NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL

October 16, 2007

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 John Perrin, Joe Noonan, Terry Spencer, Scott Alspach and Don Harris.  Also present were Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach, Attorney Lee Robbins and Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Ed Stephenson, Brian Hedrick and Office Manager Cindy Yates.  Councilman Spencer offered the opening prayer. 

 

MINUTES

Councilman Harris moves to approve the minutes of the September 18th meeting and is seconded by Councilman Spencer.  Vote 5 affirmative. 

Councilman Noonan moves to approve the minutes of the October 2nd meeting and is seconded by Councilman Harris.  Vote 5 affirmative. 

 

HARDSHIPS / ADJUSTMENTS

Jacquelyn Denney, 251 Crestwood requests an extension until 10/26/07.  Denney will pay full amount including penalties on the 26th.  Council approves.

Robin Rice, 837 Westview requests an extension until November 2nd. Rice will pay the full amount including penalties on the 2nd.  Council approves.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Proctor Park Update

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents a status report on the project.  She advises the first piece of playground equipment has been ordered with the money from the Community Foundation Grant.  Alspach adds that grant applications have been filed with Hometown Helper ($15,000) and Duke Energy ($25,000).  She applied for a matching funds grant with GameTime and received notice that it had been approved.  This grant allows us to buy certain pieces of playground equipment at a 45% discount if we order it before November 28, 2007.  Alspach asks Council approval to solicit funds for this equipment and be authorized to purchase as much of the equipment as possible before the November 28th deadline with any money donated for the playground equipment.  Council approves.  Alspach adds that paperwork will be dropped off tomorrow for a grant application program with WalMart.  Alspach and PW Supt Lasiter will be meeting with the landscape designer tomorrow regarding the water feature for the memorial plaque.  Alspach states a donor has offered to pay for this part of the project and asks that if the money is received earmarked for this phase of the project she be allowed to proceed with this phase and contract with the designer.  Donor offered to pay the contractor directly but Alspach wants to be able to receipt the donation for the donor’s tax purposes.  Council approves.

PW Supt. Lasiter states that he received a letter several weeks ago from DNR approving the parking lot design for Proctor Park.  Don Royalty of Royalty Excavating came down and scraped the parking lot area at no cost to the town.  Mr. Royalty has a son who is currently serving in Iraq.  The base (wash out donated by IMI) has been laid.  Milestone has donated a day’s labor and their equipment to pour the parking lot at a cost of $14,000 which will save us about $7,000.  Lasiter wants to check building standards for parking lots with Greenwood and/or Franklin before agreeing to the project.  Milestone’s spec is 2 inches of base and 1 inch of overlay which they say is standard for commercial parking lots.  Council approves this expenditure.  Lasiter states we will also have some minor electrical expenses ($5,000) and some piping ($1,400) which will pretty much deplete our current donation balance.  Lasiter adds that last week we received a letter from DNR stating that the entire project will require permits from the State and this may delay the project.  Stoepplewerth is working with us to resolve this issue.

President Perrin states that he was in Greenfield today and met a businessman who had several large rocks like we are using in the water feature at Proctor Park.  Perrin explained our project and the man said he would donate any rocks that he had that we could use and might have a way to transport them

 

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to the site for us.  PW Supt. Lasiter states we need smaller rocks now to fill in the water feature – have enough of the large stones.  Perrin thinks they might have what we need.

Alspach reminds the council that there is a Proctor Park Committee Meeting tomorrow night, October 17th at 7:00 p.m. here at the Town Hall.

 

Well Field Exploration

Jeff Birk, of BGBC Partners, presents a report on financial information for the Water Utility as of 12-31-2006, reflecting as if the water supply sold to residents was obtained from groundwater through construction of a new and expandable water supply, including treatment facilities, for the Town of New Whiteland, instead of being purchased from a third-party, Indiana American Water Company.  Birk begins by covering historical financial data for 2006.  Birk notes that in 1997 Foresight Engineering prepared a cost estimate to build the new water plant.  Don Humphrey of Foresight Engineering has revised that estimate and the projected cost of the project is $1,715,000.00.  Birk states this would require some type of financing package; 30 year bonds, an SRF loan, etc.  Birk notes that from a cash flow basis there will be little if any difference between our costs to purchase water from Indiana American in 2006 and building, owning and operating our own Water Utility.  Our current bond issue for the Water Utility pays of in January 2012 which is about the time the new financing debt would be in place so there would be no significant change in our debt service costs. 

PW Supt. Lasiter has a quote obtained by Don Humphrey from Bastin Logan for drilling the test wells.  Phase I would be to drill three (3) 6” holes for sampling at a cost of $15,000.  This work has already been done and the results were filed.  Phase II is to drill a 12” well for test pumping.  The cost of this phase, including the engineering is $23,000 - $25,000.  Lasiter notes that if we proceed with the project we will need to drill three (3) wells each one with the ability to pump/produce 500,000 gallons per day.  Lasiter wants to build in capacity for 20 years growth.  Lasiter recommends proceeding with Phase II.  Lasiter believes we can produce water cheaper than we are currently purchasing it from Indiana American and all indications show that a more than adequate water supply is available here in New Whiteland.  Lasiter adds we need to notify Indiana American of our intent to pursue well field exploration by 2010.  We may want to advise them now and give them an opportunity to make another proposal if they are still interested.  Their last offer was much lower than we believe the value of the Utility to be.

Council authorizes Lasiter to begin negotiations with Randy Edgemon at Indiana American and then proceed with the test well in 2008.

Councilman Spencer asks will the test well be in Proctor Park.  If we proceed will buildings be required in the Park and what size will they be?  Lasiter states the well(s) will be in Proctor Park but there will be no buildings – only the pump casings.  The property that was purchased a few years back from the school corporation might be a good location for the actual Water Plant.  Lasiter has also been advised of a piece of ground that may be for sale (8 acres) that could be the site for an additional well.

 

Skate Park

Councilman Harris asks the status on the project that was proposed by some area youth for a Skate Park.  Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states there has been no progress and we have not heard anything further from the boys.

 

Jake Brakes

Councilman Perrin states all council members should have been copied on an e-mail complaint regarding jake brakes.  Perrin asks if anyone has received any other complaints.  No one has.  Discussion covers ability to document and enforce violations if an ordinance were drafted.  Fire Chief Hedrick states the new engine that is on order has an exhaust brake system that is similar to a jake brake.  Marshal Stephenson states his concern that an officer would have to witness the violation to enforce it and that won’t satisfy all complainants.  Council takes this matter under consideration.

 

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Impound Lot

Councilman Spencer states he received a call from Roy Carver asking if the Plan Commission’s opinion regarding Impound/Tow & Recovery Lots had changed.  Carver wants to purchase ground from Mike Wood and build an Impound Lot off Tracy Road.  Carver was advised last year that this is not a permitted use in our Zoning Ordinance and would require a variance.  Councilman Perrin states he received a call from Mike Wood last week inquiring about the same issue.  Wood advised Perrin that if he couldn’t sell the land to Carver he would put an Impound Lot in on his property.  Council advises this is a matter for the Plan Commission not the council.  Spencer will take this to the Plan Commission next week.

 

Fire Department

Chief Hedrick states that during this year’s budget hearings he discussed using any remaining Fireman’s Allowance funds to purchase AEDs.  Hedrick states there will be enough money left to purchase 2 this year with the council’s approval.  Council approves.

 

Councilman Harris leaves the meeting at 8:00 p.m.

 

Settlement

Attorney Robbins states he was involved in a remediation hearing today on the David Stokes claim.

A final settlement offer has been negotiated.  The final offer is $24,000 with the Insurance Company paying $20,000 and the Town paying $4,000.  With this settlement all claims will be resolved and no future claims may be brought against the Town of any of its agents.  Attorney Robbins notes that once the Federal claim is resolved there is still a pending claim in Johnson County Superior Court that the insurance would not be involved in.  Attorney Robbins would represent the Town and is confident that we would be successful in our defense of the claim but notes that our costs would exceed the out of pocket expense for the negotiated settlement.  Robbins adds that the Town has a $2,500 deductible on the policy so the total amount the Town will pay is $6,500.  Robbins adds that by agreeing to the settlement the council is not admitting to any wrongdoing only acknowledging that this is the most fiscally responsible way of resolving this issue.

Councilman Alspach asks about the pending investigation by the Sheriff’s Department on the perjury matter.  Attorney Robbins does not know.  Marshal Stephenson states the Johnson County Prosecutor refused to file charges.

Councilman Alspach asks if the record will remain unchanged in regard to Mr. Stokes’ termination from the New Whiteland Police department.  Attorney Robbins states yes.  The record reflects that Stokes was fired.

Councilman Spencer moves to settle with David Stokes on all claims that have been or could be filed in the matter of his past employment for a total settlement of $24,000 of which the Town will pay $4,000.  Councilman Noonan seconds the motion.  Vote 4 affirmative.

Attorney Robbins states the Town, the Town Council and Marshal Stephenson all did their jobs and did them correctly.  As distasteful as this settlement is it is the least costly way of disposing of this matter.

 

Sick Leave

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach asks the council to approve the use of an employee’s sick time for a future stepchild.  The child needs several medical tests and the employee is asking permission to use sick leave.  Councilman Spencer moves to allow Dale Hardin to use his accrued sick leave for health issues relating to his future stepson.  Councilman Alspach seconds the motion.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

 

 

 

 

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NEW BUSINESS

CPCSC Extra Patrol Request

Councilman Spencer asks about the letter received by the council requesting New Whiteland’s Police Department provide 2 officers before and after school to direct traffic on US 31.  Marshal Stephenson was not aware of letter.  Stephenson states agreeing to this puts his officers at risk,  he is also concerned about liability for the Town, and adds that we don’t have enough officers working to provide traffic control and handle incoming calls.  Stephenson agrees that the traffic problem is getting worse all the time and that it is dark when vehicles are traveling to school in the mornings.

Attorney Robbins notes other school corporations hire their own security to deal with these issues.  Stephenson notes that the High School is in Whiteland’s jurisdiction and their officers do help with traffic on Whiteland Road.  Our officers are hired as contractual employees by the corporation for security at other events and we usually have a couple of officers in the parking lot before or after school.  Attorney Robbins states that may be the best way to approach this until the school can hire their own officers.  Marshal Stephenson says he was told that will happen in a couple of years.  Stephenson asks the council’s permission to discuss this officially with CPCSC.  Council approves.  Ed will contact the school and schedule a meeting – one of our councilmen will attempt to attend the meeting as well.  The council would prefer that our officers not be working a traffic detail on US 31 out of concern for their safety.

 

Macerator

PW Supt. Lasiter states that this piece of equipment went out at the Sewage Plant last week.  The cost for a replacement unit is $16,000.  The current equipment is 8 years old having exceeded the average life expectancy which is 3 – 5 years.  The cost to repair our equipment is $8,000.  Lasiter can get a rebuilt one with a warranty for $13,000 after trade-in.  Lasiter is ordering a replacement macerator.

 

Street Overlays

Supt. Lasiter states that when the overlay work was done on Mooreland between Hanover and Princeton the concrete was only 4” thick.  The contractor milled the concrete and put down the overlay without calling Jim to advise him of the problem.  The road has failed and Milestone will re-do that section which will require removing the overlay and rebuilding that section of road at an additional cost of $6,000 to $8,000.  Lasiter had priced repairing that section of road or doing the overlay.  The cost to repair one side was $24,000 and the overlay was $11,000.  Lasiter had hoped the concrete depth was enough to get by with overlay only this year.  Money is available in MVH for additional work.  Council approves.

 

Police Department

Marshal Stephenson states that the 911 commission is providing 5 new laptop computers to the Police Department.  NWPD will be turning in their old computers.  We are still waiting on the new radios that the commission approved for all Johnson County Police and Fire Departments.  This equipment will belong to the County but be loaned out to the various departments for their use.  Borrowing agencies are responsible for maintenance and repair of the equipment.

 

Fire Department

Chief Hedrick is still waiting to hear from Towers to see if they plan to use our new engine for their display at FDIC in April. 

 

LEGISLATIVE

Ordinance 2063

This is tabled until the November 6th meeting.

 

 

 

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Ordinance 2064

Attorney Robbins reads the ordinance amending the zoning ordinance in title only on final reading. Motion to adopt by Member Spencer with second by Member Alspach.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

Ordinance 2066

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance in it’s entirety on first reading.    Motion by Councilman Noonan to approve with a second by Councilman Spencer.  Vote 4 affirmative. 

Motion to suspend the rules to consider this transfer ordinance on final reading by Councilman Spencer.    Motion seconded by Councilman Alspach.  Vote 4 affirmative. 

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the transfer ordinance in title only on final reading.   Motion by Councilman Alspach to approve with a second by Councilman Noonan.  Vote 4 affirmative. 

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

None.

 

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

____________________________

Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer

 

 

 

Approved: _____________________________  

                 John Perrin, President