May 24, 2012 Town Council Minutes
Mr. Forbes called the meeting to order at 7:01 P.M. and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members present: Michael Forbes, President; Mark Barenie, Vice- President; Gregory Volk, Member; Ken Gembala, Member; Larry Bustamante, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Steve Kil, Town Manager and Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer. Also in attendance were Fred Frego, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief and Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent.
Approval of minutes: April 12, 2012 Executive Session, April 26, 2012 Executive Session, April 26, 2012 Regular Meeting - Mr. Gembala motioned to approve the above referenced minutes. Seconded by Mr. Bustamante. Motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 1 abstention by Mr. Barenie.
Public Hearing ‐ Additional Appropriation in the Ambulance Cap Fund
Resolution #12-05-24A, a Resolution authorizing additional appropriation in the Ambulance Cap Fund
Proofs of Publication ‐ Mr. Austgen stated that the proofs of publication of The Times and the Post Tribune is in evidence indicating timely publication with a notice to taxpayers of this proceeding and that the Council may proceed with the public hearing.
Opening Remarks ‐ Mr. Kil stated that the reason for the additional appropriation is to purchase a new ambulance. The Town has the cash but it was not appropriated. Approximately $100,000 will come out of the Cap Fund; the remainder will come out of the Cum Fire Fund. Open to the Floor for Public Comment ‐ None Closed to the Floor
Mr. Forbes asked to entertain a motion on Resolution #12-05-24A, a resolution authorizing additional appropriations in the Ambulance Cap Fund. Mr. Bustamante motioned. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Gembala motioned to adopt Resolution #12-05-24A. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Consider Resolution #12-05-24, a resolution to renew participation in the Community Block Grant (Urban County Program) for 2013 through 2015 - Mr. Barenie motioned to adopt Resolution #12-05-24. Seconded by Mr. Bustamante. Motion unanimously passed.
Consider request from Lake Central School Corporation for Waiver of Building Permit Fees ‐ Mr. Barenie stated that after significant discussion and understanding the challenges the municipalities have with the economy, and obviously knowing the school system has its challenges as well he motioned to reduce the building permit by a percentage of 20. Mr. Gembala asked Mr. Kil how much cost the Town will have to incur. Mr. Kil stated that they will incur engineering costs, anticipate a staff inspector for the life of the project which will be a few years; staff time needed to keep the project moving forward; over a three year period and that there will be considerable costs in the project. Seconded by Mr. Bustamante. Roll call vote: Mr. Volk, no; Mr. Gembala, yes; Mr. Bustamante, yes; Mr. Barenie, yes; and Mr. Forbes, no. Motion passed with 3 ayes, 2 nays.
Consider authorization to accept Sealed Bids for the Sale of Town Vehicles and Equipment ‐ Mr. Kil stated that they would open the bids at the second meeting in June and referenced the information contained in the members' packets. Mr. Bustamante motioned to authorize the sale of equipment via sealed bids. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Consider Ordinance #1552, an ordinance approving an Operating Agreement with the St. John Sanitary District ‐ “An Ordinance of the Town Council of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, Approving an Operating Agreement with the St. John Sanitary District, Repealing Town Ordinance No. 643, and all matters related thereto” Mr. Barenie motioned to consider Ordinance #1552 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Gembala motioned to adopt Ordinance #1552. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Consider Resolution #12-05-24B, a resolution approving the renewal of borrowing from the Town's Sewage Works ‐ (Exhibit A). Mr. Forbes stated that the Council extended this loan in December by voice vote. This resolution is just reaffirming the action taken and the loan extension. Mr. Bustamante motioned to adopt Resolution #12-05-24B. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion unanimously passed.
Reports & Correspondence
Mr. Volk announced that last week was the start of the dumpster opening at the salt barn on Saturday's and Sundays. Mr. Kil stated that everything went well.
Mr. Forbes stated that he has a couple of Requests to Purchase:
Lettering on the new 2010 Ford E30 ambulance in the amount of $2,420.00 from LetterWorks; Mr. Bustamante motioned to authorize payment of $2,420.00 to LetterWorks. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
A speed trailer for the Police Department; the current trailer is owned by Lake County and available to municipalities. The new one would be more sophisticated, with solar panels and the ability to download data. The purchase would be out of fund 275. Mr. Volk motioned to authorize the Stalker Radar speed trailer in the amount of $7,462.00. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes also mentioned that the recording equipment in the main meeting room was antiquated. He would like to look into updating the equipment to a digital version. Mr. Kil stated that Jason is looking into this and will have an RFP prepared with all the information in it.
