Mr. Forbes proposed the following appointments:
|Appoint||Shari Kolodziej||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2013|
|Appoint||Janet Brennan||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2013 *|
|Re-Appoint||Beth Hernandez||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2011|
|Appoint||Mike Ryan||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2013|
|Appoint||Dan Morang||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2013|
|Appoint||Gregory Tippery||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2013**|
|Appoint||Steve Hastings||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2013|
|Appoint||Greg Volk||Term Expiring 12/31/2010|
|Appoint||Tom Redar||Term Expiring 12/31/2010|
|Appoint||Michael Forbes ***||Term Expiring 12/31/2010|
|Appoint||William Dodaro||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2012|
|Appoint||Robert Long||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2012|
|Re-Appoint||Donald Farris||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2011|
Re-Appoint Ken Schneider Term Expiring 12/31/2013
Town Council Appointment from Plan Commission Steve Hastings Term Expiring 12/31/2010
Sanitary & Water Boards
|Appoint||Frank Bradtke||As a R||Term Expiring 12/31/2013|
|Re-Appoint||Robert Myers||As a D||Term Expiring 12/31/2011|
Mr. Forbes recommended the re-Appointment of all the Town Council members to the Redevelopment Commission. He stated that they are waiting to hear from the School Board about the Appointments of the non-voting citizen members from each respective school district. They will table the Appointments to the EDC at this time and would like to discuss the possibility of expanding the board from three to five members. Discussion ensued regarding the third Appointment to the Plan Commission from the Town Council. *Discussion ensued regarding the Appointment of Janet Brennan (Park Board); Appointment of term is until 2011 and **Appointment of Gregory Tippery (Plan Commission) for the term to expire 2011 (replacing Dawn Pelc). After further discussion, it was recommended that Mr. Forbes be Appointed to a one year term on the Plan Commission ***.
He stated that all of these Appointments are subject to final verification.
Ms. Teibel motioned to approve the Boards and Commissions members as outlined. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie stated that for discussion purposes, that the Board think about the five major programs going on with Public Works and he would like to have a discussion about the water treatment plant, interceptor sewer, and the WWTP expansion, Joliet Street project, etc. He recommended that the liaison to the Sanitary/Waterworks Board be the same as the Public Works; that is, to have one person be the liaison.
Discussion ensued regarding the request for liaison assignments and Ms. Teibel stated that she would like to remain on the Police Commission.
Mr. Forbes stated that last year his list of liaison Appointments was quite lengthy and he could not make all the meetings. He added that someone is going to have to take NIRPC and the Lake County Coalition and that he would like to stay with the Lake County Solid Waste, the Sanitary/Waterworks and that he would take the Public Works to tie all three of those boards together. Discussion ensued, Appointments for the Lake County Solid Waste and NIRPC would remain open for now. Discussion ensued regarding representation at the 16+ meetings. Mr. Forbes stated that he and Mr. Volk will try to cover NIRPC; Lake County Coalition will have to stay open.
The following Appointments were confirmed after discussion:
Michael Forbes – Lake County Solid Waste, Sanitary/Waterworks Board, Public Works
Gregory Volk – BZA
Michael Fryzel – Fire Department, Economic Development Commission
Jerri Teibel – Police Commission
Mark Barenie – School System Plan and Park Board and would help as available
Steve Kil – Safety Village
Ms. Teibel motioned to approve the Town Council liaison assignments and Mr. Kil as the Town Council President’s designee to the Safety Village Board for 2010. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Note: Ms. Teibel left the meeting at 7:30 P.M.
Mr. Barenie thanked all the Board and Commission members for a job well done in 2010 and the Council as well.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Barenie complimented the service the Town has received from Karl Cender and from Robinson Engineering. Mr. Kil added that both companies did not raise their prices from last year.
Ms. Teibel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1507. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1508. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie asked Ms. Sury if the flyer regarding the meeting schedule for the Lake Central Schools District Wide Facility Master Plan community dialogue meetings could be inserted with the utility bills as they discussed last meeting and she said the flyers have been delivered to the printer for insertion.
Chief Willman gave the December Activity Report for the Fire Department.
Assistant Police Chief Chapranda gave the December Activity Report for the Police Department.
Mr. Barenie stated that they heard from INDOT, based on the stimulus money to St. John, the two projects total about $568,000. The extra money will go back into the kitty which will be reissued to St. John for work on 93rd Avenue.
Mr. Kil stated that the intersection of Parrish and Route 231 will be getting a facelift regarding the signalization. The flashing light will be turned into a full signal. An article will be in the newspaper next week to let the residents know. Chief Frego and he will be working on the cost to put the Opticom System there and will advise the Council.
The thing she found out about St. John is that it is very progressive, who is involved in determining what businesses are in St. John has intentionally left out places that provide high fat foods such as Burger King, McDonalds and Kentucky Fried and applauded the Council for making it one of the top small towns in America.
Ms. Parish stated that in reference to things she did find in all of Indiana as a whole, is that Indiana has higher averages of unhealthy practices. She distributed pamphlets to the Council members. She stated that she found that on a scale with Indiana, St. John is a one of the more health conscious communities. That is represented by the new bike trail, the new playground equipment, very nice parks and very nice sidewalks in many areas. She referenced the additional information on a website and the information in the pamphlet. Ms. Parish stated that she hopes that they can not only be one of the most sought out small towns in America but also they can be one of the healthiest small towns in America by implementing some exercise programs, maybe health fairs, health screenings and working with local physicians, getting indoor facilities for walking, and prevention components.
Mr. Austgen mentioned that Mr. William Tuley passed away on January 20th, he was 94 years young. He served as President on the Town Board of St. John, was a Veteran of the Second World War, and an inspirational leader of the Survivors of the Battle of the Bulge. He was a great citizen and was responsible for attending each and every parole hearing for the two men who murdered our police officers, one for whom our park is named. Mr. Austgen stated that Bill Tuley was a great American, a great St. John citizen and asked if the Council would like to consider a resolution at the next meeting. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil will see if Mr. Tuley has any family left in the area for the presentation and Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Austgen to write a resolution.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1510. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
(Chief Willman left the meeting due to a fire call.)
Mr. Forbes asked if this was the end of round one of the stimulus projects. Mr. Kil stated that it is.
The formal resignation from Park Board Member Ms. Beth Hernandez was acknowledged and Mr. Kil stated that he will advertise in the newspaper for applicants to fill the vacancy.
Mr. Barenie followed up on the discussion at a prior Council meeting regarding recognition of Mr. William Tuley. He stated that they have ordered a couple of plaques and are looking at planting a tree in Civic Park to recognize him.
