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Town Council Meeting Minutes 2015

Meeting Minutes

01-08-2015 Town Council

January 8, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT MARK BARENIE STEVE KIL
LARRY BUSTAMANTE, VICE-PRESIDENT KEN GEMBALA ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN
GREGORY VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 8, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:02 p.m.

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

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

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

(A moment of silence was observed.)

ROLL CALL:

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

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

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

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

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

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

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE CONTRACT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR THE TOWN WITH HAAS & ASSOCIATES FOR 2015.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the service agreement for legal services with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis. "So moved," by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AGREEMENT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES WITH CENDER & COMPANY FOR 2015.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Beverly Gawrys was absent.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that Ms. Margo Sabato, Executive Director of Southlake County Community Services (bus system) is requesting that the Town donate $3.00 per trip per St. John resident for the bus service. Mr. Kil stated he provided some documentation on this issue to the Council.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

Chief Frego had nothing to report.

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

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

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

01-29-2015 Town Council

January 29, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT MARK BARENIE STEVE KIL
LARRY BUSTAMANTE, VICE-PRESIDENT KEN GEMBALA ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN
GREGORY VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 29, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:35 p.m.

Mr. Forbes requested a moment of silence after the Pledge of Allegiance in remembrance of Judith Companik, who recently passed away. Ms. Companik served as Clerk-Treasurer for the Town of St. John for 12 years.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

(A moment of silence was observed.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: DECEMBER 18, 2014, REGULAR MEETING

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was the approval of the meeting minutes of from December 18, 2014, regular meeting. He asked if there were any questions or comments on the meeting minutes. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the meeting minutes of December 18, 2014. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 18, 2014, meeting as submitted. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1595, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING A ZONE CHANGE FROM I (INDUSTRIAL) AND C-2 (COMMERCIAL) TO R-3 (RESIDENTIAL) AND AMENDING THE MASTER ZONING MAP OF THE TOWN OF ST. JOHN FOR MEYERS DEVELOPMENT (PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS 8325 WICKER AVENUE). FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE PLAN COMMISSION.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was consideration of Ordinance No. 1595, an ordinance authorizing a zone change from I (Industrial) and C-2 (Commercial) to R-3 (Residential) and amending the Master Zoning Map of the Town of St. John for Meyers Development, property commonly known as 8325 Wicker Avenue, St. John, Indiana.

Mr. Forbes stated the property being referred to is the property that the Town purchased by Bingo Lake. He stated that this land was purchased with the intent of improving the intersection by Lake Central Plaza. Mr. Forbes noted that the Plan Commission sent a favorable recommendation to the Town Council for the zoning change and amending of the Master Zoning Map.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1595. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that there is a companion item that will track into Plan Commission activity within the next week. He explained that an amendment has been proposed to the Project Development and Financing Agreement.

Attorney Austgen stated that at the inception of this project, the Town co-opted in part to development of the infrastructure and rehabilitation/redevelopment in addition to acquisition of land related to the Meyers project. He stated that the Town had entered into a Project Development and Financing Agreement in December, 2013. Attorney Austgen stated that a proposed amendment has been requested to the agreement as a consequence of all of the conditions in the agreement having been met.

Attorney Austgen stated that the developer had committed a cash participatory amount of $500,000. He stated that improvements have been completed including highway intersection improvements and road improvements. One condition of the property conveyance (minus the road right of way) was contingent upon the aforementioned improvements being completed. The developer has asked for an amendment to allow the ownership to change, with the exception of the road right of way, contingent upon primary plat approval so they can immediately start construction activities.

Attorney Austgen explained that without the conveyance of the property, the developer would be barred from starting construction activities. He stated that the development of the infrastructure will start immediately upon plat approval. Attorney Austgen stated that this phase of the development will coincide with the Town’s intersection improvement project.

Attorney Austgen stated his recommendation to the Council would be to consider allowing this amendment to the Project Development and Financing Agreement to occur, contingent upon tweaking of the amendment by the Town, the developer and the parties’ attorneys.

Mr. Forbes summarized Attorney Austgen’s recommendation as follows: recommending that the Council authorize the conveyance tonight contingent upon approval of the primary plat. Attorney Austgen acknowledged that Mr. Forbes summarization was correct.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to authorize the conveyance of the property, minus the right of way (right of way to be retained within the plat to the Town for public road purposes) contingent upon primary plat approval. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER RESOLUTON NO. 2015-01-29, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ENTRY INTO A JOINT AGREEMENT WITH THE TOWN OF SCHERERVILLE FOR BUILDING INSPECTION SERVICES.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was consideration of Resolution No. 2015-01-29, a Resolution Authorizing the Entry into a Joint Agreement with the Town of Schererville for Building Inspection Services. Mr. Forbes remarked that the towns have entered into this joint agreement for quite a few years. He explained that in the event the St. John inspector is not available Schererville’s inspector will come to St. John and the Town of St. John reciprocates by sending their inspector to Schererville, as needed. He commented this is a “nice handshake between our two communities,” and has worked out well. Mr. Forbes stated any cost differential is worked out at the end of the year.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-01-29. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 2015-01-29A, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK-TREASURER TO WRITE-OFF. UN-COLLECTIBLE BAD DEBT (AMBULANCE BILLING).

Mr. Forbes noted the next item to consider was Resolution No. 2015-01-29A, a resolution authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to write-off uncollectible bad debt (ambulance billing). Mr. Bustamante asked for a total on the uncollectible debt. Mr. Forbes noted the uncollectible debt amounted to $89,819.05.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-01-29A. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-01-29A. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. ACCEPTANCE OF ANNUAL REPORT AND COMPREHENSIVE REPORT FROM THE REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration and action was Acceptance of the Annual Report and Comprehensive Report from the Redevelopment Commission.

Mr. Gembala made a motion to accept the annual report and comprehensive report from the Redevelopment Commission. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. CONSIDER THE 2015 ST. JOHN FIRE DEPARTMENT ROSTER.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was the 2015 St. John Fire Department Roster.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to accept the 2015 St. John Fire Department Roster. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER DONATION TO LAKE CENTRAL DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS PROGRAM IN THE AMOUNT OF $500.00 $1,000.00

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was a donation to Lake Central Dollars for Scholars program in the amount of $1,000.00. Mr. Forbes stated he had a letter before him requesting a donation. He asked if there were any questions or discussion.

Amy Bogenrief, Dollars for Scholars representative, 9505 Genevieve Drive, St. John, appeared before the Council. She stated she appreciated the Council’s consideration of the donation for the year of 2015. She stated the organization works very hard to help Lake Central students access higher education beyond high school either through technical training, college or university.

Ms. Bogenrief stated that by the end of 2015, the organization hopes to be over the one million dollar mark (since 1991) in awarding scholarships to Lake Central graduates.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize the donation. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Bustamante thanked the Dollars for Scholars organization for their volunteering at Christmas in the Park. He stated the volunteers did an excellent job which was very much appreciated.

G. CONSIDER APPROVAL FOR DOG PARK.

Mr. Forbes moved on to considering approval of the dog park. He asked Mr. Volk to elaborate on this matter.

Mr. Volk stated that the dog park project has been “in the works for about a year and a half now.” He stated there are many residents who have requested a dog park. Mr. Volk stated a parcel of land already owned by the Town, an extension of Homestead Park of approximately two acres, is available for the proposed dog park.

Mr. Volk state this parcel has never been developed by the Park District. Mr. Volk stated that Mr. Kraus did extensive engineering of the parcel with costs to develop the proposed dog park of approximately $220,000.

Mr. Kil put the dog park plans on the media screen for review. Mr. Kil stated that the dog park plan includes a parking lot, pavilion, dog and human drinking fountains, bike rack, small dog/big dog parks, a card reader for entry and access to the Town’s bike trail.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the Town intends to general contract the proposed dog park. He stated that the Town overseeing the project will bring the costs down substantially.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated he will have additional details on the proposed dog park to present to the Council in a month or so. He asked the Council members to come up with some names for the proposed dog park.

Mr. Volk stated that the proposed dog park was presented to the Park Board. He stated that although it is a Council project, they wanted the Park District to be aware of what was being proposed.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve development of the dog park with funds not to exceed $140,000. ”So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

H. CONSIDER APPROVAL OF THE AGREEMENT FOR RENAMING OF CIVIC MEMORIAL PARK TO VETERANS CIVIC PARK.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was the renaming of Civic Memorial Park to Veterans Civic Park.

Mr. Gembala stated after some discussion with the veterans at the VFW, they decided not to use “memorial” in the name for the park so it would be inclusive of all men and women who served their country, living and deceased.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the agreement to rename Civic Memorial Park Veterans Civic Park. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

I. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 2015-01-29B, A RESOLUTION TO CHANGE THE NAME OF CIVIC MEMORIAL PARK TO VETERANS CIVIC PARK. (AMENDED - ADDED TO AGENDA).

Mr. Forbes acknowledged that Resolution No. 2015-01-29B, a resolution to change the name of Civic Memorial Park to Veterans Civic Park, was added to the agenda.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve Resolution No. 2015-01-29B. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala had nothing additional to report.

Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Bustamante had no reports.

Mr. Forbes remarked he several items to address.

Mr. Forbes stated he had a Request to Purchase in the amount of $3,529.97. These funds would be used to purchase three cabinets for Mylar storage.

Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $3,529.97. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he had a Request to Purchase in the amount of $3,390.00. These funds would be used to purchase an alarm notification system for the Town’s SCADA system. He stated the alarm notification would alert authorities if there is an issue with the SCADA system.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $3,390.00. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $3,390.00. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes presented a Request to Purchase a 2015 Chevy Tahoe. He stated there has been discussion about purchasing a new vehicle for the Town’s mosquito abatement program. Mr. Forbes explained that discussion has been had about converting the pickup truck currently used by the building inspector for use in the mosquito abatement program and purchasing the Chevy Tahoe for use by the building inspector.

Mr. Forbes stated that there is a state bid price in the amount of $34,254.75. He asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $34,254.75. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated the next two Requests to Purchase deal with Public Works. The first Request to Purchase was for a 2016 Mack Straight Truck chassis. He stated this chassis would be an addition to the Town’s plow fleet. He stated the cab and chassis of the vehicle is in the amount of $93,706.20.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or discussion.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize the Request to Purchase in the amount of $93,706.20. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated the second half of the Mack Straight Truck chassis acquisition is a Request to Purchase in the amount of $74,384.00. This purchase request was for equipment for the Mack truck including a stainless steel body, plow, hydraulics and salt spreader.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the Request to Purchase in the amount of $74,384.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated there was discussion about the Southlake County Community Services bus service at the last meeting. He stated that there had been a request for a donation. Mr. Forbes noted the budgetary information that had been requested by Mr. Barenie at the last Council meeting had been provided by Southlake County Community Services.

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

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize the donation in the requested amount of $3,801.00.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize a donation in the amount of $3,801.00 to Southlake County Community Services. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes noted that the Council has received the Town’s finance report and everything is looking good. He remarked that years ago a strict protocol was implemented wherein the Council reviewed financial purchases under a watchful eye. Mr. Forbes stated that the results of this effort are evidenced by the Town’s finance report.

Mr. Forbes stated that there has been some discussion about possibly raising the limit of the amount on the requests to purchase so that the Council will not have to review each request. He stated that currently any purchase request over $500.00 must be submitted to Mr. Kil.

Mr. Forbes stated that raising the amount on the purchase requests will eliminate some extra paper work. Mr. Forbes stated a suggestion was made to allow the purchase requests up to $1,500 be approved by Mr. Kil.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the current practice is any purchase between $500.00 to $2,000.00 must be reviewed by him. He stated any purchase request of $2,000.00 and over must be submitted to the Council. Mr. Kil stated the paperwork generated by these requests are voluminous.

Mr. Kil stated that the department heads are requesting a little more leeway. He remarked that all major purchases will still have to be submitted to the Town Council to be signed off on.

Mr. Forbes recommended granting authority to department heads to purchase items up to $1,500.00 and any purchases over from $1,500.00 to $4,000.00 must be submitted and approved by Mr. Kil. Mr. Kil remarked that the new numbers provided by the Council will allow Attorney Austgen to amend the Town’s ordinance.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes directed Attorney Austgen to amend the ordinance and noted further action could be taken on this matter at the next meeting.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Beverly Gawrys was absent.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen noted that in the 1990s he had the opportunity to work with Judy Companik. He remarked that she was an incredible public servant. Attorney Austgen stated the Town started in the old school house and transitioned during that time into the first part of the current building.

Attorney Austgen stated Mrs. Companik was incredibly solid and a team player, all of which contributed to the Town’s smooth transition from the 19th century into the 20th century. He stated being a team player, level, communicating and working with the Town Council were all qualities encompassed by Judy Companik.

Attorney Austgen commented that Judy Companik will be remembered as one of the great public servants of St. John. He stated all of St. John’s citizens have benefitted, to this day, from Judith Companik’s public service.

Mr. Gembala noted that Judy Companik spent an enormous amount of time finding money in the Town’s budget for the first addition to the Town Hall.

Attorney Austgen stated that accompanying the Council’s approval to accept the agreement of the renaming of Civic Memorial Park to Civic Veterans Park, the Council’s official action would be to act on the renaming with a resolution. He recommended that the Council amend their agenda.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to amend the January 29, 2015, Town Council agenda to include Resolution No. 2015-01-29B. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil stated in his 21 years as a Town Manager, this was the first time he was able to make a financial report where the Town’s revenues were so solid. He thanked the Council.

Mr. Forbes accepted Chief Willman and Chief Frego’s monthly reports as submitted.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the amount of $1,855,091.50.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil explained to the Council that APV numbers were gotten rid of. Mr. Forbes noted that Ms. Gawrys explained that the numbering system on the docket has changed due to the upgraded software.

Mr. Kil explained that the individual APVs will be contained in a booklet and will be available for the Council members’ perusal. He stated after payment approval, the Council members will be able to sign off on the report, which will qualify the exact document that the Council has before them.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $1,855,091.50. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve pages 1 through 5, voucher registry dated January 29, 2015, for the total amount of $1,855.091.50. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil stated he would work with Ms. Beverly Gawrys on a more exact identification system for the docket.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

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

Laurel Sadlowski, 1003 Northcott Court
Ms. Sadlowski, a member of the St. John Garden Club, asked for an update on the proposed tree ordinance. She stated this proposal was submitted some time ago. Ms. Sadlowski asked what stage of the process the ordinance is in.

Mr. Kil stated that Attorney Tim Kuiper has the ordinance and a draft has been prepared. He stated he believes that Mr. Sobek, Parks Superintendent, will be submitting the draft ordinance to the Park Board. Mr. Kil stated that the Park Board should be addressing this item in February.

