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October 25, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes


OCTOBER 25, 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;  Robert W. Shanahan, Kurt R. Bachman, Tom M. Fitch II, Brandon Hooley, Ruth Ann Downey.   Public; George Bachman, Guy Thompson, Marvin Yoder, Tori Antal.


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


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


LIGHT PARADE UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported that the application for the closure of SR 5 for the Light Parade has been submitted to INDOT and we are waiting for their reply.  We have requested the closure for an additional hour this year starting at 4 p.m.  East Middlebury Street will also be closed around mid-day rather than later in the afternoon.  Marshal Tom M. Fitch II has secured 47 officers to assist with this event coming from a number of different communities.  The organizational meeting for the volunteers will be held at the Town Center this year rather than at the Wolfe Community Building.  One concern that was brought to our attention after the parade last year was that there was not enough handicapped parking.  This year we are designating both the Wolfe Community Building parking lot and the Town Hall parking lot for handicapped parking.  The light parade will be held on November 10th and I believe we have a good plan in place.  Today I found out that INDOT will be redoing the buggy lanes on SR 5 from 50 N to 450 N.  The paving project at SR 5 & Farver Street is scheduled for completion by November 2nd but the INDOT buggy lane project is scheduled to begin November 5th.  The Parade of Lights that will be held on the Auction grounds is scheduled to begin one week after the light parade and I am concerned that the INDOT buggy lane project could create some issues with the Parade of Lights.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan reported that he would work with INDOT to coordinate efforts and learn the total scope of the project.


2019 FIRE PROTECTION AGREEMENT:  B. Shanahan referred Council Members to their paperwork for a copy of the 2019 Shipshewana Fire Service Agreement that has been reviewed and approved by the Council.  The 2019 Fire Agreement was sent on to the Townships for their approval.  Newbury Township has raised some concerns.  One concern is regarding item #10. Allocation of Expenses in the event of an emergency.  In the past agreements allocation of expenses above those set out in the budget had not been spelled out in the agreement.   This was pointed out at a prior discussion and it was recommended that we get rid of this grey area.  I had put in the same percentages that we have set out in the agreement for regular expenses for any emergency expenses in the 2019 Agreement.  Newbury Township would like to have a meeting with the Fire Chief, Town Council and their Trustees to review the agreement.  We would also invite Van Buren Township.  A 48-hour meeting notice will be required to hold this meeting.  Maybe we can schedule a meeting for next week or the week after.  K. Bachman pointed out that the Townships will need to give meeting notices as well if their Board Members will be attending.  Discussion followed.


PUBLIC RESTROOM DRAWING REVIEW:  B. Shanahan referred Council Members to their paperwork  for Option #2 of the Conceptual Design for the new Public Restrooms to be located in the Town Park just south of the Wolfe Community Building.  Option #2 includes a family restroom; the building entrance will face north.  DLZ needs to do some soil borings but we will be requesting approval to advertise for bids at the November 8th Council meeting.  We will be requesting approval for the SR 5 South Water Main Extension/Sidewalk project and the SR 5 Lift Station project at the same meeting.  Council Members reviewed the restroom plans and discussion followed.  Council Members agreed to continue moving forward with Option #2 for the Public Restroom project.


APPROPRIATION TRANSFER ORDINACE:  R. Downey reported that we are just transferring money from one-line item to another to leave no appropriation in the negative.


President E. Mast introduced AN ORDINANCE TRANSFERRING MONIES IN THE GENERAL, MVH, PARK, FOOD & BEVERAGE, AND FIRE FUNDS.  Council Member L. Bontrager made a motion, seconded by Council Member C.A. Lazzaro, 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(567)” 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 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-d(567)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.


“II-F-1-d(567)” 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:  Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro, J. Mike Wilcher, Tad T. Hite, 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(567)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.


TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan pointed out that the Town Hall Men’s restroom and the newer Wolfe Building Restrooms had been shut down due to a recall notice.  We are waiting on new parts for their repair.  Discussion followed.


POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:  T. Fitch II reported that there will be a total of 85 volunteers for the Light Parade counting Fire, EMS and Town personnel.  I have contacted the same people who catered the event for us last year.  Due to the total number of volunteers for this event I am requesting help from the Town this year to feed our volunteers.  R. Downey reported that the Town does have a Community Promotion line item in the General Fund and our Ordinance allows for payment of meals.  I have talked with Tom and recommended a fifty, fifty split of the meal cost with the second half of the cost coming from the Police Gift Fund.  Discussion followed.  T. Fitch II reported that State Police Officer, Tim Moon has 14 State Troopers from his district with another 4 State Troopers coming from outside that district, and there is a Notre Dame Football Game that same day that the State Troopers help cover as well.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to have the Town pay for 42 meals for Light Parade volunteers from the General Fund Community Promotion line item.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Fitch II reported that he and the Town Manager had attended several good planning meetings for the Light Parade and noted that he expects things to go smoother this year. Discussion followed.