Mr. Austgen asked Chief Frego is there any plans for the ongoing vigilance for the parole of the man that killed the St. John police officer. Chief Frego stated the he will look into the status of the parole of the remaining convict and will continue the vigilance. He stated that he is meeting with Mr. Tuley’s niece to go through some items that will be donated to the Historical Society.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Scout Leader Kris Sorenson stated that they have 37 Scouts; they go camping every month, and are studying citizenship this month. In a couple of weeks they will be going to Indianapolis to see the State Capital and the Colts. They have 13 Scouts that are going to the National Jamboree for the 100th Anniversary of Scouting this summer in Washington D.C. the President usually comes out to meet them and they visit the Capital and some other attractions. Their troop has 10 or 11 Scouts that are one step away from their Eagle badge and 4 or 5 of them have told him they will be completing their Eagle sometime this year. Out of all of the Scout’s they usually have 4-5% receiving their Eagle, this troop has a very high number and Mr. Sorenson credits the previous Scout Master who did an excellent job in preparing them.
1. Crossroads Ambulance Sales and Service, LLC
Total Bid Amount $148,895.00
Bid Bond in the amount of 10% of the amount bid
Form 96 is included
There is a non-collusion affidavit
2. Fire Service Incorporated
St. John, IN
Total Bid Amount $125,502.00
Bid Bond in the amount of 5% of the amount bid
Form 96 is present and executed
Contains non-collusion affidavit and is duly notarized
Town Council Action - Mr. Forbes motioned to take the bids under advisement. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1511. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1512. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Volk motioned to adopt Ordinance #1315. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Barenie stated that the Town will be receiving an additional $605,000 of Stimulus Round Two money for projects that will get done in the course of next year. The projects must first be approved but they do have the money coming. Mr. Kil stated that Round One consisted of three projects: 93rd, 101st and the drainage project on 101st. They have already been awarded. Round Two, in the amount of $605,000 has been awarded but is pending approval and we must submit a list of roadways, it cannot be a subdivision it must be a FAU approved route which would be a primary route in Town, not an interior subdivision road. Discussion ensued regarding the call received from Lake County to do locates on utilities for a proposed bridge project on Blaine. It is in the preliminary design stage. Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Kil, Mr. Faberbock and himself have all been sending e-mails to NIRPC to get White Oak designated as a FAU route but it may be too late for that.
Mr. Volk mentioned that Blaine Avenue was just inherited through an annexation and is in pretty bad shape, they are hoping the stimulus money will correct the road. Further discussion ensued.
Mr. Sobek stated they are getting ready for their Spring activities including the Easter Egg Hunt and are taking registrations for that right now. He will be working with one of the Eagle Scouts here on another project later on this Spring. Mr. Barenie asked about the registration for girls’ volleyball at Heartland Park and Mr. Sobek stated that they just started taking mail in registrations and will two days for sit down registrations.
Chief Frego stated that he does not have his monthly report as he left it on his desk in his office. He stated that he has been contacted by the Lake Hills Baptist Church; they would like to conduct a 5K run on May 1st in the Lake Hills subdivision. He told them that he would not close 85th, they would have to bus their people to the clubhouse at Lake Hills and the race would have to start and end there. Discussion ensued. Chief Frego stated that he will contact the Homeowner’s Association to see if they agree that the race could be held there. The Council agreed that they do not have a problem with the race being held there if the Homeowner’s Association does not.
Chief Willman gave his January Monthly Report.
Mr. William Machnikowski, 10377 Birchbrook Drive – referenced the problem he is experiencing with a retaining wall that has been built on the property line, (inaudible). Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie stated that he will have the Town Inspector look at it.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1514. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
He emphasized that the Council will oversee this project in its entirety. After they have received the information they will set up a meeting with key builder representatives, have a discussion; plan another meeting based on their findings tonight and what they have put together from the meeting of the representatives of the builders. They will then contact the residents again regarding what will happen and will discuss potential remedies that will hopefully be a win/win situation. Mr. Barenie stated that they also want to find out how the process broke down that it took the several members of the Council so long to find out that there were these problems. He also discussed expectations, stated that he is aware there might be items that don’t turn out the way the residents feel they should have, and wants to make sure the residents have reasonable expectations.
Mr. Volk added that it’s very important that the people understand that the Council takes this very seriously. The mailing list was based on building permits and that they may want to ask their neighbors if they received the letters. He stated that he has personally looked at some of these items and was shocked by some of it and was more surprised that the contractor hasn’t responded better. Mr. Volk stated that is what the Council will be looking for.
Mr. Forbes thanked the audience for their patience; he added while they can address some things, they probably couldn’t address others. They hope to find some satisfaction on the majority of the problems and issues that are out there.
Mr. Barenie thanked the residents for their attendance and stated that some of their comments hit home and that they will do their best. He asked if anyone wanted to make a comment at this time regarding this specific topic instead of waiting until the end of the meeting and referenced the other items on the agenda. It was confirmed that comments would be heard at the end of the meeting.
Mr. Barenie stated that they needed to add an item to the agenda, the St. John Township Fire Protection Contract. Mr. Forbes motioned to amend the agenda to include the St. John Township Fire Protection. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes added that they had a good meeting and the timing is really good, especially with the purchase of an additional ambulance. The addition of this area is not a burden to the Town and will not negatively impact the service of the Town. They have mutual aid with Lake Hills and thinks they are in a good position to assist the Township in this.
Mr. Barenie asked Ms. Shepherd who previously covered this area. She stated that the Town of Dyer covered this area and has not received anything from them after their contract was up. She stated that she has made several efforts to contact them and added that the cost from Dyer is $5,000 more than what the Township is offering them. Mr. Fryzel stated that this is the same area Dyer is trying to annex. Discussion ensued. Chief Willman confirmed that they have provisions within their own department to handle the number of calls and responses that are out there. They also have auto aid – they are dispatched on the same frequency as Lake Hills so both departments are dispatched at the same time, they also have access to a tanker simultaneously. Ms. Teibel motioned to enter into the supplemental agreement proposed by the St. John Township Trustee for the Town of St. John. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes added that they are looking into lowering the cost of the Farmers Market. One of the items they are looking at is the cost of Porto-pots. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil stated that he is going to look into that.
Mr. Forbes motioned that they pay Michelle Haluska eight hours a week for the Farmer’s Market event from May through October and to increase her workweek to 40 hours during that period. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes asked if they are going to do the Town wide garage sale the first week in May. Ms. Teibel stated that absolutely, they are working on the map and asked if they would like to have businesses sponsor the map. She stated that she has had inquiries from many local businesses wanting to advertise on the maps. Discussion ensued and included the feasibility of this in relation to the size of the maps that are 11 x 17 that are distributed. Mr. Kil asked for confirmation that the time frame would be April 29th – May 2nd. Discussion ensued. Ms. Teibel motioned to hold the Annual St. John Town Wide Garage Sale for 2010 commencing April 29th through May 2nd and waive the typical garage sale fee and it does not count against your maximum garage sales per year. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Robert Ash, 10356 Adler Cove – stated that it is Philippe Builders that they are having problems with and asked if the Council wants simple forms or all the documentation. Mr. Barenie stated that they would like a summary page and the backup documentation; the Council would like the details, detailed documentation – when contacts were made, discussion, etc. Mr. Austgen recommended that the Council get any information they can get.
Ms. Stacy Zilz, 9063 West 103rd Street – stated that she has working on this with Mr. Ash and that the total number of signatures on the petition may not match the number of people sending in their issues. The reason for the discrepancy may be because some people have issues with other things in the petition such as sidewalks on the main parkway and the streets. Discussion ensued. Ms. Zilz thanked the Council for their assistance in this matter.
