NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MARCH 7, 2006

MEETING MINUTES

 

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, Joe Noonan and Terry Spencer.   Also present were Attorney J. Lee Robbins and Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach along with Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Mary Facemire, Brian Hedrick, Bill Withers and Office Manager Cindy Yates.   Councilman Noonan offered the opening prayer. 

 

MINUTES

Member Alspach moves to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.  Motion seconded by Councilman Harris.  Vote 4 affirmative. Member Noonan abstains.

 

OLD BUSINESS

2006 Budget

Alspach states that we are still waiting on the final budget order.  Council tables this item.

 

Utility Deposits

Councilman Spencer believes the amounts written off at the end of 2005 was less than 1/10 of 1%.  Spencer thinks the water deposit should be higher than the sewer deposit and recommends possible a 90 / 10% split between the two utilities.  Councilman Perrin recommends a $75 deposit for water and $50 deposit for sewer, which should cover 3 months of water and 1 month of sewer, storm water, and trash service.  Clerk-Treasurer Alspach thinks if the utility deposit were raised to $50 - $75 it might be adequate.  After much discussion the council directs Attorney Robbins to draft sample legislation.  President Perrin recommends $75 water deposit and $50 sewer deposit.  All accounts must be in the property owner’s name – not the tenants.  No refund of deposit until account is closed and paid in full. Council discusses denying service to renters.  Margaret McGovern, 339 Highland, Greenwood is in the audience and states that she owns 3 rental properties in New Whiteland and thinks the proposed changes are good.  She adds that the landlord has more collection alternatives from the tenants than the municipality does. President Perrin asks that this be placed on the agenda for the next meeting for further discussion.

 

Fire Department Take Home Vehicles

Fire Chief Hedrick distributes proposed written policy. (see attached)  President Perrin states that with the response received from Betty Bush regarding the town’s insurance policy, he personally would prefer not allowing Hedrick’s personal vehicle to be leased as a Department vehicle.  President Perrin recommends adopting SOP – 16.  Member Harris moves to adopt SOP – 16 and is seconded by Member Noonan. Vote 5 affirmative.

 

Disaster Planning Exercise

Fire Chief Hedrick states that a mock terrorist disaster drill has been scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Saturday, May 6th to be staged at Break-O-Day Elementary School.  The State will be picking up the tab and will reimburse the participating agencies for overtime, materials, gas, etc.  Hedrick invites all interested parties to participate or observe the exercise.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Service Improvement Project

Fire Chief Hedrick presents a power point presentation and funding options for a new fire engine, the addition of 2 bays to the existing fire station and the renovation/remodel of the existing station bay area.  Hedrick highlights funding options that include the Cumulative Fire Fund, lease agreements, or a bond issue.  The council thanks Chief Hedrick for the information.  Resident Phil Rockwell thanks the council for any assistance they can give the Fire Department in obtaining these items. Hedrick

 

Town Council

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March 7, 2006

 

notes that you can no longer purchase open cab engines.  He adds that there are no longer age restrictions on apparatus – statistics bear out safety concerns on older equipment.  Council will investigate tonight’s proposals.  President Perrin asks Attorney Robbins what needs to happen now.  Robbins will research advertising and bond requirements.  The plans and specs for the station addition and remodel need to be completed and the invitation to bidders needs to be prepared.  Plans and specs for the engine and that invitation to bidders need to be completed as well.  Attorney Robbins will need to review all documents and once approved by the council and legal counsel – the legal ads will need to be run.  Bond issue bids must remain open for 150 days.  Chief Hedrick will contact Pace Engineers to revise the plans and specs for the station.  He will also revise the specs for the engine. 

 

LEGISLATIVE

Ordinance 2025

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance on 1st reading and explains. Motion to adopt Ordinance 2025 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 2025 by Councilman Alspach and seconded by Councilman Harris. Vote 5 affirmative.

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Margaret McGovern, 339 Highland, Greenwood has been working with a German manufacturing company that is interested in locating its business in New Whiteland.  Originally they were looking for 10 to 20 acres on which to build a 300,000 sf building.  They now want 20 to 30 acres with rail access for a 300,000 sf building that could be expanded to 500,000 sf.  McGovern has spoken to the property owner on the east side of the railroad tracks as there isn’t a large enough piece of property west of the tracks. McGovern will meet with the property owner next week but is inquiring if New Whiteland would be open to annexing the property east of the tracks.  Council expresses interest.  McGovern states New Whiteland needs ordinances for a redevelopment district and ordinances to permit or provide the ability to offer tax abatements.  Not having these ordinances in place will slow the process / project.  McGovern notes Greenwood and Franklin both have addressed these issues and are ready to negotiate with potential developers.  New Whiteland would need to annex this property and rezone as Industrial if possible.  Attorney Robbins will research abatement options.

 

Jeremy Lee, with Lee’s RV states they have 125’ of fence they want to move back to the asphalt but they have an issue with a fire hydrant.  They are willing to give the town access to the code to the fence so that they could get to the hydrant if that is agreeable.  Fire Chief Hedrick agrees to meet with Lee’s RV on Thursday.

 

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer

 

 

 

Approved: _____________________________

               John Perrin, President