TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

FEBRUARY 11, 2016  6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

345 N MORTON STREET

SHIPSHEWANA, IN  46565

 

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

 

Council President R. Yoder called the meeting to order, noted that all Council Members were present, welcomed everyone, and asked them to 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.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch reported that it has been a busy new year and requested approval to purchase a new vehicle for Brandon Hooley, S-4.  T. Fitch referred Council Members to their paperwork for quotes on vehicles and equipment.  The low vehicle quote is from Sorg’s out of Goshen at $27,208.00, for a 2016 Dodge Ram 4 wheel drive truck.  The equipment is much harder to compare apples to apples because you get the biggest discount when you buy multiple items from one company.  I am requesting approval to purchase equipment from various companies not to exceed $13,335.48 for a total package cost of $40,543.48.  The equipment quote includes a car camera.  When the new vehicle comes in we plan to sell the Tahoe.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to purchase a 2016 Dodge Ram 4wheel drive vehicle from Sorg Dodge of Goshen at a cost of $27,208.00 and to purchase equipment for this vehicle from a number of companies with the equipment cost not to exceed $13,335.48.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch referred Council Members to their paperwork for a quote from Wolfcom Enterprises and reported that a presentation had been made to the Council in 2015 for the purchase of body cameras.  At that time we believed that money would be coming from the Prosecutors Office infraction deferral money for the cost of the body cameras.   That didn’t happen.  Just yesterday we had an incident in our parking lot where our body cameral died due to the cold.  The cold shortens the battery life and I am concerned about liability, I don’t feel that we should wait to replace the body cameras.  This is for everyone’s protection, us and the public.  The quote in front of you is for a unit that can go back 30 minutes.  These cameras have a 2 ½ hour battery life and the lens moves.   The quote is for 14 body cameras and shipping for a total cost of $5,655.86.  Discussion followed.  G. Bachman inquired why the Town had not received infraction deferral money.  T. Fitch explained that due to a change in command at the State Police where ticket quotas were no longer required it resulted in a decrease in the amount of revenue coming into the prosecutor’s office.  G. Bachman explained that he is on the committee for infraction deferral expenses and would look into this further.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to purchase 14 body cameras for the police department from Wolfcom Enterprises at a total cost of $5,655.86.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

  1. Fitch reported that he has moved the full time officer schedule around so that C.J. Jasso is working days, and we have some new reserve officers that will be released soon.  Discussion followed.

 

AMENDMENT TO THE TRAFFICE CONTROL ORDINANCE:  M. Sutter reported that Morton Street has become a speeding thoroughfare.  We are proposing making the stop at North Street a 3 way stop to help slow things down.  T. Fitch reported that they have clocked individuals at 60 mph.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to amend the Traffic Control Ordinance to add a North and South stop sign on Morton Street at North Street making that intersection a 3 way stop.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

DECLARATORY RESOLUTION FOR SHIPSHEWANA RV CENTER:  K. Bachman reported that M. Sutter and R. Krock have been working with Keith and Brian Lambright of Shipshewana Auction, Inc. regarding Tax Abatements for Personal Property and Real Estate at 510 E. Farver Street.  The request includes real estate at $850,000.00, manufacturing equipment at $350,000.00, and IT equipment at $50,000.00.  They plan on employing 15 employees whose combined wages will be $624,000.00 annually.  Tonight we need to set the date for the public hearing and approve the Declaratory Resolution.  They are requesting the standard 10 year tax abatement for both real and personal property with the exception of the second year they are requesting a 95% tax reduction rather than the standard 90% reduction.  They have signed the abatement agreement and we have it on file.  This evening the Council can move forward with the Declaratory Resolution and set the Public Hearing for 6:00 p.m. on March 24th.  R. Krock pointed out that the demand for RV servicing is huge, this is a good project.  Discussion followed.

 

President R. Yoder introduced A DECLARATORY RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN COUNCIL OF SHIPSHEWANA FOR THE DESIGNATION OF AN AREA AS AN ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION AREA FOR PURPOSES OF TAX ABATEMENT – SHIPSHEWANA AUCTION, INC.  Council Member L. Bontrager made a motion, seconded by Council Member C.A. Lazzaro, 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 “II-F-1-C(15)” 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-C(15)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Resolution be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-C(15)” 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:  Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher, Roger D. Yoder

NAYS:  – 0 –

 

There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the members elect of the Town Council and “II-F-1-C(15)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the president thereupon declared said Resolution to have duly passed and adopted.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to set the Public Hearing for the Shipshewana Auction, Inc. Tax Abatement for March 24, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

EMPLOYEE REVIEW (ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT):  M. Sutter reported that the Administrative Assistant has been with the Town 90 days now and will receive another evaluation at 180 days.  There are 13 items on the evaluation report, the highest marking you can receive is a 5 and the Administrative Assistant received nothing lower than a 4.  She has helped streamline things in the office, and worked with the Tech Committee on the Town Website.  She is an outstanding employee, works well with all the departments and I am recommending a 50 cents per hour raise effective retro-active to February 1st.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the positive review for the Administrative Assistant as presented by the Town Manager and to approve a raise of 50 cents per hour retro-active to February 1, 2016.   E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

WAGE & SALARY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT:  President R. Yoder introduced AN ORDINANCE AMENDING WAGE AND SALARY ORDINANCE NO. II-F-1-d(2) FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2016.  Council Member C. A. Lazzaro made a motion, seconded by Council Member E. Mast, 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(506)” 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(506)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(506)” 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:  C.A. Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager, J. Mike Wilcher, Roger D. Yoder.

