February 22, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

FEBRUARY 22, 2018  6:00 P.M.

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN HALL

Roger D. Yoder Council Room

345 N. Morton Street

Shipshewana, IN  46565

 

PRESENT:  Council; Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager, Tad T. Hite, J. Mike Wilcher, C. Arlene Lazzaro.  Staff; Robert W. Shanahan, Todd Thurber, Chad Miller, Tom M. Fitch II, Kurt R. Bachman, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Drew Snadderly, Marcus King, Trail Niswonger, Mason Jones, Michael Bontrager, Sara Leggett, Sydney Witham, Brandi Yoder, Kylee Zimmerman, Dexter Hochstetler, Carson Eash, George R. Bachman, Matthew Yoder.

 

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.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

BID OPENING – COMMUNITY CROSSINGS GRANT PROJECTS/2018 DOWNTOWN STREET IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS:  B. Shanahan introduced Todd Thurber of DLZ for the street bid opening.  T. Thurber reported that we will open the bids this evening and asked that the Council take the bids under advisement to allow time for proper review of the required documents.  R. Downey reported that four bids had been received and opened the same.   T. Thurber read the bid total amounts as follows:  Niblock Excavating of Bristol, IN $1,161,879.50; API Construction of Laotto, IN $868,832.90; Phend & Brown of Milford, IN $1,338,550.60; and Reith-Riley of South Bend, IN $1,187,717.35.  T. Thurber noted that three of the bids have come in lower than the engineering estimate of $1,220,000.00 and API Construction is the apparent low bidder.  This concludes the bid opening and I am requesting that the Council take these bids under advisement.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to take the Community Crossings Grant Projects/2018 Downtown Street Improvement Projects bids under advisement.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

SR 5 & FARVER STREET IMPROVEMENT UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported another project that will be taking place this year is the SR 5 & Farver Street project.  We are looking at expanding the project to include sidewalks on the south side of Farver Street going east to the west side of the MEC.  There will also be a crosswalk at the Farver Street and SR 5 intersection.  We hope to start the project in May and have the project completed by November.  DLZ is working on the plans so they can be submitted to INDOT for approval, once the plans are approved by INDOT the project can move forward.  In addition to the sidewalks along SR 5 we will be putting in a water main along SR 5 to US 20 and upgrading a lift station.  We will not be able to complete the SR 5 sidewalk project this year.  A community meeting was held and the sidewalk plan was well received, there were some concerns expressed but everyone is looking forward to the project completion.  Discussion followed.

 

USDA GRANT APPLICATION FOR FIRE TRUCK EQUIPMENT:  R. Downey reported that the appropriate Notice was placed in the paper to make the public aware that there would be discussion regarding applying for a USDA Rural Development Grant this evening to assist with the purchase of equipment for the Shipshewana Fire Department.  Fire Chief, C. Miller presented a list of 2018 Equipment needs to the Town Council for the new fire truck and proposed funding sources.  C. Miller reported that the top two items on the list totaling $13,588.80 will not go on the truck, those items include a gear dryer, and 30 fire hoods.  The total cost estimate for the equipment is $94,778.49 and proposed funding sources if the grant does not go through include $19,000.00 from the Fire Gift Fund and $75,778.49 from the Town of Shipshewana Public Safety LOIT Funds.  C. Miller pointed out that $25,000.00 will be paid from the Fire Gift Fund for the truck as that was left from our last truck auction fund raiser.  C. Miller reported that he was not sure how much he would get from the USDA Rural Development Grant, they look at total population for the area served by the Fire Department and household income.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey reported that this is the first year that the Town has received any Public Safety LOIT money, and the money is distributed monthly to the Town.  We do not have cash on hand for this purchase and it would require an additional appropriation.  I cannot do an additional appropriation for money I do not have.  Maybe a temporary loan would be the answer but that would have to be paid back in full prior to the end of the year.   B. Shanahan pointed out it fits the criteria for Public Safety money use.  J.M. Wilcher agreed.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Fire Chief to move forward with the USDA Rural Development Grant application for firefighting equipment.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.   T. Hite abstained.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II referred Council Members to their paperwork for the January 2018 Police Report and reported that we have had a rape case and pursuit between the end of January and now.  Our guys did very well with both, the pursuit was out on US 20, a couple of our Reserve Officers were involved and did an excellent job.  Nick Byroad has been handling the rape case investigation, at this point it is one person accusing another.  Nick continues to work on the report and has sent some things off to the lab for further testing.  Nick is doing an excellent job with this investigation.   Discussion followed.

