NEW WHITELAND TOWN COUNCIL

April 7, 2009

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

 

MINUTES

Councilman Noonan moves to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and is seconded by Councilman Alspach.  Vote 4 affirmative and 1 abstention.  Member Harris abstains.

 

HARDSHIPS / ADJUSTMENTS

None.

 

PROCTOR PARK SERVICE RECOGNITION

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that she and CW5 Frank Vaughn of the Indiana National Guard had hoped to present certificates of appreciation to Steve Beauprez of the VFW #6978 for the donation and installation of the beautiful granite monument at Proctor Park.  If Mr. Beauprez arrives the presentation will be made during tonight’s meeting.  If not Clerk-Treasurer Alspach will deliver the items to the VFW.

 

OLD BUSINESS

Appraisal Report

Financial Consultant Jeff Birk distributes copies of the DRAFT report and cautions the council that this is not the final report.  The report contains three (3) appraisals:

            RPE Cobb & Associates – As Is Market Value $4,575,000.00

            MD Wessler – Cost Approach                         $4,535,840.00

            Commonwealth Engineers – Value Approach   $5,000.000.00

Mr. Birk asks that the council review the report.  The next step will be to deliver the report to Indiana American and begin negotiations. Councilman Perrin asks if we would take an average of the three appraisals. Birk states probably.  Attorney Robbins states that to be consistent with the agreement we need to forward a copy of the report to Indiana American and wait for their response.  Robbins recommends adding a cover letter explaining that the report was received on April 7, 2009 and that it is being reviewed for any errors or questions. PW Supt. Lasiter adds that this report will require some surveying of the ground that the 2 water towers sit on.  Lasiter will also be reviewing the assets list.

 

Transfer of Title Paperwork

Attorney Robbins has met with the mapping department at the Courthouse and the necessary corrections have been made.  Robbins will get a new front page for the Ordinance to the Clerk-Treasurer for filing.

 

15 Year Law Agreement

Attorney Robbins states that the document has been completed.  Attorney Robbins will have the revised document delivered to the town hall for President Perrin and Pastor Lane’s signatures.

 

1975 GMC Big Wheel Bids

PW Supt Lasiter states only one bid was received (by fax) in the amount of $2,630.00.  Lasiter believes the vehicle has more value than this and encourages the council to reject the bid and allow him to do some additional advertising and then list the vehicle on EBay this fall.  Attorney Robbins states this can be done as long as the winning bid is more than the rejected bid.  Lasiter believes the vehicle is worth at least $4,000.00.  Member Harris moves to reject the $2,630.00 bid  and is seconded by Member Noonan.  Vote 5 affirmative.

 

 

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April 7, 2009

 

Ball Diamond

PW Supt. Lasiter shows pictures of the newly painted concession stand.  Shawn Higdon, one of the coaches using our diamond this year, has painted the concession stand and the bleachers along with raking the leaves out of the fence row.  Higdon would like permission to paint the team sponsor names on the end of the concession stand.  He has also offered to put in dug outs.  Council approves the dug outs but asks that a list of sponsors be submitted before granting approval for painting their names on the building.  If approval is given all sponsor names must be painted over at the end of the season.

 

Leaf Collection

PW Supt Lasiter presents the cost information on operating the leaf pick up program in 2008 - $17,743.00.  Lasiter notes this program was started in 1994.  If we intend to continue this program / service we need to refurbish our old machine and purchase a new one.  This would allow us to be picking up leaves in two neighborhoods at once.  Total out of pocket cost would be around $53,000.00.  Lasiter has $20,000 budgeted for New Equipment in his MVH budget and an additional $56,418 in MVH Improvements Other Than.  This money is usually used for street repairs but if the council wishes to continue the program Jim will need to use some of these funds to pay for the leaf pick up equipment.

Lasiter would like to continue the service but is cautious with making any purchases due to the rumor that next year’s budgets may be cut by up to 10%.  Councilman Harris asks about the cost to refurbish the machine we have now.  Lasiter was given a verbal estimate of $6,000 - $12,000 sight unseen.  Councilman Spencer says we need to educate the residents to mulch their leaves and/or provide a place for them to dump their leaves.

Lasiter states he needs 16 weeks lead time to order or buy a machine which is why he is bringing this to the council now. He needs a decision to be ready for leaf pick up next fall.  Councilman Noonan states he recycles his leaves.  He would prefer refurbishing the existing machine and would not recommend going into debt for a new one.  Councilman Alspach states that as we have to tighten our budgets this may be a service that could be eliminated.  Council asks that Lasiter get an itemized estimate of refurbishing the old machine.  They also ask for a cost on the disposable leaf bags.

 

Cell Phones

Supt. Lasiter presents the annual cost estimate for all three (3) providers.  There is not a lot of difference between the vendors.  Public Works employees are concerned about Sprint / Nextel service but they like the push to talk option.  Council President Perrin states he isn’t sure we can afford to increase the plan and he isn’t impressed with any of the rates.  Under this plan Supt. Lasiter would have unlimited minutes – all other phones would have 400 minutes per month each.  Council agrees to review plans.  Supt. Lasiter states he is fine with leaving things as they are for his department.  Fire Chief Hedrick has requested adding three (3) cell phones for the Fire Department.  Hedrick’s personal phone is Verizon.  He presents a quote from Sprint / Nextel.  Marshal Stephenson states that in an emergency communication is the first priority.

