St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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December 12, 2013 Town Council Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentAttorney David Austgen
Larry Bustamante, Vice-PresidentSherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Gregory VolkSteve Kil, Town Manager
Mark Barenie 
Ken Gembala 

CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called to order the regular meeting of the Town Council for December 12, 2013, at 7:09 p.m. (The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:
Roll call was taken by Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Larry Bustamante, Gregory Volk and Ken Gembala. Mark Barenie was absent. Staff members: Steve Kil was present. Chief Frego was present. Chief Willman was present. Chip Sobek was absent. Attorney Austgen was present. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, was present.

PUBLIC HEARING:
A. TO CONSIDER RESOLUTION #13-12-12, A RESOLUTION FOR AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION

Mr. Forbes noted that the first item on the agenda was a public hearing to consider Resolution #13-12-12, a resolution for additional appropriations. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Austgen if the proofs of publication were in order. Attorney Austgen replied that after having reviewed the Publisher's Affidavits from both The Times and the Post-Tribune, notice to the taxpayers was properly made and the publications were in evidence.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury if she had any information to share with the Council. Mr. Sury stated that an additional appropriation is being sought from the general fund. Ms. Sury informed the Council that there is money in the fund but not in the appropriation. She stated that the appropriation is needed so that payments that must be made by the end of the year can be made.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any comments from the Council. There were no comments from the councilmen. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil for his comments.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the Town has had a very strong year. He stated that the fourth quarter reports will be ready at the end of the year. Mr. Kil stated that building permits exceeded $200,000. Mr. Kil stated that many of the projects that needed to be completed have been completed.

Mr. Forbes noted that the need for the appropriation, in part, was to pay for the additional inspector that was hired. Mr. Kil concurred. Mr. Kil stated that the Town's revenue was up and expenses have also gone up. Ms. Sury added that the appropriation would be used for the salaries and benefits of the Fire Department, Police Department and Building and Planning.

Mr. Forbes stated if there were no further comments from the Council, he would open the public hearing and take comments from the floor. Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing. Mr. Forbes called for comments from the floor. There were no comments from the floor. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #13-12-12. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0).

NEW BUSINESS:
A. CONSIDER ACCEPTANCE OF REPLACEMENT LETTER OF CREDIT CL7412LC FOR THREE SPRINGS DEVELOPMENT, INC., IN THE AMOUNT OF $319,536.80.

Mr. Forbes noted under New Business, before the Council for their review, was a replacement letter of credit, CL7412LC, for Three Springs Development, Incorporated, in the amount of $319,536.80. He noted that the replacement letter of credit was forwarded from the Plan Commission with a favorable recommendation. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the replacement letter of credit. The councilmen had no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0).

B. CONSIDER 2014 AGREEMENT WITH ST. JOHN VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT

Mr. Forbes stated that the 2014 agreement with the St. John Volunteer Fire Department was before the Council for their review. He noted, typically, the agreement is reviewed every year by the Council. Mr. Forbes stated that he has discussed this agreement with his fellow council members. He stated that the volunteer fire department is now responsible for repayment of loans related to maintenance for the training site and other matters.

Mr. Forbes stated he wanted the volunteer fire department to have peace of mind and comfort in that the Town's donation will be available for a term longer than one year. Mr. Forbes stated that he recommended that the agreement with the volunteer fire department be extended to five (5) years. He stated that as long as he has been involved with the Town, the donation to the volunteer fire department has been $10,000.

Mr. Forbes noted that costs have increased in just about everything. He stated that the volunteer fire department's maintenance costs most likely have increased. For this reason, Mr. Forbes stated he believed it necessary to increase the dollar amount that is donated by the Town to the volunteer fire department. He stated that there is no argument over the quality of service of the volunteer fire department. Mr. Forbes stated "I am constantly getting compliments on the quality and the training that occurs at the training site and training overall here in the St. John Fire Department."

Mr. Forbes stated a few of his friends who are members of the Crown Point Fire Department train at the St. John Fire Department. He stated there are nothing but compliments about the Town's volunteer fire department, the training site and the quality of service. Mr. Forbes opined that it is incumbent upon the Council to bump up the dollar amount donated to the volunteer fire department in order to preserve the quality of service into the future.