Mr. John Terpstra, 10406 Adler Cove – stated that if the residents have anything in writing that the Town needs to see it. He added that this is a contractual agreement between the contractor and the consumer and is concerned that if they are pressing Philippe for these things and if they start pulling permits of these people to build, it is going to create a stigmatization of the neighborhood and he wants to preserve growth in his neighborhood.
He stated that Philippe tells them that the residents have to contact the subcontractor that did the work and wants to make sure they have the right focus, he said the homes were built and were inspected by the Town; each one of these homes received an occupancy permit. He wants to ensure that going forward they have a long-term solution to this problem and to look at having more stringent standards in the inspection process that St. John has. Mr. Forbes stated that they are not after Philippe per se; they want Philippe to step up to what they are required to do. Discussion ensued with reference to the crack in his basement floor and wall after the 11-month warranty period ended whereas Mr. Terpstra was advised by Philippe to call the excavators.
Mr. William Machnikowski, 10377 Birchbrook Drive – asked the Council members if they needed any other documentation other than his photographs that he submitted. Mr. Kil stated that they are compiling everything they have in their office, everything he has supplied and everything Oltoff has in their file as well.
Discussion ensued regarding the due date for turning in the back up documentation to the Town to be in one week. An audience member stated that they went door-to-door to the residents to notify them of the Towns’ involvement and will do so again. Mr. Barenie stated that certified letters were sent to each of the residents in the development.
Discussion ensued regarding specialists coming to their homes to look at the problems and Philippe not accepting that as proof.
Unidentified resident stated that he had to call five times to have someone come out regarding the siding and flashing and has problems with cracks in the walls. Philippe does not send a manager they send their associate managers.
Mr. Ash stated that the Town gave Philippe a license to build in the city, these are construction problems and Philippe acts like there is no reason to fix the problems. The condition their homes are in now they cannot sell their homes. He stated that this does not help St. John it works against St. John.
Mr. Austgen stated that it is very, very evident there is an impassioned group of citizens here and this needs to be known. He appreciates Mr. Terpstra’s comments about this. There is a very delicate balancing act that this Council has to walk through. If you want assistance there is going to have to be give and take. The mission the Council has taken to do is gather the data to assess what the situation is objectively and everything they end up doing up here will be based upon objective codes and criteria. He realizes, he owns a home, everyone up there owns a home, they know what their home means to them. They are going to end up dealing with these things on an objective basis. Uniform building code, professional assistance and an observation of how they can find a way to assist them with this developer/contractor. Now that being said, that balancing goes forward. The perspective is there is a hammer up here in the sense of licensure. That doesn’t fix your homes, that doesn’t get somebody back, that doesn’t keep homes continuing being built in your subdivision. That by itself impacts your value. Empty lots and open fields. So please understand there is an absolute commitment up here to gather all of the information that can absolutely be gathered so that an objective analysis and an open dialogue can be had with this contractor. That really is the intent.
Mr. Barenie stated that there would be meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to be the most informed they could be, so they can have the best dialogue on the resident’s behalf.
Mr. Austgen stated that the Town Council has become their ombudsmen up here, they are your elected officials but they have become your ombudsmen in a private dispute and they are committed to getting to that point. He confirmed with Mr. Barenie that they would be making a report every couple of weeks in the Town Council meetings to report on how things are moving.
Ms. Cecelia Nelson – 10169 Privet Drive – stated that she moved into her house in March 2007. She did all the right things in putting in her requests and stated that she is now a widow and has been fighting this herself. Ms. Nelson stated that she has water coming in through her French doors and has mold. For a year and a half he (Philippe) would not fix that problem. They would not give her the final grating on her lot; it floods all the way up to her patio. She stated that her windows leak, there is no insulation in there, and her basement has ten cracks. The Supervisor from Philippe told her she is screwed, call her names and she feels like she is harassed and all alone.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Austgen opened and read the following Bids:
Chief Frego read the February Activity Report for the Police Department. Chief Willman read the Activity Report for the month of February for the Fire Department.
Mr. Kil stated that he contacted the Census Bureau and the Town of St. John has the highest response rate in the county so far. Mr. Forbes inquired on the status of the easements of the Knabenhans property. Mr. Kil stated that the payments for the two easements are on the docket tonight, when payment is approved he will contact Mr. Knabenhans and that the project needs to be done by June.
Mr. Barenie announced they had final totals of the bids ready. Ms. Sury read the following award amounts for the Sale of Equipment:
1998 Chevrolet, Mr. Jorge Perez $4,099.00
1996 Dump Truck, Mr. Vickery $1,500.00
1985 Chevy Suburban, Mr. Monix, $2,005.99
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Austgen opened and read the following bids. (Exhibit A Attached)
Mr. Fryzel motioned to take all the bids under advisement. Seconded by Ms.Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Consider renewal of Town’s Property and Casualty Insurance – Deferred, see above motion.
Consider authorization of Allied Waste contract, extension of Year Four (4) option – Deferred, see above motion.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Barenie called the meeting to order at 7:17 P.M. The following members were present: Mark Barenie, President; Michael Forbes, Vice-President; Gregory Volk, Member; Michael Fryzel, Member; Jerri Teibel, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Steve Kil, Town Manager and Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer. Also in attendance were: Fred Frego, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief and Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent.
Bid Opening – Storm Sewer Installation at the Norfolk Southern and CSX Railroad crossing on Joliet Street
Mr. Austgen stated that the Proofs of Publication of Notice to Bidders indicate timely publication two times in the Northwest Indiana Times on March 25th and April 1st as well as in the Post Tribune on the same dates. Verification is the affidavit, is in conformance with law and the publications have been properly made.
Mr. Austgen opened and read the following bids. (Exhibit A Attached)
Mr. Fryzel motioned to take the bids under advisement. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Ms. Cohen then gave an overview of the two plans as well as a flex plan where the money goes into a medical spending account for the calendar year.
Mr. Kil recommended to the Town Council that the Town retain their current provider, United Health Care, and that they offer two plan designs to the Town Employees. The first a PPO, option F41, which is a balance PPO; which is an increase of 8% over their current premium. The second is an HSA Plan which is an increase of 4.4% along with that is the option of a Flexible Spending Account.
Mr. Volk motioned to accept the Town Managers recommendation. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1509 on first reading. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1509. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Chief Frego read the March Report for the Police Department. He added that they received the shipment of the laptops they received from the grant and mentioned that the department has outdated vests; they are looking at grants to offset the cost of purchasing new vests.
Chief Willman read the March Report for the Fire Department.
Mr. Kil reported the following:
Mr. Forbes suggested that the Town Council send a letter to Mr. Rainwater and present him with a plaque thanking him for donating the land for the Park and the playground equipment.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Opening of Bids – Mr. Austgen opened the bids, Exhibit A.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to take the bids under advisement. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1517. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Chief Frego read the April Monthly Report. He stated that they received the laptop computers, they are installed and operational and the desktops are now getting installed. Mr. Forbes thanked the Chief for their assistance with the traffic during the Joliet Street Project.
