SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL

APRIL 27, 2017  6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

ROGER D. YODER COUNCIL ROOM

345 N. MORTON STREET

SHIPSHEWANA, IN  46565

 

 

PRESENT:  Council; C. Arlene Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager.  Staff; Tom M. Fitch II, Mike Sutter, Kurt R. Bachman, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Keith Lambright, George Bachman, Mike Elkins, Jonathan Anderson, Collin Saxman, Andre Yoder.  ABSENT:  Council; Tad T. Hite.

 

Council President C.A. Lazzaro called the meeting to order and noted that Council Member Tad T. Hite was absent, all other Council Members were present.  C.A. Lazzaro 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.

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked for a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.

 

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

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked for corrections or additions to the April 13th Council meeting minutes.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to accept the April 13, 2017 minutes as presented.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch reported that the department is getting ready for Mayfest.  I have attended several Mayfest planning meetings and communication lines seem to open for what should be a successful event.  T. Fitch passed out information to Council Members from Kingman Storage, LLC. of Elkhart, IN regarding used storage trailers and reported that he has been trying to get more storage space for the Police Department.  The use of storage containers would be about ½ the cost of building a storage barn.  I am requesting approval to purchase two 40’ one-trip containers at $4,500.00 each to be placed at the Firing Range or Compost Site.    These containers are sealed and are normally used to ship cargo across the ocean, they would provide the storage space we need.  I have checked on storage containers from other companies and due to the distance their shipping fees are much higher than the $150.00 per unit Kingman Storage, LLC is charging to ship the containers from Elkhart.  Now that the State Police no longer store their bomb truck in our garage, and with the purchase of these two storage containers we should be able to wash our cars, etc. without having to move everything in the garage around.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey reported money to purchase the storage containers would come from the CCD Fund where money has been set aside for a Police Storage Barn.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to purchase two 40’ one-trip/new Storage Trailers at a cost of $4,500.00 each plus shipping at $150.00 each for a total cost of $9,300.00 from Kingman Storage, LLC of Elkhart, IN with payment coming from the CCD Fund.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

  1. Fitch reported that the police cars are running well, but I understand we have run into a problem with the sale of the 2009 police car. We have been very busy already, people have been pan handling uptown and others trying to sell door to door. People who want to sell items within the Town limits must register with the Town, this doesn’t mean it won’t be a scam of some kind but we will have contact information here at the Town Hall to follow up when necessary.  There have also been several calls regarding suspicious people in stores.   Discussion followed.  G. Bachman asked if there were any updates regarding the break-ins that occurred about a month ago.  T. Fitch reported the break-ins were not just in Town but also out in the County.  In Town, we were hit on 3 different nights, one night in December and two nights in the middle of January.  One night we had five guys out in Town watching the stores and we still got hit.  We are working with County; five guns have been recovered and we know who the players are.  The burglaries have been connected to some in Elkhart and Michigan as well.  This case is not forgotten we are just waiting to see how the other departments are going to handle it and what their charges will be.  Our hope is to recover the other 10 guns.  Discussion followed.

 

SALE OF 2009 POLICE VEHICLE:  R. Downey reported that the Town had received 9 sealed bids for the sale of the 2009 Dodge Charger, Police Vehicle that were opened at the April 13th Council meeting.   The high bid came from Beth Borchers for $4,800.00.  Administrative Assistant, Charity Elliott called, spoke directly to B. Borchers on Friday April 14th to let her know she was the high bidder and that the car would be ready for pick-up on Monday.  B. Borchers responded positively and said she would be in on Monday with a cashier’s check to pick up the car.  B. Borchers did not show up on Monday so I called her on Tuesday, April 18th to remind her that the car was ready and the call went to voice mail so a message was left and we have not heard from her since.  I was hoping to receive approval from the Council to see if the next highest bidder was still interested.  The next highest bidder was Larry Miller of Burr Oak, MI at $3,025.00.  Attorney, K. Bachman reported that the bid creates a contract between the Town and the purchaser.  The Town will need to get a release from B. Borchers before offering the vehicle to anyone else, should the Town choose we could pursue B. Borchers for the difference.  Discussion followed.  M. Sutter suggested sending a registered letter.   R. Downey reported that B. Borchers did not provide a complete mailing address.  M. Sutter asked if we have no response from the letter is that a release.  Discussion followed.  E. Mast asked if we could make a motion to offer the car to the next highest bidder subject to receiving the release.  K. Bachman recommended dealing with B. Borchers first.  C. A. Lazzaro recommended sending out a registered letter and to report back at the next Council meeting.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to attempt to contact B. Borchers for a release before we pursue the next highest bidder.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