Mr. Gembala, Mr. Volk and Mr. Bustamante concurred. Mr. Forbes asked if the councilmen wished to comment. Mr. Gembala noted that the building of the training site and the maintenance of the volunteer fire department is all done by volunteers through fundraisers. He stated that the Town has donated money to the volunteer fire department in the past to help defray costs of maintenance. Mr. Gembala opined if the quality goes down on the training site the quality of the training goes down.

Mr. Volk commented that Mr. Forbes spoke for the entire council and summed up the issue succinctly. Mr. Volk thanked Chief Willman and the department for all that they have done. Mr. Gembala asked what amount Mr. Forbes was proposing to donate to the volunteer fire department.

Mr. Forbes stated that the dollar amount to be donated to the volunteer fire department has been raised to $15,000 per year, in a single payment. He stated that the money would be made available to the volunteer fire department in time for them to make their loan payment.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Bustamante commented that the fire department takes great pride in everything they do for the Town; he attributed this to Chief Willman. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve the extended agreement with the volunteer fire department and to increase the donation to $15,000 to the volunteer fire department. Mr. Volk seconded the motion.

Mr. Forbes summarized the motion by Mr. Bustamante to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council president to execute the same. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0).

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Forbes moved on to reports or correspondence.

Mr. Gembala commented that acknowledgement and thanks should extended to Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil for all of the work that they have done on with the E-911 issue. He stated, hopefully, the final result will save the taxpayers some money along with neighboring communities. He stated that Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil have worked very hard to get to this point. Mr. Gembala stated their efforts have helped the Town enormously. Mr. Volk concurred. Mr. Gembala also thanked Chief Willman and Chief Frego for all of the time they have spent working on the E-911 issues.

Mr. Volk stated he had no comment.

Mr. Bustamante informed the Council that "Christmas in the Park" is going well. He stated that there has been nothing but positive feedback. Mr. Bustamante stated that there are two Saturdays left for "Christmas in the Park" and Santa will be there. He invited everyone to visit.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he appreciated all of Mr. Bustamante's hard work on "Christmas in the Park."

Mr. Forbes informed the Council that they are still working on getting a couple of changes made on the E-911 Interlocal Agreement. He stated that when all of the issues in question have been addressed, he will bring a revised copy of the E-911 Interlocal Agreement to the Council for their review.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no report.

ATTORNEY'S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no report.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that the Opticom System is being installed at Cline Avenue and US Route 231, Parrish Avenue and Olcott Avenue. He stated that the system should be operational by the end of the month.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the deadline for installation for the current Opticom System project was anticipated to be the second week in January, 2014, but should completed by the end of the year, ahead of schedule. He stated the installation of the Opticom System at these intersections will complete the Opticom System project in Town for all of the signaled intersections.

Mr. Kil stated that he anticipates having a nice year-end report for the Council at the December 30, 2013, meeting. He stated he will update the Council with a list on project status. Mr. Kil stated that a lot has been accomplished in Town this past year.

STAFF:
Chief Frego extended "Happy Holidays" to the Council.

Mr. Gembala informed the Council that he ran into a school board member who told him that the school is very pleased about the Student Resource Officer.

Chief Frego added that the SRO is doing a very good job.

(General discussion ensued.)

Chief Willman thanked the Council for their consideration and the support that they have extended to the volunteer fire department for the past twenty years. Chief Willman opined that the volunteer fire department has a special relationship with the Town of St. John, which is what allows them to have a special relationship with many other firefighters. Chief Willman stated that there are not many people involved in public safety who can say they have such a positive relationship with their leadership. He thanked the Council and Attorney Austgen for all of their support.

Chief Willman stated he is pleasantly overwhelmed with the dollar amount bestowed upon the volunteer fire department from the Town. He stated that the length of the agreement is a great vote of confidence. Chief Willman stated this donation will make it easier for the department to continue to do the work they do at the training center.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). (The meeting was adjourned at 7:27 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
Susan E. Wright
Recording Secretary St. John Town Council