NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MAY 16, 2006

MEETING MINUTES

 

Town Council Vice President Terry Spencer opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with the pledge to the American flag. Council members present were Scott Alspach, Don Harris, Joe Noonan and Terry Spencer.   Also present were Attorney Stephen Watson and Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach along with Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Mary Facemire, Ed Stephenson, Brian Hedrick and Office Manager Cindy Yates.   Councilman Harris offered the opening prayer.  Councilman Perrin was absent.

 

MINUTES

Member Noonan moves to approve the minutes of the April 18th meeting.  Motion seconded by Councilman Harris.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Country Gate Flooding Issues

Councilman Spencer asks for an update on the progress of this project.  Supt. Lasiter states that Country Gate has completed most of the work on the drainage issue and that everything looks good at this point.  The real test will come if and when we have another 5” rain event. Lasiter would still like to see us bore a line under the street to keep the water from crossing under US 31 during future flood events.  Lasiter has suggested a 3-way split between the town, CP Morgan and Schneider Engineering.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Country Gate Request for Release of Performance Bonds

Attorney Stephen Watson states Country Gate has submitted Maintenance Bonds to replace the Performance Bonds for Sections I and II.  PW Supt. Lasiter has stated that all of the improvements are complete with the exception of the drainage issue.  Supt. Lasiter is recommending that we release all Performance Bonds except those pertaining to drainage and accept the Maintenance Bonds once they have been reviewed and approved by our attorney.  Councilman Harris moves to release all Performance Bonds except the drainage ones and accept the Maintenance Bonds once they are approved by counsel.  Member Noonan seconds the motion.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

Additional Appropriation

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents a memo requesting an additional appropriation for Sanitation 314 – Other Professional Services.  This is a direct result of the power failure that caused a pump to go out resulting in the need to pay a company to haul our sludge.  PW Supt. Lasiter states that they installed a stainless steel check valve today and the pump should be operational this week.  Council unanimously approves the additional appropriation.

 

Mock Terrorist Disaster Drill

Councilman Harris asks how this event turned out.  Police Chief Stephenson states there were some communication issues but over all the exercise went well.  Stephenson states he has submitted his overtime and gasoline bills for reimbursement.  Fire Chief Hedrick states that the final briefing is scheduled for this Friday.  He will submit a written report on the fire side after the final briefing.

 

Funeral Detail – Sgt. Joseph Proctor

Sgt. Joseph Proctor, former New Whiteland resident and graduate of Whiteland Community High School was killed while serving in Iraq.  Sgt. Proctor’s parents live in New Whiteland and the funeral was held at the High School on Saturday, May 13th.  Police Chief Stephenson states that New Whiteland Police assisted with the traffic detail.  Stephenson adds that there were 10 – 15 protesters at the old Mr. D’s and there were also 4 Indiana State Police Officers posted at that location.

 

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New Officer

Police Chief Stephenson states that the new officer has been hired.  He is a seasoned officer and his name is Joe Rynerson.  Officer Rynerson should complete his training and be out on patrol by the end of the month.  Officer Rynerson is on his day off today but Stephenson will introduce him to the council at a future meeting.

 

Portable Basketball Goals

Police Chief Stephenson notes a growing problem with portable basketball goals being placed in or near the street.  In researching this issue it was discovered that the violation relates to the zoning ordinance and the set back line of either 25’ or 35’ from the street.  The Police Department can not enforce the zoning ordinance and the Zoning Administrator hasn’t been.  Stephenson asks that this be moved to the ordinance addressing the Ordinance Violation Bureau so that the police can enforce it or asks the council to direct Zoning Administrator Guyer to enforce the violations.  Stephenson notes that Highland and Granada are real problem areas with children playing in the street and impeding the flow of traffic.  Further discussion on skateboarding in areas posted as No Skateboarding – the signs are posted but there is no penalty.  Also the posted rules that the Parks close at 10:00 p.m. – there is no fine if people refuse to leave when asked to do so by a police officer.  Council directs Stephenson to work with the attorney to draft ordinance revisions adding these violations and establishing fines.  There is also some discussion on establishing tiered fines for first, second, third offenses.

 

NWFD Expansion/Remodel

Fire Chief Hedrick states that he will be issuing a 6 month progress report for the NWFD in the next few weeks.  Hedrick will be meeting with PACE Engineers on Friday to review the final addition/remodel plans for the fire station.  Hedrick has also talked with the other Department Heads and there are some other items that might be worth considering rolling into the bond issue. The Police Department needs to remodel their dispatch area and could add 2 to 3 more vehicles to their fleet.  The Public Works Department needs a new dump truck.  Would the council be interested in considering these things as part of the bond package?  Council asks that cost estimates be presented on these items and any others that might be considered.

 

NWFD Building Inspections

Chief Hedrick states that the Fire Department is supposed to inspect all public and commercial buildings annually.  Hedrick is a certified Code Inspector.  The NWFD has purchased all new code books and would like to begin performing inspections.  The council would need to establish, by ordinance, policy, fines, penalties and an appeals process.  Councilman Spencer asks about out of pocket expenses and cost for training.  Hedrick states the only expense would be for forms and he has the money in his budget to cover those costs.  Hedrick is already certified and could train other paid stand-by fire personnel to do the inspections and then Hedrick could sign off on them.  Spencer asks if the inspections would be done as a public service or for a fee.  Hedrick says as public service.  The owner would pay a fine or penalty if violations were not corrected.  Councilman Spencer asks about liability for the town if the inspections are done.  Hedrick states the codes are pretty basic, things like number of exits, exit signage, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, capacity, etc.  Hedrick states the liability is probably greater if we don’t do the inspections than if we do.  Hedrick notes that the City of Greenwood adopted the State Building Code as part of their ordinance.  Attorney Watson suggests that Hedrick provide a sample ordinance fine tuned to his liking for the council to review.

 

Councilman Harris congratulates Fire Chief Hedrick on the birth of his daughter.

 

Metropolitan Planning Organization

PW Supt. Lasiter states he has received another letter asking that New Whiteland contribute to the MPO budget in the amount of $2,200.00 for 2006 and 2007.  Lasiter asks if the council would like him to invite the MPO Director to come and address the council and explain how this committee

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benefits New Whiteland.  Council directs Lasiter to issue the invitation.  If the Director does not come they will not consider the request for financial support.

 

LEGISLATIVE

Ordinance 2027

This item is tabled until June for the results of the proposed door hanger policy change.

 

Ordinance 2031

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the ordinance amending the 2006 salary ordinance in title only on 2nd reading.  Councilman Noonan moves to adopt Ordinance 2031 on final reading and is seconded by Member Alspach.   Vote 4 affirmative. 

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Charles Lancaster, 226 Crestwood is present to express several complaints:

1.                   Barking dogs at 223 Crestwood.  This is a rental property and they have 4 dogs tied in the front yard that bark all the time.

2.                   Corner of Bradford and Crestwood – 2 unlicensed cars.

3.                   214 Crestwood – grass and weeds. Property last mowed on 4/14/06.

Larry Edwards, 233 Crestwood adds that the house at the corner of Bradford and Crestwood has a pontoon boat, a cherry picker, and several cars but he never sees people at the house.  Roofing and construction projects have been going on for several months.  Property is unsightly and makes the neighborhood look bad.

 

Council will have the Police Department and the Zoning Administrator look into these complaints.  Clerk-Treasurer Alspach asks Mr. Edwards if he would be interested in serving on either the Plan Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals to help review our ordinances for these types of issues.

 

Police Chief Stephenson states that since the middle of April his department has identified 43 abandoned vehicles and addressed getting them removed.  Councilman Alspach asks about houses that have created second, unimproved driveways like at 401 Sawmill.  Do we have any enforcement over that?  Attorney Watson states only if we have an ordinance prohibiting parking in the grass or requiring that all vehicles be parked on finished surfaces (driveways).  Watson states the ordinance could allow short term parking in grass (12 – 48 hours).

 

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer

 

 

 

Approved: _____________________________

               John Perrin, President