St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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February 26, 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 February 26, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:11 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
JANUARY 8, 2015 & JANUARY 29, 2015, REGULAR MEETINGS.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was the approval of the meeting minutes of the January 8, 2015, and the January 29, 2015, regular meetings. He asked if there were any questions or amendments to the meeting minutes. There were no amendments or questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the meeting minutes. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve the January 8, 2015, and the January 29, 2015, meeting minutes as submitted. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes acknowledged State Representative Mike Aylesworth and Lake County Councilman, Dan Dernulc present in the audience. Mr. Forbes expressed the Council’s appreciation for their presence especially in light of the inclement weather.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. REVIEW OF ORDINANCE NO. 1596, AN ORDINANCE IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR A ST. JOHN DOG PARK (WIGGELY FIELD).

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was review of Ordinance No. 1596, an ordinance implementing rules and regulations for a St. John Dog Park, Wiggely Field.

Mr. Kil had submitted a comprehensive list of rules and regulations for the proposed dog park. He stated that there was review of the rules and regulations from existing dog parks in surrounding communities, and some web research. He stated the list of rules and regulations for the dog park appear to encompass every idea imaginable.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve Ordinance No. 1596. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1596. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. REVIEW OF ORDINANCE NO. 1597, AN ORDINANCE IMPLEMENTING A FEE SCHEDULE FOR A ST. JOHN DOG PARK (WIGGELY FIELD).

Mr. Forbes noted review of Ordinance No. 1597, an ordinance implementing a fee schedule for a St. John Dog Park was before the Council.

Mr. Kil explained to the Council that Ordinance No. 1597 would set up a special non-reverting fund for the dog park. He stated the dog park would entail some unique maintenance costs.

Mr. Forbes noted the dog park’s annual user fees for St. John residents would be $25.00 for one dog and $10.00 for each additional dog, annual fees for non-residents, $100.00 per dog and $25.00 for each additional dog. Mr. Kil stated that the dog park will have a swipe card system for entry.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to approve Ordinance No. 1597. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1597. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1598, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 1287 PROHIBITING STUDENT PARKING IN THE RESIDENTIAL AREAS NEAR LAKE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL.

Mr. Forbes noted the Council would consider Ordinance No. 1598, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1287, prohibiting student parking in the residential areas near Lake Central High School.

Mr. Forbes asked Chief Frego if the police department had lately received more complaints related to this issue. Chief Frego informed the Council that complaints related to student parking in residential areas near Lake Central High School have risen. He stated that Ordinance No. 1598 will extend coverage that is already in place. Chief Frego stated that the amended ordinance will include a couple of streets not previously covered.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. The councilmen had no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1598 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1598. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1599, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 1583, ESTABLISHING A TOWN PER DIEM OFFICIAL TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT POLICY.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item before the Council was consideration of Ordinance No. 1599, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1583, establishing a Town per diem official travel reimbursement policy.

Mr. Forbes noted the amendment to Ordinance No. 1599 was initiated after discussion with department heads. He stated the only revision that was suggested was that in the event of a one day trip the per diem allowance be reduced to $50.00 (fifty dollars). Mr. Forbes remarked that the overnight per diem allowance of $90.00 (ninety dollars) would remain the same.

(General discussion ensued)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1599 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 1599 on first reading. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1599. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1600, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A PETTY CASH FUND AT THE ST. JOHN FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR SMALL AND/OR EMERGENCY EXPENDITURES.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was Ordinance No. 1600, an ordinance establishing a petty cash fund at the St. John Fire Department for small and/or emergency expenditures.

Mr. Forbes stated that the primary reason for drafting an ordinance to establish a petty cash fund at the St. John Fire Department is so that when individuals come to the fire department to pay an ambulance bill and/or obtain records the transaction can be completed there. He stated the present practice is that an individual must make a trek to the Clerk’s office to pay. Mr. Forbes stated that the petty cash fund will allow the fire department to take payments and make change.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1600 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 1600 on first reading. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1601, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A PETTY CASH FUND AT THE ST. JOHN POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR SMALL AND/OR EMERGENCY EXPENDITURES.