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(506)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

MATERIALITY THRESHOLD ORDINANCE:  K. Bachman reported that State Statute requires that erroneous or irregular material variances, losses, shortages, or thefts of political subdivision funds or property shall be reported immediately to the State Board of Accounts and State Examiner Directive 2015-6 directs each political subdivision to determine its own policy on materiality loss and theft.  Historically we have had no guidance from the State Board of Accounts and now we have some guidance from them and we have drafted a policy for the Council to consider.  The policy sets any erroneous or irregular variances, losses, shortages or thefts of cash in excess of Five Hundred Dollars be reported to the State Board of Accounts and non-cash items are set at $1,000.00.  Discussion followed.

 

President R. Yoder introduced A RESOLUTION OF THE SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL REGARDING VARIANCE THRESHOLDS APPLICABLE TO THE TOWN OF SHIPSHEWANA.  Council Member E. Mast made a motion, seconded by Council Member J.M. Wilcher, 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 “II-F-1-b(39)” 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-b(39)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-b(39)” 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:  Elmer J. Mast, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Roger D. Yoder

NAYS:  – 0 –

 

There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the Members Elect of the Town Council and “II-F-1-b(39)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

CANCELLATION OF OUTSTANDING WARRANTS:  R. Downey reported pursuant to IC 5-11-10.5, all checks outstanding and unpaid for a period of two years as of December 31st of each year shall be declared cancelled not later than March 1st of each year and referred Council Members to their paperwork for a list of checks totaling $460.00.  Each cancelled check is added back into the fund that it was taken out of.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve the Cancellation of Outstanding Warrants as presented by the Clerk-Treasurer in the amount of $460.00.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the Final Budget Order for the Town which was received on February 2, 2016.  The approved Budget is the same as the 1782 Notice that the Town received on January 12th.  Shortly after the first of the year, Fire Chief, Chad Miller had asked about the purchase of some Rescue Equipment for the Fire Department.  At that time I explained that the $56,000.00 for the Rescue Equipment was not part of the 2016 Fire Budget and would require an additional appropriation.  I am requesting approval from the Council to move forward with the additional appropriation process for the Rescue Equipment for the Fire Department.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to move forward with the additional appropriation process for the Fire Fund and to set the date for the Public Hearing for March 10, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a comparison sheet regarding credit/debit card fees.  The Administrative Assistant and I have reviewed information from Pay Gov.us, Lake City Bank and Invoice Cloud and recommend that the Council consider approving Pay Gov.us as the company that the Town uses for credit/debit card payments.  There are no fees for the Town, they take the liability, do not destroy their records and take care of the annual PCI survey.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to use Pay Gov.us for debit and credit card transactions for the Town of Shipshewana.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey explained that debit/credit card transactions for Fire Fees, Gun Permits, Wolfe Building Rentals, etc. would be directly deposited into the Town’s General Bank Account and requested approval to open a Merchant Account at Farmers State Bank for any Utility credit/debit card transactions because a normal Utility Bills contains payment for the Water, Wastewater and Storm Water Utilities which each have their own bank account.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to set up a Merchant Account at Farmers State Bank for receipt of debit/credit card transaction for the Water, Wastewater and Storm Water Utilities.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a printout of the Shipshewana Action Restaurant Account and reported that the Auction had called and requested an adjustment on the Sewer portion of their bill because of a water leak that occurred in January and was reflected on their February Utility Bill showing 28,500 gallons of usage.  The water did not go down the sewer but out on their floors.  The printout in front of you is from 2015 and their usage reflects the seasonal nature of their business.  Since their usage varies greatly to come up with an average usage for their February bill we looked at the last five years (2011 – 2015) for their usage billed in February and also looked at their usage during the months of January – March for the same time period.  The January – March average came out to 18,500 gallons and the February only usage came out to 18,300 so we recommend that the adjustment be based on 18,400 gallons which will reduce the sewer portion of their bill by $56.56.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to reduce the sewer portion of the Shipshewana Auction Restaurant bill by $56.56.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the January Fund Report and requested a motion to approve the Claims Register and Adjustment Journal.  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 reported that the Town has used the Summer Intern Program for the Water and Sewer Utility for the past three years and last year we had a very successful candidate, Brian Rupp fill the position.  I would like to begin interviews in March with Trine Students and any other qualified college students and recommend that the Council consider a wage rate of $12.50 to $13.00 per hour for the position.  This is a full time summer position and has no benefits.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion that Town Manager, M. Sutter proceed with the interview process for a Summer Intern Position for the Water and Sewer Utilities with a wage rate of $12.50 to $13.00 per hour.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter noted that the Summer Interns wages would be paid from the Water and Wastewater Utilities.  M. Sutter referred Council Members to the January Fund Report and pointed out that the Event Center generated $27,000.00 in revenue and expressed kudos to the Event Center employees.

 

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

 

  1. Yoder asked Council Members if they had anything further to report.  L. Bontrager pointed out that WNIT had done a very nice program on the Hudson Car Museum.  M. Sutter reported that the WNIT host has been invited to drive a Hudson Car in the Mayfest parade.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Yoder introduced the Council and Staff to the Westview High School Government class students present and asked them to introduce themselves.

 

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.

 

 

________________________________________              _______________________________________

Roger D. Yoder, Council President                                          C. Arlene Lazzaro, Council Vice-President

 

 

________________________________________              _______________________________________

Lynn M. Bontrager, Council Member                                     Elmer J. Mast, Council Member

 

 

________________________________________              _______________________________________

Ruth Ann Downey, Clerk-Treasurer                                        J. Mike Wilcher, Council Member