St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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January 8, 2015 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 the January 8, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:02 p.m.

Mr. Forbes announced Boy Scout Troop 550, Den 4, would lead the Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

Mr. Forbes asked for a moment of silence for Park Board member, Judy Radke, who recently passed away.

(A moment of silence was observed.)

ROLL CALL:
Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, took roll call with the following members present: Mike Forbes, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, Larry Bustamante and Ken Gembala. Staff members present: Steve Kil, Chief Fred Willman and Chief Fred Frego. Attorney Austgen was also present.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Board’s consideration and action was election of officers.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any nominations for President. Mr. Volk made a motion to nominate Mr. Forbes to sit as president for 2015. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further nominations. There were no further nominations.

Mr. Gembala asked that nominations be closed and he seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes asked for a nomination for Vice-President. Mr. Barenie made a motion to nominate Larry Bustamante to the position of Vice-President for 2015. Mr. Gembala asked that nominations be closed and he seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:
CONSIDER THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR THE TOWN WITH HAAS & ASSOCIATES FOR 2015.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business for the Council was to consider the 2015 professional service contract for engineering services for the Town with Haas & Associates. Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the professional service contract with Haas & Associates for 2015. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the 2015 professional service contract with Haas & Associates for engineering services for the Town. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion.

Mr. Gembala rescinded his second of the motion; he stated he also works for an engineering firm. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. Mr. Gembala abstained.

B. CONSIDER THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AGREEMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES WITH AUSTGEN KUIPER & JASAITIS FOR 2015.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council to consider was the service agreement for 2015 with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis for legal services. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the service agreement for legal services with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis. "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. CONSIDER THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AGREEMENT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES WITH CENDER & COMPANY FOR 2015.

Mr. Forbes noted the professional service agreement for financial services for the year 2015 with Cender & Company was before the Council for their consideration. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the service agreement for financial services with Cender & Company for the year 2015. "So moved," by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. RESOLUTION NO.15-01-08, A RESOLUTION TO TRANSFER THE TAX LEVY TO LAKE COUNTY FOR CONSOLIDATED DISPATCH SERVICES.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution No.15-01-08, was a resolution to transfer the tax levy to Lake County for consolidated dispatch services. Mr. Forbes noted this resolution was a result of the action taken at the December 18, 2014, Town Council meeting. He stated that the resolution would essentially transfer the equivalent dollar amount of the Town’s dispatching costs to Lake County so that Lake County could provide the dispatch service back to the Town.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No.15-01-08. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried (3/2). Ayes --- three. Nays --- no.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Forbes remarked he had a few items to address. He noted that the Council needed to appoint an individual to the Lake County 911 Commission for calendar year 2015. Mr. Forbes recommended that Chief Frego continue in this capacity with these duties and responsibilities. He asked if any council member objected to his recommendation. There were no objections.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to appoint Chief Fred Frego to be the Town’s representative in the Lake County 911 Communication Commission. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion.

The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that INDOT will be doing a road repaving project on US Route 41. The repaving will start at approximately 133rd Avenue in Cedar Lake and continue to just north of US Route 30 in Schererville. Mr. Forbes stated he has directed Mr. Kil to contact INDOT and request that a center turn lane for the Town of St. John be incorporated into this project.

Mr. Forbes stated that the bi-directional turn lane should start from the hill to the intersection at 93rd Avenue, at a minimum. He stated that the turn lane would help alleviate congestion and be conducive to the businesses. Mr. Kil added this project could be accomplished at no additional cost.

Mr. Forbes informed the Council that while on a visit to the new McDonalds a couple of months ago, he noticed that were are a lot of individuals trying to cross Route 41. He noted the area has a high volume of traffic area, is developing rapidly and it has no pedestrian crossing. Mr. Forbes stated he had directed Mr. Kil to speak to Mr. Dennis Cobb, First Group Engineering, to get an estimate of costs for the design of the intersection/pedestrian crossing.

Mr. Forbes stated that First Group Engineering estimated approximately $25,000 for the design of the intersection, with another approximately $25,000 to install the pedestrian crossing. Mr. Forbes stated he wanted to provide the rough costs of this project to the Council to see if they would be interested in pursuing it. Mr. Forbes commented that the Council could hire First Group Engineering to do a complete engineering study.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize a contract with First Group Engineering to do engineering on the proposed pedestrian crossing. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes informed the Council that Mr. Kil had met with a representative of Senator Joe Donnelly’s office earlier in the day. He explained it was a "meet and greet" on behalf of the senator. Mr. Forbes stated he directed Mr. Kil to ask for the Senator’s help, if possible, with the road striping/turn lane that was discussed earlier.

Mr. Forbes stated that the senator’s representative was also queried about the availability of federal money for memorials. Mr. Forbes stated it should be investigated to see whether or not there is federal money and/or grants available to help the Town build a monument in the proposed Veterans Park. Mr. Gembala concurred. He stated that all venues should be explored to see if money is available.

Mr. Gembala stated that things are moving forward for a name change to Civic Park and the relevant legal papers are being drawn up for the name change.

Mr. Gembala asked Mr. Kil to elaborate about a rating the Town received. Mr. Kil stated that the Town of St. John was rated "Number 17, The Best Town For Young Families," by NerdWallet.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Bustamante informed the Council that Christmas in the Park was a huge success. He said there was nothing but positive feedback. Mr. Forbes stated that he received a phone call from a resident who told him that Christmas in the Park was phenomenal.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

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

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

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that Ms. Margo Sabato, Executive Director of Southlake County Community Services (bus system) is requesting that the Town donate $3.00 per trip per St. John resident for the bus service. Mr. Kil stated he provided some documentation on this issue to the Council.

Mr. Kil stated that there are approximately 1,287 trips for St. John residents with Southlake County Community Services. Mr. Kil stated that Ms. Sabato is asking for this money in the form of a donation. He stated that this donation would be in addition to the county CDBG funds that the bus service receives.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the donation money would be used to offset the costs of transportation. He commented that he does see the bus frequently in Town. Mr. Kil stated that one resident in St. John used the bus service 328 times in a year. Mr. Volk stated that the service is available for disabled adults and children, and it is a very valuable service for those who are not able to drive.

Mr. Barenie stated he was okay with donating the money. He opined that a quick review of the bus service’s operating costs would be an exercise in due diligence on the part of the Council.

Mr. Kil stated he would request some information on operating costs from Executive Director Sabato, and he would provide it at the next meeting.

Chief Frego had nothing to report.

Mr. Gembala asked Chief Willman about the record numbers for the Fire Department. Chief Willman informed the Council that the Fire Department set all kinds of records in 2014. He stated that there were 125 more calls in 2014 than in 2013. There were 145 calls in the month of December. Chief Willman stated it has been an extremely busy year.

Chief Willman stated he would be starting his twentieth year as St. John Fire Chief this week. The Council congratulated him.

PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Forbes opened the floor to 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. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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