St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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May 28, 2015 Town Council Minutes

Michael Forbes, PresidentAttorney David Austgen
Larry Bustamante, Vice-PresidentSteve Kil, Town Manager
Gregory VolkClerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury
Mark Barenie 
Ken Gembala 

CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Forbes called the May 28, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:20 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

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

Attorney Austgen announced that Mr. Barenie and Mr. Kil were not present because they were attending their children’s commencement ceremony at Lake Central High School. Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Volk was called away by business.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
APRIL 23, 2015, REGULAR MEETING

Mr. Forbes noted the minutes for the regular Town Council meeting April 23, 2015, were before the Council for their consideration and approval. He asked if there were any questions, comments or changes to the minutes. There were no comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of April 23, 2015, as submitted. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC HEARING
A. PETITION TO VACATE A PUBLIC EASEMENT. PETITIONER, FRANK SCHILLING (OURBOR INVESTMENTS, LLC).

Mr. Forbes stated the first item on the agenda was a public hearing on a Petition to Vacate an Easement for Schilton Hill Preserves. This development is located at Columbia Avenue and 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Forbes asked if the proofs of publication were in order. Attorney Austgen stated he did not have the proofs of publication in hand; he stated his understanding was that the Petitioner and his attorney are responsible for all matters including having the matter placed on the agenda. Mr. Forbes stated his understanding was that the attorney for Petitioner was to present Attorney Austgen with the proofs of publication tonight.

(General discussion ensued.)

The attorney for the Petitioner was not present. Attorney Austgen recommended that the public hearing be conducted contingent upon receiving proofs of publication and verifying that the same are in order. Mr. Forbes stated he would be comfortable with holding the public hearing and then tabling the matter guaranteeing that if there was no proper notification no action had been taken.

(General discussion ensued.)

(Attorney Richard Anderson enters meeting.)

Attorney Richard Anderson, 9211 Broadway, Merrillville, Indiana, appeared before the Council on behalf of the Petitioner, Frank Schilling. Attorney Anderson apologized for his tardiness. He submitted the proofs of publication to Attorney Austgen. Attorney Austgen stated the public hearing could proceed, as previously discussed, and he would examine the proofs of publication to ensure they were in order.

Attorney Anderson explained to the Council that the original easement on the property was granted to the Town in 1995. He stated that the surveryor suggested that this easement be vacated and put it back in but in a slightly different configuration. Mr. Forbes commented that this easement configuration would allow the people who have homes on these lots to use their back yards without having an easement running through the middle of the same. Mr. Forbes commented that the water that collects at 93rd and Columbia Avenues would still be transferred down to the ditch. Attorney Anderson concurred.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would open the public hearing and in the event a decision was made tonight, it would be contingent upon Attorney Austgen’s review of the proofs of publication, and their being in order.

Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing on the vacation of the public easement.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Forbes 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 were no questions from the Council, he would entertain a motion to approve the easement vacation and the signing of the Plat of Vacation contingent upon review and verification of the proof of publications by Attorney Austgen. There were no questions or comments. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1606, AN ORDINANCE FOR TOWN SNOW CLEANING REGULATIONS.

Mr. Forbes stated the first item under New Business before the Council was consideration of Ordinance Number 1606, an ordinance for Town Snow Cleaning Regulations. He asked if there were any comments from the Council. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance No. 1606. Mr. Gembala made a motion to defer Ordinance No. 1606 for further “tweaks” to the language in the ordinance. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1608, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 1508, MUNICIPAL PURCHASING RULES.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item before the Council was consideration of Ordinance No. 1608, an Ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1508, Municipal Purchasing Rules.” He stated this issue was discussed a couple of months ago shortly after reviewing financial reports. Mr. Forbes stated that the financial reports reflected the positive operation of the Town, and the ability of Town staff to manage their budgets.

Mr. Forbes stated that Ordinance No. 1608 will allow department heads to approve purchases up to $1,500.00 and allow the town manager to approve purchases up to $4,000.00. He stated this ordinance would expedite operations for the Town. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1608 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1608. "So moved," by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER REFUND OF BUILDING PERMIT FOR HOT TUB FOR RESIDENT PAUL ARTERBUM.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item for the Council’s consideration was a refund for a building permit for resident, Mr. Paul Arterburn (hot tub). He explained the resident was going to install a hot tub in his back yard, but due to circumstances beyond his control, this project has been cancelled.