Ms. Sadlowski stated that the Town is missing out on grant money over and over again until an ordinance is put in place.

John Rainwater, 8737 North Oakwood Drive:
Mr. Rainwater informed the Council that NIPSCO is installing a substation at Alexander and 85th Streets. He stated that he talked to a NIPSCO engineer, who said the substation will be completed this year. Mr. Rainwater stated the only other problem he has is with the electrical poles and wires running down Patterson Street from 93rd to 85th. He stated that this equipment is 100 years old.

Mr. Rainwater stated he talked to a NIPSCO representative and found out he was retired from NIPSCO. Mr. Kil stated that the representative Mr. Rainwater is referring to is Dan Piekarski, who now works as a consultant for NIPSCO.

Mr. Rainwater asked if NIPSCO ever intends to replace the poles on Patterson from 93rd Avenue to 85th Avenue. He stated the poles are 100 years old. Mr. Rainwater stated “we keep talking to different engineers,” who informed him that the poles belong to AT&T. He wondered by St. John cannot get a decent power line down Patterson. Mr. Rainwater remarked that AT&T could replace the poles.

Mr. Rainwater informed the Council that NIPSCO is doing a three billion dollar improvement over the next ten years. He asked if the Town of St. John will reap any further benefit from the NIPSCO improvements other than the new substation.

Mr. Rainwater detailed the Town’s electrical pole diagram to the Council. He opined that NIPSCO does things when they want to and don’t inform anyone of anything. Mr. Rainwater stated that the Town expects NIPSCO to provide a safe and reliable service to its citizens.

Mr. Rainwater suggested that the Council invite NIPSCO to a meeting “and see what they intend to do on some of this stuff.” Mr. Rainwater cited some facts about NIPSCO’s equipment from an article.

Mr. Rainwater reiterated that some of the electrical poles are close to 100 years old. He stated that at some point the poles were inspected, tags put on them and “everything is fine.” Mr. Rainwater stated that NIPSCO has not even performed maintenance on the poles and the only new poles are ones that have been knocked down by the traffic on Patterson.

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Rainwater that through the Town’s discussions with NIPSCO and the projects that NIPSCO is now doing, the problems are being chipped away at. Mr. Forbes stated the changes made by NIPSCO at Lake Central improved his service. He stated the new substation will improve the service. Mr. Forbes reiterated that the Town and NIPSCO are chipping away at the problem.

Mr. Forbes opined if you run in demanding everything you won’t get anything. He stated if the Town works with NIPSCO it is more likely to keep a positive discussion going with them and more things will be accomplished. Mr. Forbes stated the Town is in discussions with NIPSCO about the electrical poles, but he can’t guarantee when they will be replaced.

Mr. Forbes reiterated the Town is trying to keep a positive relationship with NIPSCO. He stated grilling and demanding things from NIPSCO will not help.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Piekarski is aware of the electrical pole issue. He stated that NIPSCO wants to get the substation project finished. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Piekarski has not forgotten about the poles, but there is no time frame for when this project will be started.

Mr. Rainwater detailed the Town’s power grid.

Mr. Rainwater reiterated his suggestion to invite NIPSCO to a meeting to answer some questions. He opined that “We don’t want to make NIPSCO mad. We just would like to invite you out here to answer some of our questions.”

Mr. Forbes stated he did not mean to imply that he was afraid of NIPSCO. He reiterated that he is trying to keep a very positive communication going.

Mr. Rainwater remarked that all of the different people he has talked from NIPSCO talk in circles. Mr. Forbes stated that it is obvious NIPSCO is working with the Town very well, albeit, not working as fast as Mr. Rainwater would like.

Mr. Kil informed Mr. Rainwater in the event he hears of any developments related to the electrical poles on Patterson he will immediately inform him.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

02-26-2015 Town Council

February 26, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT MARK BARENIE STEVE KIL
LARRY BUSTAMANTE, VICE-PRESIDENT KEN GEMBALA ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN
GREGORY VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the February 26, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:11 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

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

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

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

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

NEW BUSINESS:

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued)

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Volk had no reports.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen was directed to look into this matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Beverly Gawrys was absent.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil asked the Council to acknowledge receipt of the bids for the CDBG project. He stated he would e-mail copies to the councilmen. Mr. Kil stated all of the price quotes for the Watts subdivision CDBG project are in. He stated the low bidder is Rex Construction in the amount of $49,527.00. Mr. Kil stated that a motion to authorize the project would be appropriate at this time.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Dernulc introduced State Representative, Mike Aylesworth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

The Council thanked State Representative Aylesworth.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

PUBLIC COMMENT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

ADJOURNMENT:

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

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

03-12-2015 Town Council

March 12, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT MARK BARENIE STEVE KIL
LARRY BUSTAMANTE, VICE-PRESIDENT KEN GEMBALA ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN
GREGORY VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the March 12, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:12 p.m. Mr. Forbes asked for a moment of silence to honor of the memory of Senator Sue Landske after the Pledge of Allegiance

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

A moment of silence was observed.

ROLL CALL:

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

NEW BUSINESS:

A. LAKE CENTRAL DRIVE BID OPENING.

Mr. Forbes noted the Lake Central Drive bid opening was the first item under New Business. He stated this is a project for the intersection near Lake Central.

Mr. Forbes directed Attorney Austgen to open the bids.

Attorney Austgen opened the first bid received from Rieth-Riley Construction, Gary, Indiana.

Attorney Austgen noted the bid from Rieth-Riley, Items 1 through 87 was in the amount of $434,549.82. The bid bond was present in the amount of ten percent of the amount bid. Form 96 was present and fully executed including oath affirmation and non-collusion affidavit. E-verify Agreement and the Affidavit were attached. The Certificate of Denial of engagement and investment in Iran were attached.

Attorney Austgen opened the second bid received from Walsh & Kelly, Griffith, Indiana.

Attorney Austgen noted the bid had the E-verify Agreement and Affidavit executed and notarized attached. The Certificate of Denial of engagement and investment in Iran were attached. The amount bid by Walsh & Kelly for Items 1 through 87 was in the amount of $332,046.62. Attorney Austgen noted the Form 96 was present and fully executed including oath affirmation and non-collusion affidavit. The bid bond was present in the amount of ten percent of the amount bid.

The bid opening was concluded.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to take the bids under advisement for review by staff. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1602, AMENDING 2015 SALARY ORDINANCE.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was Ordinance Number 1602, an ordinance amending the 2015 salary ordinance. Mr. Forbes asked the councilmen if they had any questions. There were no questions from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance Number 1602 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion to consider Ordinance Number 1602 on first reading. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/1). Ayes --- three. Nays --- one. Mr. Gembala voted no.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1602. Attorney Austgen noted the motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1602 could be entertained at the next meeting.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala had no reports.

Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Bustamante had no reports.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Chief Deputy Clerk Beverly Gawrys was absent.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing to report.

* * * * *

Chief Frego reported to the Council that at the last Police Commission meeting the Board approved the hire of a certified police officer off of the current eligibility list. He stated the candidate has accepted the offer and gave his current employer two weeks’ notice.

Mr. Forbes stated he would authorize the emergency hiring of a police officer for the Town of St. John. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He said he had a statement to read. Mr. Forbes read as follows:

“St. John acknowledges receipt of a separate EEOC Notice of Charges of Discrimination last week by two civilian employees of the Town Police Department, including a former employee.

The EEOC filings were followed the next day by a federal court lawsuit concerning the same. These legal filings followed the prior report and investigation of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse of the Claimants in the Town Police Department several days earlier by the employees.

The police officer alleged to have engaged in the circumstances has resigned. All of the circumstances have occurred within the last week. As a consequence of the report, the Town administrative staff immediately addressed the same by investigation, interviews and action. That investigation continues.

The Town of St. John does not now, never has and never will condone any inappropriate work place environment or conditions or improper actions. Sexual harassment and abuse anywhere much less the in the work place will not be tolerated. The Town continues the investigation of the present circumstances while assessing conditions and appropriate actions for the work place going forward.

The Town Police Department and Public Safety functions have a proud and long history of excellent service to the citizen taxpayers of the Town. This mission will continue.

As a consequence of the commencement of legal claims and lawsuits, and since personnel are involved, no further public comment or communication can occur pending disposition of the same. We respectfully request your consideration of knowing that there are multiple facets to these matters and that the public comment dialogue will only serve to confuse and distort what is a serious and difficult situation.

The Town of St. John is committed to addressing these matters for the benefit of all of the employees and citizens of the Town thoroughly, appropriately and lawfully.”

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

03-26-2015 Town Council

March 26, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES, PRESIDENT MARK BARENIE STEVE KIL
LARRY BUSTAMANTE, VICE-PRESIDENT KEN GEMBALA ATTORNEY DAVID AUSTGEN
GREGORY VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the March 26, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 8:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: FEBRUARY 26, 2015 REGULAR SESSION

Mr. Forbes noted the minutes for the regular Town Council meeting on February 26, 2015, were before the Council for their approval. He asked if there were any questions, comments or changes to the minutes. The councilmen had no questions, comments or changes.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of February 26, 2015, as submitted. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/2). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none. Abstain --- two. Mr. Gembala and Mr. Barenie abstained from the vote.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1602 (SECOND READING), AMENDING 2015 SALARY ORDINANCE.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business for the Council’s consideration and action was Ordinance Number 1602, second reading, amending 2015 salary ordinance.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council for a motion. Mr. Gembala made a motion to defer this matter. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER BID AWARD FOR LAKE CENTRAL DRIVE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s action was to consider the bid award for the Lake Central Drive construction project. He stated there was a recommendation to award the project to Walsh & Kelly in the amount of $332,046.62. Mr. Forbes noted Walsh & Kelly were the lowest and most responsive bidder.

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

Mr. Kraus, town engineer, Haas & Associates, was present in the audience. He stated that he had reviewed the Lake Central Drive construction project bids, and he recommended that the bid be awarded to Walsh & Kelly.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Volk made a motion to award the Lake Central Drive construction project to Walsh & Kelly. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that since Ken Kraus was present, he would like to discuss the Lake Central Drive construction project, specifically the design of the intersection. Mr. Forbes noted that the Lake Central Drive construction project design plans call for an island in the turn area of the project. He stated the island’s purpose is to serve as a staging area for pedestrians who will use the cross walk in this area.

Mr. Kraus informed the Council that First Group has been working on this project, He stated according to Denny Cobb, INDOT representatives recommended the location of the staging area/island as the safest way to handle the cross walk. Mr. Kraus stated that his recommendation was to place the cross walk at the north side of the intersection but this location had presented some timing problems wherein left turns coming out of Lake Central High School would have added too much time to the wait.

Mr. Kraus stated based on several factors and not being privy to all of the factors, Mr. Cobb was to meet with INDOT representatives again to ascertain if there was a way to re-locate the cross walk to either the north or south side of the intersection in lieu of the pedestrian island.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil put the drawing of the proposed pedestrian island on the media screen for the Council’s perusal. Mr. Forbes commented that he finds the location of the pedestrian island to be very problematic. Mr. Forbes asked if relocating the sensors that trigger the traffic signal was an option.

Mr. Kraus stated relocation of the traffic signal sensors was one of the reasons the pedestrian island was opted for, as the sensors for the northbound traffic would not have to be changed. Mr. Kraus stated if the proposed cross walk was moved to the south side of the intersection, all of the traffic control sensors would have to be relocated back far enough so the cross walk and the stop bars would not interfere with the same.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes commented whatever needs to be done, the pedestrian cross walk proposed by INDOT needs to be addressed. He stated if the relocation of the traffic control signal sensors is the only impediment to moving the cross walk, the Council should consider absorbing the cost. Mr. Gembala noted the relocation of the pedestrian island would be a safer alternative. Mr. Kil stated that INDOT has been informed that the Town would be willing to absorb the cost of moving traffic signal sensors, but so far INDOT has refused.

Mr. Forbes stated he wanted to ensure that the Council was completely informed of the location of the proposed cross walk/pedestrian island approved by INDOT. He stated that the cross walk will most likely be much used by high school students, and the Town cannot offer a target like the one proposed.

Mr. Kil will continue to negotiate with INDOT on this matter.

C. CONSIDER AAPPROVAL FOR UPDATES TO THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND THOROUGHFARE PLAN.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s review is to consider approval for updates to the Comprehensive Plan and Thoroughfare Plan. He stated there has been some discussion of this matter at the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes noted that the Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan is approximately ten years old.

Mr. Forbes noted that the Comprehensive Master Plan and Thoroughfare Plan reflect the Town’s vision. He stated that any developer who intends to build in Town should be guided by and conform to these plans as much as possible. Mr. Forbes stated that the plans need to be updated on a regular basis.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize Solomon, Cordwell & Buenz to proceed with an update of the Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan in an amount not to exceed $49,000.00. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize First Group Engineering to proceed with an update of the Thoroughfare Plan. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize First Group to update the Thoroughfare Plan not to exceed $17,000.00. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1603, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY FEE PAYMENT DEFERRAL POLICY FOR THE 2015 PARADE OF HOMES.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item was to consider Ordinance Number 1603, an ordinance establishing a temporary fee payment deferral policy for the 2015 Parade of Homes. Mr. Forbes stated developer, John Lotton, approached the Builders Association, who is responsible for the Parade of Homes, and convinced them that it is time to bring the Parade of Homes back together in one subdivision in lieu of the scattered site Parade of Homes.

Mr. Forbes stated in order to entice more builders to participate in the Parade of Homes, Mr. Lotton has proposed that the Town defer all of the permitting fees until the time that a Certificate of Occupancy is granted and/or one year from the time of the building of the house. Mr. Forbes noted that the temporary fee payment deferral is specifically to be applied to the 2015 Parade of Homes.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance Number 1603 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1603. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Barenie had no comments.

Mr. Bustamante asked if Attorney Austgen had made any headway on the snow ordinance. Attorney Austgen stated he is working on a draft copy of the snow ordinance.

Mr. Gembala commended the Public Works Department for the great job they did in keeping the streets salted and cleaned during a difficult winter.

Mr. Volk had no comments.

Mr. Forbes had no comments.

CLERK-TREASURER:
There was no report from the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Board that Mr. Chip Sobek has requested payment for costs associated with the splash pad installation at Heron Lake Park, as follows: electrical vault hook-up, plumbing and concrete in the amount of $46,750.00. He stated this project must be started immediately in order to be ready for summer. Mr. Kil asked the Council to authorize the $46,750.00 payment.

Mr. Bustamante made a motion to authorize payment of $46,750.00 to Rex Source for the installation and/or repairs to the splash pad at Heron Lake Park. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s February 1-28, 2015, report to the Council. Chief Frego informed the Council that a new police officer was sworn in earlier in the day.

