees who participate in the plan.  Historically the Town has gone with the matching contribution up to 3%.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to continue with the 3% dollar for dollar match for 2017 for the Town Employee SIMPLE IRA plan.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TRICK-OR-TREAT HOURS:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a notice regarding Halloween in the Museum which will be held on Saturday October 29th from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum.  Halloween falls on Monday this year, historically Trick-or-Treat hours in Town have been held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to set Trick-or-Treat in Town of Shipshewana for Monday, October 31st from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.   J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

UTILITY BILLING CLERK POSITION – UPDATE:  R. Downey reported that the Town received seven resumes for the Utility Billing Clerk position.  With assistance from the Town Manager interviews were held with five applicants and we had two individuals come in for second interviews earlier today.  The position has been offered to and accepted by Carmen Pearson of Howe, IN with a start date of October 3rd.   A Wage and Salary Ordinance Amendment will be prepared for the Council’s consideration at our next meeting.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the hiring of Carmen Pearson for the Utility Billing Clerk position with the Town effective October 3, 2016 at an hourly rate of $11.50 per hour.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey requested that the Council consider approval of a Petition To Appeal For An Increase Above The Maximum Levy due to the annexation along SR 5 to US 20.  The amount of the levy increase we are requesting is $45,000.00.  This request must be submitted to the DLGF by October 20th.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the Petition To Appeal For An Increase Above The Maximum Levy due to the annexation along SR 5 to US 20 for the 2017 Budget in the amount of $45,000.00 with the increase in levy going to the General Fund – $35,000.00, MVH Fund – $5,000.00, and Fire Fund – $5,000.00.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey reported that a motion had been made at the last Council meeting to make a donation to the LaGrange County CVB in the amount of $100.00 to be used at an Ice-Cream Social which is to be part of the Indiana Bi-Centennial Celebration. When we followed up with the LaGrange County CVB they said that the check should be made to the SAHS not to them. I am requesting that a motion be made correcting who the Town is making the donation to for this event.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to correct the motion made at the last Council meeting regarding a $100.00 donation to the LaGrange County CVB for an Ice Cream Social that is part of the Indiana Bi-Centennial celebration.  The donation is to be made to the SAHS for this event.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey reported that the current computer program used by the Town for the Town Budget was installed in 1999. In August I received a letter from Boyce Systems regarding the need to upgrade our Key-Budget program to the Key-Fund program because they are no longer enhancing the Key-Budget program. They have held their special upgrade pricing but it will go up January 1, 2017.  I requested a quote from Boyce regarding the cost to upgrade to Key-Fund program and they have quoted $6,750.00 which includes 3 days onsite for installation and training.  The quote is dated August 26th and is only good for 60 days.  I talked with Judy Berry from Boyce and she assured me that this quote is just a letter of intent and it is not legally binding but it does allow them to schedule the installation, probably for March of 2017, and hold the price of the program.  Due to the age of the computers in the office I believe it would be best to replace our computers this year and then upgrade to the new software next year.  I will need assistance from the Tech committee to determine what computers should be purchased for the office.  Tonight I am requesting approval of the Quote for the Key-Fund program for the Town books so that we can hold the price for an update sometime in March of 2017.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve and authorized the Council President to sign the Quote from Boyce Systems for the Key-Fund program upgrade for the Town books so we can hold the price at $6,750.00 for installation of the new program after January 1, 2017.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey reported that adoption of the 2017 Budget will take place at the October 13th Council meeting along with a Public Hearing for Additional Appropriations in the TCO Fund. R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the August Fund Report and requested a motion to approve the Claims Register and Adjustment Journals. Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the Claims Register and Adjustment Journals as submitted.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  M. Sutter referred Council members to their paper work for a Policy Statement regarding Water and/or Sewer Connection Fees.  With Council approval this statement will be added to the Town Standards Manual and will be part of Town Standards Manual.  This Policy Statement prohibits shared lateral connections for both utilities.  It also addresses when a commercial or industrial user expands their facility by adding onto the original site that no additional connection fees will be charged as long as the expansion is physically part of the original structure.  However if the expansion entails a separately free standing building a new connection fee shall be charged.  It also allows for additional connection fees to be charged in cases where there is a large increase in the number of devices that require utility services for example hotels, motels, event space or camp ground expansions to name a few.  This is Policy Statement #1.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve Policy Statement #1 as presented regarding Water and/or Sewer Connection fees and shared laterals to become a part of the Town Standards Manual effective immediately.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter referred Council Members to Policy #2 regarding prohibiting the issuance of an occupancy permit by LaGrange County for a new building or house hooking into Town Utilities until the water and/or sewer lines and connections have been approved by the Town of Shipshewana staff or Town designee. We will have to work with the county regarding enforcement for this procedure. These standards will be provided to anyone coming in for new connection to Town utility service.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to Adopt Policy #2 regarding connection and inspection of utility lines prior to an occupancy permit being issue by the LaGrange County Building Department and for the same to be added to the Town Standards Manual effective immediately.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bruns had nothing further to report.

 

  1. Yoder asked Council Members if they had anything further to bring before the Council. J.M. Wilcher requested that a date be set for a Town Council Workshop. Discussion followed.   A. Town Council Workshop was set for September 29th at 3:30 p.m.  A thank you was extended to Street Superintendent Rodger Owsley for a job well done keeping up with pot-holes.  Discussion followed.

 

County Council Member G. Bachman reported that CR 200 is on schedule and should be completed next month.  The County has been holding Budget hearings for the 2017 County Budget.  On October 10th there will be a Public Hearing regarding passing a Local Option Income Tax.  If it passes it will help cover security cost at the Court House, the Sheriffs Pension Fund, provide funding for Fire Department pagers, and other public safety items.  I don’t know what kind of support we will have for this tax but I feel it is necessary.  A portion of the funds collected will be passed onto the four incorporated Towns for Public Safety if it passes.  Discussion followed.  M. Sutter asked if it would be appropriate for the Town Council to send a letter of support to the county for the LOIT.  K. Bachman reported that the estimated amount that the four incorporated Towns will split if this tax passes is between $405,000.00 to $410,000.00.  This money will be distributed to the Towns based on their relative attributed levy, only if the County adopts this tax.  G. Bachman pointed out that the State has given us the ability to raise our own taxes to cover public safety issues.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to write a letter of support on behalf of the Town Council to the LaGrange County Council regarding the passage of a Public Safety LOIT in LaGrange County.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Yoder asked if there was any further business to come before the Council. There being no further business to come before the Council R. Yoder asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to adjourn.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.