May 10, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes

SHIPSHEWANA TOWN COUNCIL

MAY 10, 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, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Lynn M. Bontrager.  Staff; Robert W. Shanahan, Kevin Bruns, Tom M. Fitch II, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Brian Bills, Nathan Cheng, Dylan Pittenger.  ABSENT:   Council; Tad T. Hite, J. Mike Wilcher.

 

Council President E. Mast noted that Council Members Tad T. Hite and J. Mike Wilcher were absent, all other Council Member were present.  E. Mast welcomed everyone and asked that they be sure to sign in.  Agendas were available.

 

INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  L. Bontrager gave the invocation and C.A. Lazzaro led the pledge.

 

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

 

SHIPSHEWANA POLICE ASSISTANCE TO WESTVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT – BRIAN BILLS:  B. Shanahan introduced Brian Bills the Director of Transportation, Buildings, & Grounds for Westview School Corporation, and reported that he and Town Marshal, T. Fitch II had met with B. Bills a couple of times  regarding the need for Police Officers in the schools.   B. Bills reported that he was a State Trooper prior to his position with Westview.  The traditional model for hiring an SRO (Safety Resource Officer) is that the school corporation hires one full-time person for the school corporation.  We would like to start with the High School next year and put an officer in every school building in the corporation over the next four to five years.  Rather than hiring a full-time officer we would like to hire off-duty officers from the community to work at the school.  These officers must go through 40 hours of required training and two training dates are coming up in June and July, Westview will pay for this training.  We feel there would be a number of advantages by hiring officers from the community.  We would have multiple officers from the area familiar with the buildings, since it is a part-time position we won’t have people calling in sick, and by participating in this program it enhances the officers training.  Multiple officers in the schools will provide more connections for diverse groups of kids, and different officers pick-up on different things.  The South Gibson School Corporation uses this model and it is working well.  I am asking that the Town consider sending one Shipshewana Officer to start.  This would be no different than the Sherriff’s Deputies who work at the banks.  C.A. Lazzaro asked how many hours an officer would be expected to work.  B. Bills reported they could choose a four or eight-hour shift.  C.A. Lazzaro expressed concern over officers coming in to work a full shift for the Town and being tired.  B. Bills explained that they would want officers in a Class A Uniform and to drive their Police Car to the school as that would show a police presence.  Discussion followed.   B. Bills reported that Topeka has committed two officers and the Sherriff’s Department has committed four officers that will attend training this summer.   E. Mast expressed concern about the amount of overtime our officers are already required to do here.  T. Fitch II reported that I have one officer that has expressed interest at this time and there is the possibility of a second officer being interested but I cannot commit for them.  B. Shanahan inquired about insurance and workers comp. coverage and who would cover the officer while they are working for Westview.  B. Bill reported he would check into that.  K. Bruns recommended that the Town double check their policies regarding off-time use of the Town vehicle and equipment.  Discussion followed.  E. Mast expressed concern regarding manpower and the Town being understaffed.  I believe we would be willing to participate but we are not ready to commit until there is more discussion.  Discussion followed.

 

TASER CARTRIDGE PURCHASE:  T. Fitch II referred Council Members to a quote from Axon Enterprise, Inc. and reported that they are a sole provider, there are no other option.  Our Tasers must be certified annually, and Axon is the only company that provides battery packs and cartridges for them.  We have 15 units that need battery packs and cartridges.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the quote from Axon to purchase battery packs and Taser cartridges at a total cost of $1,440.00.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II referred Council Members to their paperwork for two quotes for a tactical vest for Sergeant Jasso, one half of this purchase will be covered by grant money.  We requested three quotes but only received two, the low quote is from Brateman’s, Inc. for $1,600.00 with $800.00 being paid by the grant the remaining funding would be ½ from the Police Gift Fund and $400.00 from the Police Equipment appropriation.  This is a specialized vest that is necessary for SWAT training.  The second quote is from Gall’s and came in at $1,775.00.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion approving the purchase of an Armor Vest from Brateman’s at a cost of $1,600.00 with ½ being paid from grant money and the balance split between the Police Gift

Fund and Police Equipment appropriation.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

STREET SWEEPER & VAC TRUCK UPDATES:  B. Shanahan reported through the Military Surplus Program which is a program that is available to the Police Department we have been able to receive a Street Sweeper and Vac Truck that will be available for Town use at times.  We have had the Street Sweeper looked at and it will need some work on the seals and an arm attached.  The Vac Truck was coming from Florida and broke down in Louisville, KY.  The Vac Truck was towed to Fremont where they are checking it over, it appears to have some filter issues.  Originally the cost to bring the Vac Truck here was $3,400.00 we now have an additional cost of $1,800.00 to $2,000.00 for towing fees.  This program is a great-thing for the Police Department and the Town.  Discussion followed.

 

MAYFEST REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that the weather was very windy on Friday, but he was in Town on Saturday for Mayfest and it seemed to be a good crowd, and the weather was great.  The basketball tournament was held at the Cove, so it did spread things out, but I have not received any complaints so overall it was a success.  Discussion followed.

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that the Park Department held a Public Meeting on April 30th for updating the 5 Year Master Plan for the Park.  Region 3-A conducted the Public Meeting and one of the attendees was Willie Christer, he is involved with the Cove and they are planning on putting in a couple of ball diamonds and may be interested in using the Town ball diamonds sometimes.  This was the first Public Meeting for the Park Master Plan, another Public Meeting will be held before final approval of the plan.  Discussion followed.