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

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that there were five pages of bills for March 26, 2015, in the amount of $1,275,528.13. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills. Mr. Gembala made a motion to pay the general APVs listed for March 26, 2015, pages 1 through 5, in the amount of $1,275,528.13. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu stated he has made many requests and he demands that a Chief Frego, Steve Kil, Larry Bustamante and Mike Forbes be “removed from our town.” Mr. Bugariu stated attention should be paid to what he wrote ten years ago, nine years ago, five years ago and just recently they would not have had this problem. He stated that bribing lawyers, witnesses and neighbors is a federal offense.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

John Rainwater, 8737 North Oakwood Drive:
Mr. Rainwater asked about the street paving project for 2015. Mr. Forbes responded that the street paving agenda is listed on the Town’s website. Mr. Forbes noted that half of the road project remains to be done. He stated that as soon as the weather breaks, the road paving project will commence.

Mr. Rainwater remarked that north, south and west Oakwood Drive at the entrance to the subdivision had two inches of black top ground off eight to ten years ago and two inches were put back on top. He stated the road is now disintegrating. Mr. Forbes remarked after a road assessment performed by the Town’s engineer, it was determined which roads in Town were to be paved first. Mr. Forbes stated he was not sure if Oakwood Drive was included in the road project.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes noted that Oakwood Drive was not on the road paving list at the present time. He stated that the Town’s engineer has determined “worst roads to best roads” and the worst roads have been slated to be repaired first.

Mr. Kil informed Mr. Rainwater that his road would probably not be done this year, but it will be addressed in the future.

Mr. Rainwater recommended that the Town implement some “garbage can etiquette.” He stated twenty-five percent of his subdivision have blue garbage cans in front of their homes. Mr. Kil stated that a friendly reminder message could be sent out on the water bill.

Mary Therese Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mrs. Robert asked the Council members why St. John is the only town that has not signed an ethics code. Mr. Forbes informed Mrs. Robert that the Council intends to invite Mr. Cal Bellamy back before the Council for further discussion on this matter.

Mrs. Robert asked why the town officials involved in the “recent dilemma” are not on administrative leave. Mr. Forbes stated this matter could not be discussed.

Mrs. Robert submitted a list of points to the Council for their perusal. She stated she will be attending the meetings, and the Council could chose whatever point they wanted to discuss. She stated she hoped to see some things accomplished.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu stated with regard to the snow removal, on West 90th Avenue, his house was the only house where the snow plow left two feet of snow in the street from the curb. He stated this snow was left in front of his mail box. He stated snow was plowed approximately three to four feet into his drive way also.

Mr. Bugariu stated the Town probably wanted him to clean the snow by himself and maybe die so they could be rid of a bad guy. He stated the snow plow came last Monday and his garbage can and recycling bin were pushed approximately two feet inside of his driveway.

Mr. Forbes called for further public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. "So moved," by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:44 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

04-23-2015 Town Council

April 23, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the April 23, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:10 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

Mr. Forbes noted Chief Frego was out of town.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MARCH 12, 2015, REGULAR MEETING & MARCH 26, 2015, REGULAR MEETING

Mr. Forbes noted the minutes for the regular Town Council meetings on March 12, 2015, and March 26, 2015 were before the Council for their consideration and approval. He asked if there were any questions, comments or changes to the minutes. The councilmen had no questions, comments or changes.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve the regular meeting minutes of March 12, 2015 and March 26, 2015, as submitted. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

PROCLAMATION: FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was the Board’s consideration of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. He read the proclamation of St. John, Indiana follows:

"Whereas as estimated 10 million people in the United States and millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disease for which there is no known cause or cure.

And whereas it often takes an average of five years to receive a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and medical professionals frequently are inadequately educated on the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.

And whereas fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder and an increasingly common diagnosis, taking a toll emotionally financially and socially on patients, their family, friends, co-workers and community.

And whereas fibromyalgia is life-altering in preventing patients from contributing to society at the level they once did because of a myriad of symptoms that can come and go unpredictably and vary in severity.

And whereas people with fibromyalgia are never completely symptom free, they are always in pain. This pain impacts every area of their life and others must step up to fill in the voids left when all the patients’ efforts are focused on just getting through the day, showing how much fibromyalgia truly hurts everyone.

And whereas the chronically ill place a larger burden on the health care and insurance industries and businesses that must cover the costly expenses associated with their treatment, medications and sometimes hospitalization.

And whereas society as a whole, is also impacted when patients are physically unable to work and must depend on government assistance to survive.

And whereas the increased awareness and expanded knowledge of the realities of life with fibromyalgia will allow the community at large to better support patients and their family, friends, co-workers and employees who struggle with the challenges of this chronic pain disorder.

And whereas fibromyalgia unites the National Fibromyalgia Association, Fibromyalgia Network and other groups around our country to join together to promote Fibromyalgia Awareness and Support, including improved education, diagnosis, research and treatment.

Now, therefore, I, Michael S. Forbes, do hereby recognize these chronically ill people and proclaim May 12, 2015, as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in St. John, Indiana, and urge all of our citizens to support the search for a cure and assist those individual and families who deal with this devastating disorder on a daily basis."

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion that would authorize him to affix his signature to the Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in St. John, Indiana, Proclamation. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1604, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A PETTY CASH FUND AT THE ST. JOHN PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT FOR SMALL AND/OR EMERGENCY EXPENDITURES.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was consideration of Ordinance Number 1604, an ordinance establishing a petty cash fund at the St. John Public Works Department for small and/or emergency expenditures. Mr. Forbes noted this same type of ordinance was set up for the Police and Fire Departments. He stated the ordinance was established to eliminate the need for residents (and others) to have to travel between the buildings to pay fees, fines, etc., obtain a receipt and go back and finish their transaction. Mr. Forbes stated that Ordinance No. 1604 would streamline and expedite matters for residents.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance Number 1604 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1604. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

A. CONSIDER REDUCTION OF LETTER OF CREDIT FOR SILVER LEAF, UNIT TWO, TO $894,083.30.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was a reduction of a letter of credit to the amount of $894,083.30 for Silver Leaf, Unit Two. He stated that the Plan Commission has made a favorable recommendation to the Council for the reduction of the letter of credit.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this matter.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the current letter of credit was just shy of a couple of million dollars. Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Ken Kraus, Town engineer, reviews all of the work that’s been done in the developments. Mr. Kil stated there is a whole process that must be followed before a letter of credit can be reduced.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the reduction of the letter of credit to $894,083.30 for Silver Leaf, Unit Two. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala asked for the status of an updated emergency contact protocol for the Town. He asked if this information could be submitted to the Council by July. Chief Willman stated that it is a work in progress and the information would be ready in the near future.

Mr. Volk had no report.

Mr. Bustamante asked for an update on the snow removal ordinance. Attorney Austgen stated that a draft copy has been prepared.

Mr. Bustamante asked for an update on the status of the Employee Handbook. Mr. Kil stated that the Employee Handbook has been reviewed several times. He stated he has a final draft of the Employee Handbook on his desk and it would be submitted to the Council in the near future. Mr. Bustamante directed that the Employee Handbook be submitted to the Council for review in two months. Mr. Gembala concurred with Mr. Bustamante’s request.

Mr. Forbes informed the Council he had a few items to discuss. He stated Chief Frego submitted a Request to Purchase in the amount of $55,654.40 for two additional squad cars. The new squad cars would replace 2006 and 2008 first-line vehicles.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this request. There were no questions from the councilmen. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize the purchase in the amount of $55,654.40. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize purchase of the pursuit-rated, Explorers in the amount of $55,654.40. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes next presented a Request to Purchase from the Park Department to install a Pour & Play play surface in Civic Park. Mr. Forbes noted new playground equipment has just been installed at Civic Park. He stated this new play surface is installed in many parks.

Mr. Forbes noted the Request to Purchase is in the amount of $22,019.00. He stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize the request from the Park Department in the amount of $22,019.00. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes noted he had before him a proposed lease extension from American Tower for the cell tower. He asked if there were any questions on this matter. There were no questions on this matter.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize Attorney Austgen and Mr. Kil to finalize the proposed lease extension adhering to the terms reflected in the letter dated April 23, 2015. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes noted that the Lake Central Drive project is underway. Mr. Kil informed the Council that the project is moving along with underground utilities currently being installed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil informed the Council that the road paving project is now underway for spring. He explained the routes of the road to be paved in this phase of the project.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, had no reports.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had no further reports.

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

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that there was a five page document for bills, dated April 23, 2015, in the amount of $972,208.17. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $972,208.17. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

05-07-2015 Town Council

May 7, 2015 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the May 7, 2015, special meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury, took roll call with the following members present: Michael Forbes, Larry Bustamante, Mark Barenie, Gregory Volk and Ken Gembala. 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.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. MUTUAL AID AGREEMENT FOR THE NORTHWEST INDIANA REGIONAL S.W.A.T.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was discussion of the mutual aid agreement for the Northwest Indiana Regional S.W.A.T. He asked Mr. Kil to brief the Council on this matter.

Mr. Kil informed the Council several years ago the Town of St. John opted into a small S.W.A.T. organization with the Town of Munster. He stated the mutual aid agreement would add the St. John/Munster organization in with the county S.W.A.T. team. Mr. Kil stated his recommendation to Chief Frego was that St. John join the county S.W.A.T. team.

Chief Frego noted that the Town of Munster police department will be joining the county S.W.A.T. team. He stated there will be ten communities participating in the county S.W.A.T. team with the addition of St. John and Munster. He stated more resources would be available to the Town upon joining the county S.W.A.T. team.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated if the Council was agreeable with this matter, Attorney Austgen could draft a resolution for placement on agenda for the next Council meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked the Councilmen if any were opposed to the proposed mutual aid agreement. No opposition was voiced.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE #1607, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE 2015 SALARY ORDINANCE.

Mr. Forbes noted Ordinance #1607, an ordinance amending the 2015 salary ordinance was next for the Council’s consideration. Mr. Forbes noted first reading was done for Ordinance #1607.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or discussion on Ordinance #1607. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on Ordinance #1607 on first reading. The Councilmen made no motion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would table Ordinance #1607 for lack of a motion.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE #1606, AN ORDINANCE FOR THE TOWN SNOW CLEANING REGULATIONS.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was Ordinance #1606, an ordinance for the Town snow cleaning regulations. He asked if there were any questions on Ordinance #1606.

Mr. Forbes noted there was some discussion on this ordinance, and the purpose is to address the snow that is pushed down driveways and into the streets. He stated that there is concern about the hazard that this practice creates for the plow trucks.

Mr. Forbes remarked Ordinance #1606 includes a fine as follows: first violation not to exceed $50.00, second violation, $100.00, and $150.00 for the third and each subsequent violation within a twelve month period.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes remarked that most of the problems related to the snow removal are attributable to contractors and not individual homeowners. He stated that he would have liked to have had more time to investigate this matter.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #1606 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- one. Mr. Forbes was opposed.

Mr. Forbes noted that Ordinance #1606 would be on Council’s agenda at the next meeting.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Volk stated he was approached by residents who live on Hart Street near Three Springs subdivision. Mr. Volk stated the duplexes on the west side of the street back up to the railroad tracks. He stated that these residents requested that the Council look into a silent crossing for Joliet Street and 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kil stated that he would conduct preliminary assessment to ensure that the proper electronics exist at the railroad crossings to accommodate a quiet zone. He stated he would inform the Council if these crossings meet the criteria for a quiet zone.

Mr. Forbes noted he investigated this matter a few years ago, and determined that none of the railroad crossings in Town meet the criteria to become quiet zones. He stated without the minimum preliminary specifications, there would be significant costs, to be borne by the Town, of approximately $250,000.00 to $400,000.00 for each crossing to make them “quiet zones.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Volk stated he informed the residents of the costs, but wanted to bring the matter to the Council for discussion. Mr. Kil stated there may be a possibility that the quiet zones could be incorporated into future projects.

Mr. Bustamante had nothing to report.

Mr. Gembala had nothing to report.

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes thanked Steve Kil, Kenn Kraus and Denny Cobb for making an effort to meet with an INDOT representative. He stated these gentlemen met with the INDOT representative in the LaPorte office and explained the Council’s concern with the proposed island at the Lake Central intersection. Mr. Forbes stated these discussions went very well.

Mr. Forbes stated based on these discussions, the island has been removed and the intersection has been modified. The striping will be modified at the 93rd Avenue intersection to include a center turn lane.

(General discussion ensued.)

TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that Mr. Mark Hill passed away. He noted Mr. Hill will definitely be missed.

Mr. Kil stated he has been working on acquiring easements for the Lift Station One project. He explained out of four individual property owners, he has secured two easements and two verbal agreements to sign easement agreements.

Mr. Kil stated he has a signed agreement from Mr. and Mrs. Dale Huseman, and Mr. Raymond Wachter. He stated the total amount to purchase both the temporary and permanent easements is as follows: Mr. Wachter, $1,450.00, Mr. and Mrs. Huseman $16,800.00. Mr. Kil recommended that the Council accept these easement agreements and authorize payment for the same.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize payment for the aforementioned easements in the amounts of $1,450.00 and $16,800.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Chief Frego had no report.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, had no reports.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen asked that the Mr. Mark Hill family be kept in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. He stated Mr. Hill was an incredible man and a special person.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

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

Mr. Joe Hero, 1723 South Oakridge Drive
Mr. Hero stated he wanted to remonstrate against Ordinance #1606. He stated the ordinance makes no sense. He stated when the snow gets heavy and deep the Town plows snow into everyone’s driveway. Mr. Hero stated that sometimes there is nothing else to do but push the snow back into the street. He recommended that the Town acquire a snowplow that would alleviate blocking residents’ driveways. He reiterated that the ordinance makes no sense and looks totally stupid.

Mr. Hero asked Mr. Barenie if he has had any contact with Mr. Fryzell since Mr. Fryzell’s retirement from the police department. Mr. Barenie stated he would not respond to the question.

Mr. Hero asked about the status of the lawsuits that were precipitated by activities in the police department. Mr. Forbes noted due to ongoing litigation, the Council could not answer his question.

Mr. Hero asked if the Town Council has taken any measures to “protect the women employees of this community in light of the lawsuits.” Mr. Forbes again noted, due to ongoing litigation, the Council could not answer his question. Mr. Hero remarked that ongoing litigation has nothing to do with the Town’s policy on how they protect women employees.

Mr. Hero asked if the Town Council was investigating these issues. He stated there were rumors the state police were investigating. Mr. Hero asked who was coordinating efforts to ensure that the issues raised in the lawsuits, if true, do not occur again. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero if he had any further comment.

