TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

APRIL 28, 2016  6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

345 N MORTON STREET

SHIPSHEWANA, IN  46565

 

PRESENT:  Council; Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager, J. Mike Wilcher.  Staff; Mike Sutter, Casey Erwin, Kurt R. Bachman, Tom M. Fitch II, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Blake Barkman, Marvin Yoder, Jose Reyes, Guy Thompson, Hanna Bontrager, Ryne Krock.

ABSENT:  Council; Roger D. Yoder, C. Arlene Lazzaro.

 

Council Member L. Bontrager called the meeting to order, noted that Council Members C. Arlene Lazzaro and Roger D. Yoder were absent, all other Council Members were present.   L. Bontrager welcomed everyone and asked that they sign in.

 

INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  J.M. Wilcher gave the invocation and E. Mast led the pledge.

 

PUBLIC HEARING CRS INVESTMENTS/ARI TAX ABATEMENT

 

  1. Bontrager opened the public hearing portion of the meeting and asked Attorney, K. Bachman to summarize the Tax Abatement request.  K. Bachman reported that a Statement of Benefits of Real Estate Improvements was filed by CRS investments, LLC (operating as ARI Legacy Sleepers) located at 860 N. Tuscany Drive.  There will be a 25,000 square foot building addition, they will retain the 52 current employees.  ARI will add 8 new employees with a combined salary of $416,000.00.  The abatement request on the real estate is for $1,900,000.00 for a 10 year period. The Council passed a Declaratory Resolution at their March 10th Council meeting which was the first step for a tax abatement.  Tonight you are holding the public hearing and later you will consider the Confirmatory Resolution that would grant the tax abatement.  The Tax Abatement Agreement has been signed by CRS Investment and will need to be signed by the Council President.  L. Bontrager asked for input from the public.  Resident Marvin Yoder asked what kind of business ARI is.  M. Sutter responded they are located on North Village and Tuscany Drive.  They convert semi tractors to sleeper units and have been doing business in Town for a number of years.  L. Bontrager asked if there was any further input from the public.  There being no further input from the public L. Bontrager closed the public hearing portion of the meeting.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ARI CONFIRMATORY RESOLUTION:  K. Bachman reported that the next step for the ARI Tax Abatement is for the Council to consider approval of the Confirmatory Resolution which gives them a 10 year tax abatement that decreases the abatement by 1% with each passing year.  In addition to approving the Resolution the Council will also need to approve the Tax Abatement Agreement, Memorandum and authorize the Council President to sign the same.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve the Tax Abatement Agreement and the Memorandum for the Tax Abatement Agreement and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Council Member L. Bontrager 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 OF REHABILITATION OF REAL ESTATE – C.R.S. INVESTMENTS, LLC (ARI LEGACY SLEEPERS).  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 “II-F-1-C(19)” and having been read in full, and the provisions of the same having been considered by the Council, Council Member E. Mast made a motion, seconded by Council Member J.M. Wilcher, 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(19)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Resolution be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-C(19)” 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

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(19)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, Council Member L. Bontrager thereupon declared said Resolution to have duly passed and adopted.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II reported that there is an opening for the Police Reserves and requested approval to put on Mackenzie James Grobis as a Reserve Officer for the Town of Shipshewana.  Mackenzie has been working as an intern with us and is a student at IVY Tech studying criminal justice.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve Mackenzie James Grobis as a Shipshewana Police Reserve Officer for the Town of Shipshewana.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch II reported that bids would be opened for the sale of the 2007 Tahoe police vehicle later this evening and from the proceeds of the vehicle sale I would like to invest in some speed signs for the Town.  The cost of a battery powered sign is $2,000.00 and a solar powered sign is $2,500.00.  I would like to purchase two signs and use one for the school zone and the second at various locations throughout Town.  These signs will do traffic counts as well as record the speed, we can also put messages on the signs.  Discussion followed.  T. Fitch II reported that as a department we are trying to have more of a presence on the Pumpkinvine trail, it takes about 1 to 1 ¼ hour round trip.  The Kite Komotion Event at the Town Center is this weekend and we have had 4 Reserve Officers volunteer to help with the event.  We are working through the back-up issues that we have been having with the server, the Tech Committee will meet tomorrow with the new tech support company (Atlas IT) to further address this issue.  Discussion followed.

 

OPEN BIDS – 2007 TAHOE:  R. Downey reported that 8 bids had been received.  Bids were opened and read by R. Downey as follows:  #1. Doug Stukey of Fremont, IN $3,611.00.  #2. Sean Neeley of Angola, IN $6,000.00.  #3. Darin Hochstetler of Shipshewana, IN $1,500.00.  #4. Martin Bontrager $3,011.00.  #5. Larry Streich of Howe, IN $5,500.00.  #6. Linda Maether of Shipshewana, IN $2,007.00.  #7. David Mullet $551.00.  #8. Michael Bontrager of Middlebury, IN $5,000.00.  L. Bontrager noted that the high bid was $6,000.00 and the low bid $551.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to accept the high bid of $6,000.00 from Sean Neeley of Angola, IN for the 2007 Tahoe police vehicle.  J. M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch II requested approval to purchase two Solar Speed Signs at a cost of $2,500.00 each in light of the sale of the 2007 Tahoe.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the purchase of two Evolis Radar Speed Signs from Elan City for the Police Department subject to appropriation.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SUMMER INTERN INTRODUCTION & SET WAGE:  M. Sutter introduced Cooper Gast as the Utilities Intern for this summer.  C. Gast will graduate from Trine University in May 2017 and is a resident of Bridgeman, MI.  Council Members welcomed C. Gast to the Town.  R. Downey reminded Council Members that per the Wage & Salary Ordinance the Council is allowed to determine and set wages for seasonal employees.  Discussion Followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to set the wages for the Utilities Intern at $13.00 per hour.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