Mr. Forbes noted Ordinance No. 1601, an ordinance establishing a petty cash fund at the St. John Police Department for small and/or emergency expenditures. Mr. Forbes stated that a petty cash fund is being established at the police department for the same reasons it was set up at the fire department.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1601 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1601. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

G. CONSIDER MEYERS QUAULITY HOMES LETTER OF CREDIT IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ($100,100.00)

Mr. Volk noted the next item before the Council for their consideration was a letter of credit in the amount of $100,100.00 for Meyers Quality Homes. Mr. Volk explained that the letter of credit was for the Meyers development and also replaces a letter of credit from Gardenia Gardens.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the letter of credit from Peoples Bank in the amount of $100,100.00 for Meyers Quality Development. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Bustamante recommended that the Town look into drafting an ordinance related to throwing of snow in the streets once the plows have gone through, especially for landscapers. Mr. Bustamante stated “They make a heck of a mess.” Mr. Bustamante state when this occurs there are citizen complaints that the plow has not been through.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen was directed to look into this matter.

Mr. Forbes stated he had a couple of items to address. He had a Request to Purchase from the Public Works Department for additional small plow truck, excluding the cost of the plow. Mr. Forbes noted the cost of the vehicle from Lake Shore Ford is $27,790.00. The funds would come out of the Water Operating fund.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize the purchase in the amount of $27,790.00. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize the purchase in the amount of $27,790.00. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0).

Mr. Forbes next addressed a Request to Purchase from the Public Works Department for a mosquito sprayer. He noted the amount of the request was $9,875.00 for the equipment.

Mr. Bustamante commented that the Public Works Department’s current mosquito sprayer is twenty years old.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to authorize the purchase request of $9,875.00. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize the purchase request in the amount $9,875.00. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0).

Mr. Forbes informed the Council and audience that Lake Central High School is going to hold a technology help seminar, Juniors for Seniors, for residents on Monday, March 2, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Town Hall. Simple technology questions about laptops, readers, phones and tablets will be answered. A group of high school students will assist those with technology questions.

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

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

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil asked the Council to acknowledge receipt of the bids for the CDBG project. He stated he would e-mail copies to the councilmen. Mr. Kil stated all of the price quotes for the Watts subdivision CDBG project are in. He stated the low bidder is Rex Construction in the amount of $49,527.00. Mr. Kil stated that a motion to authorize the project would be appropriate at this time.

Mr. Kil stated that the as soon as the weather breaks the project will commence, and it must be finished by June. He stated the project involves storm sewers and road work in Watts subdivision.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the bid from Rex Construction in the amount of $49,527.00 for the CDBG project. Mr. Volk made a motion to accept the bid from Rex Construction. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0).

Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s January, 2015 report to the Council.

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s January 1-31, 2015.

Dan Dernulc, 9905 Prairie Avenue, Highland, Indiana:
Mr. Dernulc stated as a county councilman, he represents most of St. John. He informed the Council that this is his second term, but the first time he has represented St. John.

Mr. Dernulc stated he tries to make two meetings a year with each town he represents. He informed the Council that he wanted to make sure that the Town knows he is available and here to represent them. He invited the Council members to give him a call with any concerns. Mr. Dernulc stated he looks forward to working with the Town, and to make some good things happen in Lake County.

Mr. Dernulc introduced State Representative, Mike Aylesworth.

Mr. Aylesworth thanked all of the Council for their work and public service. He stated he started out his career in public service with Governor Ed Whitcomb. Mr. Aylesworth stated he served two terms in Porter County as a county commissioner, and one term as a county councilman, was a member of the Kankakee River Basin Commission and chair of the county drainage board among other accomplishments.

Mr. Aylesworth explained his district encompasses the geographical southern third of Lake County and the southern third of Porter County geographically. He stated his district goes from the LaPorte county line to the Illinois state line. Mr. Aylesworth noted St. John is at the upper end of the Lake County district.

Mr. Aylesworth stated he wanted to introduce himself tonight. He stated one aspect of effectiveness is being able to communicate with your state representative, county councilmen and county commissioner and solve problems for the public in the public interest.

Mr. Aylesworth noted that he worked under the Daniels administration as Director of Indiana Department of Environmental Management in South Bend, Indiana. At IDEM he worked with waste water, drinking water and air emissions issues. Mr. Aylesworth stated that he believes in using in sound science to make good and sound environmental decisions for everyone.

Mr. Aylesworth stated if he could ever be of help to the Utility Board, he would be happy to offer help. He stated he also could be of help with the State Highway Department if ever any issue arises for the Town. Mr. Aylesworth stated the Council should feel free to contact him.