Mr. Hero had no further comment.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu noted on West 90th Drive, all of the driveways except his were cleared of snow. He stated he had approximately two feet of snow still remaining in the street. Mr. Bugariu stated the plow goes from the middle of the street into his driveway approximately four feet. Mr. Bugariu concurred with Mr. Hero’s comments on the Ordinance 1606.

Mr. Bugariu stated he sent a note to the Town Council. He stated, (pointing) “I want this guy, that guy, John Mainwaring and Dave Austgen out.” He added, “And this gentleman (pointing) and Forbes, out of our town.”

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:24 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

05-28-2015 Town Council

May 28, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

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

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: APRIL 23, 2015, REGULAR MEETING

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

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

PUBLIC HEARING

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

(General discussion ensued.)

(Attorney Richard Anderson enters meeting.)

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

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

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

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

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Forbes called twice for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

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

NEW BUSINESS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Bustamante had nothing to report.

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

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

CLERK-TREASURER:
Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, had no reports.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil was absent.

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $1,371,236.38. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve payment of the six page bill docket dated May 28, 2015. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

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

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

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Day for his comments.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

(General discussion ensued.)

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

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

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

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

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

06-11-2015 Town Council

June 11, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes - Amended

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

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

 

06-25-2015 Town Council

June 25, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the June 25, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:20 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: MAY 28, 2015, REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes of May 28, 2015. He asked if there were any changes, amendments or corrections. There were no changes, amendments or corrections.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/2). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none. Abstain --- two. Mr. Barenie and Mr. Volk abstained from the vote.

NEW BUSINESS

PUBLIC HEARING
A. ORDINANCE # 1611, AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING CERTAIN PROPERTY --- HUPPENTHAL PROPERTY ANNEXATION --- PUBLIC HEARING.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item for the Council’s attention was a public hearing on the Huppenthal annexation. He asked Attorney Austgen if the proofs of publication and notices were in order.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the proofs of publication were timely published and notice of public hearing was properly made. He stated that the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Forbes described the property borders as bounded by 101st on the south, and White Oak on the east, Bull Run ditch on the west, and the west border being contiguous of the current boundary of the Town of St. John. Mr. Kil put the parcel on the media screen so it could be viewed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes noted the fiscal plan has been submitted. He asked the Council if they had any questions. There were no questions. He opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Forbes called for anyone wishing to make comments on the Huppenthal property annexation to step up to the microphone. He called three times for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they had any questions or comments. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve Ordinance 1611, an ordinance annexing certain contiguous property, the Huppenthal farm, on first reading only. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve Ordinance # 1611 on first reading. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Attorney Austgen noted that the fiscal plan has been introduced and will be acted upon by resolution at the next meeting.

PUBLIC HEARING:
B. ORDINANCE #1612, AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING CERTAIN CONTIGUOUS PROPERTY, THE HERMAN PROPERTY PUBLIC HEARING.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was the annexation petition for the Herman property, somewhat contiguous with the Huppenthal property, 80 acres bounded by 93rd Avenue on the north, White Oak on the east and a part of the Huppenthal property on the west and south. He stated that there is a detention storage area for Schilton Hills on the north.

Mr. Forbes asked if the proofs of publication were in order for the public hearing. Attorney Austgen informed the Council that he reviewed the proofs of publication and were timely published and notice of public hearing was properly made. He stated that the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they had any questions or comments. There were no questions or comments from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes noted the fiscal plan has been submitted. He asked the Council if they had any questions. There were no questions. He opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Mr. Forbes called for anyone wishing to make comments on the Herman annexation to step up to the microphone. He called three times for public comment. There was no public comment. He closed the public hearing and brought the matter back to the Town Council.

Mr. Forbes noted a fiscal plan had been included along with the annexation petition. He asked the Council if they had any comments or questions. The councilmen had no comments or questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion for Ordinance # 1612, an ordinance annexing certain contiguous property, the Herman farm, on first reading only. Mr. Bustamante made a motion to approve Ordinance #1612, an ordinance annexing the Herman farm property on first reading. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil informed the Council of the time line.

C. ANNUAL FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE ST. JOHN FIRE DEPARTMENT TRAINING SITE.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s review and Consideration, the annual financial contribution for the maintenance of the St. John Fire Department training site. Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they had any comments on this matter.

Mr. Bustamante stated that the Fire Department does a great job.

(General discussion ensued.)

There was no further discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize payment of $15,000.00 for the 2015 contribution as per the five-year contract. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER THE 2015 HAUNTED HOUSE BUDGET.

Mr. Forbes stated he placed this item on the agenda. He stated he is requesting the same dollar amount that was approved last year, $41,100.00. He stated he can probably work within this budget.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie made a motion to approve the budget as presented in the amount of $41,1000.00. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION # 2015-06-25, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FISCAL YEAR 2016-2018 CDBG COOPERATION AGREEMENT.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item for the Council’s consideration was Resolution # 2015-06-25, a resolution authorizing the fiscal year 2016-2018 budget.

Mr. Kil explained that this resolution is required by the Lake County Redevelopment Department, and is directly related to the Town’s CDBG funding. He stated this is also a new HUD guideline. Mr. Kil stated that adoption of this ordinance will solidify the Town’s participation in the CDGB funding.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #2015-06-25, and authorize the Town Council president to execute 2016-2018 cooperative agreement. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Gembala had no reports.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil for a street paving update.

Mr. Kil stated that the street paving is behind schedule this year due to the weather. He stated Lake Central Drive has been sitting with nothing being done for a month while it dries out. He stated they are currently in the Heron Lake area and will be moving over to Fairway by Lake Hills. After Fairway is completed, paving will continue at 92nd and Schafer on the east side of Town. Mr. Kil stated they must figure out what to do with Hart Street. Mr. Kil stated, when all is said and done, approximately 20 miles of road will have been paved.

Mr. Bustamante asked for an update on the dog park. Mr. Kil stated this project has been on hold for approximately a month due to the weather.

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes excused himself from the meeting for a brief time.

(Mr. Forbes re-entered the room.)

Mr. Forbes stated he had a maintenance bond for public improvements for Saddle Creek Development. He noted the amount of the bond is $79,074.23.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to accept Maintenance Bond #1117691 for the Saddle Creek Development. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes passed the maintenance bond to Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury stated she had sent an e-mail out related to a letter of credit from February that had not been signed.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing further to report.

Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s May 2015, report to the Council. He thanked the Council for their 2015 contribution for the training site.

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s May 1-31, 2015, report to the Council. Chief Frego announced the National Night Out date of Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that there was a four page bill docket presented and dated June 25, 2015, in the amount of $1,142,994.49. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $1,142,994.49. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

John Corbit, 97th Lane
Mr. Corbit stated that nobody pays attention to the stop signs and speed limit signs on 97th Lane. He stated members of the fire department going zipping through here continuously, never stopping. Mr. Corbit stated he stops; he asked what is the matter with the people who don’t stop. Mr. Corbit stated if there was something that could be done about this situation he would appreciate it.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes recommended that Mr. Corbit discuss this matter with Chief Frego and Chief Willman after the meeting.

Mr. Corbit stated that there is a flooding issue. He stated he doesn’t know what can be done, but something better be done. Mr. Corbit stated that there is a gap between the curb and the sidewalk and it’s sinking. He stated he has brought this up before but nobody has visited the site. Mr. Corbit stated someone is going to get hurt.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (3/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:51 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

07-23-2015 Town Council

July 23, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the July 23, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:32 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JUNE 11 & JUNE 25, 2015, REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for June 11, 2015 and June 25, 2015. He asked if there were any changes, amendments or corrections. There were no changes, amendments or corrections.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the June 11, 2015 and June 25, 2015 regular meeting minutes as submitted. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/1) for the meeting minutes of June 11, 2015. Ayes --- three. Nays --- none. Abstain --- one. Mr. Bustamante abstained from the vote on the June 11, 2015 meeting minutes. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0) for the meeting minutes of June 25, 2015. Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS

A. CONSIDER RESOLUTION #15-07-23, A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE FISCAL PLAN FOR THE HUPPENTHAL ANNEXATION.

Mr. Forbes noted consideration of Resolution #15-07-23, a resolution approving the fiscal plan for the Huppenthal annexation was the first item on the agenda. Mr. Forbes noted this property is located at 93rd Avenue and U.S. Route 41. He stated a public hearing was held at the last regular meeting. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the fiscal plan. There were no questions from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE #1611, AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY INTO THE TOWN COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE HUPPENTHAL FARM (SECOND READING).

Mr. Forbes moved on to consideration of Ordinance #1611, an ordinance annexing certain real property into the Town commonly known as the Huppenthal Farm. He noted that this was second reading on Ordinance #1611. Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion on this matter. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1611. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER RESOLUTION #15-07-23B, A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE FISCAL PLAN FOR THE HERMAN ANNEXATION.

Mr. Forbes addressed the next item on the agenda, consider Resolution #15-07-23B, a resolution approving the fiscal plan for the Herman annexation. He stated that the property is contiguous with the Huppenthal property. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the Herman Annexation Fiscal Plan. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes announced that he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23B. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER ORDINANCE #1612, AN ORDINANCE ANNEXING CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY INTO TH TOWN COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE HERMAN FARM (SECOND READING).

Mr. Forbes moved on to the next item on the agenda, consider Ordinance #1612, an ordinance annexing certain real property into the Town commonly known as the Herman farm. He noted this was second reading on Ordinance #1612. Mr. Forbes noted that Ordinance #1612 was a part of previous discussions and a public hearing. He asked if there were any questions on Ordinance #1612. There were no questions and/or discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1612 “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION #15-07-23, A RESOLUTION DECLARING UN-COLLECTIBLE BAD DEBT FOR AMBULANCE BILLING IN THE AMOUNT OF $78,796.52.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was Resolution #15-07-23, a resolution declaring un-collectible bad debt for ambulance billing in the amount of $78,796.52. He stated most of the bad debt is monies that Medicare won’t pay along with some bankruptcies. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. ACCEPTANCE OF A DONATION FROM THE PESO FAMILY IN THE AMOUNT OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($300.00) FOR THE PLANTING OF FLOWERS IN CIVIC VETERANS PARK.

Mr. Forbes moved on to the next item on the agenda, considering acceptance of a donation from the Peso family in the amount of $300 for the planting of flowers in Civic Veterans Park. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Bodich to give the Council a little background on the Peso family.

Mr. Dan Bodich appeared on behalf of the Peso family. He stated he is a direct descendant of Anna and Petar Peso. Petar Peso immigrated to the United States in 1912 through Ellis Island and settled in the Chicago Bridgeport neighborhood. In 1918, Mr. Petar Peso brought his wife and two children to the United States.

Mr. Bodich stated in 1929, the last daughter of Petar and Anna Peso was born. The year 1929 was the first year for a Peso family reunion, The Peso family reunion started a tradition that has lasted from January 1, 1929 through the present. Mr. Bodich stated that January 1, 2016, will be the 85th year for the family reunion.

Mr. Bodich stated that his great-grandparents decided every year should start with family because through love, togetherness and unity the Peso family stayed together. He stated this Croatian tradition continues to this day.

Mr. Bodich stated one of his relatives (aunt/ cousin/ mother/sister) Judy Ann Knatchke, was a St. John resident and Park Board member for a number of years. Judy was born May 8, 1962 and passed away on January 6, 2015. He stated Judy Ann was the daughter of Zorka Angelo Peso. She married Mike Knatchke on September 21, 1996. They moved to Cardell Drive in St. John in 1996, and after they both retired, they moved to Lake Hills in St. John.

Mr. Bodich introduced his 16 cousins (from the Chicagoland area) to the Council. He stated that they were present tonight to participate in the Civic Veterans Park presentation. He stated each year his family choses a cause to donate to. He stated this year’s cause was to the stroke association.

Mr. Bodich stated due to the untimely death of his cousin, Judy Ann, the Peso family wanted to donate to a cause in her name. Mr. Bodich presented a check in the amount of $300.00 to the Town of St. John for flowers at the Civic Veterans Park. Mr. Bodich presented a check to the Council that has been signed by his great grandparents, Anna and Petar Peso.

(Applause from the audience and the Council.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the Peso family donation of $300.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(Photographs were taken.)

G. CONSIDER VARIANCE OF USE REQUEST FOR “GET-CAR-FIT” LOCATED AT 10802 JOLIET STREET (FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS).

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s review was to consider variance of use request for “Get-Car-Fit” located at 10802 Joliet Street, and with favorable recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that “Get-Car-Fit” is an auto detailing/car sales business. He stated that the business will be located in the industrial park and will be hardly noticeable. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. The councilmen had no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the variance of use and incorporate the findings of fact for the “Get-Car-Fit business located at 10802 Joliet Street. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

H. RESOLUTION #15-07-23C, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING REPAYMENT OF TEMPORARY TRANSFERS AND LOAN OF FUNDS.

Mr. Forbes moved on to Resolution #15-07-23C, a resolution authorizing repayment of temporary transfers and loan of funds. He asked Ms. Sury to elaborate on this matter. Ms. Sury stated when the Town went self-funded in May, 2015, the funds were borrowed. She stated that this loan can only be extended two times per year.

Ms. Sury stated that the second extension ended in June. She stated that the loan had to be paid off, and since there is no money to pay the loan off, it had to be paid off and borrowed again. She stated that Resolution #s 15-07-23C and 15-07-23D would keep the Town’s bookkeeping clear and concise.

Mr. Forbes stated, hearing no questions, he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23C. ”So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

I. RESOLUTION #15-07-23D, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A TEMPORARY TRANSFER AND LOAN OF FUNDS.

Mr. Forbes moved on to Resolution #15-07-23D,a resolution authorizing a temporary transfer and loan of funds. He stated that Ms. Sury previously explained the purpose of Resolution #15-07-23D. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-07-23D. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Barenie had no reports.

Mr. Bustamante commented that the Town is growing but the Public Works Department number of plow trucks has remained the same. He stated that another large dump truck needs to be added to fleet in order to keep up the Town services.

Mr. Bustamante recommended that a bid process be started in order to procure a dump truck for next year. Mr. Bustamante stated that the Town has had five dump trucks for the last ten years and the Town has grown considerably during that time.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if any of the councilmen had an objection to seeking bids for a large dump truck. There were no objections. Mr. Kil stated this matter would likely be on the Council agenda in October.

The Civic Veterans Park flowers were discussed along with a memorial stone.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Gembala would be able to update the Council on the progress at Civic Veterans Park.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no reports or correspondence.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that the road paving project is almost complete with approximately 20 miles of road having been paved. He stated that the Plan Commission has been very busy with many new developments. Mr. Kil that work is ongoing on commercial projects in Town.

