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April 26, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes


APRIL 26, 2018  6:00 P.M.


Roger D. Yoder Council Room

345 N. Morton Street

Shipshewana, IN  46565


PRESENT:  Council; Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro, J. Mike Wilcher, Tad T. Hite.   Staff; Gregory T. Guerrettaz, Kurt R. Bachman, Robert W. Shanahan, Tom M. Fitch II, Nicholas M. Byroad, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Levi King, Alvin Miller, Mike Stutzman, Andre Stutzman, Nisha N. Patel, Joe Urbanski, Gary Fry, Steve Folden, Lois Folden, Greg Silver, Stanley A. Strater, Jr., Marvin Yoder, George Bachman, Guy Thompson, Ryan Riegsecker, Peter Armstrong, Russ Crawford, Steve Waldron, Shawn Williamson, Jonathan Russell, Aaron Newman, Rachel Gonzales, Laurie Sherck.


Council President, E. Mast 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 T. Hite led the pledge.


POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION:  Marshal, T. Fitch II reported that officers have been receiving vests because of the efforts of Greg Silver going around Northeast Indiana asking for donations.  These vests will stop rifle rounds, and most departments do not have them, that is why they are important.   The vest donation is made possible by the local merchants contributing to the efforts of G. Silver.  This evening I want to thank G. Silver and the donors.   I am so thankful.  Stan Strater, Jr. from Topeka is also here this evening because they have done the same for his department.  Donor Acknowledgement was as follows:  Steve Folden of NISCO, Andre Yoder of Yoder’s Department Store, Steve Waldron and Shawn Williamson of Big C Lumber, Levi King of King Corp., Ryan Riegsecker of the Blue Gate, Joe Urbanski and Gary Fry of Farmers State Bank, Russ Crawford and Peter Armstrong of Rise-n-Roll, and there was an anonymous donor as well.  I am grateful on behalf of the Town and my Department, we have received vests for both the full time and reserve officers, in the past some of our guy have bought their own.  For our department this is probably a donation of $4,500.00, we are excited to receive the vests, and grateful for your support.  S. Strater, Jr. said same for our Department, I am very grateful.  G. Silver asked how many vests I would need for my department and I responded that we have three on the road since my position is mostly administration, but we have received four vests so that I can have one in my car as well.  The Town Council expressed appreciation for G. Silver for his efforts in collecting the donations and to the Donors for contributing to this effort.   Discussion followed.


MAY STREET CLOSURE REQUEST – BIG C LUMBER:  B. Shanahan referred Council Members to their paperwork and reported that this is the second year for Big C Lumber’s Annual Tool Sale Event.  They are requesting approval to close a section of N. Talmadge St. @ E. Mill Street intersection and N. Talmadge St. @ E. Main Street.  The barricades will be provided by the Town of Shipshewana to Big C on May 15th and Big C will put the barricades in place after 6:00 p.m.  The Barricades will be removed at 7:00 a.m. on May 17th.  A 30×45’ tent will be placed on Talmadge Street – with no stakes.  Food will be under part of the tent, trash receptacles, parking, and hitching racks will be provided by Big C. Lumber.  The Riegsecker and Kenny Stutzman carriage rides will be rerouted to Morton Street.  Big C is a good community partner and I will work with API as Talmadge Street is scheduled for resurfacing to make sure that the project does not interfere with the Tool Sale on May 16th.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the Big C Lumber Talmadge Street closure request for their May 16th Tool Sale Event as presented.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


UTILITY RATE REVIEWS & SUSTAINABILITY ANALYSIS:  G. Guerrettaz reported that we have been working on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and have met with the department heads to come up with the CIP that is in front of you this evening.  This year we have three major road projects and over 2 ½ million dollars’ worth of road and sidewalk improvements.  The additional capital outlay over and above that is another $900,000.00 for Water, Wastewater and Storm Water Utility improvements.  The Town did receive Community Crossing Grant funding from the state in the amount of $557,668.42 and will match that grant at 25% from the LOIT Special Distribution money in the amount of $165,889.48.  There will be a lot of work done over the next year.  The CIP shows proposed projects over the next 5 years.  We will be updating the Sustainability Analysis, and the CIP is part of that document which will show all the final funding sources.   Utility Rate Reviews:  G. Guerrettaz reported that the Storm Water Utility is doing well, and we are not recommending a rate increase at this time.  We have built up some of our reserves so that we are able to do some of the projects that are outlined in the CIP.  We are looking at doing some more research in the Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional class and at some point, we may ask you to consider recategorizing some of those users.  We cannot make any changes without making changes to the Ordinance, but we wanted to make the Council aware that we will be looking further into that.   G. Guerrettaz referred Council Members to the Water Rate review and reported from the meetings with department heads today we will be updating the 5-year CIP in this report.  This year you have $500,000.00 worth of Water Improvement projects, the big water project is the water line extension on SR 5 South at an approximate cost of $219,000.00.  We currently have approximately $900,000.00 in our Water Improvement Fund to cover these projects.   No rate increase is recommended for the Water Utility this year, but it looks like there may be the need for a rate increase next year.   We review your utilities annually to try to stay below a double-digit rate increase.  G. Guerrettaz referred Council Members to their paperwork for the Wastewater Utility Rate Report and pointed out that you are looking at $293,000.00 in improvements this year with the largest improvement being the lift station upgrade at SR 5 South.  We have recommended a 5% rate increase for the Wastewater Utility which is the same amount that was recommended last year.  Your last rate increase in this utility was in 2014.  We have notified LCRUD about the proposed rate increase which is the first step in the process.  This rate increase is needed to fund our Wastewater Utility now and, in the future, we are not asking you to approve the 5% rate increase this evening there is the need to have an Ordinance prepared and hold a public hearing sometime in August before this rate increase can take place.  We will continue to work with the Clerk-Treasurer’s office to move this process forward.  Discussion followed.


