St. John Indiana - Founded 1837
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June 11, 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 June 11, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:05 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

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

Mr. Forbes informed the Council that both Mr. Volk and Mr. Bustamante contacted him to let him know they would not be able to attend tonight’s meeting.

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

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was consideration of Ordinance No. 1606, an Ordinance for Town Snow Cleaning Regulations. He stated that this ordinance was deferred at the last meeting. Mr. Forbes stated that the only change made to the ordinance was that a warning was added. He explained that a warning would be given prior to being fined. Mr. Forbes noted the first offense would elicit a warning, second offense will be a $50.00 fine and a $100.00 fine for each consecutive offense.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or discussion on Ordinance No. 1606. Mr. Gembala commented that Ordinance No. 1606 reads quite clearly. He stated that the main reason for the ordinance was for safety reasons.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance No. 1606. Mr. Barenie made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1606. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1609, AN ORDINANCE FOR AN EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PROGRAM.

Mr. Forbes noted Ordinance No. 1609, an ordinance for an Employee Retirement Program, was before the Council for consideration and action. He remarked that the third paragraph in the ordinance succinctly summarizes its goal. He cited a portion of the ordinance as follows:

“Whereas the Town Council has been informed and advised that budget review and analysis has been undertaken for consideration and action concerning experienced and long-term employees of the Town such that the establishment of a special early retirement incentive program for eligible Town employees should be mutually beneficial so that eligible employees can consider early retirement on an incentive basis while the Town, as employer, could plan and implement budget goals and objectives going forward.”

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the ordinance. Mr. Barenie stated he had discussed the ordinance with Mr. Kil. Mr. Gembala commented that the ordinance is not intended in any way to force anyone to retire.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated if there was no further discussion he would entertain an ordinance to consider Ordinance No. 1609 on first reading. There was no further discussion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain an ordinance to adopt Ordinance No. 1609. “I’ll move to adopt,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1610, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 1483.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration and review was Ordinance No. 1610, an Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 1483, Supplemental Parking Regulations. Mr. Forbes explained that this matter was addressed before the Plan Commission, and the Plan Commission forwarded Ordinance No. 1610 to the Town Council with a unanimously favorable recommendation.

Mr. Forbes stated that the change in the ordinance specifically deals with the amount of time that a trailer, boat or recreational vehicle is allowed to be parked on a concrete surface, i.e. a driveway in front of a house. He stated the language of the amended ordinance allows recreational vehicles to be parked at a residence seasonally from April to October.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1610. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala had nothing to report.

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes stated he had a couple of things to address. He stated when the Council last met, there was some discussion about the Three Springs letter of credit. Mr. Forbes stated he requested that some effort be put in to locating the letter of credit.

Mr. Forbes stated that Ms. Sury denied that the letter of credit was ever in her possession. He stated that she had produced a document a day after the last council meeting to prove that the letter of credit was never in her possession. Mr. Forbes stated that on Friday afternoon staff found a letter that Ms. Sury had sent to the county treasurer acknowledging receipt of the letter of credit in September of 2013.

Mr. Forbes stated that on this past Tuesday Ms. Sury walked into Mr. Kil’s office with the letter of credit. Mr. Forbes stated he would like to know where the letter of credit has been. He said it was his understanding that the letter of credit was not in Ms. Sury’s office.

Ms. Sury stated that the letter of credit for the $394,000.00 was always in her possession. She stated she does not understand what Mr. Forbes was saying she sent to the county. Ms. Sury stated the letter of credit “I was questioning was the one in between the $494,000.00 and the 300 and whatever on the --- that $300,000 one had a letter of credit it referenced for $459,000.00. That is what the question was.”

Mr. Forbes stated that the letter of credit was for Three Springs, Unit Two. Ms. Sury stated it was always in her top drawer because it was pending. She stated she had asked Mr. Kil about the $459,000.00 letter of credit that was never received, or that she had never received and was never approved. Ms. Sury explained that the letter of credit was reduced from $494,000.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury if she had the letter of credit, how it expired. Ms. Sury stated she does not keep track of the expiration of the letters of credit. Mr. Forbes stated Ms. Sury was notified by staff that the letter of credit was expiring two months prior to its expiration date. Ms. Sury responded “Who?”

Mr. Forbes stated he has documentation from the staff and the town attorney. Ms. Sury stated “I did not --- but I did not renew them. I did not handle them. Michelle and Mr. Kil---“ Mr. Forbes stated that Ms. Sury holds the letters of credit. Ms. Sury concurred.

Mr. Forbes noted in order to renew a letter of credit, the letter of credit is needed. Ms. Sury concurred. Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury why it took so long to get the letter of credit from her; he stated the letter of credit was expired, and it was $300,000.00 of the Town’s money. Ms. Sury stated “This letter of credit was in the top drawer. Whoever went through --- when I was in the hospital ---“ Mr. Forbes responded, “Don’t blame ---“ Ms. Sury stated she was not blaming anybody. She stated she was trying to tell Mr. Forbes where the letter of credit was.