WWTP ORP (OXYGEN REDUCTION PROBE) METER PURCHASE:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork for a quote from Archaea Solutions, Inc. regarding an ORP Wireless Probe Quotation.  At the last Council meeting you approved VFD’s for the motors at the WWTP up to a cost of $30,000.00.  After review the low quote of $23,800.00 from L.A. Electric was approved.   We did not have an ORP included in the quote.  This device tells the motors when to slow down or to speed up.  This is a wireless device that will cost $4,890.00.  You can get additional probes at a cost of $1,405.00 each but we are not requesting additional probes at this time.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the purchase of an ORP device for the WWTP from Archaea Solutions, Inc. at a cost of $4,890.00.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

EMPLOYEE REVIEW:  M. Sutter reported that Sean Neeley is the WWTP Superintendent in training under the oversight of Kevin Wenzel.  Sean is doing very well in the position.  He has received a positive employee review and I am recommending a 50 cent per hour raise.  Sean is an excellent employee and I would not hesitate to hire him again.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve a 50 cent per hour wage increase for WWTP Superintendent in training Sean Neeley effective retro-actively to April 25, 2016.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ATTORNEY FOR MEC ANNEXATION:  M. Sutter reported that BMBS represents the MEC so they cannot prepare the necessary documents for annexation for the Town.  K. Bachman reported that BMBS would not be representing either party during the MEC annexation process.  M. Sutter reported that John Gasteneau has been representing the County Utility District for a number of years and is willing to do the work for the Town regarding the MEC Annexation process.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to hire John Gasteneau as the Attorney for the Town during the Voluntary Annexation process for the MEC and to address any other issues regarding the MEC for the Town.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  M. Sutter reported that the Park Board Banner Fund Raising project has raised $13,300.00 over the last three years. The banner money has been placed in the Shipshewana Public Benefit Corp.  The Park Board has decided that they would like to purchase some playground equipment to be placed between the ball diamonds.  (See attached proposal from Snider Recreation, Inc.)  The sale price for this piece of equipment is $9,800.00 with shipping and a plastic border with spikes the total cost comes to $11,357.00.  They will also install a previously purchased swing set by the ball diamonds.  The money raised by the fund raiser is being held by the Shipshewana Public Benefit Corp.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion approving the purchase of playground equipment per the estimate from Snider Recreation, Inc. in the amount of $11,357.00 from funds raised by the Park Department that are held by Shipshewana Public Benefit Corporation.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter referred Council Member to their paperwork for a quote from Precision Concrete Cutting for a proposal for sidewalk trip hazard removal.  M. Sutter pointed out that the Town has a large number of visitors and residents that navigate the sidewalks.  To replace all the sidewalks with trip hazards would be quite costly.  Precision Concrete Cutting has done an analysis of the sidewalks and provided a not to exceed quote in the amount of $7,850.00 to address 232 different sidewalk areas.  They bevel off the uneven areas.  Precision has already done 5 areas on Harrison Street.  They are giving the Town a break on the cost of the project of $2,500.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to accept the proposal from Precision Concrete Cutting in the amount of $7,850.00 to correct sidewalk trip hazards to be paid from the MVH Fund.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Sutter reported that this does not address all the sidewalk issues in Town but takes care of a large number of them.  Precision Concrete Cutting said this project can be completed in a 2 or 3 day period.

 

  1. Bontrager reported that agenda items 7 through 9 all have to do with the TIF project.

 

ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZATION, CHANGE ORDER #1, #2, #3, AND PAY APPLICATION APPROVAL #4 & #5 –  TIF LEGACY PROJECT:  M. Sutter referred Council Members to their paperwork for a Legacy TIF Project Engineering Report from DLZ.  There are six action items for the Council and Redevelopment Authority’s consideration.  M. Sutter reported that Walsh and Kelly had substantially completed construction for the TIF Legacy project last fall.  The Original Contract for the TIF Legacy project came in at $723,300.58 should you approve Change Orders 1, 2, & 3 the project cost would increase to $763,984.78.   Approval is also needed for expenditure of the Allowance Authorization that is included in the original contract amount.   We are also seeking approval for Pay Application #4 which includes the allowance work and Pay application #5 which is a 70% release of the retainage.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to approve the six action items as submitted by DLZ on the Engineering Report dated April 28, 2015 which includes the Allowance Authorization, Change Orders 1, 2, & 3 and Pay Applications #4 & #5 for the TIF Legacy project.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Bontrager pointed out that even with the changes were are not over budget.  M. Sutter reminded Council Members that in the amount remaining of $118,822.90 +/- we still have to pay for the south end warning siren.  This project was done with TIF revenue and reflects no increase to the tax payers.

 

  1. Bontrager asked R. Krock of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation if he had anything to report.  R. Krock noted he was a little late for the Public Hearing but he wanted to compliment the staff at the Event Center for the recent Economic Development Corporation event held there.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Bontrager asked Council Members if they had anything further to bring before the Council.  Council Members had nothing further.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a pamphlet from the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department Code Enforcement Division, Town Marshal, T. Fitch II requested that I make sure that all Council Members receive a copy.  I did send minutes out for the Council’s review and a motion to approve the Claims Register would be appreciated.   There are no Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Bontrager requested a motion to approve the minutes from the archives along with minutes from the April 14, 2016 Council meeting.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the December 30, 2013, February 19, 2014 and April 14, 2016 Council meeting minutes as submitted.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the Claims Register as submitted.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Bontrager extended a special welcome to the Westview Government Class students and asked them to introduce themselves.  Introductions followed.

 

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

 

MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion to adjourn.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.