SUMMER HELP – INTRODUCTION & SET WAGES:  B. Shanahan reported currently we have had two potential responses for our summer help positions.  We have one person for the Park Department and I am recommending a wage of $11.00 per hour for this position.  We have a second individual that has expressed interest in the Summer Intern Position from Trine University for the Water or Wastewater Position, but he has not given his final answer.  I am requesting that pay for the Summer Intern Positions be set at $14.00 per hour, we are hoping to hire two for the Summer Intern positions.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to set the wages for the Summer Help Park Employee at $11.00 per hour and for the two Summer Intern positions to set the wage at $14.00 per hour.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

COMMUNITY CROSSINGS GRANT UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported that the Harrison Street Water Main is in along with the drainage structures.  API hopes to start concrete work next week, they will work on one side of the street and then do the other.  The businesses will remain open, but the street will remain closed.  We will be paving multiple streets this spring and summer.  The Harrison Street Merchants have been impressed with the job that API and their sub-contractors are doing.  Discussion followed.


TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  I have been in touch with Jim Long of Hubbard Feeds and they still plan on moving forward with their project this year, it is just running about three months behind schedule.  We will be looking at bidding the Farver Street & SR 5 project in May, with construction hopefully beginning in June and completion of the project in November.  We will also be looking at the water line extension and sidewalks along SR 5 this year.  We will not be able to complete all the sidewalks along SR 5 this year.  There will be sidewalks along the south side of Farver Street so that people can walk from their hotels to the MEC, a crosswalk on SR 5 will also be part of this project.  We will be applying for a second round of Community Crossings Grant funding sometime this summer for projects to be done in 2019.   We will have the buggy ruts on the east side of Middlebury Street filled with asphalt again this year.  That is a concrete road, but I have been told that we may be able to put asphalt in this section and it would hold up as well as the concrete, it would make it easier to redo the buggy ruts on that road.  I have received a quote from API for Wolfe Drive but per our purchasing policy I need to get two more quotes.  I will be presenting Wolfe Drive to the Council for repaving this year.   C. A. Lazzaro noted that some of the alleys are in pretty bad shape.  B. Shanahan reported that alleys are not grant eligible, but we will need to look at them.  Discussion followed.


WATER MAIN REPAIR – MAIN STREET:  B. Shanahan reported that there was a water leak just to the east of the Davis Mercantile building on Main Street.  We needed to tear out a 10’ X 10’ area of concrete to make the repair.  We are unsure of the total cost at this time but last year we had a leak at the public restrooms and it cost around $7,000.00 for those repairs.  The leak is stopped at this time and I will let you know the total cost when I have them.  Discussion followed.


REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION APPOINTMENT:  R. Downey reported that C.A. Lazzaro had contacted Marolyn Yoder about the vacancies we have had on the Redevelopment Commission and Marolyn has agreed to serve.  K. Bachman pointed out that appointments to the Redevelopment Commission are made on an annual basis and expire on December 31st each year.  Council President, E. Mast asked for a motion to approve the appointment of Marolyn Yoder to the Town of Shipshewana Redevelopment Commission.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the appointment of Marolyn Yoder to the Town of Shipshewana Redevelopment Commission.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


APPROPRIATION TRANSFER ORDINANCE:  R. Downey reported that this Ordinance is just transferring monies from one appropriation to another in the General Fund.   Discussion followed.


President E. Mast introduced AN ORDINANCE TRANSFERRING MONIES IN THE GENERAL FUND.  Council Member C.A. Lazzaro 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(553)” 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 C.A. Lazzaro, 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(553) at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.


“II-F-1-d(553)” 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, Lynn M. Bontrager, Tad T. Hite, J. Mike Wilcher, Elmer J. Mast.