Chief Willman read the April Monthly Report for the Fire Department. He also stated that the St. John Fire Volunteer Fire Department is 100 years old; there will be a celebration in the Fall. Mr. Forbes thanked the Fire Department for their involvement in the Egg Drop.
Mr. Kil reported on the 2010 Election / Voting Issues. He stated that Mr. Austgen has sent a letter and there has been no response yet and that he and Mr. Austgen will proceed on this issue and will go to the State if necessary; however they first must go through the chain of command which is the County Election Board.
Mr. Kil stated that employee safety training for the Public Works Department has stepped up, roadway safety and trench safety materials have been ordered and training will be documented.
Mr. Forbes motioned to approve payment of APV’s #7666 - #7885 for $965,892.04 for the Corporation. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Ms. Butcher also referenced her request for a liquor license and that the Sky Town Shooters Hockey team would like liquor available on game days. She stated that people are leaving because liquor is not available, there are about 500 – 600 fans that come out, the games last 2-3 hours and the liquor would be only served during the games.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel stated that he agrees 100% with what Mr. Barenie said. He stated that one of the goals when they (he and Mr. Barenie) took office was to get St. John to a family community and keep it a family community. There are kids everywhere and the Parks Department is oriented towards kids. They are looking at a basketball hoop here; it makes no sense to him.
Mr. Volk stated that the problem with this particular request is that six or seven letters came in. Mr. Barenie stated that three letters came from one home. There was only one letter in support. A member of the audience stated that she lives next door and supports the homeowner. Ms. Amy Bogenrief, 9505 Genevieve Drive stated that she lives behind the homeowner and stated that she is in favor of the homeowner; the hoops in the front of a house are not safe and the parents of the neighborhood children look out for each other’s children.
Mr. Volk added that if there were no letters of opposition, they would not have to discuss this matter. The lights were discussed at the BZA level and there will be no lights.
Two audience members entered into a discussion with each other about drainage problems in this neighborhood. An unidentified audience member stated that the Homeowner’s Association in not in favor of this construction. Mr. Kil stated that the homeowner is going to build at grade so it will not affect the drainage with the site plan reviewed prior to the issuance of the permit.
Mr. Forbes motioned to approve the installation of the Sports Court at 9480 Julia Drive and not accept the recommendation of the BZA (Board of Zoning Appeals). Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes stated that he was contacted by the Haunted House consultant. They would like to get in there and start working and suggested that they look at the contract again for the council’s next meeting. Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Austgen about insurance coverage if the consultant goes into the Haunted House before the contracts are completed. Mr. Austgen stated that they would be covered by the comprehensive insurance/general liability so they can give permission and authorize inspection. He does not recommend they permit or authorize the commencement of improvements. He mentioned that the condition of the house was a concern of the Council last year and a comprehensive inspection was done last year by the Fire Chief and another individual. Mr. Austgen suggested that they bring in an outside consultant as well.
Mr. Kil also referenced a change order in the packets from Gary Cole, the Project Manager, for the Joliet Street storm sewer project. He stated that with Stimulus Funds changes above and beyond the original contract is borne by the LPA (local public agency) meaning the Town. Discussion ensued. The Council decided to defer to the next Council meeting.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1516. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0. Discussion ensued regarding the posting of signs and the time table. Mr. Forbes stated that this ordinance was requested by several residents and will be easily enforced.
Mr. Barenie stated that the following Ward 2 residents have submitted a letter of interest with credentials and they are listed in order of receipt: Janet M. Brennan, Tom Busch, Kenneth Gembala, John Mainwaring, Bill Gnerlick, Paul M. Haluska, Mary Ann Koke, Joseph M. Hero, John Corbett and Joseph Gomeztagle. He stated that the Town Council will meet in special public meeting next Friday, July 2, 2010 at 6:00 P.M. to consider and make the Ward 2 council position replacement. Mr. Barenie stated that it will be in a public meeting and that the timing of this meeting has been scheduled as required by the proper statutes. He stated that we expect to act consistent with the guidelines and requirements and also look forward to working as a fully constituted legislative body.
Ms. Sury referenced the second docket containing only APV#8125 for the new ambulance in the amount of $125,502.00 that needed approval. She explained the numbering sequence that checks were paid after the close of the docket and the ambulance bill came in, needed to be paid for upon delivery and the expenditure approved at this meeting.
Mr. Sobek stated that the summer programs are going good and the new park and the replacement park in Sun Meadows and Rainwater will be done sometime in July.
Chief Willman gave the Monthly Activity Report for the Fire Department for the month of May. Mr. Barenie asked Chief Willman if he could give the number of cumulative calls of the new area they are covering in the St. John Township area.
Chief Frego gave the Monthly Activity Report for the Police Department for the month of May. He added that August 3rd they will be having their 3rd Annual National Nite Out Against Crime, this year it will be held at Civic Park, he feels there is more parking available and there is more space available as it is getting bigger every year.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury
Mr. Barenie called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M. and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members present: Mark Barenie, Member; Michael Forbes, Member; Gregory Volk, Member; Michael Fryzel, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Steve Kil, Town Manager and Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer. Also in attendance were Fred Frego, Police Chief and Fred Willman, Fire Chief. Absent was Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent.
Mr. Barenie stated that the revenues for this year are tied a lot to the State and a lot of that is non negotiable but we also have miscellaneous revenues that are holding the line; we are at 80% of our budget. Public Safety Services have not been compromised. Based on this information provided that is current, we have recognized some savings in our budget in areas and would like to make a motion to approve an ordinance that will be handed out. Mr. Barenie summarized the five page ordinance and stated that he would like to recommend that this ordinance be passed giving the full time employees a spot $600 bonus and part time employees a $300 bonus payable in the next payroll cycle. Mr. Forbes, Mr. Volk and Mr. Fryzel each thanked the town employee’s efforts and reiterated their appreciation of the town employee’s hard work and effort. Mr. Austgen read Ordinance #1518 amending the salary ordinance to include the special bonus compensation.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to amend the agenda to add the consideration of Ordinance #1518. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1518 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0 and one abstention by Mr. Fryzel.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1518. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0 and one abstention by Mr. Fryzel.
Ms. Sury administered the oath of office to Mr. Gembala and he joined the Town Council meeting.
Chief Willman and Mr. Kil thanked the Council for the employee bonuses.
Joe Gomeztable, 9476 West Oakridge Drive – complimented the Town Council for the process they took in filling the vacancy.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Ms. Cheryl Cribari, 9338 Olcott – asked if this bond will be an increase to the taxpayers. Mr. Kil explained that the bond would be a general obligation bond and explained the reasons for doing this now. He stated that the prices are low to enable the town to get as much of the roadwork done with the least amount of expense. Ms. Cribari asked if there would be a public hearing and Mr. Austgen confirmed the public hearing process. Mr. Barenie cited examples on the length of the bond and the percentage of increase for the terms of 10, 7 or 15 years.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar Street - asked if this is part of the stimulus money and Mr. Barenie stated that is it independent. Mr. Austgen interjected that this is just the first reading and there will be a public hearing. Mr. Barenie added that many communities are doing this because the prices are so low the residents are getting more for their money. Mr. Volk motioned to consider Ordinance #1520 on first reading only. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Barenie mentioned the road projects have been completed. Mr. Kil stated that School Street was not done because the festival is there and there is a tent up, it will be completed in the fall.