Mr. Forbes stated the resident is requesting a refund of $300.00. He asked for a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER REFUND OF BUILDING PERMIT FOR LOT 37, WILLOW RIDGE MANOR, MEYERS QUALITY HOMES.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was to consider a refund of a building permit for Lot 37, Willow Ridge Manor for Meyers Quality Homes. He stated that Mr. Meyers has decided not to build a spec house on Lot 37 because he wants to concentrate on the Lake Central project.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on refund of the building permit for Lot 37 in Willow Ridge Manor. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve a refund in the amount $5,312.26. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Bustamante had nothing to report.

Mr. Gembala stated he appreciated receiving a draft of the salary ordinance and he is reviewing the same.

Mr. Forbes informed the Council that Mr. Kil and himself had recently attended the ICSC conference in Las Vegas. He stated they have scheduled one of the entities (Buxton) to come out and meet with the Town’s developers/landowners on U.S. Route 41. The entity’s goal is to match developers/landowners with businesses who would like to locate in Town. Mr. Forbes stated that this strategy will be used to fill in vacant commercial areas. He stated he would announce a meeting date in the near future.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, had no reports.

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

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil was absent.

Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s April, 2015, report to the Council. Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s April 1-30, 2015, report to the Council.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury if she had found the letter of credit from Three Springs. Ms. Sury responded, “I never got it. I have all communication in the drawer. I opened the drawer and showed Bev where all of the documentation was. The last correspondence was when I talked to Three Springs they told me they had sent it to Steve and they were following up. And whether Steve was supposed to follow up with them --- I mean I got it all documented for --- I can get you a copy of that.”

Mr. Forbes stated there seems to be a lot of e-mail about the same subject and everyone is pointing fingers. Ms. Sury stated she would be happy to provide Mr. Forbes with a copy of whatever he needs. Mr. Forbes stated they need a copy of the letter of credit, and at the end of the day, they must figure out what is going on.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Sury stated there is nothing mentioned in any meeting minutes that this was ever approved. Mr. Forbes stated he would consult with Mr. Kil again.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:
Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that there was a six page bill docket presented and dated May 28, 2015, in the amount of $1,371,236.38. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $1,371,236.38. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve payment of the six page bill docket dated May 28, 2015. 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.

Mr. Mitch Day, 10195 South Branch
Mr. Day introduced himself as the Treasurer for the Lake Hills Master Homeowners Association. He stated this association represents approximately 450 residences in the Lake Hills development.

Mr. Mitch stated the LHMHA is interested in adopting Lindsey Park within the Lake Hills area and taking over the maintenance and other improvements. He stated this transaction would be mutually beneficial for all involved.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Day for his comments.

Doug Ziemak, 9032 90th
Mr. Ziemak asked how Ordinance 1606 originated. Mr. Bustamante explained how the ordinance came about.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Ziemak stated there is no common sense anywhere in the ordinance. He asked “aren’t we becoming kind of a nanny state here?” He cited ordinances that tell you when you need to take your garbage out, bring your garbage cans in and where you should store your garbage cans. Mr. Ziemak stated if common sense is used, then why so many ordinances?

Mr. Ziemak stated that the snow removal problem must be of “epic proportions” to come up with this ordinance, give it to an attorney to put it into legalese. He stated he just doesn’t see it. Mr. Ziemak stated the snow has to go somewhere.

Mr. Ziemak stated there is an ordinance that requires residents to keep their sidewalks clean. He stated Mr. Kil was very specific when he asked him about his parkway being damaged; Mr. Kil told him that his property starts behind the sidewalk. Mr. Ziemak stated this sidewalk clearing ordinance is basically asking him to be an “indentured servant to plow your sidewalk. Plow your own sidewalk”

Mr. Ziemak opined that this should not be such a problem. He stated this ordinance is not needed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Gembala commented that Ordinance 1606 has been tabled for further review. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Ziemak his comments would be taken into consideration.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu addressed the audience. Mr. Forbes instructed Mr. Bugariu to address the Town Council and not the audience. Mr. Bugariu stated after the last Town Council meeting he was intimidated by Chief Frego and Steve Kil, and it should no longer be tolerated.

Mr. Bugariu stated he has been arrested in 38 years non-stop. He stated when Mr. Fryzell and Ms. Teibel became president and vice-president of the Town Council, (in the 70s) they contacted individuals and he was arrested in May because he went to the Town and requested forms to file a complaint against the police department. Mr. Bugariu stated he was with his girlfriend.

Mr. Forbes stated this story has been heard far too many times. He thanked Mr. Bugariu for his comments.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further 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. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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