Mr. Forbes stated if Ms. Sury could hear herself, she was blaming somebody else. He stated that he does not understand why it took a year to get the letter of credit from Ms. Sury. Ms. Sury responded, “Nobody asked me for it.” Mr. Forbes stated he has documentation requesting the letter of credit. Ms. Sury stated she would like to see the documentation because whenever Mr. Kil has asked for a letter of credit she has provided them to him. She stated that she documents the time and date when it is given to him.

Ms. Sury stated she tried to explain at the last meeting that the situation with Three Springs was not in the original bottom drawer because she was trying to find out what had happened to the $459,000.00 letter of credit that supposedly was sent but yet not sent, and had never been approved. Ms. Sury stated this is what she thought was being looked for. She stated the dollar amount of the letter of credit was never mentioned. Ms. Sury stated it was a confusing mess.

Mr. Forbes stated the matter was not confusing but very simple. He stated the letter of credit was in Ms. Sury’s possession. Ms. Sury responded, “Correct. The whole time. In the drawer.” Mr. Forbes stated that Ms. Sury denied, in her letter, that she had it. Ever. Ms. Sury stated that she never had the $459,000.00 letter of credit in her possession.

Ms. Sury stated that this was the one she asked Dan Mosure about. She stated that Dan informed her that Mr. Kil had asked for it and he didn’t know why. She stated the letter of credit was supposedly expiring, to the best of her knowledge, in March. She stated the other letter of credit was expiring in November.

Ms. Sury asked, “Why did he want it? He was supposed to get back with Steve or Steve was supposed to get back with him. I had sent Steve that e-mail. I never got an answer from either one. I reminded Steve --- that’s where my handwritten note was on that top sheet that --- I gave you guys all that stuff. For Steve to find out what was going on with that. And then it was put back in my top drawer and that’s where it was sitting because it was pending.”

Ms. Sury requested that she be shown specifically the requests where she was asked to turn over the $394,000.00 letter of credit to Mr. Forbes or to Mr. Kil. She stated she was never asked for it.

Mr. Kil stated that the most recent letter of credit is what was asked for, Three Springs, Unit Two. Ms. Sury repeated her request to see the memo. She stated she would have questioned it, unless it happened when she was in the hospital. Mr. Kil stated that they began requesting the letter of credit in the summer of last year. He stated they continued to ask for the letter of credit and nobody knew where it was.

Mr. Kil reiterated that the most recent letter of credit was asked for. Ms. Sury stated that the most recent letter of credit was not requested. Mr. Kil stated that they didn’t need a letter of credit that expired in 2010, they needed the one that expired in 2014.

Ms. Sury stated that the $459,000.00 letter of credit was going to expire in March. Mr. Kil stated this letter of credit was reduced to $300,000.00 which was to secure the installation costs of the sanitary sewer and the gravity sewer that would be run from Joliet Street down Parrish Avenue to the south border of Three Springs.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated this was the only outstanding item Mr. Dave Barrack and Three Springs had left. Ms. Sury asked where the figure of $459,000.00 had come from. Mr. Kil stated this figure was on a letter of credit from years ago.

Mr. Forbes stated that the letter of credit Ms. Sury was referring to was reduced and replaced. Ms. Sury stated it was $494,000.00. Mr. Forbes stated this letter of credit was gone, it had been reduced. Ms. Sury stated she was aware that the letter of credit for $494,000.00 had been reduced to the $300,000.00. She stated this letter of credit was accepted at the November/December meeting. Ms. Sury stated when she was preparing to attest and send a copy back to the bank is when she noticed the $459,000.00. She stated she questioned where the $459,000.00 was coming from.

Mr. Forbes stated, at the end of the day, the Town now has an expired letter of credit and infrastructure that needs to be installed. He stated he does not know of any letter of credit that was ever requested of Ms. Sury had a dollar amount attached to it. Mr. Forbes stated it was a letter of credit for Three Springs, Unit Two. He stated there was only one letter of credit for Three Springs, Unit Two. Ms. Sury again requested that this request be shown to her.

Mr. Kil stated that when he requests a letter of credit he means the most recent one. Ms. Sury concurred. She stated that he would have received the most recent letter of credit if she had been asked. Ms. Sury again requested to see the memo.

Mr. Forbes noted that the 275 account looked a little low. Ms. Sury stated she could answer this question. Mr. Barenie stated he would like to know what the question was before Ms. Sury answered it. Ms. Sury stated another accusation is being made against her. Ms. Sury stated that she has to go through a process to get the money from county. She explained the process to the Council.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie opined that Ms. Sury should have a back-up for the responsibilities of her office. He stated that trained back-ups should be considered for all of the positions that have an impact on cash flow for the Town.

Mr. Forbes stated he has been handed a letter of credit, CL-7433-LC. He stated this letter of credit is for the Meyers development located on Route 41. Mr. Forbes stated that the letter of credit had been approved and received a favorable recommendation by the Plan Commission. He stated he would like the Town Council to accept this letter of credit based on the favorable recommendation of the Plan Commission.

