St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
Return to Menu

September 25, 2014 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 meeting for the Town Council on September 25, 2014, at 7:16 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, Gregory Volk, Larry Bustamante and Ken Gembala. Mark Barenie was absent. Attorney David Austgen was present. Staff members present: Chief Frego and Chief Willman. Steve Kil was present. Chip Sobek was absent. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, was also present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
AUGUST 14 AND AUGUST 28, 2014 REGULAR MEETINGS

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was approval of the meeting minutes from the regular meetings of August 14, 2014, and August 28, 2014. He asked if there was any discussion or corrections to the meeting minutes. Mr. Gembala pointed out on Page 6 of the August 28, 2014, meeting "Mr. Bales" should be "Mr. Vale." There was no further discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the August 14, 2014, meeting and the August 28, 2014, meeting with the correction as noted. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:
A. ORDINANCE #1590, AN ORDINANCE TO ANNEX A PARCEL OF REAL ESTATE, PETITIONER: WALTER AND WANDA BASLER.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under Public Hearings was Ordinance #1590, an ordinance to annex a parcel of real estate. The Petitioners are Walter and Wanda Basler.

Attorney Austgen noted that the Proofs of Publication for the public hearing were in order. He stated that this matter required a special publication with a 20-day advance notice. Attorney Austgen remarked that it appears that the Proof(s) of Publication and the Notices have met the statutory requirement and the public hearing can be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that this parcel has been named "Basler Bend." He stated that the 1.565 acre parcel is located west of Edgewood and one house removed from Columbia. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Basler intends to subdivide the property into three R1 lots after the annexation is complete.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they had any questions on the annexation. The councilmen had no questions. Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing. He called twice for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil about the fiscal plan. Mr. Kil introduced the fiscal plan to the Council. He stated that the fiscal plan is pretty simple since it is one residence and they won’t be needing any additional Town services.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance #1590, an ordinance to annex a parcel of property on first reading only. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the annexation schedule reflects that this annexation is slated for the October 9, 2014, Town Council meeting.

B. ORDINANCE #1591, AN ORDINANCE TO VACATE A PARCEL RIGHT-OF-WAY, PETITIONER: ST. JOHN EVANGELIST CHURCH

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration and review is "Ordinance #1591, an ordinance to vacate a parcel of right-of-way," the Petitioner being St. John Evangelist Church.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the Proofs of Publication and Notices were timely published in order for the public hearing on the vacation of the public way. He stated that the public hearing could be properly and legally conducted tonight.

Mr. Kil stated that this right-of-way used to be a part of the old Chicago road and hasn’t been used in at least 75 years. He stated that vacating the right-of-way will clean up the church’s property by eliminating a right-of-way that’s no longer necessary. Mr. Kil stated that with the vacation of the right-of-way, the parcel is split down the middle and reverts to the adjacent property owner(s), which is the St. John Evangelist Church.

Mr. Forbes noted that the piece of right-of-way is at the intersection of 93rd Avenue and US Route 41, and the right-of-way used to connect Patterson Street to Joliet Street before US Route 41 was built.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing regarding the vacation of the right-of-way. He called twice for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated if there was no further discussion he would entertain a motion on Ordinance #1591, an ordinance to vacate a parcel of right-of-way, on first reading only. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/1). Mr. Gembala abstained. Mr. Gembala explained that he was involved in the preparation of a drawing.

C. ORDINANCE #1589, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE 2015 MUNICIPAL BUDGET.

ORDINANCE #WD 77, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE 2015 WATERWORKS BUDGET.

ORDINANCE #SD 110, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE 2015 SANITARY DISTRICT BUDGET.

Mr. Forbes moved on to Ordinance #1589, an ordinance establishing the 2015 municipal budget, Ordinance #WD 77, an ordinance establishing the 2015 Waterworks District budget, and Ordinance #SD 110. an ordinance establishing the 2015 Sanitary District budget. He stated that the following ordinances were before the Council for their review and consideration.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the Proof(s) of Publication and the Notices for the public hearings on Ordinance #1589, Ordinance #WD 77 and Ordinance #SD 110 were timely published. He stated that publications announcing a public hearing for each budget was made two times in the Post-Tribune, once on September 4, 2014, and again on September 11, 2014. Attorney Austgen stated that the same publications announcing a public hearing for each budget was twice published in The Times on September 1st, 2014, and again September 8, 2014. He stated the publications were made in conformance with the law. Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the public hearings could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Kil summarized the 2015 budgets for the benefit of the audience and the Council. He stated that everyone is doing a great job. Mr. Kil stated that the 2015 General Fund budget has been decreased by approximately $132,000 from last year. He stated that the Town has no tax anticipation warrants and has a balanced budget.

Mr. Kil stated that the Town’s cash flow is good. He stated it is almost unheard of that a budget can be decreased, especially when taking into account that there will be an employee increase. Mr. Kil congratulated the Council for their work on the budgets. Mr. Forbes remarked that Mr. Kil was also a part of the team that made the budgets a success. Mr. Kil opined that the quarterly reports received from the financial advisor are scrutinized, and watching the numbers has paid off.

