SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 23 2017  6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

345 N MORTON STREET

SHIPSHEWANA, IN  46565

 

PRESENT:  Council; C. Arlene Lazzaro, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, Tad T. Hite.  ABSENT:  Council; J. Mike Wilcher, Staff; Mike Sutter.  PRESENT:  Staff; Kurt R. Bachman, Tom M. Fitch II, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Ralph Eash, Ernie Lambright, Marvin W. Yoder, Scott Miller, Lora Gales, Keith Lambright, Denise Fedarow, Reagan A. Sharick, Richard Muntz, Dylan Dunn, Erik Mellinger, Kenny Stutzman, Isaiah Lehman, Elmer Schwartz, Ryan Riegsecker, Christine A. Yoder.

 

Council President, C.A. Lazzaro called the meeting to order.  Noted that Council Member J. Mike Wilcher was absent, all other Council Members were present.  C. A. Lazzaro welcomed everyone and asked that they sign in.

 

INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  L. Bontrager gave the invocation and E. Mast led the pledge.

 

C.A. Lazzaro made the following statement before starting with the agenda items.

 

During these past few weeks this Council has been raked through the coals in social media, letters to the editor and discussions amongst people.  The main things that people think we are against are The Amish and Tourism.  Nowhere in this Ordinance will you find the word Amish.  We have never tried to change anything about the Amish way of life or their presence in this Town.  As for tourism, we all know that Shipshewana is what it is today because of tourism.  We moved here 45 years-ago and I had never heard of this Town.  Now it is known by thousands of people, not just in this country and many others, so I ask you, “Why would this Council be against the one thing that has made our Town what it is.”  This Council has been elected by the 650 some people that live here.  It is our job to provide for the safety and well-being of the residents of Shipshewana.  It is also our job to give them the best life they can have by supplying them with safe water, safe streets and any other infrastructure necessary for the quality of life they expect.

 

We will now turn our thoughts to the agenda and consider what we need to do about this Carriage for Hire Ordinance.

 

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

 

SECOND READING CARRIAGE FOR HIRE:  C.A. Lazzaro asked for comments from the Carriage for Hire owners or the Pedi-cab owner.

 

Scott Miller of Millers Buggy Line expressed concern regarding designated routes and suggested just letting them know what streets not to go on.   S. Miller felt that the five-carriage limit impedes growth and pointed out that rubber shoes are more for the fields than on the roads.  He also felt that there needs to be more communication between the Council and business owners.

 

Kenny Stutzman of the Boardwalk at 140 N. Harrison Street would like to see 5 members on the committee rather than just 3.  He also had with him a Horse & Buggy manual that he uses for training and requires his drivers to follow.  K. Stutzman recommended resting this case or tabling the Ordinance to address it later, on a one to one basis.  I know most of the Council Members and feel we can work together.

 

Ryan Riegsecker of Riegsecker Carriage expressed concern regarding approved routes and recommended trying to stay off certain residential streets.  Flexible routes would be helpful.  R. Riegsecker also expressed concern regarding the maximum number of carriages and recommended doing less licenses so those who have a license could have more carriages to allow for growth.  R. Riegsecker reported that they did try rubber horse shoes several years ago, and we had some issues including keeping the horses healthy.  He pointed out that there would be no noticeable impact on the Town Streets if the rubber shoes are only on the carriages for hire.  R. Riegsecker expressed dislike for the whole process and pointed out that to fix the problem we need to talk.

 

Pedi-cab owner Isaiah Lehman reported that his operation is more of a transportation service rather than a tour.  A pre-approved route will not work.  I. Lehman expressed concern regarding the 18-year age requirement for drivers and pointed out that with the Pedi-cab you do not have the same risk as you have with a live animal.

 

Christina A. Yoder of State Street reported that she does not have a carriage for hire but she does have a vehicle for hire.  There are rules and regulations, both state and federal that I must follow to keep my passengers safe and other people on the roads safe.  I am required to have a vehicle inspection as well as pass a physical to be sure I don’t have an issue that may have a negative effect on the people I’m driving.  You must be 21 years old to have a license to haul passengers for hire.  We live in a community where you are allowed to make mistakes and grace is extended.  The people who come to enjoy our community may be more likely to sue someone should something happen, first they would sue the carriage company and then they would go after the Town.

 

Richard Muntz expressed issues with the liability requirements, the insurance carriers should specify the appropriate amount of coverage.  R. Muntz suggested if we require a license we should only require a minimum amount of insurance.  Let the insurance carries dictate who can operate the carriage.  In this community, you will find it will be older or younger gentlemen that will be the drivers who are available.  Those in the 16+ age go work for the RV industry where they can make more money.  Let the industry regulate itself.