Mr. Aylesworth stated he is aware of the issue faced by the Town with the left turn lane on Route 41. Mr. Aylesworth stated that the State Highway Department of aware of the issue in St. John and hopefully will be able to remedy the situation.

Mr. Aylesworth passed out his business card so the Council could get in touch with him, and he would try and help as best he can. He stated he would be happy to answer any questions.

Mr. Bustamante asked why volunteer fireman cannot run for office in their own Town. Mr. Aylesworth stated his belief was that volunteer firemen could not hold office due to conflicts of interests that come up in small towns related to budgetary concerns.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked about Senate Bill 330, the annexation bill. Mr. Aylesworth remarked that Senate Bill 330 has some issues. He stated if the bill goes through as it is now, it will make it impossible for towns to annex.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he does not believe in hostile annexations and the Town does not engage in hostile annexations. He noted when someone from outside of Town comes to them requesting an extension of service and an agreement is made not to remonstrate, it is perfectly good business. Mr. Aylesworth concurred.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated to have this annexation tool taken away from the Town is a problem. Mr. Aylesworth informed the Council that the bill is not the final one that will be submitted to the governor.

Mr. Forbes noted that another part of the bill he takes issue with is having to take on debt created by the county in annexation matters. Mr. Aylesworth agreed this is not the right thing to do. Mr. Forbes stated the debt issue would be counterproductive to orderly growth. He stated the Town does things orderly and properly.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Aylesworth agreed that as cities and towns grow and expand, the annexation process should not be made difficult. He stated as a representative, it is his job to try to bring the annexation issue back to a middle ground area that’s acceptable to cities and towns and the prospective communities to be annexed.

Mr. Aylesworth stated he is aware of the issue, and he knows how important proper, voluntary annexations are for continued, dynamic growth. Mr. Kil suggested that the burden of annexation not be put on the citizenry, but on the Town wanting to attempt a hostile annexation.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Aylesworth remarked that he was opposed to noncontiguous annexation. He stated that discussions on this bill would commence again next week. He stated he appreciated the Council’s understanding. Mr. Aylesworth invited the Council to keep him informed on matters and he would text or give a telephone call.

Mr. Aylesworth stated he appreciated being able to visit with the Council tonight.

The Council thanked State Representative Aylesworth.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the docket reflects the amount of $1,047,652.58.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve payment of the bills as read. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

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

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue
Mr. Bugariu stated he requested something of Mr. Volk on February 12, 2015. He asked what happens when there is a problem. What happens when there is a complaint? He asked if the complaints were put in the garbage can and laughed about.

Mr. Bugariu stated ever since Frego, Fryzell and unintelligible moved in --- he stated he never had trouble to walk in town for 38 years. He stated a good neighbor of his who he has known for 38 years, informed him that these people --- “Watch out, Adrian. He’s a dangerous man.”

Mr. Bugariu stated he doesn’t go to jail, and “I have Frego to smear his name --- and Fryzell to try and run me over with Squad Car 1096.” Mr. Bugariu stated “You are the Town Council. We have problems in the Town. You are ones not to toss the things in the garbage can and laugh about it.” Mr. Volk stated Mr. Bugariu’s concerns were not tossed in the garbage can or laughed at.

Mr. Bugariu commented that Chief Guzik was a good chief and an educated man. He stated “Fryzell and Jerry Teibel and part of the town council members in that time --- 1991, 2001 --- they ousted him. They fired him.”

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Bugariu. Mr. Bugariu stated he is always cut off “because you don’t want to people to hear what’s going on in here.”

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Bugariu. He called for additional public comment.

Dan Kiepura, 9487 E. Oakridge Drive:
Mr. Kiepura asked the Council to explain to him the intent of the parking ban for snow. Mr. Forbes noted the ban is in place to keep vehicles off of the street so that the street can be plowed up to the curb.

Mr. Kiepura informed the Council that he had an incident today. He explained that his street was plowed. He stated when his son came home from school he parked in the street because the street was plowed. He stated his son was in the house for a short time, but intended to take care of the driveway so the car could be parked in the driveway. Mr. Kiepura stated, meanwhile, his son received a ticket because it started to snow. He stated he does not believe that this is the intent of the law.

(General discussion ensued.)

Chief Frego stated he does not know what the circumstances were today related to Mr. Kiepura’s issue. He stated he would look into the matter. He provided a phone number for Mr. Kiepura to call him.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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