Chief Frego gave the Police Department’s Activity Report for the month of June. The Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Police Department for the Night Out Against Crime event.
Chief Willman gave the Fire Department’s Activity Report for the month of June. He added that they have been to the township area previously covered by Dyer 16 times.
Mr. Kil stated that he sent a letter to Nick Georgiou regarding the banners for the town; they are in the process of designing the banner. He added that high pressure lights at the Ice Arena have been completed, they have changed out from the high pressure sodium and the lights have been aimed downward. In reference to the Letters of Credit, the letters have been sent out; he has a status sheet that includes the names of the contractor, the bank and the number of the certified letter that was sent out.
Mr. Kil stated that Ms. Georgene Resney passed away; she owned the Li’l Rascals Learning Center and was active in the Town and with the Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Janet Brennan - asked when the details of the bond issue will be available. Mr. Austgen stated that the information can be made available; the consultants are not done because they do not have final directions from the council, the consultants do not have terms confirmed yet which they need to write the final document.
She also asked about the Ethics Committee and the violation that was found. Ms. Brennan asked if there is a list of people on the committee and if anyone has filed any complaints on the ethics ordinance. Mr. Austgen answered yes; he stated that it was handled as a personnel item. She stated that she is wondering why they are not using the ordinance if they have it in place. Mr. Austgen stated that when a personnel item is involved the ethics ordinance does not apply the personnel policies supersede it, the ethics ordinance also will not be triggered unless there is a complaint filed.
She asked if there was a budget yet for the Haunted House. Mr. Barenie stated they are working with a budget, they expect it to be the same as last year. When they get more of the work done they will have a better idea, he and Mr. Forbes discussed this and no more than $20,000; they expect it will be $17,000.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Opening Remarks - Mr. Kil stated that this appropriation ordinance will allow the Town to pay the proceeds of the bond. He stated that the total bond issue will be $1.6 million; the projects that will contained within the bond will be the reconstruction of White Oak Avenue from 93rd to 109th and Blaine from 93rd to 101st along with various roadway patching projects that will be done throughout the town. The term of the bond has been determined to be ten years; the average impact for the property owners would be: a house with an assessed value of $150,000 the impact would be $2.94 a month; $200,000 house would be $3.92; $250,000 house would be $4.90. The monthly impact would be less than $5.00. He added that the bids are coming in with very good price estimates – they can get 30-35% more work done with today’s prices.
Open to the Public – None
Closed to the Public
Town Council Action - Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1521. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
That report was completed by Cender and Company in June, it was presented to the utility board, the utility board recognized and accepted those reports and it is his understanding that the Board checked off on the PILT by way of recommendation on the water side. On the sanitary side the advisors concluded that the revenues this year, under today’s revenue stream, were not yet sufficient to permit or to advise that a PILT payment be made. He stated that they are getting the water tonight and the recommendation is from Cender and Company.
Mr. Austgen stated that additionally, you don’t need to pass an ordinance, you have already done that in 2009 but the requirement of the ordinance is on an annual basis the Council would actually direct that payment by a public meeting action. So your recommendations and your ordinance permit you to do this and it is validly before you with the action you are considering. Mr. Austgen added a general explanation of the PILT. He stated that the utilities are part of the municipal umbrella, as such; they like you are tax exempt. There is a statutory provision that identifies and recognizes you’re exempt from taxation status. However, permits for purposes of funding and assistance from the utility to the General Fund of the town, because of the overlap of expenses and the nature of the expenses, permits payment in lieu of taxes to be calculated. What that means is the properties owned exclusively by the utilities are identified, assessed, and they are calculated for property taxes as though they were private and taxable. Then you receive a report about what that is and the statute permits you to make the election by ordinance to pay some or all portion of what that calculated tax amount is on an annual basis. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Austgen stated that historically as this Council evaluated the need for a PILT payment from your utility you identified strategically the use of those funds for payment of temporary loans. The Clerk is going to need a direction from the Council by public meeting action if the Council’s intention is for this payment from the water utility for PILT is to be part of a pay down on the temporary loan, the Council should take that action in a public meeting. Discussion ensued; this action will be on the next meeting’s agenda.
He added that the residents from the Gates of St. John have been complaining about poor building quality and other things. He is getting more and more phone calls again. There is no improvement in the follow up from the builder. Mr. Forbes stated that he has been talking with Mr. Volk and he believes they must move forward and do something more drastic.
Mr. Volk stated that he moved forward in engaging in a home inspection firm to look at some of the complaints by taking a random sampling. They are not sure if anything is being done or not. They are going to have the inspection company go through about 15 homes and see if anything has been done and to verify if the residents are accurate in their assessments of what is going on with their homes. Mr. Volk stated that he did not receive the proposal in time for tonight’s meeting. The firm that is coming in is out of Valparaiso and they are going to try and do this in two day window; a weekend when more people are home and will have a team of two inspectors. Mr. Kil will set up a time frame for the home visits which will be about an hour in each home. Mr. Forbes stated that there are 60 homes but most of the complaints are identical so a random sample should be indicative of the problems. Mr. Volk stated that the inspections will cost $195.00 per home. Mr. Volk motioned to approve the proposal sent by Northwest Indiana Home Inspectors not to exceed $3,000.00 for the inspection of 15 homes in the Gates of St. John. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0. Mr. Gembala mentioned that the procedures of the contractor licensing board may need to be reviewed.
Mr. Forbes referenced the advertising for the Haunted House. He stated that in previous years they spent $2,500 – $3,000 on billboards. Based on the numbers from last year he believes it was down a little bit and doesn’t believe they are getting the most for their money. He contacted X-Rock radio station, 103.9 FM, for $2,500 they will do an onsite broadcast for two hours which includes 26 commercials advertising the event, plus 15 promotional announcements where the DJ tells the audience where he will be. There are also three other stations in this area that work together, X-Rock, Z107 and 105.5 which is Indiana 105. He discussed giving each radio station 10 pairs of passes to give away when they do trivia questions, call ins, etc. For another $450.00 they can do 12 commercials on Z107 and 105.5; those commercials would be the last two weekends of the Haunted House. He believes this would be more of a draw to the age group they are targeting. They will also have the sandwich boards and flyers in local businesses. Mr. Volk stated that he is okay with this as opposed to the billboards so far out of town and should look at billboards closer to town. Mr. Forbes stated that some of those signs are permanent. He will finalize the deal and get a proposal from the radio stations and does not expect this to exceed $3,000.00. Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize advertising for the Haunted House in the amount not to exceed $3,000.00. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes added that the Parks Department will have a concert at the Haunted House location on October 9th prior to the Haunted House opening; the live broadcast will be October 15th or 16th; the Boo Bash will be at Prairie West Park on the 23rd; and this year they are looking at doing two kids Haunted House things on October 30th and 31st from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. That’s where they tone down the Haunted House and they have the lights on. Its $5.00 for kids and an adult can walk them through. He is talking with the St. John Lions Club and they will have some final details next week.
