NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL
January 20, 2009
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, Don Harris and Scott Alspach. Also present were Clerk-Treasurer Maribeth Alspach, and Department Heads Jim Lasiter, Ed Stephenson, Brian Hedrick and Office Manager Cindy Yates. Councilman Noonan offered the opening prayer. Attorney Robbins arrived at 7:40 p.m.
Councilman Spencer moves to approve the minutes of the January 6th meeting and is seconded by Councilman Harris. Vote 5 affirmative.
HARDSHIPS / ADJUSTMENTS
Steve Sigman, 28 Crestwood Drive, requests an extension until February 3, 2009. Mr. Sigman will pay the full amount on that date. Council approves.
Marshal Stephenson presents a proposal and quote from Nextel. Stephenson could provide cell phones for all of his officers for a cost of $254.92 per month. All of the officers would share minutes and the phones would be for business use only. They would no longer need to carry pagers. Stephenson adds that this plan would eliminate his current monthly cell phone bill of $56.00 as well as the monthly pager bill that averages about $80.00 per month. Stephenson says he has money in his budget to cover the $118.92 monthly increase. Stephenson adds that this quote includes 6 phones that would be stored at the PD and used only in the event of a disaster or emergency so that all council members could be contacted. There would only be a charge if and when the phones were used. Stephenson adds that he choose Nextel because that is the system used by the Sheriff’s Department and Whiteland’s Police Department. Council discusses identifying positions that are required to carry cell phones. They also discuss trying to move all Town provided cell phones to one plan – Stephenson is to get revised quote from Nextel adding Public Works, Fire Chief, Clerk-Treasurer and Zoning Administrator. Existing contracts need to be checked to see what penalties would apply if contracts were cancelled.
Proctor Park Updates
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states the next meeting is Wednesday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. here at the Town Hall. The 2nd Annual Charity Ride has been set for May 2, 2009. We have received word from Dennis Capozzi, Whiteland Town Manager that we do not need any permits or permission to hold this year’s event. Mike Swails with Whiteland Raceway Park will be participating in this year’s event as will the Indiana Blood Bank. We are also hoping to have games and kiddie rides, a few vendors, military displays and another hog roast.
Councilman Harris asks what needs to be completed at the park. Alspach states sidewalks, water line, fire hydrants and drinking fountain installation, rip rap around pond, stocking pond with fish, trash receptacles, landscaping, installation of swing set, and replacement flags. Estimated cost is $61,500.00.
Telephone System Updates
Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that the new system should be installed and the projected date for the switch over is February 4th. Alspach thanks Jim Lasiter and his department for their assistance in running phone line. Marshal Stephenson notes that Embarq was supposed to be at the police station today to install a telephone pole but no one showed up.
County Meeting – Innkeeper’s Tax
President Perrin states that he attended a meeting earlier today with several elected officials from across Johnson County along with State Legislator Woody Burton. The purpose of the meeting was
January 20, 2009
to discuss the proposed Innkeeper’s Tax. Perrin states the county has asked for a 7% tax; 3.5% would go to a Tourism Board and the remaining 3.5% would go to the Johnson County Horse Park for infrastructure of buildings. Perrin says it has been estimated that this tax would generate an additional $300,000 of revenue for Johnson County. Perrin notes all surrounding counties except Johnson and Morgan have adopted an Innkeeper’s Tax.
Attorney Robbins arrives at 7:40 p.m.
Councilman Spencer asks if money was budgeted this year to replace the recording equipment in the council meeting room. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that it was. Councilman Perrin may know someone who could help us identify the kind of equipment we need. He will do some checking and let Clerk-Treasurer Alspach know.
New Officer Update
Marshal Stephenson states that Officer Jared Donica has completed his field training and is now working the road.
Non-Transfer of Title Paperwork
Attorney Robbins states he needs to schedule a time to go to the Courthouse and meet with the Johnson County Recorder to resolve this issue.
15 Year Law – Liberty Tabernacle Church
Attorney Robbins states he still needs to insert formulas and figures and prepare final document for council approval.
