NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 7, 2006
Town Council President John Perrin opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with the pledge to the American flag. Council members present were Scott Alspach, John Perrin, Don Harris, Terry Spencer and Joe Noonan. Also present were Attorney J. Lee Robbins and Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach along with Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Mary Facemire, Bill Withers, Brian Hedrick and Office Manager Cindy Yates. Councilman Harris offered the opening prayer.
Member Harris moves to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. Motion seconded by Councilman Noonan. Vote 5 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents recommended cuts to the General Fund as submitted by the various Department Heads. Alspach states that we are still waiting on the final budget order reducing the 2006 budget by an additional $21,943.00. Councilman Harris expresses concerns over the Fuel / Gasoline appropriations. Alspach states this item will be placed on the February 21st agenda.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach has distributed copies of the research on what other municipalities collect for water / sewer / utility deposits. Alspach thanks Office Manager Yates for the information she collected from other Johnson County municipalities that has been included in this report. President Perrin recommends charging deposits for both Water and Sewer and charging the maximum allowed by law. After much discussion council also seems to favor having all utility accounts in the property owner’s name. Landlord, rather than tenant, would have to establish and be responsible for the utility service. Councilman Noonan expresses concern over the financial hardship this could have on landlords who have tenants that move without giving them notice. President Perrin states that is why landlords require security deposits and often times collect a month’s rent in advance. Perrin suggests having Attorney Robbins draft legislation reflecting the changes discussed tonight. Once the council has reviewed the draft ordinance we could schedule a special meeting with the landlords to discuss the proposed policy changes.
Drainage at Country Gate
Public Works Supt. Lasiter states that he is getting weekly progress reports. The 6-month performance bond expired and has been renewed. Paul Clair with Schneider Engineering has a meeting scheduled within the next week with NACHI. Lasiter will update the council at each meeting.
Fire Department Take Home Vehicles
Fire Chief Hedrick presents a Memo addressing vehicle and response time concerns. Hedrick asks the council to read, review and consider the Memo. Hedrick also presents an option asking the Town to consider leasing his personal vehicle for $1.00 a year allowing him to put lights and decals on it and use it as a take home vehicle / Chief’s car. President Perrin asks council to review the information and call Brian with any questions.
Fire Department Radios
Councilman Harris asks Hedrick if they acquired the radios from White River Township. Chief Hedrick states they purchased 7 used radios and a bank recharger for $2,400.00, which is the equivalent of the cost of 1 new radio. Chief Hedrick adds that he is preparing a presentation detailing the Fire Station proposed expansion / remodel.
February 7, 2006
PW Supt. Lasiter states that he is ready to dispose of the 1985 Suburban. This vehicle was used by the Fire Department before being transferred to Public Works in 1999. The transmission is going out on the vehicle. Lasiter has had two (2) verbal offers of $200.00 each for the truck. The man who does the heating and air conditioning work for the town has offered $500.00 in labor / service calls in exchange for the 1985 Suburban. He is only interested in the engine and would scrap out the vehicle. Attorney Robbins states if the value is less than $1,000.00 the vehicle can be sold without a formal bid process. The vehicle had no trade in value when the new trucks were recently purchased – neither seller would give us any trade in for the Suburban. Council approves the $500.00 service trade.
Access Johnson County
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach distributes letters requesting $2,189.00 from New Whiteland to offset Access Johnson County’s transportation budget for 2006. Council declines payment due to our own budget cuts.
NWPD Taser Training
Marshal Withers states that all of the officers have completed their certification training and are now carrying tasers. Councilman Alspach asks if all of the officers were in fact tased? Withers states all of the officers except him were.
Street Lights in Tracy Ridge
PW Supt. Lasiter received a letter requesting additional street lighting in the Tracy Ridge subdivision. Lasiter states that today’s requirements or standards require lights be placed closer together than they were when the Tracy Ridge subdivision was approved. The street lights were installed in compliance with the guidelines that were in place at that time. There are some dark areas in the subdivision but there are dark areas in other neighborhoods also. Lasiter is especially concerned about Tracy Road. Lasiter adds that when the streetlights are approved the developer pays all installation costs and the town assumes responsibility for the monthly charges. The cost of a light pole is $1,600.00 and an 8’ cobra head light fixture runs around $400.00. The monthly service fee for new lights runs $12.00 per month. Lasiter asks if the Homeowners Association is willing to pay the installation costs, would the town pay the monthly fees? Council states they would, if the location of the light was approved by Supt. Lasiter prior to installation.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance on 1st reading and explains. Motion to adopt Ordinance 2022 by Councilman Harris and seconded by Councilman Noonan. Vote 5 affirmative.
Councilman Alspach moves to suspend the rules and consider this ordinance on final reading tonight. Motion seconded by Councilman Spencer. Vote 5 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance in title only on final reading. Motion to adopt Ordinance 2022 by Councilman Spencer and seconded by Councilman Harris. Vote 5 affirmative.
Attorney Robbins introduces the amendment to the zoning ordinance on 1st reading. Robbins summarizes the changes which include not allowing more than two (2) of these type recreational vehicles (boats, campers, trailers, RVs) per property, never allowing vehicles to be inhabited while on residential property, only one (1) vehicle can be stored in the driveway or in front of the front building line, and vehicle must be at least 12’ from the curb or street. Robbins states this should make the town look neater and should make the ordinance easier to enforce. Motion to adopt Ordinance 2023 by Councilman Harris and seconded by Councilman Spencer. Vote 5 affirmative.
This item will be placed on the February 21st agenda.
February 7, 2006
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Brad Grider, 801 Wheatfield asks if the Country Gate Homeowner’s Association could dedicate all common areas including the three (3) ponds to the town if they dissolve their association? Member Spencer asks about costs involved to mow those areas and maintain the ponds? PW Lasiter states the areas are not accessible without crossing private property and money has not been budgeted for that type of maintenance. Attorney Robbins states that he has not seen the covenants but notes that it would be difficult to deed away property belonging to the Association. The covenants allow the collection of fees to cover maintenance but the town would not be able to collect those fees. Robbins adds that he would advise the council against considering this proposal.
Grider asks Attorney Robbins if Ron Jones has discussed enforcement of the covenants with him? Robbins states that he has not spoken with Ron Jones. Someone else in his office may have talked to him but Attorney Robbins has not.
Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer
John Perrin, President