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

(General discussion ensued.)

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s June 1-30, 2015, report to the Council. Chief Frego stated that the National Night Out is scheduled for August 4, 2015, at Civic Park from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation.

He noted that the docket reflected the amount of $2,995,043.81. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $2,995,043.81. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $2,995,043.81. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called three times for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:51 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

08-27-2015 Town Council

August 27, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the August 27, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:10 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JULY 23, 2015, REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for July 23, 2015. He asked if there were any changes, amendments or corrections. There were no changes, amendments or corrections.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the July 23, 2015 regular meeting minutes as submitted. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Mr. Gembala abstained from the vote. Ayes --- Four. Nays --- none. Abstain --- one.

PROCLAMATION: SEPTEMBER 2015 AS CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Mr. Forbes announced that September, 2015, would be designated as Childhood Cancer Awareness month in St. John, Indiana. Mr. Forbes read the Proclamation into the record as follows:

“WHEREAS: Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year; about 11,630 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2013, and childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades; and WHEREAS: Because of major treatment advances in recent decades, more than 80% of children with cancer now survive 5 years or more, and overall, this is a huge increase since the mid-1970s when the 5 year survival rate was less than 60%; and WHEREAS: Different types of cancer can behave very differently; they grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. That is why children with cancer need treatment that is aimed at their particular kind of cancer; and WHEREAS: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 15 years old (after accidents) and about 1,310 children are expected to die from cancer in 2013. WHEREAS: About one in 500 young adults is a childhood cancer survivor, and nearly 2/3 of the survivors later experience significant and chronic medical problems or develop secondary cancers as adults that result from the treatment of their original cancer.”

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize the Proclamation. “So moved,” by Mr.Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PRESENTATION: ST. JOHN YOUTH BASEBALL 12U AND 8U TOMAHAWKS

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was the St. John Youth Baseball for twelve and under and eight and under Tomahawks.

Mr. Forbes invited the coaches for the eight and under Tomahawks step up to the podium. The eight and under Tomahawks were presented certificates. The coaches stated that the eight and under Tomahawks won the Northern State of Indiana and placed third in the Ohio Valley Region and many other accolades.

Mr. Forbes congratulated the eight and under Tomahawks.

(Audience applause.)

Mr. Forbes invited the coaches for the twelve and under Tomahawks to step up to the podium. The twelve and under Tomahawks were presented certificates.

Mr. Forbes congratulated the twelve and under Tomahawks.

The Council congratulated the Tomahawks for their winnings.

(Audience applause.)

The coaches presented the Town Council with their State Championship plaque. They invited the Council to display the plaque in the Town Hall for the duration of the year.

NEW BUSINESS

A. CONSIDER DISPOSAL OF CERTAIN TOWN-OWNED VEHICLES.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda under New Business was to consider disposal of certain town-owned vehicles. He stated there are four vehicles from the Public Works Department and four vehicles from the Police Department to be disposed of. Mr. Forbes stated that the vehicles will be sold at sealed bid.

Mr. Gembala stated keeping these vehicles would end up costing the Town than they’re worth. Mr. Bustamante concurred; he stated the vehicles are “pretty much on their last leg.”

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to advertise the vehicles for sealed bids. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. RESOLUTION #15-08-27, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE DISPOSAL OF CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY (APPROXIMATELY ONE (1) ACRE AT HEARTLAND PARK).

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda is Resolution #15-08-27, a resolution authorizing the disposal of certain real property, approximately one acre at Heartland Park.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this matter. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution #15-08-27. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Resolution #15-08-27. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY, COMMONLY KNOWN AS 9535 JOLIET STREET.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was authorization to purchase certain real property commonly known as 9535 Joliet Street. He stated the Town needs to acquire this property as a part of their future commercial development on Route 41. Mr. Forbes stated acquisition of this parcel is necessary for the public safety improvements that will go along with the development.

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

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to accept the offer and close the transaction upon the execution of the Uniform Land Acquisition Offer in the amount of $31,000.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER APPROVAL OF TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT EASEMENT AGREEMENTS FOR GDS HOLDING (FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION OF THE UTILITY BOARD).

Mr. Forbes stated the next item for the Council’s attention was to consider approval of a temporary and permanent easement agreements for GDS Holding, with a favorable recommendation from the Utility Board.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the easement agreements and authorize the Town Council President to sign the same. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. CONSIDER ORDINANCE #1614, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TREE BOARD.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item for the Council’s attention was to consider Ordinance #1614, an ordinance establishing a tree board. Mr. Forbes explained that the basic duties of this board would be to conserve existing tree vegetation throughout the Town, avoid conflicts with overhead and underground utilities, protect trees from unnecessary damage during construction, require sufficient mitigation of tree loss within the Town and require proper tree planting, pruning and other related duties and promote treatment of storm water runoff through the use of trees.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Volk commented that this was just a stepping stone to getting to the “Tree City status.” Mr. Forbes concurred.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #1614 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion to consider Ordinance #1614 on first reading. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1614. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

Mr. Bustamante asked for the status of the Employee policy. Mr. Kil stated the policy is awaiting Council comments.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Gembala had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes stated the early retirement package had been submitted to the employees. He stated approximately eight to ten employees took advantage of the offer of early retirement.

Mr. Forbes announced that Chief Frego is one of the individuals who accepted the early retirement package. Mr. Forbes stated there has been discussion about acquiring a firm to help the Town in its search for a chief.

Mr. Forbes stated he was looking for a motion to authorize the hiring a firm for the replacement chief. Mr. Barenie noted the firm would be GHR Government HR USC, which specializes in municipal hiring. He stated, in discussions, this company came out on top. Mr. Forbes noted there was a motion by Mr. Barenie; he asked for a second. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no reports or correspondence.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that Deputy Clerk Treasurer, Bev, has taken the early retirement option and has gone.

(General discussion ensued.)

Chief Frego presented the Police Department’s July 1-31, 2015, report to the Council.

Chief Frego stated that the new school year has started smoothly.

* * * * * *

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s July report to the Council.

Mr. Forbes complimented Chief Frego on the success of the National Night Out.

Chief Willman stated the Fire Department has installed their 23rd car seat today. There are six fire personnel and two police department individuals that have been trained in the car seat installation. He stated that there are scheduled appointments and walk-ins.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation.

He noted that the five page docket reflected the amount of $2,144,095.68. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $2,144,095.68. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He called twice for public comment. There was no public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 7:41 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

09-24-2015 Town Council

September 24, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the September 24, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: AUGUST 27, 2015, REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for August 27, 2015. He asked if there was any discussion on the minutes of August 27, 2015. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC HEARING

A. ORDINANCE NO. 1613, ST. JOHN MUNICIPAL BUDGET.
  1. PROOFS OF PUBLICATION
  2. OPENING REMARKS --- TOWN MANAGER
  3. OPEN THE FLOOR TO PUBLIC COMMENT
  4. CLOSED TO THE FLOOR
  5. TOWN COUNCIL ACTION --- MOTION TO CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1613 ON FIRST READING ONLY.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was a Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 1613, the St. John Municipal Budget. He asked Ms. Sury if the Proofs of Publication were in order. Ms. Sury stated no Proofs of Publication are necessary, as explained previously. She stated everything is on Gateway.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if he had any remarks. Mr. Kil stated that the Town will end up with the exact same operating budget that they had this year. He stated the revenue projections are about the same and they expect the collections to be the same. Mr. Kil stated a three percent employee salary increase was budgeted for, as well budgeting to hire one additional police officer.

Mr. Kil stated housing starts are really good, and the budget is scheduled for 60 housing starts. He stated the Town always budgets for 60, and as of now, this year, there are approximately 130 housing starts. Mr. Kil stated this is how the cash is built into the general fund and how the Town is able to maintain a balanced budget.

Mr. Forbes stated, for the record, the adopted budget is $8,824,583.00, the adopted tax levy is $5,702,262.00, and the adopted tax rate is .7106. He asked the Council if they had any questions before he opened the public hearing. There were no questions from the Council.

Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing. He directed those wishing to speak to state their name and address for the record.

PUBLIC HEARING

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive
Mr. Hero asked if the budget provided anything for fire hydrant markers. Mr. Kil stated that this would be a Water Department budget item. Mr. Kil stated that not every hydrant will be marked, but only selected hydrants that are usually covered with snow will have whips placed on them. He stated there are in excess of 1,200 fire hydrants in Town.

Mr. Hero stated that he objects to the budget that does not include hydrant markers for all of the hydrants in Town. He stated every hydrant should have a marker, whether it comes out of the general fund or any other fund. He stated this is important for the safety of the community so the fire hydrants can be located when there is a snow.

Mr. Hero asked about the retirement package that was offered this year. He stated he did not understand why this was done. Mr. Hero asked if there was a retirement package in the next budget. Mr. Forbes responded, “No.”

Mr. Hero mentioned the lawsuit between the Clerk-Treasurer and the Town Council. He asked if legal fees were budgeted in order to continue the lawsuit. Mr. Kil stated that normal legal expenses were budgeted for. Mr. Hero asked, “How much do you anticipate that to cost next year?” Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil both responded with “Unknown.”

Mr. Hero stated if the Council budgeted for political work by a councilman in next year’s budget. Mr. Forbes responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Mr. Hero stated he has a right to make his objections to the budget. He stated the Council cannot silence him.

Mr. Hero stated on July 7, July 8, July 10 and July 13th money was spent on political work. He asked, again, if money was budgeted for political work to promote a candidate. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council has not done any political work to promote or not promote a candidate; he stated Mr. Hero was clearly mistaken in his information.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment.

Jolene Myers, 12022 North Oakwood Drive:
Ms. Myers stated she is present on behalf of the residents in her subdivision. She stated that in the past four years there has been an influx of children on her street. She stated Oakwood Drive was not one of the streets that was repaved last year. Ms. Myers stated the majority of her street ends up in front of her house.

Ms. Myers stated she has a petition signed by the majority of the residents in her subdivision for speed bumps to be installed and for the streets to be repaved. She said the speeders in her subdivision have become a major safety issue. Ms. Myers stated that the subdivision is literally like a drag strip. She stated the three stop signs are “optional.” Rainwater Park is near her home where lots of children play.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further comments.

Patrick Connelly, 9354 East Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Connelly stated he heard there was a woman who worked for the Town of St. John for nine months and she has been offered the $25,000 buyout.

Mr. Forbes stated that the public hearing is being held for the budget. He stated that Mr. Connelly’s question should be asked during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment on the municipal budget. He called again for public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they had any questions or discussion on Ordinance No. 1613. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve Ordinance No. 1613, on first reading only. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/2). Mr. Gembala and Mr. Bustamante abstained from the vote.

NEW BUSINESS

A. OPENING OF SEALED BIDS FOR TOWN-OWNED VEHICLES.

Mr. Forbes noted under New Business the opening of sealed bids for Town owned vehicles was first on the agenda.

Attorney Austgen stated that Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, just handed him the Proofs of Publication. Attorney Austgen noted that both of the publications adhere to the requirements of law and the bid opening could be properly conducted. He noted the bids were all sealed.

Attorney Austgen opened the bids as follows:

Black 2006 Dodge Charger
Stan’s Towing & Recovery Service: $1,200.00
Gay Hernandez: Attorney Austgen noted this bid contained no price.
Don Strom: $1,401.00
Bob Davis: $1,151.00
Yousef Dabbagh: $1,568.00

Black/White 2006 Dodge Charger
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $711.00
Jason Salamah: $502.75
Bill Garvin: $1,007.00
Yousef Dabbagh: $1,168.00

Black/White 2005 Ford Crown Victoria
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $500.00
Yousef Dabbagh: $468.00

Black 1989 Chevy Suburban
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $750.00
Thomas B. Hamer: $2,205.00
Bob Davis: $1,151.00

Yellow 1995 GMC 1500 Pickup Truck
Bill Garvin: $804.00
Jason Witt: $600.00
Bob Davis: $876.00

Yellow 1995 International 4700 7 Yard Dump Truck
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $500.00
Bill Garvin: $959.00
George Perez: $2,000.00
Robert McKlima: $2000.00

White/Blue 2005 Ford F-450 Super Duty 2-Door 2-Yard Dump Truck
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $2,000.00
Frank Buck: $6,200.00
George Perez: $3,500.00
Jason Witt: $501.00
Robert McKlima: $3,000.00
Yousef Dabbagh: $668.00

White 2006 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x4 Pickup Truck
Diana Miller: $3,100.00
Stan’s Towing & Recovery: $4,012.00
Gab Hernandez: $7,001.00
Frank Buck: $5,100.00
Phil Garden: $9,909.00
George Perez: $7,500.00
Robert McKlima: $5,000.00
Yousef Dabbagh: $2,668.00

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Gembala announced that Saturday, September 26, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. the park behind the Town Hall will be dedicated as Veterans Civic Park, a park dedicated to military veterans. The dedication is being held by the Town in conjunction with the VFW post. Mr. Gembala encouraged everyone to attend.

Mr. Bustamante announced that Wiggly Field dog park will open Monday at 6:00 p.m. He invited everyone to attend and bring their dogs.

Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Barenie had no reports.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Parade of Homes is being held in St. John. He stated it was the first single site Parade of Homes that has taken place in seven years. Mr. Forbes stated, to date, two thousand people have attended the Parade of Homes. He noted that the developer who secured the Parade of Homes this year has also secured the same for next year, again, in the Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes announced that Lake Hills Haunted House opens on October 2, 2015. He stated that the Town is fortunate to have great kids working at this event, and the kids are what make the Lake Hills Haunted House a success. Mr. Forbes asked the Council to consider setting aside Thursday, October 29, 2015, at the Lake Hills Haunted House as a fund-raising night for Dollars for Scholars.

Mr. Forbes proposed that any money brought in on October 29, 2015, at the Lake Hills Haunted House event be turned into scholarships for the kids in the Town’s schools. Mr. Forbes proposed dividing the proceeds of the fundraiser between two schools, Lake Central High School and Hanover Central High School. Mr. Forbes stated that the kids work so hard at this event and awarding a scholarship would just be a “thank you” to them. He asked the Council for their comments.

Mr. Bustamante commented that this proposal was a good idea. The councilmen had no objections to Mr. Forbes proposal. Mr. Forbes stated he had consulted with the Town’s attorney and the scholarship award would be an allowable use of funds generated from the Haunted House event.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to make Thursday, October 29, 2015, Dollars for Scholars night at the Lake Hills Haunted House. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no reports or correspondence.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no reports.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil announced that on Sunday, September 27, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. the Make a Wish Foundation will be at the GameStop in St. John. The event is being held at GameStop for a cancer stricken young man named Matthew who is into gaming and computers. He stated Matthew is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Mr. Kil invited all those present to attend this event.

