TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

MARCH 10, 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; Mike Sutter, Brandon Hooley, Casey Erwin, Kurt R. Bachman, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; George R. Bachman, Brock Miller, Kyle Miller, Sarah Ashing, Jazzimen Neal-Yoder, Savannah Rang, Donna Miller, Tori Wisler, Hanna Bontrager, Braden Dunlap, Chuck Wray, Ken Jones, Bob Shanahan, Guy Thompson, Alvin Miller.

 

Council President R. Yoder called the meeting to order, noted that all Council Members were present, asked everyone to sign in, extended a special welcome to Westview Government Class students and pointed out that agendas were available.

 

INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  C.A. Lazzaro gave the invocation and J.M. Wilcher led the pledge.

 

PUBLIC HEARING ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS

 

Council President R. Yoder opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and asked Clerk-Treasurer, R. Downey to explain the need for the additional appropriation.  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork and reported that the additional appropriation request in the amount of $60,000.00 is for new rescue equipment for the Fire Department.  This equipment purchase was not a part of the 2016 Fire Budget.  R. Yoder asked for input from the public.  There being no public input R. Yoder closed the public hearing portion of the meeting.

 

MOTION:  C. A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Yoder asked for corrections or additions to the February 25th Council meeting minutes.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the February 25, 2016 Council meeting minutes as presented.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  R. Yoder noted that he had abstained from the vote due to his absence at the February 25th meeting.

 

STREET CLOSURES – MAYFEST PARADE:  C. Wray of the Mayfest Board of Directors reported that there would be some changes from last year.  We are bringing the events back downtown and the Tent will no longer be on Morton Street but in the parking lot west of Morton Street.  We will need Morton Street between Main and Depot Streets closed from noon on Thursday May 5th through Monday, May 9th for the food vendors.  You may be able to open Morton Street on Sunday if all the food vendors are gone.  C. Wray referred Council Members to their paperwork for the March 3rd letter listing all street closure requests and times.  Discussion followed regarding street closures for 3 on 3 basketball, buggy races, tractor pulls and the parade.  C. Wray assured Council Members that they would be working closely with the Police Department during this event.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve the street closure requests as presented for the 2016 Mayfest activities as presented in the March 3rd letter from Charles Wray on behalf of the Mayfest Board of Directors.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

HIGHLAND RIDGE RV SITE PLANS:  K. Jones, President of JPR (Jones Petrie Rafinski) presented site plans for the Highland Ridge RV expansion project and reported that he had recently received comments on the project from Town Engineer, C. Erwin.  (See attached DLZ comment sheet)  K. Jones reported that the plans include a 100,000 square foot building, parking and a retention area.  They will be connected to the Town water and sewer utilities and the perimeter will have landscaping.  There will be 125 additional employees.  B. Shanahan of LaGrange County Planning and Zoning had no concerns regarding the project from a planning and zoning perspective and reported that Rex Pranger has not had opportunity to fully review the plans.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan reported that this project will come before the Platt Committee on March 17th at 8:30 p.m. and before the Plan Commission on March 28th.  The County would appreciate a comment letter from the Town regarding this project by March 17th.  Discussion followed.  C. Erwin pointed out that they had found no major issues with the project.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to write a letter to the County with a positive recommendation for the Highland Ridge project contingent on their compliance with recommendations from the Town Engineer and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Jones reported that it has been great working with Town Staff members and the Town Engineering firm.  Discussion followed.

 

ADDITION TO BARN AT 445 N. MORTON STREET:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork and reported that he wanted Council Members to be aware of the proposed barn expansion that is directly adjacent to Town Park property and asked B. Shanahan for comments on this project.  B. Shanahan reported that all requirements have been met for the barn expansion.  Discussion followed.