  1. Fitch II referred Council Members to flashlight quotes for Full-Time and Reserve Police Officers. The quotes are for a total of 16 flashlights. Out current flashlights are 9 years old.  I have looked at my budget and there is money available in the Reserve and Police Equipment line items for this purchase.  I recommend going with Galls.  Galls is not the low quote by $1.00 per flashlight but the other company will require payment by credit card and we don’t have a card with a limit that high.  We do have an account with Galls and they have included shipping in their quote.  Discussion followed.  T. Fitch II pointed out that $1,425.89 would be taken from the Reserve line item and $659.00 from the Full-Time line item.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Town Marshal to order 16 flashlights for the Police Department from Galls, Inc. at a total cost of $2,094.80.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Fitch II reported that he is in the process of moving completion of the Monthly Police Report duties from Nick Byroad to Heidi Jensen. Since Nick has been at Canine training these reports have not been kept up-to-date. These reports should be available to you at the first meeting in November.  Things have been busy.  Discussion followed.  C.A. Lazzaro expressed concern about cars that have been parked at Ben’s Bakery overnight.  Officer, B. Hooley reported that they are aware of cars being parked at Ben’s Bakery, they do have some overnight employees.  Calling in when you see something is appreciated.  T. Fitch reported that there have been a number of hitches stolen from the E & S Parking area so if you see something do not hesitate to call LaGrange County Dispatch after hours.  Discussion followed.


  1. Fitch requested approval to begin the hiring process for a sixth Police Officer. The costs associated with a sixth officer have been put in the 2019 Budget. My hope is to advertise and begin the interview process so that I will have someone ready to hire when the first of the year comes and the budget is approved.  B. Shanahan reported that he had heard that a number of municipalities in the area were considering hiring.  It would be prudent to be ahead of the game with the understanding that no official hiring can be done until the 2019 Budget is approved and that the candidate understands that they will not start until the first of the year.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion authorizing the Town Marshal to move forward with the hiring process for a sixth Police Officer with the understanding that the actual hiring of the officer will not take place until the Town has received approval for the 2019 Budget and that the start date for employment will not occur prior to January 1, 2019.    L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Fitch II reported that Nick Byroad will be done with Canine training on December 7th. The number of call outs have been up due to Nick being gone but we expect it to come back down after December 7th. For the new year my goal is to try a 12-hour schedule in hopes of getting closer to having 24-hour coverage.  Discussion followed regarding vacation, training, and other time off along with scheduling.  T. Fitch II noted that having someone to do some of the paperwork, such as the monthly reports and training records will leave our officers available for other police work.  Discussion followed.


ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that he had taken care of some administrative work by recording the easement and the deed for the property located next to the Event Center that was donated to the Car Museum Inc.   Currently this property is tax exempt under the Car Museum Inc., since it is a 501 C-3.   January 1, 2019 is the reassessment date and I am not sure what the tax status on this property will be.   I have asked B. Shanahan to check further into this.   K. Bachman reported that he has the Tax Return form for the $180,000.00 Fire Truck lease.  This form requires the Council President’s signature.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  J.M. Wilcher made a motion authorizing the Council President to sign the Tax Return, Form 8038-G for the Fire Truck lease in the amount of $180,000.00.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Mast asked if there were any corrections or additions to the October 11, 2018 Town Council meeting minutes. There being no corrections or additions E. Mast asked for a motion to approve the minutes.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the October 11, 2018 Town Council meeting minutes as presented.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Mast asked Council Members if they had anything further. C.A. Lazzaro asked if the road at Old US 20 and CR 75 that goes to the new US 20 can be widened. County Council Member, George Bachman reported that it is too late to have anything done this fall but reported that he would check into it and see if something could be done next year.


FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that builder, Bob Bender had paid a sewer tap fee in the amount of $1,500.00 along with a water tap fee of $1,000.00 and a curb cut fee of $50.00 for property located at 1380 Stratford Lane, this is in the Berkshire Development.  He is now requesting a refund of these fees since the property has water level issues.  B. Shanahan reported that this area is a wet-lands and never should be built on, but I believe that a refund should not be given until the hole on the lot has been filled in.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan pointed out that the developer should consider offering ½ of this parcel to each adjoining property owner.  The building trades class was going to build on this site, but soil borings determined that the property was not buildable.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to refund the water and sewer tap fees along with the driveway cut permit fee paid by Bob Bender in the total amount of $2,250.00 after the hole on the property has been properly filled in.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Downey reported that the newly required Annual Redevelopment Commission Informational meeting has been set for December 5th at 3:30 p.m. here at the Town Hall. The Town Financial Consultant will be here to help cover the required information as set out in HEA 1242 and an official notice will be sent to all units affected by the Town’s TIF area inviting them to attend this meeting. R. Downey reported at the last Council Meeting Council Members received notice of the next AIM Town Roundtable meeting that will be held in Middlebury, IN on December 6th, please let me know prior to the November 8th Council meeting if you are interested in attending and I will send in the registration as a group.  R. Downey requested a motion to approve the Claims Register and pointed out that there are no Adjustment Journals.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the Claims Register as submitted.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT:  G. Bachman reported that the 2019 County Budget has been submitted and we are waiting on official approval.  L. Bontrager asked when US 20 in LaGrange would be open.  G. Bachman reported that it is scheduled to be opened by December 6th.  Discussion Followed.


  1. Mast introduced the Town Council and staff to Westview Government Class Student Tori Antal.


  1. Mast asked if there was any further business to come before the Council.


LaGrange Standard reporter Guy Thompson announced that he would be moving on to something new and this would be his last meeting coving the Shipshewana Town Council meeting.  Best wishes were extended to Guy Thompson from Council Members and the staff.  Discussion followed.


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


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to adjourn.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.



________________________________________                ______________________________________

Elmer J. Mast, Council President                                                               Lynn M. Bontrager, Council Vice-President



________________________________________                ______________________________________

Mike Wilcher, Council Member                                                                 C. Arlene Lazzaro, Council Member



_________________________________________              ______________________________________

Ruth Ann Downey, Clerk-Treasurer                                                          Tad T. Hite, Council Member