* * * * * *

Chief Fred Frego presented the Police Department’s August 1-31, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s August, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Willman announced that on Sunday, October 4, 2015, the Fire Department will have its annual Public Safety Open House. He invited everyone to attend.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation.

He noted that the five page docket reflected the amount of $1,104,280.15. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve payment of the bills in the amount of $1,104,280.15. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He asked anyone wishing to speak to provide their name and address for the record.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Joe Hero, 11712 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated he asked a question at the budget meeting about payments made on July 8, July 9, July 10 and July 13. He stated these payments totaled approximately $1255.00. He asked the Council to explain to him why these monies spent were not a misappropriation of funds. Mr. Hero asked the following questions: Who ordered this work done? Who ordered the Town’s attorney to do the work? What was the purpose of doing this work?

Mr. Kil noted that Attorney Austgen was not paid for these bills. Mr. Forbes concurred. Mr. Hero stated the bills weren’t paid because the Clerk-Treasurer stopped the payment. Mr. Hero asked who ordered attorney to do political work.

Mr. Forbes, again, stated that the bills were not paid. He asked Mr. Hero if he had any further comments. Mr. Hero stated he wanted an answer to his questions. He stated that these expenditures appear to be a misappropriation of funds.

Mr. Kil stated that he had ordered the legal work done. Mr. Hero questioned that the Town Manager would order legal work. Mr. Kil explained that he usually consults with the Town’s attorney and routinely asks him for legal opinions.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes remarked that the question had been answered.

Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil why he ordered this work. Mr. Kil explained that he likes to ensure that everything is valid and in accordance with the law. Mr. Kil reiterated when he has a legal question, he consults with the Town’s attorney as he has done for the past 24 years.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Hero alleged that this was political work. He asked why the Town Manager would order political work.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Hero’s questions had been asked and answered.

George Perez 10241West 93rd Avenue:
Mr. Perez stated he had a bid on one of the vehicles and there happened to be a tie in that there were two bids of the same price. Mr. Forbes stated that this matter would have to be taken under advisement; he said he did not want to debate this matter here and now. Mr. Forbes stated that the matter would be reviewed and Mr. Perez would be contacted and there would be an explanation of what needs to be done.

Patrick Connelly, 9354 East Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Connelly stated he had heard that one of Town of St. John’s employees who was hired nine months ago is entitled to a $25,000 buyout from the early retirement package that the Town had offered its employees. He asked how the Town could justify someone doing a job for nine months and then being eligible for a $25,000 buyout.

Mr. Kil explained that the Town thought it best not to discriminate against any of the employees. He stated that any employee who had reached the eligible age by the end of the year 2015, regardless of years of service, was deemed eligible for the retirement buyout and it was thought best not to exclude them. Mr. Kil stated, yes, the employee was very short term, yes, the employee met the criteria, and yes, it was thought best not to discriminate against anybody.

Mr. Connelly stated his understanding of the St. John Police Department’s “evening into the morning shift for the police officers” is that there are only two police officers working on this shift. He stated he recently learned that in the past 10 years, St. John has grown to 16,000 residents.

Mr. Connelly stated he had called six other police departments and all of these departments said they have at least four police officers working this particular shift. He stated if something were to happen, say, the police officers were outnumbered in a situation, this would present a safety issue. He asked if a couple more police officers could be put on this shift for safety purposes for the two working police officers. Mr. Connelly reiterated that the Town is growing and its population has doubled in ten years. He stated that a couple of more police officers should be added on in the evenings.

Mr. Forbes said he understood and appreciates Mr. Connelly’s opinion. He stated that the Council relies heavily upon the opinion of the police chief. Mr. Forbes stated if the police chief felt it was necessary he would certainly schedule more police officers for this shift.

Chief Frego explained that there are not always two officers on the night shift, sometimes there are three and four officers working. He stated, unfortunately, the department has experienced a time in which three officers were injured on duty and were off on worker’s compensation.

Chief Frego reiterated that there are times when there are three to four officers working. He stated during the times that two officers are working, the Department relies on mutual aid where the Schererville, Dyer and County will back the Department up. He stated, in a critical incident, there will be several officers on-scene in minutes. Mr. Connelly stated he was looking at this from a safety standpoint.

Mr. Connelly stated he had heard that an outside entity had been hired to find a new police chief, and the cost of this service is $18,000. He did not understand why Mr. Kil or the Council would not perform this function. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council wanted to take every bit of politics out of the potential hiring of a new police chief and that is why an outside firm is vetting for a police chief.

Mr. Connelly stated that his understanding is that there is a police officer who was injured on the job and sat at home for over two years while being paid. He stated it was his understanding that this officer was released in August, 2014. Mr. Connelly stated his understanding is sometimes this officer gets work, sometimes he doesn’t. He stated he does not understand why, if this police officer was released by his doctor, he isn’t back on the force. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council could not speak to this matter because it was a personnel matter.

Mr. Connelly stated while he was off of work from being injured on duty he spoke to two town councilmen about a splash pad being built in Prairie West Park. He stated all of the piping went in and, “all of a sudden, mysteriously,” the Town ran out of funds. Mr. Connelly stated he was told by the two councilmen, “We had pipe --- we had pumps, fittings, valves, over a million dollars’ worth of stuff.” Mr. Connelly asked what happened with this project.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Connelly’s recollection of the timeframe was not accurate. He stated that the reason the splash pad didn’t go into Prairie West Park is because the Town Council did not want the splash pad in Prairie West Park. Mr. Kil stated the splash pad project was years ago.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated this was a project from a previous council. He stated it has been at least eight years since this project was even ever discussed. Mr. Connelly stated his recollection is that the conversations he had with the councilmen were in 2010, when he was off of work with a job-related injury.

Mr. Forbes explained that Heron Lake Park was upgraded and a splash park was constructed there, and that is where the primary investment went as far as a splash park. Mr. Forbes stated that since 2008, a splash park in Prairie West Park has not been discussed.

Mr. Connelly stated he spoke with Mr. Forbes on the phone. Mr. Forbes stated there was no way he discussed a splash park in Prairie West Park with Mr. Connelly via telephone. Mr. Connelly stated, for the record and with all due respect, “There’s two town councilmen and you were one of them that we spoke about it.”

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Connelly if he had any further comments. Mr. Connelly stated, “Yes, --- I don’t want to get somebody in trouble there because --- we can go through that story. I guess we’ll have to go about it another way.”

John Rainwater 8737 North Oak Wood Drive:
Mr. Rainwater stated that his neighbor, Jolene, accompanied him to the meeting tonight. He stated when you come into his subdivision off of Patterson, up the hill and to the right, there is a big white fence and then there is a playground. Mr. Rainwater stated the street dead ends when you turn right. He stated one evening he went out to get his mail and he almost got ran over by a driver who was making a right turn without stopping for the stop sign.

Mr. Rainwater stated vehicles don’t stop for the stop signs. He stated when you turn left/right onto North Oakwood Drive, you have to look to see who is on North Oakwood Drive and wait for the drivers to make their turn. Mr. Rainwater stated there is a 20 mile per hour speed limit; he recommended lowering the speed limit to 10 miles per hour by the park. Mr. Rainwater recommended a police presence in the neighborhood to apprehend those drivers who break the traffic laws.

Mr. Rainwater stated that it’s a safe subdivision with a lot of kids who use the park. He stated the only thing the kids have to worry about is getting run over by the drivers coming in and out of the subdivision. Mr. Rainwater stated that the only time the drivers do obey the stop signs is if there is a police officer monitoring traffic on Patterson.

Mr. Rainwater stated his street is just falling apart. He stated he has asked questions about the street being paved and has not received an estimate of when the street will be repaired. He asked how far in advance the Town projects which streets will be paved. Mr. Rainwater stated the top two inches of black top is off of his road.

Mr. Forbes stated they could direct the police chief to have a special detail sit in the subdivision to monitor traffic. He stated as far as the streets go, the street conditions are assessed every year by the Town’s engineer, and the Council relies on the engineer’s opinion to prioritize the road paving/replacement project. Mr. Rainwater stated he has lived in Town for 50 years and believes his road has only been paved once.

Mr. Rainwater stated that he has not heard what NIPSCO is doing for the Town of St. John. He stated that if his neighborhood gets a feed from the big, new substation on Alexander Street, still, the power lines going down Patterson are 100 years old, and the wires are so small that they don’t feed all of the homes. Mr. Rainwater stated his fluorescent light will not come on in the afternoon when it’s hot and sticky outside, but at night, when it cools off and everybody goes to bed, the light works beautiful. He stated this would be a problem of the service and not his light.

Mr. Rainwater opined that NIPSCO likes to keep its customers in the dark. He stated NIPSCO keeps their projects “secret.” Mr. Rainwater asked Mr. Kil if he had communicated with anybody from NIPSCO. Mr. Kil stated that the NIPSCO representative he communicates with is a retired NIPSCO employee, and he is the consultant on the current substation improvement going on in St. John.

Mr. Kil explained that the substation is going in, in part, so NIPSCO can feed Mr. Rainwater’s subdivision from another direction. He stated that NIPSCO is putting the new substation in for a reason and there is no doubt that the substation will improve Mr. Rainwater’s service. Mr. Kil acknowledged that the power lines are 100 years old on Patterson, but there is nothing he can do about this.

Mr. Kil stated he did not want to debate Mr. Rainwater about the power grids. Mr. Rainwater explained the layout of the power lines/grids.

Mr. Rainwater stated, “None of you people want to get involved in in it because I’ve heard someone say we don’t want to make NIPSCO mad.” Mr. Forbes stated he never said that. Mr. Kil stated that there is nothing he could tell Mr. Rainwater right now about NIPSCO other than they’re building a substation.

Mr. Forbes stated that issues are being chipped off of Mr. Rainwater’s list of concerns, one at a time. He stated NIPSCO is installing a new transformer, Lake Central has been taken off of Mr. Rainwater’s grid and a new substation is being constructed. Mr. Forbes acknowledged that Mr. Rainwater also wants his telephone poles and wire replaced. He stated that issues are being worked on and things are getting done.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Rainwater if he had any further comment. Mr. Rainwater suggested that a NIPSCO representative be invited attend a meeting to answer questions and address problems. Mr. Rainwater stated nobody is interested in backing him up or asking NIPSCO any questions.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Rainwater if he had any further comments. Mr. Rainwater stated he hoped that something could be done in his subdivision before something happens to one of the kids.

Mr. Forbes called for further public comment.

Scott (unintelligible) 8929 Crooked Bend:
Scott stated he was the president of the Lake Hills Homeowners Association. He stated that NIPSCO is bringing the lines down 85th Street in front of the Lake Hills subdivision and they are using some massive poles. Scott stated that the residents of the subdivision do not want the poles across the front of the subdivision, because it has one of the nicest views of any subdivision in Town.

Scott stated that right now the lines are underground in this area. He asked Mr. Kil if he had heard anything more on this issue. Mr. Kil stated that NIPSCO was directed to put the lines underground. Scott stated it’s such a nice view he hates to see it ruined by the massive poles. Mr. Kil stated that NIPSCO is aware that the lines need to go underground.

Don Ferris, 8544 County Court:
Mr. Ferris stated he wished to thank the councilmen and the Board of Zoning Appeals for not bending to Lake Central’s demands for their sign. He stated the sign would be a safety hazard for everyone travelling up and down Highway 41.

Mr. Ferris stated approximately three years ago when Lake Central was making plans for the addition to the high school, they were going to install an electric gate in the back of the high school going towards Heron Lake. He stated that the electric gate is not there although gates have been put up all over around the high school.

Mr. Ferris stated the absence of the electric gate has created traffic flow through Lake Central High School at all hours of the night. He stated his back yard backs up to the high school in this location and he sees the traffic.

Mr. Ferris stated if there was anything the Council could do about the electric gate, it would be appreciated. He stated he would love to see the electric gate go up and he would let all of the local residents who live there know about it. Mr. Ferris stated nothing has been done about putting up the electric gate.

Mr. Ferris stated his understanding is that the Town has an ordinance regarding tractor trailers being parked in parking lots. He stated that the Lake Central band trailer is parked in the freshman parking lot. Mr. Ferris stated the trailer is an eyesore. He stated that the high school has a bus barn area where the trailer should be parked. Mr. Ferris stated that the trailer has been parked in this parking lot for a couple of weeks, and it seems like it stays parked there for periods of time. He reiterated that the trailer is an eyesore, and if it’s against the Town’s ordinance he would like to see it moved.

Mr. Forbes stated that it would have to be double checked to see if the ordinance applies to this trailer or not. He stated the ordinance is pretty specific to tractor trailers. Mr. Ferris reiterated the trailer is there.

Mr. Ferris thanked the Council for their service to the community.

Chis Romolo, 11541 West 97th Lane:
Mr. Romolo stated he wanted to say the same thing Mr. Ferris did, “Thank you, guys, for everything you do for the community, the parks the dog park.” He stated he lives near the dog park and he will take advantage of it.

Mr. Romolo stated that speeding in St. John is a big problem. He stated that somebody needs to do something about it. Mr. Romolo stated he has a three year old son and more kids coming. He stated that there is a lot of traffic and the cars blow through stop signs. Mr. Romolo reiterated that this problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Patrick Connelly, 9354 East Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Connelly stated on Keilman Street and 93rd Avenue people have been complaining about drivers speeding down this street. He stated if you come up 93rd Avenue and head south, there is a 20 mph sign posted, but coming north on Keilman Street from School Street, there is no 20 mph sign posted in this location. Mr. Connelly stated maybe speed bumps would help or installation of a speed limit sign.

Steve Lazroff, 14900 (unintelligible) Drive:
Mr. Lazroff asked what will be done to accommodate traffic for the new Preserve subdivision going in off of 93rd Avenue. Mr. Forbes stated that an extensive traffic study will be done prior to any approval for the subdivision. He stated this developer went before the Plan Commission and this was a hot topic. Mr. Forbes stated there is no information right now, but the development will be looked at it very, very closely.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

10-22-2015 Town Council

October 22, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the October 22, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: SEPTEMBER 24, 2015, REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for September 24, 2015. He asked if there were any questions on the September 24, 2015, meeting minutes. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes. Mr. Gembala made a motion to approve the September 24, 2015, meeting minutes as posed. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

OLD BUSINESS

A. ORDINANCE NO. 1613, ST. JOHN MUNICIPAL BUDGET.

Mr. Forbes announced the next item on the agenda is Ordinance Number 1613, St. John 2016 Municipal Budget. He stated that total adopted budget will be $8,824,583.00. He asked if there were any questions on the budget. There were no questions on the budget.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance Number 1613. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/0/2). Ayes --- three. Nays --- none. Abstain --- two. Mr. Gembala and Mr. Bustamante abstained from the vote.