STREET CLOSURE REQUEST:  Big C Lumber Manager, M. Elkins passed out a Proposal for a Tent Event on May 12th which would require the closure of N. Talmadge Street at E Mill and N. Talmadge Street at Main Street.  A Beacon Map was attached to the request with the street closure area highlighted.  There will be a 30 x 60 tent with no stakes on Talmadge Street and portable bathrooms will be located at the north side of the Big C building.  Concession trailers will be located on the west side of the Big C parking lot with trash receptacles provided by Big C Lumber.  Car and buggy parking will be provided and I have talked with both the Riegsecker’s and Kenny Stutzman regarding rerouting their buggy rides from 6 p.m. on May 11 through 6 a.m. on May 13th.  The tent event will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on May 12th.  This Open House is a big event and we would like to do more events in the future.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the street closure request for Big C Lumber involving Talmadge Street at Main and Mill Streets beginning on May 11th after 6 p.m. with the tent being taken down May 13th in the morning.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SUMMER INTERN INTRODUCTIONS:  M. Sutter introduced Trine University Students Collin Saxman from Portland, IN and Jonathan Anderson of LaGrange, IN.  Both students will begin working for the Town on Monday, May 15th.  Collin Saxman will be assigned to the Wastewater Department and Jonathan Anderson to the Water Department, but both will work with the current staff where needed.  I am looking forward to them joining the team for the summer.    Discussion and introductions followed.  R. Downey pointed out that a wage range had been established at a previous meeting and requested a motion officially setting the wage for the Summer Interns.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to set the wages for both Summer Interns at $13.00 per hour with one being paid from the Water Utility and the other from the Wastewater Utility.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

APPROPRIATION TRANSFER ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that it is necessary to transfer money in the General Fund for Tech Support and in the Fire Fund for Miscellaneous Expense.  Discussion followed.

 

President C.A. Lazzaro introduced AN ORDINANCE TRNASFERRING MONIES IN THE GENERAL AND FIRE FUNDS.  Council Member E. Mast made a motion, seconded by Council Member J.M. Wilcher, that said Ordinance be numbered and placed on first reading, and that the same be read in full at this time.  Motion carried.

 

Said Ordinance having been designated as “II-F-1-d(528)” and having been read in full, and the provisions of the same having been considered by the Council, Council Member 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, which unless suspended, might prevent the final passage and adoption of “II-F-1-d(528)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(528)” 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:  Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro.

NAYS:  – 0 –

 

There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the Members elect of the Town Council and “II-F-1-d(528)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

EMPLOYEE REVIEW:  R. Downey reported that Utility Billing-Clerk, Stacey Gerwig has been with the Town for 6 months, she is well versed in daily receipts and continues to work on the monthly Utility Billing responsibilities.  She has proved to be a reliable employee who works well with the customers.  She has received a positive recommendation which allows for a wage increase.  I am recommending a 25 cent per hour raise retro-active to April 24th, she is currently at $10.50 per hour.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve a 25 cent per hour raise for Utility Billing-Clerk, Stacey Gerwig retro-active to April 24th.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SMALL CELL STRUCTURE RESOLUTION:  K. Bachman reported that Shipshewana would be one of the first communities to address this issue and pointed out that this document may have to be amended or repealed at some point.  We have prepared two Resolutions regarding small cell structures for your consideration.  One Resolution says that everywhere in Town that does not have overhead lines must have buried lines and there is no flexibility.  The second Resolution allows a current utility pole to be replaced within a 2’ radius of the current pole.  This Resolution is a preventative action if you decide to regulate small cell structures.  In our area, you don’t see many of these structures but they are popping up around the world and it all has to do with internet and cell service.  The state passed SEA213 last week at the end of the session, now you as a Council must pass something to preserve you right to regulate these structures or you are giving up your right to regulate them.  There is not time to assess the whole Town so we are recommending that you designate the whole Town for underground or buried utilities except for the area’s that already have above ground utilities.  An appeals process can be added later and waivers can be granted.  Discussion followed.    E. Mast pointed out that if we don’t do anything they could put structures all over Town.  I am in favor of the Resolution that includes the 2’ radius allowance for replacement of poles.  Discussion followed.

 

President C.A. Lazzaro introduced A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING CERTAIN AREAS AS “STRICTLY FOR UNDERGROUND OR BURIED UTILITIES.”  Council Member J.M. Wilcher made a motion, seconded by Council Member E. Mast, that said Resolution be numbered and placed on first reading, and that the same be read in full at this time.  Motion carried.

 

Said Resolution having been designated as “VI-H-1-a(3)” and having been read in full, and the provisions of the same having been considered by the Council, Council Member 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, which unless suspended, might prevent the final passage and adoption of “VI-H-1-a(3)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Resolution be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“VI-H-1-a(3)” 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 Resolution was as follows:

 

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

NAYS:  – 0 –

 

There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the members elect of the Town Council and “VI-H-1-a(3)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Resolution to have duly passed and adopted.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that Town Financial Consultant, Greg Guerrattz will be here on May 11th to report on the Annual Utility Rate Reviews and the Sustainability Analysis.   Acceptance of applications for the Town Manager’s position closes at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.  We have received over 25 resumes to date.  The next step will be to set an Executive Session to review the resumes and conduct interviews.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to set an executive session for May 10th at 3:30 p.m. to consider resumes submitted for the Town Manager position.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey requested a motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals as submitted.

 

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

 

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

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  M. Sutter reported that the Town historically has hired an employee to help with the lawn work over the summer.  I am requesting the authority to hire someone, and I recommend that the wage for this position be set at $10.00 per hour.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to hire one summer help employee at $10.00 per hour.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked Council Members if they had anything further to bring before the Council.  E. Mast noted that people have been leaving trash in the compost site.  The compost site is for yard waste only we do not want to have to shut it down because of the abuse by a few.  L. Bontrager reported that a notice regarding the compost site will be sent out with the next Town Utility bill.  Discussion followed.

 

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.