 

ALVIN MILLER – A-1 PROPERTY USE:  A. Miller passed maps out to Council Members and reported that he has someone interested in purchasing the property behind the David Wingard property.  Dennis Frey would like to buy 4 or 5 acres to use for a kiln drying business.  R. Yoder expressed concern that this would be light industry in an A-1 zone and asked why other property in the area had not been considered.  In the original plans presented my understanding was this property would be for residential use.  A. Miller reported that interest in property has gone down over the last 4 – 5 years and the agricultural property is less expensive.  We may need to look at rezoning some of the property along SR 5 from B-2 to B-3 so it can be used for other things.  Levi King and I are busy with other projects and we have been looking for others to do the development.  It was noted that there is no street going to the piece of property that Mr. Fry wants to purchase.  A. Miller pointed out that the hope was that we could use the park access drive for a couple of years, we are not ready to build a road and put in water and sewer lines.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan of LaGrange County Planning and Zoning reported that the initial concept presented included lots for business and the agricultural property was going to be farmetts.  Now you are talking about light manufacturing with no road, the original plans clearly show that a road would be put in to access the lots behind Morton Street.  Originally the County and the Town put money into this project.  If it was not the intent to put in a road for access to these properties it should have been considered in the original plan.  You need to stick to the plan.  If you can’t then you need to go back to the County and the Town for approval of a new plan.  Discussion followed.  C. Ervin concurred with B. Shanahan about sticking to the plan.  K. Bachman noted that it was nice that A. Miller had presented this to the Town but the property being discussed is not currently within the Town.   B. Shanahan noted for this project to move forward the property would need to be platted, a variance would be required and it would have to have a road right of way.  If you want this project to move forward you will need to seek approval.  Discussion followed.

 

KEYSTONE ANNUAL SOFTWARE RENEWAL:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the Boyce Systems Maintenance Agreement and explained that Keystone is the software provider for the Town budget and the utilities programs.  The renewal for the budget program is $1,950.00, for the billing and device it is $2,410.00 for a total renewal cost of $4,360.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the license renewal for the key-budget and key-utilities programs at a total cost of $4,360.00 and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TOWN-WIDE CLEAN-UP:  M. Sutter reported that the Town has a Town-wide Clean-up every other year.  This is the year for another clean-up.  I am requesting that you set the date for the clean-up for Friday May 20th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and for Saturday May 21st from 8 a.m. to 4, maybe 5 p.m.  Residents can drop off their items at the WWTP/compost area.  We will be working with the NEISWMD for electronic collection, fluorescent light bulb disposal and tire collection.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C. A. Lazzaro made a motion to set the Town-wide Clean-up for May 20th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and for May 21st from 8 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. with the drop off site being at the compost site at the WWTP.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that this Ordinance goes with the Public Hearing for rescue tools for the Fire Department.  Discussion followed.

 

President R. Yoder introduced AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING ADDITIONAL FUNDS.  Council Member J.M. Wilcher made a motion, seconded by Council Member C.A. Lazzaro, 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(507)” 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(507)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(507)” having been read in full was then place upon its final passage, and on call of the roll the vote for the adoption of said Ordinance was as follows:

 

AYES:  J. Mike Wilcher, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, 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(507)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

APPROPRIATION TRANSFER ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that we are just transferring the right to spend money from one line item to another in the Town Center Operating Fund.  Discussion followed.

 

President R. Yoder introduced AN ORDINANCE TRANSFERRING MONIES IN THE TOWN CENTER OPERATING FUND.  Council Member J.M. Wilcher made a motion, seconded by Council Member C.A. Lazzaro, 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(508)” 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(508)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(508)” 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. Arlene Lazzaro, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, 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(508)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

TOWN-WIDE GARAGE SALES:  R. Downey reported that normally the Town-wide Garage Sales are set for the weekend after Mayfest.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey requested that the Council set the dates for the Town-wide Garage Sales for May 13th & 14th.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to set the Town-wide Garage Sales for May 13th & May 14th.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

WATER TOWER PROJECT QUOTES:  M. Sutter reported that bids for the North Water Tower will be opened tomorrow at 2 p.m. here at the Town Hall for paint and repair work.  A representative from Dixon Engineering will be here for the bid opening, they will take the bids back for review and have a recommendation to the Council for award of the bids at the March 24th Town Council meeting.

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork for a revised Welcome Sign Agreement and reported that the revisions are favorable for the Town.  The SRMA will run the electric from the sign to the electric source.  The Town will pay to have the electric service hooked-up to the source.  Once the electric is hooked up the Town will pay for electric service and maintain the North Welcome Sign and the SRMA will pay for electric service and maintain the South Welcome Sign.  This agreement is subject to review every 10 years.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the Welcome Sign Agreement between the Town and the SRMA as presented and authorized the Council President and Clerk-Treasurer to sign the same.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that Town Manager, M. Sutter had been working with Ryne Krock of the LaGrange County EDC regarding an expansion project located at 860 N. Tuscany Drive for C.R.S. Investment, LLC (operating as ARI Legacy Sleepers).  According to their Statement of Benefits they will be doing real estate improvements of $1,900,000.00 and add an additional 8 employees.  The Tax Abatement Agreement between the Town of Shipshewana and C.R.S. investments, LLC has been signed.  This evening the Council may consider a Declaratory Resolution declaring the area an economic revitalization area which is the first step for a tax abatement.  Then the Council will need to set a date for a public hearing.  Discussion followed.

 

RESOLUTION:  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 – C.R.S. INVESTMENTS, LLC (ARI LEGACY SLEEPERS).  Council Member J.M. Wilcher 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(17)” and having been read in full, 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(17)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Resolution be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-C(17)” 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:  C. Arlene Lazzaro, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager, Elmer J. Mast, 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(17)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Resolution to have duly passed and adopted.

 

  1. Bachman requested the Council’s consideration for setting the public hearing date.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to set the tax abatement public hearing date for C.R.S. Investment, LLC (ARI Legacy Sleepers) for April 28th at 6:00 p.m.    E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter noted the excellent job that Ryne Krock of the LCEDC has done for the Town of Shipshewana and pointed out that this is the third project for the Town this year.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork for a request from Newbury Township Trustee, Brandie Fitch to establish a Food & Household Goods Pantry at the Township Office.  J.M. Wilcher reported that B. Fitch has been seeking support from local businesses along with the Police and Fire Departments and is requesting help from the Town for this endeavor.  There are other pantries in the area but none are located in Newbury Township.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to make a donation of $250.00 to Newbury Township to help with the establishment of a Food & Household Goods Pantry at the Newbury Township Office located at 365 East Main Street in Shipshewana, to post the 2016 list of items needed on the Town Website, and for the Town Hall to be a collection site for donations from the community during regular business hours.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter reported that Mark Peters of Business in Focus had contacted Ryne Krock President & CEO of the LCEDC.  M. Peters does articles for Business in Focus and had focused on Michigan Counties in 2015.  In 2016 M. Peters is considering possibly doing an article regarding economic development efforts in LaGrange County.  This would be an excellent opportunity to publicize LaGrange County and the Town of Shipshewana.  Discussion followed.

 

2015 QUALITY OF LIFE AWARD PRESENTATION:  Vice-President, C.A. Lazzaro presented the 2015 Quality of Life Award to Council President R. Yoder.  R. Yoder accepted the award and expressed appreciation for the great team he has had to work with.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that Council Members should have received the December 10, 2015 Council meeting minutes and requested approval for the same.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the December 10, 2015 Council meeting minutes as submitted.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey reminded Council Members that there would be a Public Hearing at the March 24th Council Meeting for the Auction-RV Service Center Tax Abatement, and reported that the updated Town website is up and running.  A letter will be sent with the final payment to Oakley Studio thanking them for their hosting services.  The up-dated website is hosted by LaGwana Printing, Inc.  You will be able to make your Town Utility payment by using a credit or debit card on the Town website, there is a small convenience fee that will be charged for this service.  You can also come into the Town Hall or call on the phone to make your payment.  The February Fund report is in your paperwork.  We have included a signature page for the Adjustment Journal so you do not have to initial each page of the report.  Discussion followed.

 

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

 

  1. Yoder asked if there was any further business to come before the Council.

 

County Council Member, G. Bachman reported that bids for CR 200 N came in as expected and work should begin this spring.  Effective July 1st the state has made changes to the law affecting CAGIT and CEDIT taxes. They will now be distributed as one new local option tax.  The County is considering a  public safety tax.  It should raise about 1.8 million for the County.  Approximately $400,000.00 of this tax will be distributed to the four incorporated towns based on population to help pay for their public safety expenses.  R. Downey expressed concern about the distribution being made only on population and inquired whether a formula that would include assessed value could be used for this distribution.  Discussion followed.  It was pointed out that the public safety tax has to be passed first.

 

  1. Yoder introduced Council Members and Staff to the Westview Government Class Students and asked them to introduce themselves.  Introductions followed.

 

There being no further business to come before the Council R. Yoder asked for a motion to adjourn.

 

MOTION:  C. A. Lazzaro made a motion to adjourn.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.