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


FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that the Town received approval for the Town Center Operating Additional Appropriation Request in the amount of $75,000.00 on April 18th .   R. Downey requested a motion to approve the Claims Register and Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals as presented.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Council President E. Mast asked for a motion regarding the meeting minutes from the February 22, 2018 and April 12, 2018 Regular Council meetings, along with the April 6, 2018 Special Council meeting and the April 12, 2018 Executive Session.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the February 22nd and April 12th  Regular Council meeting minutes along with the April 6th  Special Council meeting and the April 22nd  Executive Session minutes as presented.  C. A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II reported that there is the need to purchase a new Police Reserve Car, now that we have a 5th officer it takes longer for a car to be passed down to the Reserve Officers.   Discussion followed.  T. Fitch II reported that we have three quotes for a 2018 Dodge Charger.  LaGrange Country Dodge Chrysler of LaGrange, IN $26,273.00; Sorg Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Mopar of Goshen, IN $24,076.00; and the state bid is $24,273.00.  We have used Sorg out of Goshen before and they have worked well with us.  Sorg is the low bid and with equipment and installation cost of $7,516.47 the total cost comes to $31,592.47.   R. Downey reported after meeting with G. Guerrettaz  I have confirmed that there is $30,000.00 in the CCD Fund that can be put toward a Police Reserve car.  T. Fitch II reported that the balance will be paid from the Police Gift Fund.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the purchase of a 2018 Dodge Charger AWD V-8 from Sorg’s Dodge of Goshen, IN and equipment as presented for a total cost of $31,592.47, with $30,000.00 being paid out of the CCD Fund and the balance paid from the Police Gift Fund.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


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


TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that the Police Department through the Military Surplus program has been able to secure a Jet- Vac Truck that the Town will be allowed to use from time to time for cleaning storm drains, sewer lines, and to keep water out of the holes during water line repairs.  The truck was new in 2003 and was purchased for over $228,000.00, it currently has just over 9,500 miles on it.  The truck does have some tank issues, so the tank may need to be repaired or replaced.  The truck is currently in Cape Canaveral Florida.  I have a quote from D-Bar-D to bring the Vac-truck here from Florida at an estimated cost of $3,500.00.  Discussion followed.  T. Fitch reported that Nick Byroad was here to answer any questions the Council may have regarding the Vac-truck and pointed out that the Police Department can use a vehicle like this during EVO training and to put water down on the tracks when we are driving.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan pointed out that the trucking company D-Bar-D will be turning in receipts for the airline ticket, fuel, and hotel.  They will be reimbursed for those amounts plus the driver pay of $1,500.00.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to hire D-Bar-D Trucking of Shipshewana to pick up the Vac-truck from Florida, for the Police Department at an estimated cost of $3,500.00.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION:  T. Fitch II presented a plaque and gift card to Greg Silver for all his efforts to assist 15 different agencies by gathering donations for the vests and donating them to the various Police Departments.  G. Silver accepted the plaque and expressed his appreciation.


POLICE DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR:  B. Shanahan reported due to the opening of the MEC and the increased requests for traffic control from other local businesses holding events we will need to ask outside agencies to come in and assist with traffic control for the events.  We only have five full time officers and they cannot do it all.  These businessmen want to build their business, so they will be holding more events, not just on the weekends but some events during the week as well.   Further research is still needed regarding requirements, and the administration of permits but we thought one possible answer would be to hire an employee for the Police Department, not an officer, someone to do the coordination and administrative work for the department.  I would like the Council’s permission to pursue the possibility of an employee for the Police Department and bring it back to you at a later date.

Discussion followed.


MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion authorizing the Town Manager, the Town Marshal and the Town Attorney to further investigate the possibility of hiring a Police Department Employee to coordinate help for traffic control and other administrative duties for the Police Department and to bring their findings and recommendations back to the Town Council.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


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


COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT:  G. Bachman reported that due to the weather there has been a delay in

getting road repair materials.  I talked with the Highway Department and they hope to have some materials by next week to start some of these road repair projects.  Discussion followed.


  1. Mast asked Council Members and Staff if they had anything further to bring before the Council. There being nothing further E. Mast introduced the Town Council and Staff to the Westview Government Class Students and asked them to introduce themselves. Introductions followed.


EDC CONTEST FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS:  B. Shanahan reported that we have two young people here who were involved in the EDC Young Entrepreneurs Contest.  They would like to start a business here in Town and would like to present their idea to the Council.    Andre Stutzman and Nisha Patel explained that they would like to invest in a small street sweeper, so they could clean up the horse manure on the Town Streets.  The company would be called Manure Movers.  They reported that people don’t like stepping in it or having the manure get on their cars, it smells, and the runoff pollutes our waterways.  There are over 6,000 horses in LaGrange County and one horse produces 6.75 tons of manure a year.  We would like to enter into a contract with the businesses for our services, and we would also offer advertisement space on our sweeper.  We could come out once a week or daily if necessary.  We believe this service would have an environmental impact and be a benefit to the community.    We have put together a business plan that projects pay-off for the street sweeper within the first five years and hopefully the businesses will generate up to $25,000.00 a year in profits.  Possible side businesses include manure composting, and since this is not a year-round business we may be looking into something for the winter months, such as shoveling sidewalks, and we may even expand to leaf and walnut pick-up on the Pumpkinvine Trail in the fall.  Our Message is “clean streets for clean feets!” #SHIPHAPPENS.  We will be making a presentation to the SRMA next week and hope we have the Council’s support.    B. Shanahan reported that he had met with these young people about a month ago, it is a great idea and it is great to see young people trying to do something.  Discussion followed.


There being no further business to come before the Council, E. Mast asked for a motion to adjourn.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to adjourn.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.