 

WAGE & SALARY ORDINANCE:  B. Shanahan reported that Heidi Moon has been working for the Town as the Receptionist & Utility Billing Clerk and would like to move into the position which is being created for the Police Department to help coordinate officers from outside agencies to help with traffic control here in Town for various events.  Due to the demands of the new position we are recommending a starting wage of $17.00 per hour.  We would like to fill this position on May 14th, this will leave a vacant position for the Town to fill.   T. Fitch reported that the new position will be a full-time position titled Executive Coordinator.  I’m sure there will be a lot of paperwork involved with this position, but it will make sure that we have people scheduled for traffic control for the events.  At this point it looks like we could need 12 to 15 officers every other weekend for various events taking place here in Town.  B. Shanahan reported that we will be meeting with the Town Attorney tomorrow to work out details regarding the Event Ordinance and Event Permits that will be needed.   Prompt payment from the business holding the event will be necessary to make things work.  L. Bontrager asked if any meetings had been held with the people who will need to get the permits and have the traffic control provided.  B. Shanahan reported after the meeting with the Attorney tomorrow we will meet with the MEC, Blue Gate, and Trading Places, Inc. so they know what is necessary to make things work.  Discussion followed.

 

President E. Mast introduced AN ORDINANCE AMENDING WAGE AND SALARY ORDINANCE NO. II-F-1-d(2) FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2018.  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(554)” 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(554)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.

 

“II-F-1-d(554)” 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, 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(554)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to move forward with finding a replacement for the Receptionist/Utility Billing Clerk position.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

COMMUNITY CROSSINGS GRANT STREET PROJECTS:  B. Shanahan reported that the new water line is in on Harrison Street and the sidewalk has been tore out on the East side of Harrison.  They will finish the sidewalk on the East side of Harrison before starting on the West side, the next step will be to mill and repave the street.  We had to close Middlebury Street on Monday due to the water line connection, Middlebury Street will be repaired when the other surfacing is done.  Discussion followed.

 

HUDSON AUCTION UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported that the contract has been signed with the Auction Company, Worldwide Auctioneers and the process is moving forward for the sale of the cars on August 4th.  All loaner cars have been returned and the Town will receive 5 more cars from the Hostetler estate.  The auction company has asked if anyone from the Council would be interested in doing a two-minute interview for publicity for the auction.  No Council Members expressed interest.  B. Shanahan reported that a good crowd is expected.  Discussion followed.

 

LAGRANGE COUNTY REMC ANNUAL MEETING APPOINTMENT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for a letter from LaGrange County REMC dated May 4th and reported that with the letter an Affidavit for voting purposes was enclosed.  The Town has REMC out at the WWTP, some of our lift stations and the street lights on N. Village Drive.  The Council needs to appoint someone to be the voting member at their annual meeting which will be held on June 9th.  In the past the Town has appointed Kurt Bachman or a representative from his office.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to appoint Kurt R. Bachman as the voting representative for the Town of Shipshewana at the LaGrange County REMC Annual meeting on June 9, 2018.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that he had been approached by CenturyLink about putting in some underground fiber optic cables in the area of 280 E. N. Village Drive, but there will be an above ground pedestal as part of the project.  The Town passed an Ordinance prohibiting above ground utilities in the Town right-of-way’s, but according to Kurt the law was changed this past March and a new line was added that states the area designated for no above ground utilities must be residential.  The property in question is zoned business.   K. Bachman has reviewed the Agreement submitted to the Town by United Telephone Company of Indiana, d.b.a. CenturyLink and feels the Agreement is not necessary since we have an Ordinance in place.  The Council can approve the project, but Kurt does not believe it is necessary to sign the Agreement if the scope of the project is acceptable to the Council.  Discussion followed.  K. Bruns recommended that the Council consider approval of the project and authorize the Council President to sign the Agreement outside of a Council meeting subject to final review by our office.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the project submitted by CenturyLink for fiber optic cable in the North Village Drive area and authorize the Council President to sign any Agreement subject to final review by the Town Attorney.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Shanahan reported that a port-a-pot has been put at 850 W where the Pumpkinvine Trail ends for this summer and fall. B. Shanahan referred Council Members to their paperwork for a Beacon map that shows the section of the Pumpkinvine Trail where a culvert needs replacement.  This is a county drain, so we are working with the County Surveyor to get this work done.  The trail will be closed May 16th through May 18th between 1100 W and 1000 W  for repairs, the hope is that the trail will reopen late on May 18th.    The surface of the trail will be rough for about 60’ until we can get the pavement replaced.  We will need to close the trail again when the pavement is replaced.  Discussion followed.

 

  1. Shanahan reported that American Legal Publishing is the company that does the codification of the Town Ordinances and they have provided us with a quote to update the Town Ordinances from 2016

through 2017 at a cost of $1,800.00 to $2,400.00 plus an additional $203.00 for the update on the internet which is available on the Town website.   We do have a line item in the budget for this.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the quote from American Legal Publishing Company in an amount not to exceed $2,603.00 for the codification update for the Town Ordinances from 2016 through 2017.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Shanahan reported that he has received four complaints recently regarding the feral cat issue here in Town, it is not just in one area. I am requesting permission from the Council to bring someone in to see how we can resolve this problem. Feral cats can be a health risk.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to bring in someone to look at a possible remedy for the feral cats within the Town Corporate limits.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Mast asked for a motion regarding the April 26, 2018 Town Council meeting minutes.

 

MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the April 26, 2018 Council meeting minutes as submitted.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

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

 

FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the April Fund Report along with the April Water, Parks & Grounds Report.  R. Downey requested a motion to approve the April Bank Reconciliations, the Claims Register, and Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.

 

MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to approve the April Bank Reconciliations, the Claims Register, and Adjustment Journals as submitted.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

 

  1. Mast introduced the Town Council to the Westview Government Class students and asked them to introduce themselves. Introductions 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.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.