SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL

AUGUST 24, 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, Tad T. Hite, Lynn M. Bontrager.  Staff:  Robert W. Shanahan, Kurt R. Bachman, Tom M. Fitch II, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Lora Gates, Keith Lambright, Beth Thornburg, Roberta Markley, Eldon Hostetler Jr., Justin Miller, Gary Miller, Marvin W. Yoder, George R. Bachman, Phil Heyerly, J.C. Jasso, Joanna King.

 

Council President C.A. Lazzaro 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:  L. Bontrager gave the invocation and E. Mast led the pledge.

 

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

 

OLD BUSINESS:

MASTER PLAN UPDATE – PARKS & TOWN – REGION 3-A QUOTES:  B. Shanahan reported that the Parks Master plan expires in April 2018, Region 3-A did our last master plan and their estimated cost to update our plan is $5,000.00.   It is essential to keep this plan current if we want to seek out grant money, for example, for the Pumpkinvine Trail.  I recommend that we pursue a contract with Region 3-A to update the Park Master Plan.  R. Downey reported that money for the project could be taken out of the Park and Food & Beverage Tax Funds.  Paying ½ from the 2017 Budget and ½ from the 2018 Budget would be helpful.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve entering into an agreement with Region 3-A to update the Park Master plan at a cost of $5,000.00.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

HIRE 5TH POLICE OFFICER:  Town Marshal, T. Fitch II reported that he had held interviews with five applicants for the 5th Officer position.   T. Fitch II requested authorization to hire Katie Johnson as the 5th full time Police Officer for the Town.  K. Johnson currently works for the County Prosecutor’s Office, and has an Associate’s Degree from Trine.  She lives in Angola but is willing to move to the area.  This is the first time I have recommended a hire from outside our department.  Discussion followed.  K. Johnson passed the physical fitness test, but the physical exam and psych evaluation have not been completed.   I am requesting approval to hire K. Johnson subject to her passing the physical exam and psych evaluation along with her acceptance of the Employment Agreement and authorization for the Council President to sign the Employment Agreement outside of the Council meeting.  Once K. Johnson has passed everything and signed the Employment Agreement the start date would be 9/11/17.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:   L. Bontrager made a motion to approve hiring Katie Johnson as the 5th full-time Police Officer for the Town of Shipshewana contingent to K. Johnson passing her physical exam, psych evaluation, and acceptance of the Employment Agreement with authorization for the Council President to sign the Employment Agreement outside of a Council meeting, with a start date of September 11, 2017.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II reported that he has had a number of Reserve Officers leave over a period of time.  Cadet Officer Brock Bergman will turn 21 on Saturday, he is trained and will now be able to serve as a Reserve Officer.  We still have vacant Reserve positions so I am requesting permission to put Marco Avila on as a Reserve Officer.  He is currently serving as a jail officer.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve Marco Avila as a Shipshewana Reserve Officer.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch II gave an update on the fatal accident near the Van Buren Inn earlier today. It was a car versus bicycle accident and the State Police are working with us to determine the cause of the accident. A definite cause has not been determined at this time.  Discussion followed.

 

AMMUNITION PURCHASE:  T. Fitch II referred Council Members to their paperwork for three quotes and reported that ammunition prices are the same as they were in 2002.  I am requesting permission to purchase 10,000 rifle and pistol rounds.  Some will be used now and some stored, I would like to stockpile while prices are low.  Fields Outdoor Adventures is the low quote and money is available in the Budget.  Discussion followed.  Quotes were as follows:  Fields Outdoor Adventures of Rushville, IN $5,100.00; Kiesler’s Police Supply of Jeffersonville, IN $5,803.30; and Vance’s Law Enforcement of Columbus, OH $5,855.00.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion approving the purchase of ammunition for the Police Department from Fields Outdoor Adventures at a total cost of $5,100.00.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch II reported that he has been notified by the School that school buses are getting passed on the right on SR 5. When the stop-arm is out you are to STOP it is considered reckless driving to go past a school bus when the stop-arm is out. T. Fitch II reported that J.C. Jasso did an excellent job at the accident today, that makes four fatalities in Town over the last 20 years.  Discussion followed.