 

POLICE CAR & EQUIPMENT PURCHASE REQUEST:  T. Fitch II reported that Sergeant Juan Carlos Jasso has put together the purchase request for a new 2018 Ford Interceptor Sedan police car and equipment.  The car and equipment are part of the annual police budget.  The low bid for the car comes from Community Ford Lincoln of Bloomington, they have the state bid and are the low quote at $28,508.24.  We requested quotes for the equipment and did not receive a response from some of the companies.  The total equipment cost is $12,992.00.  The total cost for the car and equipment is $41,500.24.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to purchase a 2018 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan from Community Ford Lincoln of Bloomington for $28,508.24 and equipment at a cost of $12,992.00 for a total cost of $41,500.24 to be paid from the Police Department budget.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Fitch reported that we have some outdated camera systems in use in our cars. In the CCD Fund there has been $10,000.00 set aside for Police Equipment. The quote from Watch Guard for the camera system came in at $5,795.00 per camera.  I would like to purchase two camera systems using $10,000.00 from the CCD Fund and taking the balance from the Police Gift Fund.  This is something we need to do.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Town Marshal to purchase two camera systems from Watch Guard at a total cost of $11,590.00, $10,000.00 to be paid from the CCD Fund and the balance from the Police Gift Fund.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

WATER & WASTEWATER UTILITY RATE REVIEWS:  R. Downey reported that Council Members should have received the February 15, 2018 Utility Rate Reviews prepared by Financial Solutions Group, Inc. (FSG) for the Water and Wastewater Utilities.  FSG is not recommending an increase in the Water Utility but a rate increase of 5% is recommended for the Wastewater Utility, along with an increase in the connection fee from $1,250.00 to $1,500.00.  FSG has also addressed the issue of connection fees for campground sites stating that they should be considered at ½ an EDU because of the County Ordinance that only allows campgrounds to operate for six months out of the year.  A rate increase of 5% had been recommended for wastewater last year but we did not move forward with that increase per the recommendation of legal counsel.  A pending lawsuit was taking place in another community that involved a county sewer district, that lawsuit has now been resolved.  Wastewater rate increases take additional time because we receive waste from Shipshewana Lake.  Per our agreement with LCRUD we must notify them at least 120 days prior to the date that the Town proposes to make any adjustment in our wastewater rates.  Discussion followed.    K. Bachman recommended that the Council authorize his office to move forward with a draft of rate ordinance and a notice to LCRUD to move the process forward.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion authorizing legal council to move forward with the necessary paperwork, including giving notice to LCRUD so we can move the proposed sewer rate increase forward.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

WATER METER REBUILD & REPLACEMENT FOR COMMERICAL METERS:  B. Shanahan reported that Water Superintendent, Joshua Koontz would like to replace 11 commercial water meters to insure accuracy, we have 45 commercial meters in our water system.  We only have one quote from Utility Supply for your consideration because we use one vendor to supply all our water meters too guarantee uniformity and compatibility with our meter reading software. The quote from Utility Supply includes meters, spacers, and antennas for a total cost of $10,562.92.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the purchase of 11 water meters for commercial users from Utility Supply Company at a total cost of $10,526.92 to be paid from the Water Fund.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