Mr. Gembala stated that he read in the paper that an arrest has been made in the car break-ins and complimented the Police Department. Chief Frego confirmed that an arrest was made.
Mr. Leo Lazaroff, 9790 Julia Drive – stated that the water flow has been altered by the installation of the sport court and wants to know what the town is going to do about the problem. Mr. Kil stated that he and Tom Redar, the Town Public Improvement Inspector, did the initial inspection on the sport court. The water is coming around the sport court and is coming off the property, the water drains north to south. Two fixes were suggested: one is to take a hump out of the front yard or they can try to redirect where the water is going. Mr. Kil stated that he needs to speak with the other homeowner involved who is on vacation and will speak with him when he returns. The fix will cost about $500.00 and is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Mr. John Berenc, 13895 West 94th Court – stated that he lives across the street from Mr. Lazaroff. He said there should be a swale in the back of those homes and that someone on their block built a swimming pool above grade some time ago. He does not know why the zoning board approved it. He stated that this is a water issue; it is a town issue and recommends they build a swale.
Ms. Marian Hoyda, 8819 Hillside – stated that Lake Hills needs some attention, referenced the lake, debris, walking paths etc. and looks forward to the meeting and update on the 25th.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Gembala motioned to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2010 Regular Meeting. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes and 2 abstentions by Mr. Forbes and Mr. Fryzel.
Bid Opening – Mr. Austgen opened and announced the following two bids, Exhibit A.
Town Council Action - Mr. Gembala motioned to take the bids under advisement by the appropriate staff. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Bid Opening – Mr. Austgen opened and announced the following bids, Exhibit B.
Town Council Action - Mr. Forbes motioned to take the bids under advisement by the appropriate staff. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes stated that the date of the live broadcast of X-Rock from the Haunted House has been changed from October 16th to October 22nd with the time changed from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Chief Frego read the July Activity Report for the Police Department.
Chief Willman read the July Activity Report for the Fire Department. He added that the department took part in a project of mass deployment of resources from the Chicago area including Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. It was part of the National Fire Convention at McCormick Place. They were the only Indiana maintenance division that was there. It was a huge success.
Mr. Barenie commented that a lot of the residents have been pleased with the work on 93rd.
She also asked about the procedures for job openings and referenced the public records request she made regarding the hiring practices as included in the employee personnel manual. Ms. Brennan stated that the policy should be reviewed.
The last item she stated that she wanted to address was about the Haunted House budget. Last year it was $17,000 and they made money but spent $26,000 in expenses. She asked how did they make money and if they have rules why don’t they follow them. Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie stated that they approved more this year so they could start the renovations early. He also addressed the hiring of staff – the opening for the IT position was advertised in The Times, the Post-Tribune and Monster.com and they received over 100 resumes. Mr. Volk’s stated that it was his understanding of the Ethics Ordinance that they would establish a committee when it is needed. Discussion ensued. Ms. Brennan stated her concern that positions are filled by friends of existing employees or Council members. She stated that the State Board of Accounts commented adversely to the use or non-use of the Ethics Committee. Mr. Austgen corrected Ms. Brennan that the State Board of Accounts did not say that, the non-use of the Ethics Ordinance was not a write up, it was an opinion of an auditor.
Mr. Leo Lazaroff, 9490 Julia Drive – stated that he resides next to the residence with the sport court and asked what is being done about the drainage problem. Mr. Gembala stated that he went out to the residence as he has some professional background in this area. He asked permission to take some elevations just to see and match that up with the grade. His sketchy opinion is whether some of the drainage swales were made or perform according to the original plan commission plans and would like to check that out. To say there is one individual problem out there that is causing the problem he is not sure. Mr. Lazaroff also asked why the approval of the second sports court is not on the agenda. Ms. Sury stated that the agenda was changed after she posted it and she did not receive the amended version.
Mr. Mike Alonza, 9665 Grasselli Ave – stated that he purchased a new home from Martk and there is a problem with the siding. He called the contractor who said it was a warranty issue, he was given the name of the company that installed it on his home and he is no longer in business. He called Aztec Siding Company who said the siding was installed improperly (not according to manufacturers specifications) and is a warranty issue. They took a bond through St. John. He filed a claim with the builder’s insurance company who denied him and was told he cannot go after the bond because St. John holds the bond and St. John would have to implement. The home was built in August, 2004. Mr. Kil stated that he called Rich Wolf on the resident’s behalf and was told the same thing the resident was told.
Mr. Alonza stated that the building code states if the work is not done according to the manufacturers specifications it is out of code. He called Aztec and was told they don’t do this anymore.
Mr. Austgen stated that the amount of time is a huge factor. Mr. Forbes stated that the estimate on repairs is just over $7,000.00. Mr. Austgen stated that the town holds the bond for the contractor and the penal amount is $5,000.00 and is for code compliance. He asked Mr. Kil to look at the bond, provide the town’s weight behind the bond to the extent that’s available and also suggested that Mr. Kil look at the contractor registration.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Barenie called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members present: Mark Barenie, President; Michael Forbes, Vice-President; Gregory Volk, Member; Michael Fryzel, Member; Ken Gembala, Member; David Austgen, Attorney and Steve Kil, Town Manager. Also in attendance was Fred Frego, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief and Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent. Absent was Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1522, Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to declare the property as worthless and authorized the Town Manager to dispose of same by donation if possible. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Fryzel stated that the Haunted House has been the same; it is time to change it. They break even with the budget, the Forystek’s have done a good job and it is time to increase the budget. Mr. Fryzel motioned to approve the budget for the Haunted House in the amount of $29,400.00. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Gembala stated that he has investigated the drainage complaints and one has been corrected.
/s/ Steve Kil, Town Manager
Opening Remarks – Ms. Sury stated that this is the same budget as last year because of the freeze. Mr. Barenie added that it is very comparable to last years’ and that they will have sometime after the first reading to go over it more to see if there is anything else they can do.
Open to the floor for Public Comment – None
Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1524 on first reading only. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1525. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Chief Frego gave the August Activity Report for the Police Department.
Chief Willman returned to the meeting and gave the August Activity Report for the Fire Department.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Gembala motioned to adopt Ordinance #1523. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Forbes also provided an update on the Haunted House. He reported things are going pretty good, the weather has been good and they have had 793 people go through the house in the first two weekends.
Mr. Gembala stated that the Fire Department Open House was very successful due to the hard work Chief Willman put into it. Chief Willman said they had over 900 people attend. There were 29 volunteers in addition to the paid personnel and they had great support from the Town’s departments and workers.