NEW BUSINESS

A. AWARD OF SEALED BIDS FOR TOWN-OWNED VEHICLES.

Mr. Forbes noted under New Business the Award of Sealed Bids for Town-Owned Vehicles was the next item for the Council’s attention. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Austgen about the tie bid that came in. Attorney Austgen responded that this matter had resolved itself as one of the co-tie bidders withdrew from the process. Attorney Austgen stated that the Council could award the bid to the remaining bidder if they deemed it appropriate.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil recommended that each vehicle be awarded to the high bidder. Mr. Forbes asked if there was any further discussion. There was no further discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to award the vehicles to the highest bidders. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER VARIANCE OF USE FOR WELLMAN’S DRIVE WHOLESALE (FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS)

Mr. Forbes moved on to the next item on the agenda, Consider Variance of Use for Wellman’s Drive Wholesale. He stated that the item came with a favorable recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this matter.

Mr. Kil stated that the gentleman who owned Wellman’s Drive Wholesale was present in the audience tonight. He asked Mr. Wellman to step forward and give the Council a brief description of his plans for this location.

Mr. Wellman appeared before the Board. He stated that he is a St. John resident, living at 8882 Winding Trail. Mr. Wellman stated he is looking to purchase the building at 9119 Wicker Avenue. He stated he will utilize this space for his wholesale automotive business.

Mr. Wellman stated that the BZA has set forth certain stipulations for the use of the property at 9119 Wicker Avenue. Mr. Wellman explained the first stipulation is privacy fencing must be erected on the south and east sides of the business. He stated, secondly, the BZA stipulated that he could install posts with a gate on the front of the property on the northeast side of the parking lot.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Wellman stated he is not looking for a retail location. He stated he has run a wholesale automotive business for almost nine years, and 99 percent of his business is wholesale. Mr. Wellman stated he was looking to purchase a piece of property and he would like to purchase and use this particular building because of its size.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Wellman stated he will put up a sign because the State requires one. He stated he will need a sign on the building.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any further discussion. There was no further discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to grant or deny the variance. Mr. Barenie made a motion to approve the variance of use and incorporate the findings of fact from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL:

Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Gembala had nothing to report.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Bustamante asked Ms. Sury if she would be in her office on Friday.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Bustamante stated that there would be a few people ready to pick up their vehicles on Friday.

Mr. Barenie had no reports.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury asked permission of the Council to release a check for an annexation refund. She stated this voucher is on the docket.

(General discussion ensued.)

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no reports.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil announced that the Plan Commission has sent a favorable recommendation to the Council to reduce a letter of credit for Kilkenny Estates, Unit 4, Block 1, from $283,949.60 to $17,500.00. He stated if the Council would act on this matter, it will be taken care of on Friday for Mr. James.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain on the reduction of the letter of credit for Kilkenny Estates, Unit 4, Block 1. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

* * * * * *

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s September, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Fred Frego presented the Fire Department’s September 1-30, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Frego commended all of the police officers from St. John and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department for their tremendous response to the armed robbery that took place a few weeks ago in St. John. He stated that a suspect was apprehended approximately an hour and a half after the robbery.

Mr. Gembala thanked both Chief Willman and Chief Frego on the successful open house held on October 3, 2015.

Mr. Forbes stated he would present a Request to Purchase before moving on to payment of the bills. He stated the Request to Purchase is in the amount of $236,950.00 for an order to Underground Pipe and Valve for 770 water meters, 203 quarter-inch meters, 550 one inch meters and the registration of the same. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the Request to Purchase.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize the Request to Purchase in the amount of $236,950.00. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize the Request to Purchase. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation.

He noted that the five-page docket reflected the amount of $1,278,880.19 He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He asked anyone wishing to speak to provide their name and address for the record.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Edmund Dennis Michelchevski, 12104 West 95th Place:
Mr. Michelchevski stated he has been a resident of St. John for almost 28 years. He stated that the Town recently passed an ordinance prohibiting RVs from being parked in residential driveways beginning in the month of October; he does not agree with the ordinance. Mr. Michelchevski stated that when you’re an RV owner, time is needed to clean out and winterize the vehicle right around this time of year (October.).

Mr. Michelchevski stated that the month of October is one of the best times of the year to go camping. He stated the month of October is also the time of year when he needs the time to park his RV in the driveway to prepare it for winter, and it takes a few days to do this. Mr. Michelchevski stated he would like to see this ordinance revisited and changed to include the month of October.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil recommended that Mr. Michelchevski consult Chief Frego and obtain a temporary permit in order to park his RV at his residence, which would help him this year.

Mr. Kil stated that the ordinance will have to be presented to the Plan Commission because it is within this body’s authority to amend this ordinance.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that they had the authority tonight to stay the enforcement of the ordinance in the month of October as indicated by Mr. Michelchevski. Mr. Forbes stated he wasn’t inclined to stay the ordinance for the month of October as he thought it would be problematic. Mr. Forbes requested that Mr. Michelchevski seek a temporary permit through the Police Department to park his RV in his driveway.

Mr. Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu stated, “I demand the immediate firing of Chief Frego. No $35,000.00 for him to retire in December.” He also demanded the firing of Steve Kil and Attorney Austgen. Mr. Bugariu asked that Mr. Bustamante and Mr. Forbes to resign.

Mr. Bugariu stated in 2007, his house was illegally sold in an attempt to get him out of St. John. Jerry Tiebel, Vice-President of the Town Council, at the time come by his property and mark all of the bushes in red from West 90th to all of the way out past the back of his house, and these bushes were removed from his lot and from the park.

Mr. Bugariu stated, “When, you, Frego and the other guys are coming to pass me out and maybe even kill me,” they had passes from the front or the back of his residence. He demanded these people to be taken out of their positions.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

11-19-2015 Town Council

November 19, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the November 19, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES: OCTOBER 22, 2015, REGULAR MEETING.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for October 22, 2015. He asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of October 22, 2015. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS

A. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-11-19, A RESOLUTION APPROVING AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION --- PUBLIC HEARING.

Mr. Forbes announced the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2015-11-19, a Resolution Approving an Additional Appropriation. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Austgen if the Proofs of Publication were in order. Attorney Austgen noted that there were two Notices for Public Hearing, one in the Post Tribune on November 7, 2015 and another published in the Northwest Indiana Times on November 9, 2015. He stated that the publications are in order and the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury if she had a presentation for the Council. She responded she would explain the appropriations if the Council needed an explanation. Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury why the money was being appropriated.

Ms. Sury stated that there was money in the fund but not the appropriation. Mr. Forbes asked what the money would be spent on. Ms. Sury briefly explained where the money would be appropriated as follows, fire department, personal services; Building and Planning, services and supplies; MBH, supplies and services; Park Department, other services; Waterworks, supplies; lease payment; CCI, equipment; cum sewer, other equipment.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie noted that this would be the third lease payment this year and the lease payments are made only twice a year. Ms. Sury explained that the payment was “messed up.” Mr. Kil acknowledged that this is the third payment in this calendar year due to a payment that was due on December 31, 2014, being paid in January of 2015.

Mr. Barenie asked if there was a system in place so the payment would be made timely. Ms. Sury explained that it was promised that the invoice would be sent on time and it wasn’t.

(General discussion ensued.)

There was no further comment from the Council. Mr. Forbes opened the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero requested that the State Board of Accounts audit the Town of St. John financials immediately to look at the expenditures and identify if there have been any misappropriations made and, if so, have the misappropriations impacted any of the appropriations before the Council tonight.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1615, REZONE OF THE HUPPENTHAL/HERMAN/THE PRESERVES OF SCHILTON HILLS FROM R-1 TO RC-1 PUD.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was to consider Ordinance No. 1615, the Rezone of the Huppenthal/Herman/The Preserves of Schilton Hills from R-1 to RC-1PUD. Mr. Forbes noted that this item came with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1615.

Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1615, a rezone of The Preserves of Schilton Hills from R-1 to RC-1 PUD. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1617, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A SCHEDULE OF WAGES AND SALARIES FOR THE TOWN OF ST. JOHN.

Mr. Forbes note the next item for the Council’s attention was Ordinance 1617, an Ordinance Establishing a Schedule of Wages and Salaries for the Town of St. John. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the Council. There were no questions from the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance 1617 on first reading.

(General discussion ensued.)

“So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1617. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1617. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none. Mr. Gembala abstained.

D. CONSIDER APPOINTMENT TO THE ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was an appointment to the St. John Plan Commission. He stated that staff member, Mr. Tom Redar, has stepped down from his appointment to the Plan Commission because he is retiring at the end of the month.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to appoint Mr. Greg Volk to the Plan Commission. Mr. Barenie made a motion to appoint Mr. Greg Volk to the Plan Commission. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-11-19A, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE.

Mr. Forbes addressed the next item on the agenda, Resolution No. 2015-11-19A, a Resolution Authorizing the Transfer of Certain Real Estate. He asked the Council if they had any questions or comments. Mr. Volk noted there were some considerations for the buyer. Mr. Forbes stated his belief that an agreement will be formed for whoever purchases the property.

Mr. Kil stated there will be an approximate 40,000 square foot addition onto the ice arena. He stated Midwest is doing very well. The plan is to open up the second sheet of ice again and take the gymnastics portion of the business and move it into the new facility. He stated more parking will be recreated on site at the location of the sand volley ball pits and the volley ball pits will be reconstructed next to the new parking. Mr. Kil noted all costs are to be borne by the buyer.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19. Mr. Volk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2015-11-19A. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER BID AWARD FOR CERTAIN REAL ESTATE CONSISTING OF APPROXIMATELY ONE ACRE, MORE OR LESS, LOCATED AT 106000 WHITE OAK AVENUE.

Mr. Forbes stated the Council will Consider a Bid Award for Certain Real Estate Consisting of Approximately One Acre, more or less, located at 10600 White Oak Avenue.

Attorney Austgen explained that there are certain statutory processes in Indiana for the disposal of real property which exceeds a certain dollar amount, in this case, $15,000. He stated an appraisal was made of the property slated for disposal in consideration for a development agreement which was previously explained by Mr. Kil. Attorney Austgen stated that the developer has entered into an agreement with the Town that assures the Town of the nature, type, status and quality of the use proposed for the real property.

Attorney Austgen stated that the development agreement is being worked on. He stated that the bid is consistent with the covenants of law following publication of Notice to Bidder in the newspaper(s), which allowed interested individuals to come in and make a bid. He stated one bid was received. Attorney Austgen recommended that the Council consider the bid contingent upon creation of a development agreement that the Town can enter in to wherein the terms and conditions are acceptable. He characterized the award as being a conditional award.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion on the bid award. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain motion to accept the bid award contingent upon an acceptable purchase agreement and a development agreement that is consistent with representations made by bidder/developer and including a project plan. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.
TOWN COUNCIL:
Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Gembala stated he hoped the Town would continue the enforcement of their sign.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Bustamante informed the Council that Christmas in the Park would start at 7:00 p.m. on November 27.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie had no reports.

Mr. Forbes stated he had two Requests to Purchase for Cargill for salt, the first request is for 360 tons at $28,767.60 and the second request is for 1,440 tons at $115,070.40. Mr. Kil commented that these purchases encompass the Town buying their contracted amount of salt, with more on reserve.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize the purchases. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize payment of these bills. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he had two Requests to Purchase a large plow truck and equipment. The first request was for Pozzo Truck in the amount of $93,706.20 for a truck and chassis, the second request was for Linco Equipment for accessories including a plow and spreader in the amount of $81,101.00. Mr. Forbes stated the truck will make a great addition to the Town’s fleet for snow removal. He stated the truck would not be in service until next year.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to authorize payment for the Request to Purchase in the amounts of $93,706.20 and $81,101.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes gave a report on the Haunted House for 2015. He stated there were 90 volunteer high school students along with a few adults. Mr. Forbes stated he could not thank enough the actors/actresses who participated. He stated St. John’s Haunted House was the recipient of two awards this year. Horror Tours selected St. John’s Haunted House for their Hall of Fame for the second year in a row. Haunted House Chicago awarded one of the young actresses with a 2015 acting award. Mr. Forbes commented that this acting award spoke volumes of the ability of the young actress.

Mr. Forbes stated that Haunted House was visited by 3,551 persons and 279 children. Total expenses: $38,597.20; Total Revenue: 52,325.00; Profit: $14,727.80. Mr. Forbes stated that October 29 revenues from the Haunted House were to be equally divided to the Dollars for Scholars program for students at Lake Central High School and Hanover Central High School. He stated that October 29 revenues amounted to $2,895. He asked the Council to bump up the amount to an even $3,000.00 and award each school $1,500.00.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to add the additional monies out of the Haunted House fund to round up the scholarship award amount to $3,000.00. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize the additional funds. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Lion’s Club participates in the Haunted House activities on Kids Days by passing out candy and making the Haunted House a pleasant experience for the kids. He stated typically they donate $500.00 to the Lion’s Club to reimburse them for their expenses.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to make a $500 donation to the Lion’s Club. Mr. Volk made a motion to authorize a $500 donation to the Lion’s Club. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury had no reports.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no reports.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil asked the Council to authorize Christmas Eve as a holiday, as is the custom, so the day could be planned properly and staffed.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize Christmas Eve as a holiday for the Town’s staff. Mr. Barenie made a motion to authorize December 24, 2015, as a holiday. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Kil informed the Council that their next meeting, the last meeting of the year, would be held on December 17, 2015.

* * * * * *

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s October, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Fred Frego presented the Fire Department’s October 1-31, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. He noted that the five-page docket reflected the amount of $1,440,025.34 He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He asked anyone wishing to speak to provide their name and address for the record.

P U B L I C C O M M E N T

Jerry Swets, 9490 Joliet
Mr. Swets noted Ordinance No. 1617, wherein the Town established wages and salaries. He asked if this information was available somewhere for him to view. Mr. Forbes directed him to the Clerk’s Office. Mr. Kil stated all employees received a three percent wage. Mr. Kil indicated that Mr. Swets could call with questions.

Mr. Swets asked if information regarding the real estate resolution was also available for his viewing. Mr. Kil stated that this was a legal transaction and was published in the newspaper; he stated the purchase price was $26,000.00. Mr. Swets asked if the Town was in the habit of selling green space. Mr. Kil responded that this transaction was basically pavement and not green space.

Mr. Swets stated he is interested in the Town’s activities. He stated he is a member of St. John Homeowner’s PAC, a legally formed political action committee. Mr. Swets stated that this is the first meeting of the Council since the election, and he supposed congratulations were in order to Mr. Forbes, Mr. Barenie and Mr. Hastings.