HUDSON CAR MUSEUM UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported that the Shipshewana Car Museum, Inc. Board met earlier this evening.  At the last meeting of the Board it was decided that it is necessary to sell the Hudson Car Collection and Memorabilia because the Museum is no longer sustainable.    I was asked to come up with the best way to approach the sale of the Hudson Cars, so I have been communicating with a number of Auction Companies.  Before you is a list of Auctioneers that the Car Museum Board has asked me to set up interviews with.  Kraft Auctions Services of Valparaiso, IN; Mecum Auctions of Walworth, WI; Bonhams Auctions of New York, NY; Bartel & Company Auctioneers of Middlebury, IN; Tom Mack Auctions of Prosperity, SC; and Worldwide Auctioneers of Auburn, IN.  The Shipshewana Car Museum Inc. Board will hold interviews with these companies on March 2nd.   I am hopeful that between March 2nd and the March 8th Council Meeting that the Museum Board will make a decision and be ready to make a recommendation to the Council regarding their selection of an Auctioneer.  I have had a number of organizations and individuals express interest in buying the cars.  There is still a lot to be decided.   Discussion followed.

 

  1. Bachman pointed out that it is necessary to appoint C.A. Lazzaro to another three-year term on the Car Museum Board for the years of 2018, 2019, and 2020. Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to appoint C.A. Lazzaro to another three-year term on the Shipshewana Car Museum Inc. Board for the years of 2018, 2019, and 2020.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Mast requested a motion for the October 12, 2017 Special Town Council meeting minutes, the July 27, 2017 regular Town Council meeting minutes, and the February 8, 2018 regular Town Council meeting minutes. Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the October 12, 2017 Special Council meeting minutes, the July 27, 2017 Regular Council meeting minutes, and the February 8, 2018 Council meeting minutes as submitted.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that at the Shipshewana Car Museum Inc. Annual Board meeting earlier this evening they approved and accepted The Annual Financial Report for 2017.  As part of their by-laws, this same report is to be presented to the Town Council.  R. Downey reported this report reflects the balance for the Endowment money.   Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the 2017 Annual Financial Report for the Shipshewana Car Museum Inc. Endowment as submitted.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Mast asked for any further business to come before the Council.

 

  1. Shanahan reported plans for a vacation to England for a couple of weeks later this year. C.A. Lazzaro reported that there is a street sign down at the corner of SR 5 and Berkshire Drive. B. Shanahan pointed out since that is on SR 5 it may be an INDOT issue.  Discussion followed.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that the Town received the 2018 Budget Order on February 14th, a copy is in your paperwork along with a page showing the 2018 Tax Rates for all taxing districts in LaGrange County.  Now that we have received the 2018 Budget Order I will need to start working on some Additional Appropriations, the tech costs for the Police Department have come in much higher than originally anticipated and will run around $16,550.00 annually.  We need to consider an Additional Appropriation in the Town Center Operating Fund for Utilities and Professional Services and one for the Community Crossings Grants Projects.  The 2017 Annual Financial Report along with the Annual Debt Report for the Town of Shipshewana were submitted on Gateway today and will be available for public review.  R. Downey requested a motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the Claims Registers and Adjustment Journals as submitted.  T. Hite seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

Discussion followed regarding Community Crossings Grant deadlines and what is involved to continue moving the process forward.  B. Shanahan reported that the deadline to have a signed contract to INDOT is April 15th.  K. Bachman reminded everyone that we need to have funding in place before final award of the contract.

 

COUNTY COMMISSION REPORT:  G. Bachman reported at the Commissioners meeting on Monday they approved moving things forward for the start of the Criminal Justice Building, I believe that most of the contracts have been signed and this is a great example of the County and Town Government working together.  G. Bachman urged the Town Council to move forward with great caution before spending all the Public Safety LOIT Tax dollars.  It is a great tax, but it is not guaranteed, it is based on the County income.  Right now, the County income is really high, so it is bound to go down sooner or later.  I agree what the Fire Department is asking for is the correct use for the tax.  Discussion followed

 

  1. Mast introduced the Council and Staff to the Westview Government Class students and asked them to introduce themselves and ask any questions they may have. Introductions followed.

 

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

 

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