TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

MARCH 24, 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, C. Arlene Lazzaro.  Staff; Mike Sutter, Kurt R. Bachman, Tom M. Fitch II, Chad L. Miller, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; George Bachman, Marvin Yoder, Andrew Yoder, Grace Hales, Bradly King, Jeannie Bontrager, Hope Brandenberger.

 

Council President, R. Yoder 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:  J.M. Wilcher gave the invocation and L. Bontrager led the pledge.

 

PUBLIC HEARING TAX ABATEMENT

SHIPSHEWANA AUCTION RV SERVICE CENTER

 

  1. Yoder opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and asked Town Attorney, K. Bachman to give a summary of the abatement request.    K. Bachman reported that Shipshewana Auction Inc. is projecting real estate improvements in the amount of $850,000.00 and the purchase of $350,000.00 in new equipment.  They will hire an additional 15 employees with a total annual salary of $624,000.00.  The abatement agreement has been signed and the Declaratory Resolution was signed at your February 11th Council meeting.  After the public hearing the Council will consider a Confirmatory Resolution for this 10 year tax abatement request.  The only unusual request for this abatement is that the abatement only goes down 5% in the second year rather than the normal 10%.  R. Yoder requested public input.   There being no public input R. Yoder closed the public hearing portion of the meeting.

 

  1. Yoder reopened the regular Council 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 any corrections or additions to the March 10, 2016 or June 2, 2015 Special Council meeting minutes.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the March 10, 2016 and the June 2, 2015 Special Council meeting minutes as submitted.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

CONFIRMATORY RESOLUTION FOR RV SERVICE CENTER:  K. Bachman reported consideration of this Confirmatory Resolution is a follow up to the public hearing.  It is the last formal step to grant the 10 year tax abatement on the real-estate and personal property, there is also a request for an abatement of $50,000.00 for IT equipment.    Discussion followed.

 

President R. Yoder introduced A CONFIRMATORY RESOLUTION OF THE SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL FOR THE DESIGNATION OF AN AREA AS AN ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION AREA AND FOR THE DEDUCTION FROM ASSESSED VALUATION FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT OR REHABILITATION OF REAL ESTATE AND THE INSTALLATION OF NEW MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT AND NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT-SHIPSHEWANA AUCTION, INC.  Council Member C.A. Lazzaro made a motion, seconded by Council Member L. Bontrager, 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(18)” 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(18)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Resolution be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-C(18)” 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, Lynn M. Bontrager, 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(18)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Resolution to have duly passed and adopted.

 

  1. Bachman requested a motion authorizing the Council President and the Clerk-Treasurer to sign the Statement of Benefits paperwork.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion authorizing the Council President and the Clerk-Treasurer to sign the Statement of Benefits for Personal Property and Real Estate improvement for the RV Service Center under the taxpayer name of Shipshewana Auction, Inc.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Bachman reported that on February 25th the Tax Abatement was approved for Highland Ridge RV.  I am requesting a motion authorizing the Council President and the Clerk-Treasurer to sign the Statement of Benefits paperwork for Highland Ridge RV.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion authorizing the Council President and the Clerk-Treasurer to sign the Statement of Benefits for Personal Property and Real Estate Improvements for Highland Ridge RV, Inc.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT RESCUE TOOL PURCHASE:  Fire Chief, C. Miller reported that the current set of hydraulic tools/extrication equipment is 20 years old.  It does still work but it is slow, we would like to upgrade the extrication equipment.  The new tools are able to cut into the new materials that they are making vehicles from today.  In your paperwork you will find three quotes:  Rescue Resources, LLC. Of Rockford, MI with delivery and training at $69,243.50; High Tech Rescue, Inc. of Shelbyville, KY at $69,401.31 which includes training and travel time, there is no delivery charge.  Last is Genesis Rescue Systems of Kettering, OH.  They are the company we like and have the low quote of $63,125.00 they will give us a trade in value of $7,400.00 for our old equipment which brings the total cost down to $55,725.00 with no cost for training.  We want to use our fire run money to make the purchase.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey reported that the fire run money is a part of the Fire Fund Budget and we did an additional appropriation so we can spend that money.  We received approval from the DLGF for the additional appropriation request on March 22, 2016 in the amount of $60,000.00 for the purchase of the rescue tools.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the purchase of Rescue Tools for the Fire Department from Genesis Rescue Systems of Kettering, OH in the amount of $55,725.00 which takes into consideration the trade in value of their current rescue tools.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORT: C. Miller reported that the pumper will go to Valparaiso next week to finish repairs, we do have a back-up truck to use if necessary.  The Annual Fire Department Fish Fry will be held this Saturday, March 26th from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Shipshewana Auction Miscellaneous Barn.   Discussion followed.

 

APPROVAL TO SELL 2007 TAHOE:  Town Marshal, T. Fitch II requested permission to sell the 2007 Tahoe by sealed bids.  It currently has 95,500 miles on it.  We would publish the advertisement for two weeks and then open bids at a regular Council meeting.  K. Bachman reminded T. Fitch II that it is necessary to include wording that allows the Council to reject any and all bids.    Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion authorizing the Town Marshal to proceed with the sale of the 2007 Tahoe police vehicle by using the sealed bid process.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II reported that last year we upgraded half of the car computers, we still have three that we need to upgrade this year.  In your paperwork is a quote from the same company that we used last year for the exact same computer.  The computers that need replacing are from 2007.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the purchase of three fully rugged tablet computers for the police cars from Mobile TEK Consulting of Cincinnati, OH in the amount of $11,190.00.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch II reported that a new version of the body cameras that we were considering for the department will come out May 1st.   These cameras will be purchased with Infraction Deferral money.  The new camera will have a wider angle lens and a longer battery life along with the pre-record option like we have in the squad cars.   T. Fitch II thanked County Council Member G. Bachman for his assistance in getting the Infraction Deferral money released.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Fitch II reported that due to good Reserve participation we have had good stop sign coverage.  The traffic at Berkshire has slowed up and warning stops have been made at the new stop sign at North and Morton Street.  The equipment is running well.  Discussion followed.

