NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL

JUNE 6, 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, 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 Perrin offered the opening prayer.  Councilman Harris was absent.

 

MINUTES

Member Spencer moves to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.  Motion seconded by Councilman Alspach.  Vote 3 affirmative and 1 abstention.  Member Perrin abstains.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Capital Improvements Plan Update

Fire Chief Hedrick presents an outline (see attached) of the proposed projects to be considered if the council decides to issue bonds.  The projects include:

            Fire Department – New Fire Engine, addition of 2 bays to the existing station, remodel of old bays to create office and training space.

            Police Department – Remodel existing space and create new Communications Center.  Marshal Stephenson has met with two firms and has been made aware of several deficiencies in the current station. There is water damage to the exterior walls due to the lack of weeping holes in the original design.  The current dispatch area’s roof is too flat for shingles causing water damage to the roof and the sofetts.  The Police Station also has lighting and HVAC issues that need to be addressed.  Lastly, there is concern over the server being located in the same room as the water line.  Marshal Stephenson has received a design quote of $4,500.00 from Lamson & Condon and is still waiting on the quote from Pace.

            Street Department – New Dump Truck.

            Parks Department – Gymnasium with storage and office space.  Possibly located at the tennis courts.  Cost estimate has been provided by Pace for a steel structure facility.

 

President Perrin states it makes sense to look at multiple projects if we are going to float a bond.  Councilman Spencer asks the age of the Town Hall and the Police Station.  PW Supt. Lasiter states the Town Hall dates back to 1955 and the Police Station to 1970.  Spencer asks Lasiter about issues with the Town Hall building.  Lasiter states that the wiring in the building needs to be certified.  The water main that runs under the utility offices needs to be relocated.  There are space issues for storage.   President Perrin states that if a new Municipal Building were constructed the Parks Department could use the current Town Hall.  The council room could be rented out for meetings like the assembly hall is.  President Perrin adds that a growing community wants nicer amenities.

 

Council directs Clerk-Treasurer Alspach to contact Margaret McGovern to check status of office building in New Whiteland Commons.  Town might be interested in lease or purchase option if the entire building is available.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Property / General Liability Insurance Renewal

Betty Bush with The Alliance Municipal Insurance presents the renewal rates.  The new premium is $40,150 which is an increase of $4,855 over last years quote.  The increase is due in part to an increase in property values.  Attorney Watson asks if the increase is due to our losses or the general insurance industry rate environment and Mrs. Bush states it is not.  Blanket equipment coverage value dropped from $500,000 to $287,000.  We did add 4 new police cars and the number of vehicles went from 31 last year to 35 this year. We also increased the coverage on the 911 equipment from $250,000 to $500,000.  Council asks that the number of vehicles be verified and that a copy of our

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loss runs be sent to the council.  Betty will verify the number of vehicles and make any needed corrections.  She will provide the adjusted premium prior to the next meeting.  This item will be placed on the agenda for the June 20th meeting.

 

Surplus Property

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents a memo requesting that two items be declared surplus so that they can be disposed of.  One is a gas salt spreader and the other is an old copier.  Motion by Councilman Alspach to declare these items surplus and dispose of them with second by Councilman Noonan.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

Unsafe Structure

Fire Chief Hedrick states that the residence at 125 Tracy Road was recently damaged in a fire.  The house was the scene of a fire in 2004 with minor damage due to a fire in a trash can.  The condition of the home in 2004 was cited by the Health Department but never followed up on.  The interior condition of the house now is much worse.  The Board of Health and Adult Protective Services have been notified – but have not been very helpful.  The Zoning Administrator issued an Unsafe Structure Violation Notice on May 30, 2006.  The building is uninhabitable due to the structural damage to the roof and trusses as a result of the fire.  The fire originated in the kitchen area and the kitchen is a total loss.  The resident has been given 10 days to correct the violations.  The elderly gentleman who lived in the home has been living in his car in the driveway and entering the house.  All utilities have been disconnected.  Council directs Fire Chief Hedrick to get report on what happened to the 2004 citation.  If repairs are not completed by June 10th the Public Works Department will secure the residence to prevent anyone from entering and/or being injured.  Brian Lane, Pastor of Liberty Tabernacle Church offers to contact the resident and offer temporary housing assistance.  Fire Chief Hedrick will contact Pastor Lane with more information.

 

Zoning Classification

Councilman Spencer states the Plan Commission is sending a favorable recommendation to the Council to approve a new zoning classification of GBM (General Business Manufacturing).  Public Works Supt. Lasiter states that the recommendation was contingent on a few conditions.  Those conditions include; privacy slats in the fencing, relocation of fire hydrant or addition of 2nd hydrant, and established parameters for outside storage area.  Mr. Flick, the petitioner, is present and voices concerns with the fire hydrant requirement.  He was unable to attend the Plan Commission meeting.  His wife was present and has relayed this information to him.  They believed the property had fire service when they began this process and are opposed to spending more money to add or move a fire hydrant.  Attorney Watson states that these issues need to be resolved in a Plan Commission meeting not by the Town Council.  Ray Rodgers, Plan Commissioner, states that the current hydrant is on the east end of the property near the Doctor’s office. If the Fire Department enters the Flick’s property they will have to drive past their business, connect to the hydrant, turn the engine around and return to the business before putting water on a fire.  This could cost 3 – 5 minutes in valuable response time.  Rodgers explains that the Flicks will have to tap the 8” line with a 2” line to get water to their offices.  If they would instead tap with a 6” line and add a 2nd hydrant they could then tap a 2” line from that hydrant to the business.  Mrs. Flick asks if this is a requirement.  Attorney Watson states that he believes procedurally, if the Flicks wish to modify the conditions they will need to go back to the Plan Commission on June 27th.  President Perrin suggests that Mr. Flick meet Mr. Rodgers at the site and discuss the fire hydrant issue.  Then Mr. Flick can contact the Town Hall and advise if they want to be placed on the agenda for the Town Council or the Plan Commission.

 

Speed Limit

Councilman Alspach thanks Attorney Watson for the revision in state law regarding minimum speed limits.  Alspach states that we can lower the speed limit to 25 MPH without an engineering traffic

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study.  Councilman Alspach thinks it might be wise to lower speed limits around park areas.  Marshal Stephenson states 5 miles isn’t that much of a difference.  Stephenson suggests that if speed limits are

lowered in certain areas, residents will request that they be lowered on their streets too.  PW Supt. Lasiter recommends lowering all interior streets to 25 MPH or leaving them all at 30 MPH.

 

15 Year Law Agreement

Attorney Watson states that he received Liberty Tabernacle’s proposed 15 Year Law Agreement (water line reimbursement) last week from Jim Lasiter.  The proposal was prepared by Liberty Tabernacle’s attorney.  Attorney Watson suggests having them follow the 10 year format that has been used previously by another entity.  Watson voices concern over the proposed main being within the county right-of-way.  Watson states this line should be outside the right-of-way.  Pastor Brian Lane is present tonight to discuss this issue.  Pastor Lane states that he has spoken with Jim Lasiter and adds that Mr. Lasiter has been quite helpful.  Lane adds that plans have been reviewed, permits have been issued with the main in the right-of-way, the pipe has been ordered and the work is scheduled to start within the week.  Having to obtain private easements would be costly and would stop the project.  Pastor Lane asks the council to allow the project to proceed as designed and previously approved.  Lane spoke with Nate at the Johnson County Highway Department today and was told there are no plans to extend this road at this point.  Watson cautions that once the town accepts the lines the cost of moving them should the road be widened would be ours.  Pastor Lane presents a copy of a letter stating the town would take ownership of the sanitary sewer line.  PW Supt.  Lasiter notes that a fiber optic cable is installed within that same right-of-way closer to the pavement than the water line will be.  Lasiter notes the potential exists to have to move the line at some point in the future.  The cost of installing the line is $108,500 which is $50,000 lower than the next lowest bid.  This is the potential cost to the town if the line has to be moved.  PW Supt. Lasiter states the risk of that is greater on 75W than on Tracy Road.  President Perrin states Liberty Tabernacle has gone through the planning and permitting process and done everything that we have asked them to do.  He feels it would be unfair to place additional requirements on the project at this time.  Attorney Watson recommends a written form with requirements and details of construction, requirement to pass inspection, have lines sanitized and present a maintenance bond.  PW Supt. Lasiter has reviewed the plans and will perform inspections and sanitize the line.  Attorney Watson will prepare the reimbursement agreement.  Pastor Lane is willing to have Attorney Watson prepare the agreement and Liberty Tabernacle will pay the associated attorney fees.  Council agrees by consensus to allow Liberty Tabernacle to proceed with their project as designed.

Councilman Spencer moves to authorize reimbursement agreement to be drafted and executed subject to the town’s attorney’s final review.  Motion is seconded by Councilman Alspach. Vote – 4 affirmative.

 

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach thanks Pastor Lane and Liberty Tabernacle Church for their donation of $100.00 to purchase a park bench for the park area at Country Gate.

 

Attorney Watson states that as a follow up to the earlier zoning classification discussion, the Town Council may be able to modify conditions agreed to by the Plan Commission.  He will research this item.

 

LEGISLATIVE

Ordinance 2032

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance in its entirety on first reading.  Councilman Spencer moves to adopt Ordinance 2032 on first reading and is seconded by Member Noonan.   Vote 4 affirmative. 

Councilman Alspach moves to suspend the rules and hear the ordinance on final reading.  Motion seconded by Councilman Spencer.  Vote 4 affirmative. 

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Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance in title only on final reading.  Councilman Alspach moves to adopt Ordinance 2032 on final reading and is seconded by Member Noonan.   Vote 4 affirmative. 

 

Ordinance 2033

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the ordinance amending the 2006 salary ordinance and explains on first reading.  These changes increase the Operation Pull Over amounts that the Police Officers are allowed to make annually.  It also allows for overtime pay for the Police Department for the Mock Terrorist Disaster Drill to comply with the FEMA Grant guidelines.  Councilman Spencer moves to adopt Ordinance 2033 on first reading and is seconded by Member Alspach.   Vote 4 affirmative.  This item will be placed on the June 20, 2006 agenda.

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Charles Lancaster, 226 Crestwood asks if anyone drove by the property at the corner of Bradford and Crestwood since the last meeting.  Several council members and employees have.  Mr. Lancaster asks about the grass ordinance and complains that the grass has been cut but the vehicles weren’t moved so the grass growing under them wasn’t cut.  Mr. Lancaster asks if a building permit was issued for the breezeway.  Plan Commission Secretary, Cindy Yates states that a permit was issued a couple of months ago but that the building has not been inspected.  Mr. Lancaster states there is an empty house 2 to 3 doors down from him that is an eyesore.  The house has been vacant for 5 years.  The town did make the property owner take care of a garage on the property that was falling down.

Council asks Secretary Yates to have Zoning Administrator Guyer submit a written status report on the property at the corner of Bradford and Crestwood.  Specifically want to have the status of the breezeway construction and the plywood on the roof addressed.   The Police Department has cited violations on the property but have to allow the 20 days for compliance to expire before they can take further action.

 

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer

 

 

 

Approved: _____________________________

               John Perrin, President