 

DISPOSAL OF 1999 DODGE DAKOTA TRUCK:  B. Shanahan reported that he did ride in the 1999 Dodge Dakota Truck and it is not road worthy.  It has a top speed of 25 MPH.  This truck was primarily used by our summer help and it has no monetary value, it only gets 6 miles to the gallon.  I recommend that we dispose of it by scrapping it.  C.A. Lazzaro noted we would not want to sell an unsafe vehicle to someone else.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to dispose of the 1999 Dodge Dakota Truck as surplus equipment and authorized the Town Manager to move forward with disposal of this truck for scrap value.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TIF SIDEWALK PROJECT:  B. Shanahan reported that he had met with County Redevelopment Commission Member, Meredith Cameron regarding the SR 5 Sidewalk project.  This project will be a joint effort between the Town and the County, the County would like to run sidewalks west on US 20 and on SR 5 that will meet the sidewalks that the Town will be putting in along SR 5.  Sidewalks may be on both sides where possible.  I would recommend notifying property owners by certified mail about the project and invite them to a meeting at the Wolfe Building where we will have a visual display of the sidewalk project along SR 5 so we can answer their questions.  This project will get people who are walking out of the buggy lanes.  We may be in the state right-of-way in some places, in other places we will need easements from the property owners.  If we start now hopefully we can move the project forward next spring.  My hope is to set an evening meeting with the property owners sometime at the end of September.  Discussion followed.

 

TERRORISM INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR HUDSON CARS:  B. Shanahan reported that at the Insurance Renewal meeting for the Hudson Cars the option of additional Terrorism Insurance Coverage was brought up.  In my opinion, the Hudson Museum would not be a targeted place, but the decision is yours, do you want this additional insurance.  R. Downey pointed out that the additional insurance does not cover domestic terrorism only international terrorism is covered.  The renewal is currently moving forward as it has in the past and we can add this insurance later if you want it.  Discussion followed.   J.M. Wilcher requested that this item be tabled until the price of the additional insurance could be confirmed.

 

APPROPRIATION TRANSER ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that an Ordinance has been prepared transferring monies in the General, Town Center Operating and Fire Funds.  In the General Fund, a number of the transfers reflect the hiring of a 5th Police Officer, in the Town Center Operating Fund it is to cover professional services, and in the Fire Fund the Council had approved using the Turn out Gear appropriation for rechargeable batteries for the SCBA’s for the Fire Department.  Discussion followed.

 

President C.A. Lazzaro introduced AN ORDINANCE TRANSFERRING MONIES IN THE GENERAL, TOWN CENTER OPERATING, AND FIRE FUNDS.  Council Member T. Hite made a motion, seconded by Council Member L. Bontrager, 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(535)” 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(535)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(535)” 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:  Tad T. Hite, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher, 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(535)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

ORDINANCE REDUCING APPROPRIATIONS:  R. Downey reported by approving this Ordinance you are freeing up money that we had set aside in the 2017 Budget to be used in the 2018 Budget.  The total amount being reduced from all funds is $566,083.00, this money will be used for street improvements and Trail Head Restrooms in the 2018 Budget.  Discussion followed.

 

President C.A. Lazzaro introduced AN ORDINANCE REDUCING APPROPRIATIONS IN THE MVH, LOCAL ROADS & STREETS, SPECIAL LOIT DISTRIBUTION, FOOD & BEVERAGE TAX, AND CUM CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2017.  Council Member E. Mast made a motion, seconded by Council Member L. Bontrager, 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(536)” 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(536)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(536)” 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, Lynn M. Bontrager, J. Mike Wilcher, Tad T. Hite, 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(536)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

FUNDING – FRIENDS OF THE HUDSON AUTO MUSEUM COMMITTEE:  B. Shanahan reported that he had attended committee meetings for the Friends of the Hudson Auto Museum and there are still a number of questions that will need to be addressed.  I recommend that a meeting be set up to clarify some of the questions regarding funding 90 days from now on October 24th, and to have a joint meeting of the Town Council and the Shipshewana Car Museum, Inc. Board at that time.   Discussion followed.  Council Members agreed that B. Shanahan should set the joint meeting for October 24th.

 

WAGE & SALARY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT:  R. Downey reported that due to approval to hire a 5th Police Officer it is necessary to Amend the Wage & Salary Ordinance.