 

NORTH WATER TOWER BID AWARD:  R. Downey referred Council Members to a letter from Town Manager, Mike Sutter summarizing the North Water Tower Repair & Paint Bid Opening and reported that Dixon Engineering found the bids to be in order.  Dixon Engineering recommends going with the low bid from Industrial Painting in the amount of $134,300.00.    They anticipate that the project will start on or after April 11th and be substantially completed by May 27th.    Discussion followed.

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to award the North Water Tower Maintenance, repair and painting project to the low bidder Industrial Painting of Taylor, MI in the amount of $134,300.00 and authorized the Council President to sign the Notice of Award.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

REVIEW & UPDATE WATER USE ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that it has been brought to our attention that our current Water Use Ordinance is lacking some necessary information.  In order to bring this Ordinance up-to-date it will be necessary to have input from both the Town Attorney and the Town Engineer.  A motion to review and update this Ordinance would be appreciated.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion authorizing the review and update of the Water Use Ordinance and to have the Town Attorney and Town Engineer included during the review process.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SEWER BILL ADJUSTMENT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a sewer bill adjustment request from Chris Schlabach for his rental property located at 160 N. Union Street.  The rental property has been empty for the past couple of months and the freeze plate froze twice within a  two week period.  The current bill was for 23,400 gallons of usage.  Since it has been empty two of the three months this year I took the average usage from 2015 which came to 6,500 gallons, then I took the cost of two freeze plates and one man hour to replace them off of the credit amount which left a sewer credit of $64.74.  This reduces his bill from $218.94 to $154.20.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve a sewer credit of $64.74 for Chris Schlabach’s rental property located at 160 N. Union Street.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

THANK YOU LETTER TO ARMENT GALLERY & GIFTS:  R. Downey referred Council Members to a letter drafted by Town Manager M. Sutter thanking Arment Gallery and Gifts for the print that was donated by them to the Town and now hangs in the Town Hall reception area.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve and sign the Thank You letter to Arment Gallery and Gifts for their donation of a print to the Town.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

AMENDMENT TO TOWN MANAGER EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT:  K. Bachman reported that the Town Manager works under an Employment Agreement with the Town.  R. Downey reported that currently the agreement reflects a 4 day work week for the months of December through March, the change for you to consider is a 4 day work week year round.  R. Yoder reported that Town Manager M. Sutter has been doing a great job for the Town.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authoring the Town Attorney to amend the Town Manager Employment Agreement to reflect a four day work week for the position year round and to make the amendment effective April 1, 2016.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for information on the 80th Annual ILMCT Conference and SBOA School to be held in June in Michigan City.  R. Downey requested approval to attend June 7th & 8th at a cost of $355.00, with a one night stay at a group rate of $83.00, the mileage cost will be split with the Clerk-Treasurer from LaGrange.  Discussion followed.

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the attendance of the Clerk-Treasurer at the ILMCT Conference/SBOA School on June 7th & 8th and to pay all cost associated with the conference.    C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Downey reported that the Town Offices would close at noon on Friday March 25th.   There will be a Public Hearing on April 28th regarding a Tax Abatement Request for ARI.  R. Downey requested a motion to approve the Claims Register and Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.

 

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

 

ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that the Redevelopment Authority owns the real estate that the Event Center sits on and has leased the property to the Redevelopment Commission who makes the bond payments.  The Commission has a fee agreement with Riegsecker Restaurant, Inc. who use the facility for events and there is a fee for the tickets sold for these events.  We are working to enter into a lease agreement with Blue Gate Holdings for use of this building but the negotiations are taking longer than hoped.  We need a modification of the Fee Agreement so Riegseckers can continue booking for events through 2017.  The Amended Fee Agreement suspends the ticket fee beginning April 1, 2016 through the end of the year and increases the daily fee to $1,800.00 per event day.  If the lease agreement is not entered into prior to January 2017 the fee for the use of the facility will increase and the ticket fee will come back at $2.00 per ticket.  The Blue Gate Theater will assume all responsibility for activities related to any Blue Gate Theatre events.  When the lease agreement is entered into the ticket fees are terminated.  The lease agreement allows for the continued operation of the Car Museum.  The Council does not sign this agreement, the Redevelopment Commission does.  I am requesting a positive recommendation from the Council to the Redevelopment Commission regarding this agreement.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to give the Addendum To Fee Agreement with Riegsecker Restaurants, Inc. a positive recommendation to pass onto the Redevelopment Commission for final approval.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Yoder asked Council Members if they had anything further.  C.A. Lazzaro asked if the Shipshewana Building Corporation was going to meet on April 14th at 4:45 p.m.  R. Downey responded yes.  L. Bontrager reported that Zumba Classes are being held at the Wolfe Community Building on Wednesday nights.  The classes are open to the public at a cost of $5.00.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Yoder asked County Council Member G. Bachman if he had anything to report.  G. Bachman reported that a schedule for the CR 200 N project has been provided to the Town Manager.  We hope to get this project done this year.  G. Bachman reported that the County is considering enacting a Safety Tax, the money would go towards the pension funds, ambulance feel, and court house security.  Approximately $500,000.00 of the money collected will be distributed to the four incorporated Towns in the County.  Discussion followed.

 

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

 

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.