December 30, 2013 Town Council Minutes
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called the meeting to order at 7:12 P.M. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll call was taken with the following members in attendance: Michael Forbes, President; Larry Bustamante, Vice-President; Gregory Volk, Member; Mark Barenie, Member; Kenneth Gembala, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer; and Fred Frego, Chief of Police. Absent were Fred Willman, Fire Chief; and Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
October 24, 2013 Meeting: Mr. Barenie moved to approve the October 24, 2013 St. John Town Council Meeting Minutes as provided by Ms. Wright. Seconded by Mr. Volk, the motion passed with a vote of 3-0-2. Mr. Bustamante and Mr. Gembala abstained as they were absent from the October 24, 2013 meeting.
November 21, 2013 Meeting: Mr. Bustamante moved to approve the November 21, 2013 St. John Town Council Meeting Minutes as provided by Ms. Wright. Seconded by Mr. Barenie, the motion passed with a vote of 4-0-1. Mr. Gembala abstained as he was absent from the November 21, 2013 meeting.
Resolution #13-12-30, a Resolution for the Encumbrance of Funds: Mr. Forbes explained this resolution was for the encumbrance of funds for road salt. Mrs. Sury stated they had to complete a purchase order for the road salt in order to comply with the State bid. There were no questions or comments regarding this resolution. Mr. Volk moved to adopt Resolution #13-12-30. Seconded by Mr. Gembala, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0.
Resolution #13-12-30A, a Resolution for the Transfer of Funds within Departments: Mr. Forbes explained this Resolution was typical end-of-the year stuff. Mrs. Sury advised her Department could not leave any line items with a minus, so they had to move the money around within each Department as specified in the appropriation. There were no questions or comments regarding any of the transfers. Mr. Gembala moved to adopt Resolution #13-12-30A. Seconded by Mr. Volk, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0.
Resolution #13-12-30B, a Resolution for the Transfer of Funds from Departments: Mrs. Sury stated this Resolution was to transfer money between Departments in the General Fund as specified by Resolution between the Council, Police, Building and Planning, and Fire. There were no questions or comments regarding this resolution. Mr. Barenie moved to adopt Resolution #13-12-30B. Seconded by Mr. Volk, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0.
Consider Approval of Project Financing Agreement with Meyers Development Corporation: Attorney Austgen explained this is the public meeting action the Council would take to enter into the project financing and project development agreement for the parcel that is located immediately south of Lake Central Plaza on the east side of Route 41, and is comprehensive in nature. There is intersection improvement contemplated across from Lake Central High School at the traffic signal, some lane improvement, and an access/frontage road to the undeveloped property east, which will result in a commercial development being made and completed by Developer Dennis Meyers and his LLC entity, with a continuation of the public road east to the property that is currently undeveloped and which abuts the railroad tracks. The property is currently unable to be developed as it has no public access and would not have such public access without a road extension. The commitment by the Town is to extend the funds in the Town's remaining TIF Account for purposes of land acquisition, and a commitment for the design, engineering, construction and completion of the road infrastructure and signal installation. The commitment of the developer is the payment to the Town, upon full execution of this agreement, of $500,000.00 and his design, construction and completion of the commercial development as presented and contained on the exhibits, as well as to proceed with the development of the residential parcel immediately east, which will be in compatible fashion to the Golden Pond project which is just north of this parcel. This provides a certainty of project activity, both commercial as frontage and residential to follow which, by the way, is text book planning as taught in all the proper places and exhibited in many successful and high quality communities, and it is in return for the participation of the developer for the signalization and the access road that could not be done otherwise.
In response to Mr. Austgen's question as to whether he left anything out, Mr. Kil stated Mr. Austgen did a great job explaining the agreement. Mr. Kil went on to state he wanted to make sure the Town Council was aware that along with this action, he wanted it understood that this agreement authorizes the Town to begin work on this (project), and to extend a Uniform Offer to Purchase, after title work is received, and consistent with the appraisals they have received. Mr. Kil stated he wanted it in the record that upon approval of this EDC Agreement, that action is also being taken by the Town Council.
Mr. Gembala stated one of the big issues here is a safety issue. There have been a number of accidents in this area due to numerous people trying to get out onto 41 without a stop light. Mr. Gembala felt bringing that road out to the stop light would help address this safety concern. Mr. Kil stated all the residents of Golden Pond, which he has spoken with, completely support this project. He stated the residents want access to a light very badly.
Mr. Austgen stated another relatively intangible aspect of this is the combined venture with the Town of Schererville for completing a quiet zone at roadways intersecting the Norfolk Southern Railroad from W. 77th Avenue south to and through W. 85th Avenue in St. John. Mr. Austgen stated actually, Mr. Kil's plans and directions to the engineer are to go through W. 93rd Avenue. However, in terms of this parcel and this project, which is the subject of this Agreement, is a commitment to and through W. 85th Avenue. The engineers are currently working on this project. There is a timetable for the end of next summer for processing completion of same, and it will be a "win-win" situation for the residents who abut the railroad and who are behind the commercial area. Mr. Austgen stated it will enhance the quality of the project, the development, and the community.