Mr. Austgen added that at the request of the claims examiner, an assignment or transfer of the contract benefit rights has been made to Mr. Kil. Mr. Kil processed the claim fully on behalf of the Town who is the holder of the rights under the contractor bond. The request is being made for purposes of further evaluation and the claims examination adjustment and has been documented to Mr. Kil. It is Mr. Austgen’s recommendation that, if the bond assignment is to occur, it is the result of a public meeting action by the Council. It’s a $5,000 limit, this contractor bond, and it’s for this claim only. Mr. Austgen will prepare an indemnification of any exposure or responsibility by the Town for Mr. Alonzo to sign. Mr. Gembala motioned to approve the transfer of the bond for Mr. Mike Alonzo on a one time claim to include the attached indemnification. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 0.
Mr. Sergei Kharin, gave an overview of his background and the development of the players and team. He stated that for them to succeed, alcohol is a big part of the business. Last year in Muskegon, Michigan, 40% of their profit came from the sales of beer. His budget is very, very small and they need the money. He will make sure nothing will go wrong. Mr. Austgen suggested that Ms. Butcher and Mr. Kharin prepare a proposal or outline for presentation to the council for their review and for it to include what they would like. Mr. Barenie asked about the 40% profit going to the hockey team. Mr. Kharin stated that the beer sales are a large part of the overall profit from all the sales involved, help cover team expenses and added that they are willing to work with any restrictions the Council may have.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Barenie stated that the funding for this investment in the Town’s infrastructure comes from the bond issue they had recently which covered the White Oak revamp and the fixing of Blaine along with several patching jobs within the Town. Once those bids came there was free money within those bonds to cover this investment. Mr. Gembala added that the Bond Attorney has sent correspondence stating that the bond money can be used for this purchase. Mr. Austgen stated that he concurs with the Bond Attorney’s letter, which will be appended to the minutes of this meeting, (Exhibit A). Mr. Forbes stated that this is the lessor of three estimates they received. Mr. Austgen stated that this is a specialty piece of equipment; Mr. Kil gathered the data from the specs, and it is a proprietary process for which the equipment is specially constructed. Mr. Kil obtained proposals from the only known makers and the pricing was under the statutory amount for bidding. Mr. Kil stated that they would be purchasing emulsion from either Crown Point or Cedar Lake. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes stated that they have had 2,391 guests at the Haunted House. Mr. Barenie thanked Mr. Forbes for the amount of time he spent at the Haunted House.
Mr. Gembala complimented Mr. Kil for his help with a resident and their building problems and his persistence with it. Mr. Kil mentioned that he is waiting for Mr. Alonzo’s signature on the indemnification document. Mr. Alonzo is back at work which is why he cannot come in.
Mr. Kil stated that they are putting the finished surface on Blaine this afternoon; White Oak is much more difficult, there is a lot more patching and rerouting traffic; is a lot more difficult. He stated that they added more to the subdivision work; they got to all the areas they knew of. They also added the extension of 101st from Blaine to Cline to the project. Some of the areas were beefed up as needed. If it was needed to go deeper they did so, they excavated out what was necessary. A change order is forthcoming; it will be less than the 20% maximum allowed by law. The money went to additional roadwork and they have some extra. Mr. Austgen suggested that with the surplus money, a list be made of work that can be done immediately in the Spring. Mr. Kil stated that he anticipates several hundred thousand dollars extra due to the engineering fees being far less then he budgeted for.
Chief Frego read the September Activity Report for the Police Department.
Mr. Kil stated that they completed their MS4 project and received a good response from IDEM. The town will also be sweeping the streets as part of the Best Management Practices to make sure debris is not being washed into the storm sewer system. As a requirement of the MS4 project, he will be using cum sewer funds for the street sweeping. The street sweeping is contracted out, as the town does not have the equipment to do so, and they are required to do sweeps 4 times a year per the MS4 recommendation. Mr. Forbes motioned to pay the additional cleaning of the streets to comply with MS4 requirements not to exceed $4,500.00. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1526. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
The remaining appointments are from applications:
Mr. Gembala stated that this board was set up in the 90’s in order to address issues of complaints and also to make sure all the contractors working in Town are properly licensed and tested and do quality work and to see that any problems and complaints are reviewed and judged by their peers.
Mr. Forbes motioned to accept the Contractor Board members as listed by Mr. Volk; Mr. Redar, (Town Council Appointment) Mr. Kozel and Mr. Hoover for one year terms and Mr. Robert and Mr. Slager for two year terms. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes thanked several businesses that helped feed the kids: Pascal’s Pizza, Strack & Van Til’s, St. John Subway and Eenigenburg Water. He also thanked people for their donations of food to the Haunted House characters (scare-a-ters): the Barenie’s the Volk's, Ken Gembala, the Sury’s offered two meals, a pair of workers at the House, and Sam and Cookie also did a dinner one night. He thanked the St. John Fire Department for touring and familiarizing themselves with the layout of the Haunted House in preparation of any emergency that may occur out there. He thanked Chief Willman for getting their event permit and for getting the Fire Inspection. He thanked the Police Department for their nightly presence at the Haunted House and to Chief Frego for his visits there. He also thanked the Clerk’s office, the volunteers from Standard Bank, Steve, Joan, Bob Davis and Michelle Haluska for getting the St. John Lions Club to operate and staff the two day kids Haunted House. Mr. Forbes also thanked the Forystek’s, their consultants, for their hard work and their design and thanked the scare-a-ters; they had 135 volunteers sign up to work inside the Haunted House. Of the 135 volunteers, 120 worked inside the Haunted House at any given time; the high mark was 73 scare-a-ters in the house in one evening, they averaged 45 in the house per night. They always get great feedback from visitors to the Haunted House about the scare-a-ters, they do a fantastic job. Mr. Forbes stated that he is going to have a party for them in mid-January or early February. Mr. Volk motioned to approve $1,500.00 for a party for the St. John Haunted House volunteers. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes also asked for a $500.00 donation to the St. John Lions Club to offset their cost and to help them have the money available to them in anticipation they will do this again next year. Mr. Austgen suggested that the money be from the Tourism Fund (EDC Fund) as the ordinance for the Haunted House does not have the proper fund or mechanism to do this and the Haunted House does bring people into St. John. Mr. Gembala motioned to donate $500.00 to the St. John Lions Club. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes stated that he wanted to clarify for the record that tax money is not being used for the Haunted House as he has received feedback from some residents that the Town is wasting taxpayer money on the Haunted House. He stated that all the money generated from the Haunted House goes into the Haunted House Fund and that they will transfer $5,000.00 from the Haunted House fund to the Festival of Lights Fund so that the event could be held at Prairie West Park, taxpayer money is not being used for the Festival of Lights.
Mr. Barenie thanked the staff that helped in the 2010 Census and stated that St. John came in first place in Lake and Porter County’s with the highest level of return, 89% of the residents responded to the Census. He mentioned that Public Works Safety Training is moving along on a continuous basis and that Christmas in the Park will open the day after Thanksgiving at 7:00 P.M. Mr. Barenie suggested that the two holiday days the employees receive off related to the Christmas holiday be Thursday, the 23rd and Friday, 24th as recognition of a great job, well done under difficult times within the Town, they are doing more with less. Mr. Forbes motioned that the Town employees receive Thursday, December 23rd and Friday, December 24th as days off. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie also mentioned that the December meeting dates will be changed due to the holiday. The first meeting will be on December 16th and the second meeting will be December 30th which will be the close of business meeting. The employee holiday luncheon will have two retiring police officers; the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, December 15th. Chief Frego added that Assistant Chief, Frank Chapranda, with 35 years of service and Lieutenant, Rick Kouder, with 34 years of service will be retiring the end of this year.