Attorney Austgen recommended that the agenda be amended to add letter of credit CL-7433-LC.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to amend the agenda to add the letter of credit CL-7433-LC for Dancing Waters.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie made a motion to amend the agenda to include the letter of credit CL-7433-LC, Dancing Waters. Mr. Gembala 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 accept the letter of credit in the amount of $390,346.00 from Dancing Waters. Mr. Gembala made a motion to accept the letter of credit. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated the record should reflect that he was placing the letter of credit in front of the Clerk-Treasurer.

* * * * *

Mr. Gembala gave an update on Civic Park. He stated that the name change from Civic Park to Veterans Civic Park had been approved. He submitted a draft copy of the sign design to the Council. Mr. Gembala stated that the new sign would be in the same location as the old sign. He stated the emblems of the five branches of service would be reflected on the sign.

Mr. Kil recommended a motion be sought to have the sign approved.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve the draft version of the sign logo for Veterans Civic Park and for payment of same not to exceed the amount of $5,000.00. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing additional to report.

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

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

* * * * *

Chief Frego had no report.

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

Scott Day, 8129 Crooked Bend:
Mr. Day introduced himself as the president of the Lake Hills Homeowners Association. He asked that language be put into Ordinance 1610 that HOA requirements supersede the Town ordinance. He stated this would eliminate confusion. Mr. Kil stated acknowledged that many HOAs have more restrictive covenants than the Town, and it was up to the HOA to enforce their covenants and restrictions.

Mr. Day stated he received a lot of questions and requests related to the old clubhouse. He noted it’s becoming a congregation place for kids. Mr. Day asked what the long-term plan for the old clubhouse was.

Mr. Day stated he knows that the Town generates a little bit of money using the clubhouse at Halloween. He asked if the Haunted House needed to be continued since the economic environment has changed tremendously. Mr. Forbes stated that they do indeed want to keep the Haunted House; he explained that the money earned from the Haunted House is used to fund the Town’s Christmas program. Mr. Day reiterated that the clubhouse is beginning to be a safety hazard. He stated he just wanted to relay the concerns of others.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie stated that he, personally, never looked at the Haunted House with the view of making money. He stated that the Haunted House has provided more than the opportunity to make money. Mr. Barenie stated, through the years, the Haunted House has helped kids to develop a sense of civic duty and volunteerism. Mr. Barenie stated that his own children have worked at the Haunted House and even return home from college to work on it. He stated that this program is a good opportunity to the kids who come through it.

Mr. Day stated that the clubhouse is “an accident waiting to happen.” Mr. Day stated that with the additional foot traffic through the neighborhood a decorative brick house has been spray painted not to mention the wear and tear on the park area. He stated that the HOA is taking over much of the maintenance in these areas to maintain them the way they should be.

Mr. Day said there are Concerts in the Park and all sorts of other things and they see very little return from the extra foot traffic that comes through. He stated that the residents notice. Mr. Day said this is one of their biggest complaints. He stated that Lake Hills does not mind being a partner, but he asked that the Town step up a little, if possible, with clean up. He stated the amphitheater is peeling and the landscaping is going downhill.

Ms. Kil stated that he and Mr. Day have recently met for approximately an hour-and-a-half, and have a game plan on how to address these issues. Mr. Kil stated that the Town does do the general maintenance. He stated that the amphitheater is something that may be tackled, but it is a very expensive proposition.

Mr. Day asked if the letters of credit were recorded with the county and made public record. He was told they were not recorded. Mr. Kil stated it was not a copy of the letter of credit that was in question, but the original. Mr. Day asked how the letter of credit would be renewed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu stated there is a problem in Timberland Park. He stated he called the Chief and left a message. He stated there is two feet water on the sidewalk on the south side of Timberland Park.

Mr. Bugariu stated there are small kids playing there, putting their heads under the water. He stated that last year a four inch pipe was unplugged. He stated there is so much vegetation coming from the hills, leaves and everything else. Mr. Bugariu stated that previously there was a ditch there, relieving all of the water going all the way to the West 90th drain. He stated water even comes on his lot.

Mr. Bugariu stated a concrete wall was built on his property. He stated that per the ordinance of the Town, no structure can be built from the back of the house to the front of the house to the street. He stated the structure from the fence is supposed to be five feet. Mr. Bugariu stated this was illegally built and built on his property.

Mr. Bugariu stated the shed on the back of his property is “less than three feet, supposed to be five feet. And I think I will call the enforcement office.” He demanded that the chain link fence be removed and no trespassing signs be placed upon the property.

Mr. Bugariu addressed the snow ordinance. He stated he had two to three feet of snow by his mailbox, two feet in the street, and about three feet the entire width of his 21’ driveway. He asked what he was supposed to do with this five feet of snow. Nobody else had it. He asked the Council to explain this.

Mr. Forbes responded that he does not believe the Public Works Department has the time during a snowstorm to specifically place snow in front of his driveway. He stated Mr. Bugariu must remove the snow on his property just like everyone else does. Mr. Bugariu stated this was ridiculous.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back before the Board.

ADJOURNMENT:
Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting was adjourned at 7:53 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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