Clerk-Treasurer ‐ Ms. Sury stated that Mr. Kil will discuss the property tax reimbursements.
Mr. Kil referenced an annexation that occurred about seven years ago. He stated that part of the agreement was that the three parties would not pay corporate county taxes for ten years. They have had great difficulty getting the county not to charge them so the Town reimburses the property owners for the erroneous charges. The parties involved and amounts to be reimbursed are Joseph Wein for $813.65, Donald Barman, $75.20, and the Robert Backe Family Trust, $963.18. They are still trying to get this straightened out with County. Discussion ensued. Mr. Volk motioned to authorize the reimbursement for the Wein Family, the Barman Family, and the Backe Family Trust for the amounts previously stated. Seconded by Mr. Bustamante. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Kil also mentioned there has been an increase in the permit activity, last year at this time there were 27 permits issued; this year they have issued 42 with an additional 5 to be picked up.
Chief Frego read the April Activity Report for the Police Department.
Chief Willman read the April Activity Report for the Fire Department; he noted that the department is 84 calls ahead from where they were this time last year.
Mr. Gembala thanked Mr. Kil for the progress Public Works has been making on painting the fire hydrants.
Mr. Forbes mentioned that people attending the ball games are parking in the red spots reserved for the firemen. The spots need to remain available in case the firemen are called in. Mr. Kil will have signs installed.
Mr. Sobek stated that next week the summer events will start as well as the summer concerts; there will be three in June and three in July. He is also looking into a dog waste bag station for trails and some of the parks. It's a sponsored advertising, the sponsors take care of everything, restocking, etc. He added that the Park Board likes the idea.
Payment of Bills for the Corporation
Waterworks District APV's #3018 - #3020 for $12,397.22 & Water Utility APV's #4182 - #4228 for $158,418.90 total amount $170,816.12 - Mr. Gembala motioned to approve Waterworks District APV's #3018 - #3020 in the amount of $12,397.22 & Water Utility APV's #4182 - #4228 in the amount of $158,418.90 for a total of $170,816.12. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Town Council APV's #7716 - #7898 for $973,863.35 - Mr. Bustamante motioned to approve Town Council APV's #7716 - #7898 for $973,863.35. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Michael Sears of the Law Firm of Crist, Sears & Zic of Munster stated that he is representing the Lake Central School Corporation and that Howard Marshall and John DeVries of the School Board were in attendance along with Bill Ledyard, the Director of Facilities. Mr. Sears stated that a 20% reduction leaves fees of $800,000 to $1,000,000 and he does not believe that fees in that neighborhood are reasonably related to what it costs the Town in exercising its powers to issue the building permit. Even assuming, based on what Ken Krause has spent so far, add an inspector or 2 or 3 inspectors for 3 years, and add Mr. Austgen's attorney fees. He can guarantee they are nowhere near $800,000 to a million dollars. They set forth what they think the law allows and cite Statute and hoped they would sit down with them and talk prior to the vote. They are disappointed and as the school's counsel he will confer with their client as to what the next step is. He requested the Council reconsider as the $800,000 to a million dollars and stated it is not in the ballpark.
Audrey Klaich, 9399 Olcott Avenue ‐ stated that to ask for and approve the waiver of building permit fees is a disservice and wholly unreasonable request. To place the tax burden upon the residents of St. John for a building that services two other communities is irresponsible and unjustifiable. The Towns of Schererville and Dyer voted just as equally to approve the building referendum and therefore voted to accept the cost of the building permit fees and people. The permit fees collected from the school corporation would be a much needed financial boost to a community instead of the future financial draining of St. John citizens. The Town Council is reminded of the current poor economic conditions and the high unemployment rate and the older fixed income in their Town.
David Klaich, 9399 Olcott Avenue ‐ suggested that everyone that gets permits should get a reduction. He stated that what's right for one is right for all.
Adjournment ‐ Mr. Volk motioned to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Mr. Bustamante. Motion unanimously passed. Meeting adjourned at 7:40 P.M.
Sherry P. Sury Clerk-Treasurer