Indiana American Update
Attorney Robbins presents a proposed timeline as prepared by Jeff Henson of Indiana American. Attorney Robbins has spoken with Henson a few times since our last meeting. Henson has been advised that the timeline needs to be pushed back a month or so to allow time for the council to prepare and adopt a resolution if they want to proceed. Henson is fine with that change to the timeline. If and when the council adopts the resolution to begin the process, Henson has estimated that it will take approximately seven (7) months to acquire the necessary appraisals, prepare the proposal and be ready to submit it to the IURC.
President Perrin polls the council asking if they are willing, have a sincere interest and are open minded to consider an offer from Indiana American if the numbers and conditions of a proposed sale make sense. Perrin does not want to ask Indiana American to go through this process if anyone is adamantly opposed to selling the utility.
Councilman Alspach states he is ready to move forward with the process.
Councilman Spencer states many of his concerns have been addressed and he is willing to move forward with the process.
Councilman Noonan states he would like to hear what Indiana American has to offer.
Councilman Harris says he is open minded but concerned that if the utility is sold and the money is spent we can’t get it back. He states he is ready to move forward.
President Perrin states that after attending the meeting with Indiana American he too is willing to move forward. He would like to clarify that the reason we were unable to come to an agreement before was because the numbers as to the value of the utility were too far apart. It was not because we weren’t ready to sell the utility – the offer needs to be reasonable for both sides.
PW Supt. Lasiter states he believes all issues have been discussed and resolved with the exception of price and how billing will be handled. Lasiter states those conditions need to be clarified before council can make final decision. Attorney Robbins and President Perrin both add that the 30 day
window being moved to after an offer is submitted was discussed in the informal meeting and seemed
January 20, 2009
to be acceptable. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach asks about adding the condition that should an acceptable offer not be submitted the length of the term of the existing contract could be revisited. There is some discussion but no decision made on this issue. Council directs Attorney Robbins to prepare the necessary Resolution for the February 3, 2009 meeting.
Plan Commission Re-appointments
Council President Perrin has a letter from Steve Hickman requesting that he be re-appointed to another four (4) year term to the Plan Commission. Hickman’s term expired December 31, 2008. Councilman Spencer states that his term expired then as well and he too, would like to be re-appointed. Motion by Councilman Harris to re-appoint Steve Hickman and Terry Spencer to four (4) year terms on the New Whiteland Plan Commission. Councilman Alspach seconds the motion. Vote 5 affirmative.
Board of Zoning Appeals Appointment
President Perrin has a resume and a letter of interest from Chip Sturgeon requesting appointment to the New Whiteland Board of Zoning Appeals. We currently have two (2) vacant seats on this board.
Motion by Councilman Alspach to appoint Chip Sturgeon to a four (4) year term on the New Whiteland Board of Zoning Appeals. Motion seconded by Councilman Noonan. Vote 5 affirmative.
Marshal Stephenson states he needs to purchase new chairs for the training room table. All of their chairs are broken. Stephenson adds that he has a lot of old electronic equipment that needs to be disposed of. Stephenson is directed to confirm that there is no information on or in any of the equipment and prepare a list for the council to declare surplus. Chip Sturgeon states once this is done he will pick the items up and take them to the auction. He may be able to get a little money for the town from them.
Fire Chief Hedrick states the big screen TV that was donated to the Fire Department is going out. The firemen have collected $600 to use towards a replacement. Hedrick is looking at a 36” – 42” flat panel TV that could be suspended on the wall to free up some space. Hedrick estimates the cost of a new TV to be around $1,000.00 and asks permission to pay the difference out of his budget. Clerk-Treasurer Alspach suggests using any Unrestricted Fire Donations rather than budgeted funds for this purchase. Council approves.
Hedrick adds that they are ready to order books and training materials for the Firefighter I and II classes. Hedrick has 8 new recruits for our department as well as one new firefighter from Franklin. Hedrick states C9 charges $545.00 for the classes and Hedrick will be charging $300 - $350 to outside agencies to cover our costs. Hedrick would like to be able to pay his instructors if we are going to accept enrollees from other departments. Chief Hedrick and Clerk-Treasurer Alspach will research setting up fund for training payments to go into and payments to be made out of.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer John Perrin, President