 

Council Member L. Bontrager responded it is not that we are not willing to talk, this started a month ago, you could have contacted us by calling the office.  I have only had two people contact me.  When it comes to the age requirement I am not willing to give.  The horse shoe portion of the Ordinance does not go into effect until January 2018 so we have time to do our homework.  As far as the routes go if we see wear and tear in one area, the committee may ask you to consider another route.  This Council has been called names and have been threatened to lose our jobs, that is just inappropriate.

 

Council Member T. Hite agreed with what L. Bontrager had said and noted his understanding of the route approval would be tied to watching where the streets are wearing down and asking a driver to take an alternate route.  All Ordinances can be amended.  T. Hite also expressed frustration regarding the public comments and reported that only two people had contacted him since this started and that was Kenny Stutzman and Ryan Riegsecker, today Phil Miller contacted me.  People just like to be heard in a meeting rather than taking the effort to come talk to us.

 

Council Member E. Mast agreed with the comments made by Council Members L. Bontrager and T. Hite and thanked the Council and Town Manager for all their efforts to bring this Ordinance forward.  The Ordinance has been reviewed line by line by the Council and there is room for an appeal.  This Ordinance is both encompassing and relaxed.  I am not willing to budge.

 

Council President C. A. Lazzaro reminded everyone that the Ordinance can be amended.  I don’t know how the vote will go but we can still negotiate and make changes as necessary going forward.  C. A. Lazzaro asked Pedi-cab owner Isiah Lehman if he had talked to the Town Manager before he had started his business.  I. Lehman reported that he had.

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked for a roll call vote on the Carriage for Hire Ordinance to pass, table or reject.

 

Council Member L. Bontrager made a motion, seconded by Council Member E. Mast to have final passage and adoption of the Carriage for Hire Ordinance, designated as Ordinance “IV-D-1-b(1)”.

 

“IV-D-1-b(1)” having been read in full was then placed upon its final passage, and on call of the roll the vote for the adoption of said Ordinance was as follows:

 

AYES:  Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, C. Arlene Lazzaro.

NAYS:  Tad T. Hite.

 

There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the members elect of the Town Council and “IV-D-1-b(1)” having been passed, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO THE SHIPSHEWANA CARRIAGE COMMITTEE:  C.A. Lazzaro appointed Lynn M. Bontrager as the Town Council representative, Tom M. Fitch II or his designee as the Police Department representative and Ryan Riegsecker as the Business Owner representative.  C.A. Lazzaro reminded everyone that there may be things that need tweaking in this Ordinance and it is amendable.  Please contact the committee members with further questions or concerns.  C. A. Lazzaro expressed displeasure with the posts and remarks on Kenny Stutzman’s Facebook page, many comments were made by people who don’t live here.  We as a Council will make mistakes and we will work to resolve them.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the appointment made to the Carriage Committee by Council President, C.A. Lazzaro as follows:  Council Representative, Lynn M. Bontrager, Police Department Representative Tom M. Fitch II or his designee, and Business Owner Representative Ryan Riegsecker.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT PURCHASES:  Marshal, T. Fitch II passed out four (4) quotes along with a summary page for Helmet purchases for the Police Department.  T. Fitch II reported with all that is going on now we need six (6) helmets for the department.  The low quote is from Galls at $223.34 per helmet for a total cost of $1,340.04.  This equipment would be paid from Police Supplies $1,000.00 and the Police Gift Fund $340.04.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion approving the purchase of six (6) helmets for the Police Department at a cost of $223.34 per helmet from Galls, Inc. for a total cost of $1,340.04 with $1,000.00 being paid from Police Supplies and $340.04 being paid from the Police Gift Fund.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  T. Hite abstained from the vote due to submitting a quote.  AYES:  E. Mast, L. Bontrager, C.A. Lazzaro.   Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  Marshal, T. Fitch II requested that anyone with any information regarding the recent burglaries here in Town be sure to contact the Police Department, we believe there may be a link to the guns taken from Dutchman Hunting.  There is a $10,000.00 reward should the information lead to the arrest and conviction of those involved in these burglaries.  Discussion followed.

 

LIFT STATION CONTROL PANEL UPGRADE:  Clerk-Treasurer, R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a proposal from Middlebury Electric, Inc. of Goshen, IN.  Upgrading the control panels at our lift stations is an on-going program for the Town.  Our goal is to upgrade one (1) or two (2) lift stations a year.  Middlebury Electric is the company who has done other control panel upgrades for the Town and they also do repair work on the lift stations.  This upgrade would be for Lift #4 located on SR 5 by the Old Fire Station.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the installation of a new control panel for Lift Station #4 located on SR 5 by the Old Fire Station by Middlebury Electric, Inc. of Goshen, IN in the amount of $12,823.00 and authorized the Council President to sign the proposal.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

STREET LIGHT PROGRAM:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a letter dated February 22, 2017 from Town Manager, Mike Sutter regarding required Street Lighting.  The Town is required to provide street lights in business areas, due to the Miller/King annexation and our annexation to US 20 south on SR 5 more street lights are needed.  NIPSCO services the area along SR 5 south to US 20, there are three existing poles that will be used on the west side of SR 5 for lights and a light will be replaced at the corner of Berkshire Drive and SR 5.   There is no upfront cost for this project because NIPSCO includes a lamp charge of $1.74 per month above their charge for electric usage.  The estimated cost per fixture is $14.50 per month.   The Miller/King annexation area is serviced by NIPSCO and LaGrange County REMC along the Morton Street extension.  NIPSCO will be installing three poles on the west side of Morton Street extension in the area they service and once again there will be no up-front cost.  LaGrange County REMC will install 3 poles in their service area along the Morton Street extension on the East side of the road at a cost of $6,442.46.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to authorize NIPSCO to proceed with the installation of 3 street lights on SR 5 south to US 20, to upgrade the light at the corner of SR 5 and Berkshire Drive, and to proceed with the installation of 3 street lights along the Morton Street extension, and to approve the Work Order as submitted by LaGrange County REMC to install 3 street lights along the Morton Street extension at a cost of $6,442.46 and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

BARRICADE & STREET CONE PURCHASE:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for two quotes for traffic cones & barricades.  It is my understanding that a third quote was requested but never received.  The first quote is from Grainger, Inc. of Waterloo, IA and Michael Todd & Company, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska.  We need more traffic cones and barricades so we have enough for the parades and other special events in Town.  Michael Todd is the low quote at $2,578.00.  The Grainger quote is $4,683.50.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to purchase the barricades and traffic cones per the quote from Michael Todd & Company in the amount of $2,578.00 and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

CANCELLATION OF OUTSTANDING WARRANTS:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a list of the Outstanding Warrants.  Per IC 5-11-10.5 all checks outstanding and unpaid for a period of two years as of December 31st, of each year are void.  Not later than March 1st of each year the Clerk-Treasurer shall prepare a list of all checks outstanding.  A copy is to be filed with the Town Council.  We have three outstanding 2014 checks for a total amount of $159.24.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the Cancellation of Outstanding Warrants as presented by the Clerk-Treasurer in the total amount of $159.24.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SIDEWALK & CURB REPAIR:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a letter from Town Manager, Mike Sutter dated February 22, 2017 regarding Sidewalk and Curb Repair.  Only two quotes were received for this project.  One quote is from J.P. Custom Concrete & Trucking, LLC of Wolcottville, IN in the amount of $2,750.00 plus $15.00 per running foot for curb repair on Middlebury Street.  The second quote is from D&R Miller Concrete, Inc. of Shipshewana in the amount of $3,451.00 with no quote included for the curb repair on Middlebury Street.   These quotes also include some drainage work at Berkshire Drive and Parkway, that part of the project will be paid from Storm Water Funds with the rest coming out of the CEDIT and MVH Funds.  In 2017 $10,000.00 has been set aside for sidewalk/curb repairs.  J.P. Concrete is the low quote and the only complete quote because they have included the price for the curb repair.  The motion for approval should include expenditures up to $10,000.00 to allow for as much curb repair as possible along Middlebury Street.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the quote from J.P. Custom Concrete & Trucking LLC of Wolcottville, IN for up to $10,000.00 for sidewalk and curb repair in the Town of Shipshewana and authorized the Council President to sign the same.   L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that we have had a separate bond for the Redevelopment Commission in the past.  It is not necessary to have a separate bond so the Redevelopment Commission Members have been added to the Town Blanket Bond.  Their previous Auto Owner’s Policy has been cancelled.  I am requesting a motion to approve the replacement schedule for the Town Blanket Bond for Excess Indemnity.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the replacement Blanket Bond Schedule for Excess Indemnity which now includes Redevelopment Commission Members and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a copy of the Cash & Investments Combined Statement for 2016 that has already been in the LaGrange papers and reported that the Annual Report for 2016 was submitted to Gateway on February 21, 2017. The 2017 Budget approval was received on February 14th and is in your paperwork along with a copy of the 2017 Tax Rates per taxing district.  Last in your paperwork is a Non-Compliance Closure Letter for the WWTP regarding an effluent limitation violation in October of 2016.  The Town has complied with the terms of the letter and the matter is now closed.  A motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals would be appreciated.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals as submitted.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

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

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked Council Members if they had anything further to bring before the Council.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion, seconded by Council Member E. Mast, that any requirements for a second or third reading be waived and that all rules of the Council, be suspended.  Motion carried.

 

There being no further business to come before the Council C.A. Lazzaro asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

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