Mr. Barenie referenced the Salary Ordinance that froze the salaries of employees and the Amendment that provided for bonuses if the Town was in a financial position to do so. He stated that based on the figures for the second half of the year, the Town is in a position to give the bonuses at this time. Mr. Forbes motioned to approve the merit bonuses for the full time staff in the amount of $750.00 and for staff working less than 1,040 hours in the amount of $375.00. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed. Mr. Barenie added that this excludes elected officials.
Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize payment of $157,890 from the grant money for the Fire Department air packs. Seconded by Mr. Fryzel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie asked that the employee bonus checks be paid as separate checks issued this coming payroll before Thanksgiving.
Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Austgen to give an update on the DROP program. Mr. Austgen stated that the two veteran police officers that are retiring are members of the 1925 police pension fund. They have an entitlement as a consequence of that membership, their longevity, and statutory provision to elect to take an advance payment on their pension. It is called, DROP. It is processed through an application they made two plus years ago in October, 2008.
They notified the Town through the Clerk’s office and through the Chief’s office of their interest and intent to retire this year (two years hence) and their election to exercise the DROP payment. DROP payment is a lump sum payment. It is made in advance, it is required to be paid because of their membership in the fund. The local police pension board has met and accepted the applications and has processed the approval of the DROP payment benefit for the retiring officers and the Town will, when the officers retire next month, make such payment.
The payment, as we are informed, reliably, by the PERF administrator attorney and from the statute, has indicated that the Town will make the payment and a report will be made to PERF requesting reimbursement to the fund from which the payments were made next year. The repayment is contemplated to be made in two installments next year as indicated by the PERF administrator in late June and in November.
Mr. Forbes referenced an e-mail that was received today from Chief Frego regarding the request from Eileen Butcher on behalf of the St. John Ice Arena requesting the Town to allow liquor consumption inside the arena during the hockey games. He stated that Chief Frego is recommending this not be allowed. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil will call the Ice Arena primaries and follow up with a letter advising them of the Council’s decision. A copy of Chief Frego’s letter is attached, (Exhibit B). Mr. Forbes motioned to accept Chief Frego’s letter and to contact the Ice Arena’s primaries and inform them of the Council’s denial of alcohol consumption at the St. John Ice Arena. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion unanimously passed.
Attorney Austgen thanked the town for the re-surfacing of Blaine Street.
Chief Frego stated that 350 children from three schools that are participating in the DARE program which is funded by donations, school contributions from the PTO’s and a grant the Town is seeking. He provided an overall of the program and stated that the Town needs to establish a DARE fund. Mr. Fryzel motioned to establish a DARE Fund. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Austgen referenced a proposal the Clerk’s office received for HR assistance and a review assessment of the current Town’s Personnel Policy Manual and policy procedures. He stated that the proposal package has been reviewed, the vendor has provided a Certificate of Insurance, and they also have the form of proposed contract. The Certificate of Insurance is in an acceptable order, and the contract needs a little tweaking. The not to exceed amount is $5,000 and it is contemplated to give a current read on the Town’s HR policies and the Personnel Policy Manual. Mr. Forbes motioned to approve the proposal contingent upon an acceptable contract in an amount not to exceed $5,000. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion unanimously passed.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Gembala motioned to adopt Ordinance #1527. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
The ordinance presented to the Council provides for home rule legislation of prohibition subject to the jurisdiction of preemption that may or may not exist. It is fine, they do not think there is preemption but in the event it becomes preemption than your law becomes subject to or secondary to / subsequent to the Federal law or State law that is specific, this gives you coverage in the interim and your officers can enforce this ordinance by adoption.
Mr. Barenie stated that in The Action Lines, December issue, there was an article regarding this on page 14. Mr. Austgen stated that there is an open item on this ordinance that the Council needs to consider and that is the penal allowance on the third page for individuals as well as businesses. Mr. Forbes stated that this is in line with other communities in section 4, this deals with a person which ranges from $250.00 to $7,500.00 and for businesses in section 5 it’s a little higher with $750.00 being the low and $7,500.00 being the high which is consistent with other communities that have accepted this ordinance. Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1528 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes amended the motion to include the dollar amounts for sections 4 and 5 discussed above. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1529. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote of 4 -0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1530. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Gembala motioned to adopt Ordinance #1531. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1532. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote 4 - 0.
Mr. Barenie stated that they received a thank you letter from the Highland Fire Department for assistance St. John gave them to a fire in Highland. He also received a thank you letter from the Cedar Lake Town Manager for one of Chief Willman’s employees helping out in Cedar Lake.
Mr. Forbes referenced the request from Jean Shepherd to continue the fire contract. Chief Willman stated that one of the stipulations last year; was that they would not have to add any staff or equipment and they did not have to. Mr. Austgen stated that since the contract is in the same form and a similar fashion as last year, the contract amount is the same along with the same service territory identified; he recommended that the Council consider action. Mr. Forbes motioned to accept the contract with the Trustee based upon verification of the service area and the fee schedule. Seconded by Mr. Gembala. Motion passed with a vote 4 - 0.
Lt. Kouder thanked the Council for taking good care of the Police and Fire Departments and the citizens for feeding his family for 35 years.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Town Council Comments – None
Open to the Floor for Public Comment – None
Closed to the Floor
Town Council Action – Mr. Fryzel motioned to adopt Resolution #10-12-29. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Gembala motioned to nominate Mark Barenie as Vice-President for 2011. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Judith Stahlhut 100.00
First United Bank 50.00
She also stated that the write off bad debt for utility billing for 2010 was $392.19, bankruptcy filings in the amount of $722.12 and a yearly water/sewer billing total of $3,861,017.62. Ms. Sury stated that her department has been working very hard to collect every dime they possibly can. They have been able to divert the non-payments of utility bills when accounts (utility customers) were entering into the foreclosure process of their residences and this dedication has decreased the potential bad debt that would have been included in the approximate amount of $1,796.66. In view of the present economy, they have done a tremendous job.
Chief Frego gave the November Activity Report. He also thanked the Council for their cooperation and help throughout 2010.
Mr. Austgen stated that there is an additional item that the Clerk and he request be added for consideration by the Council. He stated that Attorney Maish is special counsel to the Town on special matters and he is not yet acclimated to the billing procedures and submitted a billing invoice at the beginning of the month that did not get processed into the claim docket. He talked to Mr. Kil this evening, he also talked to Mrs. Sury and they now have the invoice. Mr. Maish is now acclimated to those processes including the execution of the W-9 yesterday. They request the Council’s consideration of adding the claim invoice for Maish & Mysliwy in the amount of $1,363.50. Mr. Fryzel motioned to add the claim invoice for Maish & Mysliwy in the amount of $1,363.50. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer