NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL
December 2, 2008
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, Don Harris and Scott Alspach. Also present were Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach, Attorney Lee Robbins and Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Ed Stephenson, and Office Manager Cindy Yates. Councilman Spencer and Fire Chief Hedrick were absent. Councilman Perrin offered the opening prayer.
Councilman Noonan moves to approve the minutes of the November 18th meeting and is seconded by Councilman Harris. Vote 4 affirmative.
HARDSHIPS / ADJUSTMENTS
Council receives a written request from Danny Harbin, 126 Lynwood for a sewer credit due to a water softener problem at his property. Council approves a sewer credit of $53.68.
Council President Perrin asks Office Manager Yates if there has been any response to the letter mailed to Ron Manis. Ms. Yates states not yet.
Non-Transfer of Title Paperwork
Attorney Robbins is still waiting for the county’s final review to be completed.
15 Year Law – Liberty Tabernacle Church
Attorney Robbins has discovered a full agreement that was previously prepared by Attorney Steven Watson in his office. Robbins will revise the agreement with the numbers provided by Holloway Engineers and bring the final document to the December 16th meeting for council approval.
Delinquent Letter / Disconnect Policy
Clerk Treasurer Alspach received a written response from Todd Austin with the State Board of Accounts and forwarded copies to the council and Attorney Robbins. Attorney Robbins advises the council that he will prepare a written legal opinion stating that our disconnect policy is compliant with the statute. Robbins notes the code referenced refers to sewer utilities and not water utilities. Our customers are given written notice that their service is scheduled for disconnect more than 10 days prior to the actual disconnect. There is nothing in the statute that prohibits a utility from requiring that an account be brought current once it becomes delinquent. Attorney Robbins will forward the legal opinion to Clerk-Treasurer Alspach. There will be no changes made to the current disconnect policy.
Emergency Action Plan
Marshal Stephenson asks if the council has any changes they would like to see made to the draft plan. Councilman Alspach asks that someone be designated to assume the Clerk-Treasurer’s responsibilities if she were to be unavailable. Council President Perrin asks that all council members review the draft and forward any recommended changes to Marshal Stephenson on or before December 16th. Marshal Stephenson will meet with the Department Heads once the revisions are received to review the recommendations and make any necessary changes. Revised plan will then be presented to the council for approval.
Utility Identity Theft
Councilman Harris requests a copy of the federally mandated policy. This item will be placed on the December 16th agenda.
December 2, 2008
Councilman Alspach recommends closing the town offices at noon on December 24th. Council President Perrin recommends closing the offices on Friday, January 2nd as well. Police Department employees will be given comp time in lieu of the holidays. Councilman Alspach moves to close town offices at noon on December 24th and to close all day on January 2nd. Councilman Harris seconds the motion. Vote 4 affirmative.
Conflict of Interest
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reports that Brian Hedrick presented a Conflict of Interest Statement on November 18th but both Hedrick and Alspach forgot to have it entered in the minutes. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach filed a copy of Hedrick’s and Perrin’s Conflict of Interest paperwork with both the County and the State Board of Accounts as required. Alspach asks that the council acknowledge acceptance of Hedrick’s paperwork for the record. Councilman Harris moves to accept the Conflict of Interest form and is seconded by Councilman Noonan. Vote 4 affirmative. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach notes that these must be filed annually.
IRS Taxable Fringe Benefits Clarification
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that she has been advised that all non-specialty clothing / uniforms are considered taxable fringe benefits. She has contacted both Attorney Robbins and Accountant Jeff Birk for some direction on how to track and calculate taxes on these items. Attorney Robbins recommends that the council adopt a policy that any clothing provided by the town can be worn only for work and not for personal use. Councilman Noonan moves to approve new policy as discussed and is seconded by Councilman Alspach. Vote 4 affirmative. Attorney Robbins will prepare a Policy and Procedure Manual Bulletin with the new policy.
Council also discusses need to address cell phone policy to address taxable fringe benefit liability. President Perrin suggests that council members bring back policy suggestions for cell phones provided by the town.
Attorney Robbins presents the ordinance setting the number of deputy marshals on first reading. Motion to adopt by Councilman Harris with second by Councilman Noonan. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach introduces the 2009 salary Ordinance on final reading. Motion to approve by Councilman Alspach. Second by Councilman Noonan. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents the Fire Department Surplus Property ordinance on final reading. Member Noonan makes a motion to adopt and is seconded by Member Harris. Vote 4 affirmative.
Attorney Robbins presents the ordinance increasing all civil penalties for ordinance violations by $5.00 on first reading. Robbins notes it may be necessary to revise one or more of the fines. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach will provide a copy of the ordinance to Marshal Stephenson to verify fine amounts. Member Harris makes a motion to adopt and is seconded by Member Alspach. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents the transfer ordinance on first reading. Motion to adopt by Member Noonan with second by Member Alspach. Vote 4 affirmative.
December 2, 2008
Member Noonan moves to suspend the rules and consider ordinance 2093 on final reading. Member Harris seconds the motion. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reads the ordinance in title only on final reading. Motion to adopt by Member Harris with second by Member Alspach. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents a Memo to transfer funds in the Water and Sanitation Utilities and to add money to the Water Utility Appropriation 354. Motion to approve by Councilman Alspach. Second by Councilman Noonan. Vote 4 affirmative.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reminds the council of the Special Meetings on December 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at Lee’s RV Center and on December 9th at 7:00 p.m. here at the Town Hall.
Thank You Cards
President Perrin read thank you cards received from Ed Suding for the flowers sent to his wife’s funeral and from Charles Howard and South Pointe Church for allowing them to host special events within the town.
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that the Johnson County Eagles have been a great partner to the Town and Proctor Park. Two of their members who were a large part of the 1st Annual Charity Ride were recently struck by tragedy. Larry Shepherd passed away in November and Mike & Mona Woods’ daughter was killed in the car accident on Thanksgiving morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with these families and with the Eagles.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer
John Perrin, President