Mr. Kil commented the cost estimate is a very reasonable. The Town's commitment is 50%. Mr. Kil further stated Dennis Meyers is committed to 50%, and he has had e-mail correspondence with Mr. Meyers, wherein Mr. Meyers agrees to this. The cost will be between $12,000-15,000 each. Mr. Kil stated this amount is a lot less than he thought it was going to be. The reason this cost is lower is because W. 85th Avenue already has gates. The gates are where the money comes in.
Mr. Austgen stated there will be a need for the Redevelopment Commission to convene in January to also act on this agreement because of the TIF Funds that are being used, but this action of the Town Council will commence and initiate this project. Both the developer and his attorney have already checked off on the project. Mr. Bustamante moved to approve the Project Financing Agreement with Meyers Development Corporation. With a second by Mr. Barenie, the motion passed with a vote 5-0.
Consider Approval to "Write-Off" Uncollectable Bad Debt (Trash/Penalties $18.82): Mr. Forbes stated this is the third point of the letter from the Clerk-Treasurer, and this bad debt is for trash collection and penalties in the amount of $18.82. Mr. Gembala moved to authorize the write-off of the uncollectable bad debt in the amount of $18.82 for Trash Collection and Penalties. Seconded by Mr. Barenie, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0.
REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
Mr. Gembala commented they are now at the end of the Year, the Council has accomplished some things, and there are still other items the Council would like to accomplish. Mr. Gembala stated he felt this Board and the staff have worked together well along with the two (2) Chiefs. Mr. Gembala hopes this continues in 2014. Mr. Gembala also thanked all the department heads for their help in getting things accomplished. Mr. Volk stated he would like to echo Mr. Gembala's comments.
Mr. Bustamante commented "Christmas in the Park" went well. Everybody enjoyed it immensely, and it was a great success. Mr. Bustamante stated he would like to thank everybody that participated and helped with "Christmas in the Park."
Mr. Barenie had no reports or correspondence.
Mr. Forbes stated he would like to "ditto" the comments that were made previously. He went on to say he felt it was a great year, a lot of work was accomplished, and a few things still need to be wrapped up. Mr. Forbes continued by saying it was an extremely busy year, and a lot of projects were done. Mr. Kil advised he updated his list today, which will be sent out to the Council shortly. Mr. Kil stated there were a lot of projects with the notation "COMPLETED" on this list. Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Gembala said it best when he stated "they all work together very well and they were able to get a lot done." Again, it was a very good year, and a lot of things were accomplished for the residents. Mr. Forbes said he felt they did a great job. Mr. Kil agreed the Council did do a good job.
Mrs. Sury stated she had two (2) items for the Council. The first item was reference the meeting dates. Mrs. Sury queried whether the meeting dates were going to stay the same or not, as she needed to let the newspapers know by the first of the year. Mrs. Sury stated she was aware the Plan Commission's meeting was changed for January, but it was her understanding it would remain the same as before for the rest of the year. Mr. Forbes advised the Town Council meetings would stay the same; that being the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Mr. Forbes advised Mrs. Sury that he did not anticipate any changes. In response to Mr. Kil's question, Mr. Forbes advised the change on the Plan Commission's meeting date was only for the January meeting, and it was due to the holidays.
Secondly, Mrs. Sury stated she had a memorandum that she would like to hand out to each of the Town Council members. The memorandum was distributed. Mrs. Sury advised the memorandum was for informational purposes only. Mrs. Sury stated for the Budget Year of 2013 appropriations, the first one was for Barbara Haralovich for Services Rendered, draft form of minutes provided to the Clerk-Treasurer for meetings of the Town Council, Waterworks and Utility Board from March 2013 through September 2013, in the amount of $1,820.00 from these three (3) appropriations. The other one is for Jeffrey Gunning, Attorney at Law, for legal services provided to herself, in the amount of $5,000.00 from the appropriations of the Clerk-Treasurer's line item. Mrs. Sury stated the appropriations and funds are remaining and are on the books for these encumbrances, and she would like this information to be on the record. Mr. Forbes thanked Mrs. Sury for this information.
Mr. Austgen had no reports. Mr. Kil thanked the Council for a great year, and stated he looked forward to another great year in 2014. There should be a lot of new development in the coming year, and he is looking forward to it.
Chief Frego wished the Council a Happy New Year and stated he is looking forward to working with the Council in 2014. Chief Frego commented it has been a good year, and he thanked the Council for all that they have done. Mr. Forbes advised Chief Frego the Council appreciates everything he has done this year. Mr. Bustamante commented "good job" to Chief Frego.
PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Payment of Bills for the Corporation: Mr. Bustamante moved to pay bills for APV's #9151 - #9342 in the amount of $1,303.313.67. Seconded by Mr. Volk, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0.
There was no Public Comment at this meeting.
Mr. Gembala moved to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Mr. Volk, the motion passed with a vote of 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:30 P.M.
A TRUE COPY
Joan M. Gorcos