 

American Legion Check

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach asks council to approve a check that was issued in the amount of $352.75 to the American Legion.  The Legion donated a set of flags to Proctor Park and also delivered a set that we had ordered.  They requested reimbursement on delivery.  Council approves.  Alspach notes payment was made pre-docket.

 

Health Insurance Interviews

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach states that she & Jim have been talking to various agents regarding health insurance quotes.  We are researching rates for a Health Savings Plan approach to health insurance.  Anthem will only provide a quote to one agent for our group so we need to interview agents and select one before requesting the quote.  Councilman Harris recommends having the Department Heads hold the interviews.  Councilman Perrin asks that 2 council members also participate. 

 

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Councilmen Harris and Spencer volunteer to sit on the interview committee.  Clerk-Treasurer Alspach will schedule date and times.

 

Emergency Disaster Plan

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach reminds the council that they adopted the policy but need to designate a Chairman and a Public Information Official.  The Chairman will be the current Council President and the Public Information Official will be the current Clerk-Treasurer.  The committee will meet twice a year. All Department Heads and Elected Officials serve on the committee.

 

Embarq Phone System Status

Councilman Harris asks for a status report.  Clerk- Treasurer Alspach states Rob Parker is on vacation. The antennas are supposed to be installed on the water towers tomorrow.  Hopefully the installation will be completed and the billing resolved within 45 days.  It will be a year since the contract was signed in May.

 

EPN Procedure

Marshal Stephenson and Sgt. Polley review the Ordinance Violation procedure for the council.  Samples of door hangers for grass and junk vehicle violations are shown.  Marshal Stephenson states they can’t enforce the ordinance if they are unaware of the violation. President Perrin asks all employees and council members to report any violations to the NWPD.  Marshal Stephenson adds that they will follow up on all reports and residents are not required to give their names or addresses when reporting violations.

 

*Councilman Harris leaves at 8:30 p.m.

 

Fire Department Survey

Fire Chief Hedrick distributes the survey to all council members.  Hedrick asks that the council complete the surveys and return them to him.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Proctor Park – Community Celebration

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach adds new events to the schedule – COLTS in Motion will be on site from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on May 2nd.  Alspach distributes copies of the revised “Grocery List” and asks all councilmen, employees, residents to help to secure sponsors for the event, donated items for the auction and for the grocery list for the hog roast.

 

Policy & Procedure Bulletin #21

President Perrin asks the council to review the bereavement leave policy. Perrin recommends moving the grandparents and grandparent-in-laws as well as grandchildren from one (1) day bereavement leave to three (3) days.  This item will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.  The employee who asked the Clerk-Treasurer about this policy because their Department Head was on vacation is granted 1 day of bereavement leave for attending the funeral of their spouse’s grandparent.

 

NWPD 2008 Statistics Report

Marshal Stephenson distributes copies of the 2008 Report and reviews it with the council.  There are no questions.

 

 

 

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Request for Payment

The gentleman installing the antennas tomorrow has requested that he be paid when he has finished the job.  Clerk-Treasurer Alspach asks the council’s permission to cut the check and make payment tomorrow.  Council approves the payment in the amount of $500.00 payable to Leo Dearth to be paid upon completion of the antenna installation.

 

Fire Department

Chief Hedrick asks the council if they would be interested in looking at an expansion project at the Fire Station or if they would consider purchasing an adjoining property with a house that could be converted into office and training space.  Hedrick has some cost information on a 1,200 sf addition to the station or the cost of a 1,500 sf existing home that would need work done to it.  Hedrick is exploring the possibility of stimulus money that could be used to finance one of these options.  Hedrick will also research grant money.  Council is willing to look at quotes / estimates but are concerned about financing in the uncertain economy.

 

LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS

Ordinance 2100

Attorney Robbins presents the ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance to reduce the distance between protected districts and billboards from 500 feet to 350 feet.  President Perrin asks about Freedom of Speech rights.  Attorney Robbins sates you cannot prohibit billboards but you can adopt reasonable restrictions.  Robbins adds if this ordinance were to be challenged it could be defended.  Robbins states he is comfortable with the amendment that was approved by the Plan Commission in 2007 but failed to make it to the council for final approval.  Motion to adopt by Member Alspach with second by Member Noonan.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

Additional Appropriation Memo

Clerk-Treasurer Alspach presents a Memo for three (3) Additional Appropriations for the Wastewater Utility.  Motion to approve by Member Noonan with second by Member Spencer.  Vote 4 affirmative.

 

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Being no other business the meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,             

 

                                   

____________________________               

Maribeth Alspach, Clerk- Treasurer                                  

 

 

 

 

Approved: _____________________________

                 John Perrin, President