St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
Return to Menu

December 18, 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 regular meeting for the Town Council on December 18, 2014, at 7:12 p.m. (The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
NOVEMBER 20, 2014, REGULAR MEETING

Mr. Forbes noted the minutes of November 20, 2014, regular meeting were before the Council for their consideration and action. Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion on the aforementioned minutes. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the minutes of November 20, 2014. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PRESENTATION:
MR. BILL JARVIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TRI-TOWN SAFETY VILLAGE

Mr. Bill Jarvis, Executive Director of the Tri-Town Safety Village, appeared before the Council to give an update on the Tri-Town Safety Village and what has been accomplished there in the last few years.

Mr. Jarvis stated that the safety village has been used to train hundreds of children from the Lake Central schools. He stated at this point in time, they have trained thousands of children from Lake Central schools and also from the surrounding communities. Mr. Jarvis stated police, fire and railroad safety is taught. He stated individuals from St. John were instrumental in making the safety village a success; he extended his thanks to those individuals for making this possible.

Mr. Jarvis informed the Council that the safety village has added a butterfly habitat to teach children about the environment, and raised bed gardens (in conjunction with the Lake County Master Gardeners) to teach children how to grow vegetables and eat healthy. The safety village has collaborated with NIPSCO, and there is now a NIPSCO safety center to learn about gas, electric safety in the home, and 811, Call Before You Dig.

Mr. Jarvis stated many companies are involved in the safety village including Enbridge Pipeline (with plans to build a mini tank farm), NIPSCO, C&N and Norfolk & Southern Railroads and the Lake County Master Gardeners.

Mr. Jarvis stated the safety village needs to work on their budget. He stated the safety village requires a minimum amount of funds to cover expenses in order to ensure stability. Mr. Jarvis stated in the past the towns have donated a couple thousand dollars, but the safety village needs and is requesting an increase. He stated $21,800 per town would keep the Tri-Town Safety Village stable. Mr. Jarvis submitted a budget to the Council. He stated the proposed budget is the minimum amount needed to get by.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Jarvis stated that the safety village has been operating on donations, grants and everyone who would donate to them. Mr. Jarvis stated that grants cannot be applied towards daily maintenance or funds to pay personnel.

Mr. Jarvis stated the safety village charges $5.00 per child. He stated these funds are used to supply students with materials and to compensate the instructors.

Mr. Kil stated that he and Chief Willman and Chief Frego are very active in the safety village and usually attend every meeting. Mr. Kil commented that he has reviewed the safety village’s budget with Mr. Jarvis. He stated that every grant source or donation has been tapped.

Mr. Barenie stated he would like to consider the proposed agreement for at least a one year period. He opined that if Mr. Jarvis had not stepped up the safety village would probably not exist.

Mr. Forbes noted the funds could be taken from the cable TV promotion. He asked for a motion on Mr. Jarvis’ request.

Mr. Bustamante made a motion to authorize a $21,800 for fiscal year 2015. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. ORDINANCE #1594, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR DOCUMENTS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Ordinance #1594, an ordinance amending the schedule for fees for documents of the Police and Fire Departments.

Attorney Austgen remarked this ordinance addressed a housekeeping matter, to bring the departments current.

Mr. Gembala made a motion to consider Ordinance #1594. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1594. "So moved," by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. RESOLUTION #14-12-18, A RESOLUTION EXTENDING THE LOAN FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE FROM FUND 429 CUM SEWER TO EMPLOYEES BENEFIT FUND 704 AND HEALTH CLAIMS FUND 714.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution #14-12-18, a resolution extending the loan for employee health insurance from Fund 429 cum sewer to Employee Benefits Fund 704 and Health Claims Fund 714 was next on the agenda for the Council’s consideration and review. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this matter.

Mr. Kil stated that the year for employee health insurance runs from May to May. He stated when the renewal was done this past May, the entire renewal amount was transferred into the health insurance fund. Mr. Kil stated that the loan will be extended and must be repaid by June, 2015. Mr. Kil explained that the Town’s budget year and insurance years do not coincide.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #14-12-18. "So moved," by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. RESOLUTION #14-12-18A, A RESOLUTION FOR ENCUMBERANCE OF FUNDS.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution #14-12-18A, a resolution for encumbrance of funds, was before the Council for their consideration. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this matter.

Mr. Kil stated the resolution was simply for road salt. He stated normally funds are not encumbered, but since the amount is $102,000, it must be encumbered for the next year.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution 14-12-18A. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. RESOLUTION #14-12-18B, A RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution #14-12-18B, a resolution transferring funds from various departments was the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration and review. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this matter.

Mr. Kil explained that this transaction was simply transferring money from the Town Council to the Fire Department and Solid Waste. He stated the amounts were $18,000 and $8,400.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #14-12-18B. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION #14-12-18C, A RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution #14-12-18C, a resolution transferring funds from various appropriations was before the Council for their review and consideration. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this matter for the Council.

Mr. Kil explained that the fund transfers required this year were very minimal.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #14-12-18C. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. RESOLUTION #14-12-18D, A RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS FROM VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution #14-12-18D, was a resolution transferring funds from various appropriations, specifically the park, was before the Council.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that this fund transfer was for the Park Department. He stated that funds were being transferred from line items within Mr. Sobek’s budget.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this item. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #14-12-18D. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

G. 2015 BOARD AND COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Council’s packets contained a list of the 2015 board and commission appointments. He noted that the Waterworks Board District was not completed. Mr. Forbes asked if the councilmen were agreeable to keeping the Waterworks Board members the same, Mr. Gembala, Mr. Volk and himself. There were no objections.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion referencing the 2015 list of board and commission appointments. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve the 2015 board and commission appointments as reflected on the list presently before the Council. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes directed Mr. Kil to send out letters related to the appointments on the list.

F. AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE PUBLIC SAFETY DISPATCHERS.

Mr. Forges announced the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was authorization to hire public safety dispatchers. He noted that with the upcoming consolidation two of the Town’s dispatchers are going to be hired Lake County. Mr. Forbes explained that in order to keep the system operational, the Town will need to hire some part-time dispatchers.

Mr. Volk asked to discuss the status of the interlocal agreement before action on the hiring of public safety dispatchers. He stated he has not seen any correspondence related to the interlocal agreement in some time. Mr. Volk stated that the last item he reviewed was a large list of issues that had not yet been resolved including the budget.

Mr. Forbes stated that there have been meetings of the operations board and discussions between the communities involved. He stated that the Attorney General has been queried, but as yet, there has been no clear response.

Mr. Forbes stated they continue to try and get answers on the outstanding issues but they remain unresolved.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Volk asked if there was money was set aside to pay the newly hired dispatchers, in the event it they are hired.

Mr. Forbes stated that the money to pay the dispatchers would come out of the Town’s levy.

The Council discussed dispatchers, radio communications, frequencies and operational issues.

Mr. Bustamante opined that there is an entire list of questions that have never been addressed, and that the Council is merely "spinning our wheels with this right now." Mr. Bustamante stated that the Town should look forward to the safety of its citizens and move on.

Mr. Bustamante made a motion to withdraw from the three town PSAP and sign on with Lake County. He asked Mr. Forbes to take a vote.

Mr. Forbes acknowledged Mr. Bustamante’s motion to withdraw from the three town PSAP and sign on with Lake County.

He asked if there was a second to the motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to take a roll call vote. Mr. Kil took roll call as follows: Mr. Bustamante --- yes. Mr. Volk --- yes. Mr. Gembala --- yes. Mr. Barenie --- no. Mr. Forbes --- no. The motion was carried (3/2) Ayes --- three. Nays --- no.

(General discussion ensued.)

G. CONSIDER ANNUAL CONTRACT WITH ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE FOR FIRE SERVICES IN UNINCORPORATED AREA.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was the annual contract with the St. John Township Trustee for fire services in unincorporated areas. He noted there was an increase for the services. Mr. Kil acknowledged a small increase.

Chief Willman stated there was no increase in 2014, but the services will go up three percent in 2015.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the St. John Township Trustee fire service contact. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Barenie stated he did not have an opportunity to comment earlier on the PSAP vote. He opined that this issue demonstrates that the Council lacked some communication over the last few months. He stated many individuals spent a lot of time on this matter not only in St. John, but other communities as well. Mr. Barenie stated he did not hear anything about a change in direction. He stated he was flabbergasted and a little disappointed that there was no communication before tonight related to the PSAP matter.

Mr. Bustamante announced that Saturday, December 20, was the last day of for Christmas in the Park. He stated the event has been hugely successful. Mr. Bustamante invited all of the councilmen to attend the festivities at Christmas in the Park.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Gembala stated that for some time there has been discussion with the VFW Post and remaining members of the Civic Club about setting up a Veterans Park in Town which would include a memorial. He requested that the Council consider this matter. Mr. Gembala stated he would welcome any feedback from the Council.

Mr. Gembala stated he wanted to bring this matter up early enough to be able to address related matters in the event the park name is changed.

Mr. Kil asked if the VFW Post could have a recommendation for a name change by the January meeting.

(General discussion ensued.)

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Treasurer, Beverly Gawrys, was absent.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.

STAFF:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that he had a request from Jason Dravet, IT Director. Mr. Kil submitted a list of old Gateway computers that are of no value.

Mr. Kil made a recommendation to the Council that they declare the old computers worthless and authorize Mr. Dravet to dispose of the same.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to declare the old computers of no value. Mr. Volk made a motion to declare the computers worthless and of no value. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s November 1-30, 2014, monthly activity report. Chief Frego informed the Council that the Police Department sponsored "Shop With a Cop," the previous weekend, an annual event for the St. John Police Department. He stated that the event is very gratifying, being able to help children in need.

Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s November, 2014, monthly activity report.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was payment the bills for the Corporation. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions on the bills.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $1,356,072.05. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called for public comment.

Janice Malko, 11913 80th Place, Dyer, IN:
Ms. Malko stated she has been a volunteer at the Tri-Town Safety Village for many years. She said the volunteers work very hard. On behalf of the safety village, Ms. Malko thanked the Council for the generous donate they authorized earlier tonight. She stated it is very gratifying to know that the Council has given the safety village their stamp of approval.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue
Mr. Bugariu stated he heard all night long about the public safety of the Town. He stated police officer, Mike Fryzel, tried to run him over with a squad car. He stated he wanted "Fryzel arrested."

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

Mr. Forbes commended the staff and department heads for the good, hard work. He stated the Council appreciates everything they do. Mr. Forbes commended the ladies in the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, who are under a great deal of stress, who keep the Town moving forward.

Chief Frego thanked the Council for their hard work. He wished everyone happy holidays.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn the meeting. "So moved," by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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