Mr. Kil stated that the 2015 Waterworks District budget and the Sanitary District budget will be the same as last year.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the Town’s 2014 assessed valuation is $965,774,951. He stated that the estimated assessed valuation for 2015 is $978,000,000. Mr. Kil stated that he anticipates almost no increase in the tax rate. He stated that if the tax rate does go up it would depend on the amount of the Town’s assessed value going up. He explained that typically a rise in the assessed value offsets any tax rate increase. Mr. Kil stated that if the tax rate does go up, it is anticipated it will go up by .012.

Mr. Kil concluded his summary. He stated he would be happy to answer any questions. Mr. Kil noted the presence of Mr. Damon Tsouklis, Cender & Company, who was also present to answer any specific questions.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the tax rate would be .03803 per $100.00 of assessment. Mr. Kil stated that the tax rate for the approved budget of 2014 was 0.3752, with a net change of .0051. Mr. Kil stated that the general fund budget was decreased to offset any type of increase in tax rate.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing for comment on the 2015 municipal budget, the Waterworks District budget and the Sanitary District budget. He called for public comment on any of the three budgets. Mr. Forbes called twice for public comment on the 2015 budgets. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #1589, an ordinance establishing the 2015 municipal budget, on first reading only. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #WD 77, an ordinance establishing the 2015 Waterworks District budget, on first reading only. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #SD 110, an ordinance establishing the 2015 Sanitary District budget, on first reading only. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the budget ordinances would be on the October 23, 2014, meeting for adoption. Mr. Forbes thanked Cender & Company for their hard work.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. DISCUSSION OF PERSONNEL AND RELATED MATTERS.

Mr. Forbes noted was the discussion of personnel and other related matters. He asked that this matter be deferred. Mr. Gembala made a motion to defer the discussion of personnel and other matters. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

The councilmen had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes stated he had two Requests to Purchase, both of them to Cargill, Incorporated. He stated the first Request to Purchase is for 1,280 tons of road salt in the amount of $102,284.80. Mr. Kil noted that this is 80% of the Town’s allocation of salt for 2015.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $102,284.80. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes noted that the second order to purchase is for 320 tons of salt, which is the remaining 20% of the Town’s allocation. He stated that the remaining 20% of the road salt is on reserve in the event it is needed.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Request to Purchase is in the amount of $25,571.20. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $25,571.20. So moved," by Mr. Gembala. The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no report.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no report.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil updated the Council on the Town’s road project. He stated that 6.1 mile of road and subdivision streets have been paved so far including all of the curb replacement. Mr. Kil stated Joliet Street paving should be completed by Saturday.

Mr. Kil stated that Patterson Street is the next road paving project. He stated that this road project will cause a lot of inconvenience as it is a major thoroughfare with lots of driveways. Mr. Kil stated that they are intending to split the Patterson Street paving into two projects. He stated that first phase of the Patterson Street paving project will be using 90th Avenue south to 93rd and Olcott as the detour route. Mr. Kil stated the second phase of the Patterson Street paving project would use a detour of north of 90th Avenue to 85th.

Mr. Kil stated that the residents want their roads paved and are very appreciative. He reiterated that Patterson Street will be a challenge.

(General discussion ensued.)

STAFF:
Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s August, 2014, activity report to the Council. He again thanked the Council for the air testing machine.

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s August 1-31, 2014, activity report.

Mr. Forbes extended his thanks to Chief Frego and Chief Willman and their teams. He stated that the Town of St. John has been named the 15th safest community in the nation. Mr. Forbes stated that this designation speaks volumes about the work of the Police and Fire Departments and the work they do. Chief Frego noted that the officers are the backbone of the Department. Mr. Forbes concurred.

Mr. Kil stated he had one additional item to address. He asked Ms. Sury if Bev had talked to her about Gateway and Cender & Company and the entering of the TIF data. Ms. Sury responded, "Yes. She said you did it." Mr. Kil stated the password is needed for Gateway. Ms. Sury stated she does not know Brian from Cender, has never met him or talked to him. She stated she is only authorized to give the password to people that she knows.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Sury stated Damon at Cender & Company has the Gateway password. Ms. Sury reiterated that she does not know Damon, has never talked to him or met him.

Mr. Kil asked Ms. Sury if it would be acceptable for him to give the Gateway password to Damon at Cender & Company who can then pass it on to Brian at Cender & Company. Ms. Sury stated that would be acceptable.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes noted his understanding is that Cender & Company has authorization to access Gateway. Mr. Kil concurred. Mr. Kil stated that the data has been entered and they must be able submit the same by October 1, 2014.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He noted general APVs 10876 through 10972 in the amount of $1,067,040.48. He asked if there was any discussion on the bills. Mr. Gembala commented that he spent a part of the meeting going through the payment docket because it was submitted late. He stated for the sake of paying the bills he would appreciate receiving the docket for review earlier. Mr. Gembala stated next time he would have to abstain.

Ms. Sury informed the Board that reason for the late arrival of the docket was due to Keystone arriving on Tuesday to do an upgrade which had to be done by today’s meeting.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would accept Ms. Sury’s reason and move on. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $1,067,040.48. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve payment of the bills for the corporation as read. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/1). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none. Mr. Forbes abstained.

Mr. Forbes stated he had not had time to review the bills. He stated according to his documentation, the bills were received at the Town Manager’s office at 5:36 p.m. Mr. Forbes stated this is completely unacceptable.

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). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:54 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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