 

C.A. Lazaro introduced AN ORDINANCE AMENDING WAGE AND SALARY ORDINANCE NO. “II-F-1-d(2)” FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2017.  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(537)” 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(537)”  at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(537)” 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, Tad T. Hite, 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(537)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

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

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that he had been contacted by Gary Miller of Wana RV Center after the agenda had already been sent out.  G. Miller is here this evening and would like to present a proposal for expansion of his existing business.  You will find a beacon map and drawing of his proposed expansion in your paperwork.  Mr. Miller is proposing a 6,760-square foot expansion to his building which would put part of his building outside of the Town corporate limits.  The nature of the business doesn’t meet the current zoning.  Mr. Miller is requesting a letter from the Town approving of the rezone and expansion of the business.  I don’t have the authority to write a letter without the Council’s approval.  As the Town Manager, I see a problem with approving the expansion without the area being annexed into Town.  I believe that Mr. Miller is on the September Plan Commission Agenda.  I would recommend that a no remonstrance to annexation be required before any approval letter be sent from the Town.  G. Miller reported at this point the only letter he is requesting from the Town is the rezone of the area to B-3, currently some of my property is zoned B-2, B-3, and the area for the expansion is zoned agricultural. The county wants everything zoned B-3.  B. Shanahan pointed out that the bulk of the property could remain agricultural which is what it is being used for.  Discussion followed.  J.M. Wilcher asked if we provide utility service to the property.  G. Miller reported he has sewer service, and has been at this location for 10 years and we do not have water service which is fine.  B. Shanahan pointed out you don’t have to be connected to Town Water, you can ask to be connected at any time.  Discussion followed regarding the current and proposed use for the property.  B. Shanahan pointed out that if all the property is rezoned to B-3 large farm animals are not allowed.  E. Mast pointed out that we are requiring other businesses that have Town services to sign a No Remonstrance to Annexation Agreement and I feel we need to be consistent.    Discussion followed regarding the possibility of rezoning 2 acres for the business expansion and only requiring the No Remonstrance for that area.  B. Shanahan pointed out that any area used for business, which would include where the RV’s are parked should be included in the rezone and along with what may be necessary for future expansion.  Anyone who is contiguous to the Town and is considering developing a commercial venture should be considered for annexation.  Discussion followed.  E. Mast recommended that no approval letter be sent without a signature on the No Remonstrance to Annexation Agreement.   G. Miller expressed opposition to annexing the whole 15 acres and pointed out that it is the County that asked that the whole 15 acres be rezoned.  I will not be using the open field for business.   Discussion followed.  G. Miller reported that he would talk to the County and see if they would allow him to rezone a smaller section of property to B-3.  B. Shanahan recommended the Town wait and see what the County says before moving forward with any letters.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that the Auditors are almost done with their audit and an Exit Conference has been scheduled for September 12th at 9:30 a.m.  In the past, the Exit Conference was held with the Clerk-Treasurer, Council President, and Town Manager, now the whole Council is invited to attend.  One item the Auditors pointed out to me was the importance of keeping the Capital Asset Report up-to-date.  With the change in office staff and some broken equations in the excel spreadsheet it had proven to be a challenge for us.  We originally hired Mike Nielsen of Government Fixed Asset Services to set up the Capital Assets for the Town.  In your paperwork, you will find a quote from Mr. Nielsen to update the Town Capital Asset Report.  The Report was last updated by them in 2008, after that we were doing it here in the office.  To update the Capital Asset Report now the cost is $5,200.00 plus expenses and he has also included an annual updating cost of $1,500.00, plus expenses.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion approving the quote from Government Fixed Asset Services in the amount of $5,200.00 plus expenses to update the Town Capital Asset Plan.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the 2018 Budget Calendar and reminded everyone that the Public Hearing for the budget will be held at our September 28th Council meeting. We are still accepting resume’s or applications for the Receptionist/Utility Billing Clerk position through September 8th. Our hope is to have the position filled by the end of September.  A motion to approve the Claims Register would be appreciated.  There is no Adjustment Journal.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the Claims Register as submitted.   L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked County Council Member, George Bachman if he had anything to report.

 

  1. Bachman complimented Council Members for standing firm and insisting a No Remonstrance Agreement be signed before any letters are issued. The County is moving forward with the Public Safety Tax which should generate around 1.4 million dollars and a portion of that money will come to the Town of Shipshewana, and a portion will go to the other incorporated Towns in the County. The County will be raising the cost of buggy plates and that additional revenue will be used to help with dust control in the County.  Discussion followed.

 

C.A. Lazzaro asked if there was any further business to come before the Council.  Resident, Marvin Yoder asked when the Light Parade will be held.  B. Shanahan responded November 11th.  There being no further business to come before the Council, C.A. Lazzaro asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to adjourn.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.