Mr. Swets described himself a “Calm and reasonable guy. I try to play fair but I play to win.” He stated he felt like he had been punched in the gut by the Town. Mr. Swets stated on election night one of the PAC members went out and put some signs out that PAC had paid for.

Mr. Swets stated he showed up at the library the next morning to do his civic duty, trying to influence voters to vote the way he wanted them to vote. He stated that he noticed none of his signs were around and he found out later on that Mr. Kil had removed the signs the night before. He stated he also found out that Mr. Forbes was present and watched Mr. Kil remove the signs. He wondered “what the heck was going on?” Mr. Swets stated it is against the law in the State of Indiana to remove political signs.

Mr. Swets stated the PAC wanted their signs back. Mr. Kil stated he could certainly have this conversation with Mr. Swets. He stated Mr. Hero put up the signs. Mr. Kil stated he wrote Mr. Hero a letter informing him that he was in violation of the sign ordinance and everything was cited.

Mr. Kil stated that the placement of the illegal signs, like the ones Mr. Swets was referring to, he went and took them down to abate the problem. Mr. Kil stated that he sent a letter sent to Mr. Hero spelling out what constitutes an illegal sign. He indicated that he informed Mr. Hero that the signs are stored in a secure location in the custody of the Town. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Hero clearly identified himself in postings on social media and in a police report as the individual who violated the sign ordinance and placed the illegal signs.

Mr. Swets asked what was illegal about the signs. Mr. Kil stated if Mr. Swets would come to his office, he would be happy to provide the information requested.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen cited the Town’s ordinance and sections that were related as follows: Ordinance No. 1483, Chapter 15, Section(s) C9B, C9I, C9P, G2F, G2G and definition, Chapter 19. He stated several sections were involved. Attorney Austgen stated this information is also public record. He offered Mr. Swets a copy of the ordinance. Mr. Swets declined.

Mr. Swets stated he looked at the ordinance and questioned whether the signs put up by the PAC were illegal. He asked what individual determined the signs were illegal, and he would question that. He asked the Council what the remedy was for putting up an illegal sign. He asked if it was Mr. Kil’s job to remove them. Mr. Kil responded that illegal signs are routinely removed.

Mr. Swets stated this was a political sign, an election sign put up by a PAC registered with the state. He stated the sign was allowed to be posted on property.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Swets if he, Mr. Kil, was running for election. Mr. Swets responded, “No.”

Mr. Kil offered Mr. Swets a copy of the ordinance. Mr. Swets stated he has seen the ordinance and wondered what was found to make the signs illegal. Mr. Kil stated that Attorney Austgen just explained what ordinance was violated.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Swets asked for an explanation as to what was illegal. Mr. Kil asked Attorney Austgen to explain. Attorney Austgen stated he would not offer an explanation or an interpretation of the code. He stated that there are strict black and white terms in the ordinance that he cited earlier that were violated.

Mr. Swets asked Attorney Austgen if he was in agreement that their signs were Illegal. Attorney Austgen responded, “Yes.”

Mr. Swets asked when the PAC would get their signs back. Mr. Kil stated nobody had asked for the return of the signs yet until now. Mr. Swets stated they would pick the signs up tomorrow.

Mr. Swets stated he heard an election speech and the words come to mind that the Town’s business is transparent. Mr. Swets asked Mr. Forbes if he remembered saying that. Mr. Forbes responded, “Yes.” Mr. Swets opined that Mr. Forbes misunderstood the meaning of the word transparent. He stated it seems like a lot of things that are going on in Town are invisible and cannot be seen. He stated dates of meetings get changed, albeit, legally, two days before a meeting is to be held and it is cancelled.

Mr. Swets stated it seems as if things get done in secret. He opined, “It seems kind of sneaky.” Mr. Forbes stated everything done by the Town Council is above board, and everything is discussed publicly. Mr. Swets stated that the habit of cancelling meetings within two days just does not seem fair.

Mr. Swets stated the last thing he wanted to say to the Council was, “What gives you the right to suppress our voices? This is America. We have the right to have our own opinion. We have the right to elect who we choose to and endorse who we choose to. And by removing our signs, you stole our voice, you stole our opinion, and I think you violated the law.” He stated the best way to do one’s civic duty is by exercising their free speech. He stated the removal of the PAC’s signs violated the law and civil rights.

Mr. Swets stated if the Council thought the PAC was just about a roundabout and a town center… surprise. He stated the dirty tricks that the Council has done has forced the PAC to do a little bit more. Mr. Swets stated the PAC will be here, they’re not going away. He stated they will keep the Council accountable. Mr. Swets stated he does not question that the Council wants to do what’s best for the Town, but he questions the way they do it.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive
Mr. Hero stated that the signs were not illegal. He addressed Attorney Austgen, “Did you authorize Mr. Kil to remove those signs?” Attorney Austgen responded “I don’t authorize Mr. Kil to do anything.”

Mr. Hero asked “Did you advise him to remove those signs? Attorney Austgen, “I don’t tell anybody what I advise my client.” Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Kil came to the police and said he had talked to you and was told it was okay to take the signs. Attorney Austgen stated he didn’t know what Mr. Kil had told the police or Mr. Hero.

Mr. Hero asked Attorney Austgen, “Did you tell Mr. Kil it was okay to steal those signs?” Attorney Austgen stated, “Absolutely not. I didn’t tell him to steal anything.” Mr. Hero, “To convert those signs?” Attorney Austgen, “Well, that’s your word.” Mr. Hero, “To take the signs?” Attorney Austgen, “Absolutely not. I didn’t tell him to do anything.” Mr. Hero stated Mr. Kil seemed to think so and that’s what he told the police. Attorney Austgen stated he did not know what Mr. Kil told the police.

Mr. Hero noted that Attorney Austgen had cited certain sections of the sign ordinance. Mr. Hero referred to a portion of the sign ordinance “C10”. He stated that the ordinance states that written notice must be given to whoever put the sign up and they are given 30 days to remove the sign. Mr. Hero stated Attorney Austgen gave this ordinance to a police officer who visited his office. Attorney Austgen stated he would not divulge any conversations he had with law enforcement. Attorney Austgen stated he did not know what Mr. Hero’s understanding of this situation was and he did not know what the officer told Mr. Hero.

Mr. Hero cited an Indiana case wherein an individual was convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor for taking signs off of a roadway.

Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if the female in Mr. Kil’s vehicle assisted him in taking down the signs. Mr. Kil stated he took the signs. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if there was a female in his vehicle. Mr. Kil responded, “I don’t know, Joe, was there?” Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he recalled if there was a female in his car. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he was telling him the truth.

Mr. Hero stated one of the policemen stated there was a female in Mr. Kil’s vehicle when he came to the police station. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Kil if he was a public official, what he was doing with a female in his vehicle when he was picking up the signs. Mr. Kil responded, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Joe. I took the signs, there’s no doubt about it.”

Mr. Hero next addressed Mr. Forbes. He stated Mr. Forbes was present while Mr. Kil was picking up the signs, He stated at some point, Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes cars pulled parallel to each other and they had a conversation. Mr. Hero stated Mr. Kil then got out of his vehicle and picked up more signs. Mr. Forbes responded that he was there putting out his own election signs and then he left.

Mr. Hero stated Mr. Forbes is the Town Board president and he saw Mr. Kil taking the signs. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Forbes why he did not stop Mr. Kil from taking the signs. Mr. Forbes reiterated that he was there to put out his signs and then he left.

Mr. Hero reiterated that Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kil had a conversation. Mr. Forbes stated he did not recall speaking with Mr. Kil. Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Forbes had a “memory blank” about talking to Mr. Kil the night the signs were taken.

Mr. Hero stated this matter has been referred to the Prosecutor’s Office and he hopes there will be some action taken on it.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he takes exception with Attorney Austgen’s not being willing to take the time to explain the statutes. He stated it’s not fair. The audience was there for answers and they’re not getting them.

Mr. Parada stated he had heard that the drawings were going to be redone for the roundabout. He asked if there was anything that the citizens could review. Mr. Kil stated that he did not have anything with him at the present time. He stated the consultants were asked to revisit their drawings and renderings of not only the down town but also the configuration of Joliet Street as it would tie into 96th Avenue. Mr. Kil explained that is why the comprehensive plan meeting was postponed, to allow the Town time to revisit some options so they could be presented to everyone at the public hearing and then allow feedback.

Mr. Parada asked why the meeting was postponed. Mr. Kil started to explain the Town needed the time. Mr. Parada stated it was due to the stack of remonstrances and the Town’s representatives didn’t know how to react. Mr. Kil asked why Mr. Parada was asking him a question and not allowing him to respond. Mr. Parada responded by saying he doesn’t like much of what Mr. Kil says.

Mr. Parada stated when the citizens wanted to cancel the meeting until after the election, it was not done. He stated once the Town’s representatives were put into the corner where they had to respond, the meeting was cancelled. Mr. Parada stated there were many petitions and remonstrances that they expected a pretty immediate response to from the Town.

Mr. Parada asked if more money was being spent on having the Joliet plans redrawn. Mr. Kil stated it would probably cost a little bit more. Mr. Parada asked if there was anything that was going to make it safer (roundabout). He stated he has news that the people present in the audience tonight do not want to see this project happen at all. Mr. Parada stated they don’t want the roundabout in this location.

Mr. Parada informed the Council that the people (PAC) are here to stay. They are not going anywhere. He stated they are going to keep pushing the issue on Joliet Street; they don’t want the roundabout in this location. Mr. Parada vehemently stated that the residents do not want commercial traffic going through the Joliet-Thielen area.

Mr. Parada stated that when they spoke about the issue at the Plan Commission meeting, he was told the roundabout would get rid of 90 percent of the traffic on Joliet Street. Mr. Parada stated if you sit at Dunkin Donuts and count the number of vehicles going west on Joliet Street that then go north… that this traffic would not be affected by a roundabout or whether the roundabout was there or not. Mr. Parada stated he could not be convinced that any vehicle that was going to go north is going to go to 96th Avenue, go through a commercial area and then pull out on Route 41 to go north. He reiterated that this does not make sense.

Mr. Parada stated if the roundabout has no other considerations for safety…it doesn’t fit the guidelines that the State of Indiana has for roundabouts. He stated that roundabouts should never be close to railroad tracks. He stated the residents have a concern about the roundabout and will continue to have a concern about it. He reiterated that nobody wanted the roundabout in his neighborhood.

Mr. Parada stated the residents are getting stronger every day and more and more people are joining them. Mr. Parada stated he does not really have anything personal against anybody, but the residents want to see the proposed roundabout go away, move it because the residents don’t want it.

John Schafer, 14290 West 94th Avenue:
Mr. Schafer stated he would like to comment on the new development proposed at 93rd Avenue and White Oak. He asked if the Council collects fees from the developer for a park. Mr. Forbes stated that the Town collects park impact fees. Mr. Kil explained that Indiana law is pretty clear on impact fees, and park impact fees are one of the few things that the Town can collect impact fees for. Mr. Kil stated the park impact fees are pretty hefty.

Mr. Schafer asked about infrastructure fees. Mr. Kil informed him that there are system development fees collected for water and sewer. Mr. Schafer stated he was asking about fees related to more public services due to the impact and burden another development has on the Town. He asked if the developer paid these impact fees and took some of the burden off of the Town. Mr. Kil stated that fees are in the building permit and the onus is on the developer. He stated the Town saves this money received from building permits for projects such as expansion of the Wastewater Treatment plant, new wells and other Town improvements. Mr. Kil stated a fee cannot be assessed for everything because Indiana is not a home rule state. Mr. Kil stated that St. John’s building permit fees are likely the highest in Lake County. He stated the Town tries to cover every aspect using the fees from the building permits. Mr. Kil stated as the Town grows, assessed values increase and money increased grows, this is intended for infrastructure use. He stated if there is one thing the Town could use money for it is the roads. Mr. Kil stated the lack of money available for road work in Indiana is aggravating.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment and moved to adjournment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:11 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

_______________________________________________
SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

12-17-2015 Town Council

December 17, 2015 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Michael Forbes, President Mark Barenie Steve Kil
Larry Bustamante, Vice-President Ken Gembala Attorney David Austgen
Gregory Volk   Clerk Treasurer, Sherry Sury

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the December 17, 2015, regular meeting of the St. John Town Council to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES: NOVEMBER 19, 2015, REGULAR MEETING.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda for the Council’s attention were the meeting minutes for November 19, 2015. He asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes of November 19, 2015. Mr. Volk stated he would make that motion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Gembala. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PRESENTATION: MR. JOHN MINEAR, DIRECTOR, LAKE COUNTY SOLID WASTE DISTRICT

Mr. Forbes noted the first item on the agenda was a presentation by Mr. John Minear, Director of the Lake County Solid Waste.

Mr. Minear stated he has been visiting all of the communities and introducing himself. He stated he will continue to work with the communities. Mr. Minear stated what he wanted to talk about really involves the Town’s staff. He stated every year grants are given out to the communities. Mr. Minear stated last year, prior to his arrival, there were some glitches in the manner in which checks were distributed. He stated part of that is because the Town’s staff is asked to do a lot of work. Mr. Minear stated this year he has directed the Lake County Solid Waste (LCSW) staff to contact the Town’s staff. Mr. Minear stated the LCSW staff will be coming to the Town’s offices with their laptops to do the reports.

Mr. Minear stated his staff will fill in and retract for the Town, and provide all of the data. He stated the checks will be issued in March for the first round and then again in July. Mr. Minear stated he realized that the Town’s staff has tasks other than filling out reports. He stated the LCSW staff will be working closely with Town staff. Mr. Minear stated a representative of the LCSW District will contact Town staff to set up the meetings for after the first of the year.

Mr. Minear stated his office is always working on a budget. He stated the commodities and recycling prices have dropped to an all-time low across the nation and this has had a major impact on a lot of the LCSW District programs, especially the electronics program. Mr. Minear stated in 2015 the LCSW District was not charged for the collection of electronics. In 2016 the LCSW District will go from a zero cost for electronics to approximately $180,000, an unbudgeted impact. He stated this past week LCSW District has made some adjustments to the budget so the program can be continued. He said LCSW District is looking at neighboring counties to possibly lower the cost even further. Mr. Minear stated there would be no revenue increases.

Mr. Minear stated these are some of the major things going on right now. He stated that there are some issues that he will need to speak to the Council members about regarding the LCSW District and trying to pay down some debt where they have accrued high volumes of interest. Mr. Minear stated the LCSW District is putting together a plan for this. He stated he will be back to address the Council with strategies and plans.

Mr. Minear noted that there is a huge crowd tonight so he would conclude his presentation. He stated if there were any questions, he would be happy to answer them.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Minear for appearing before the Council.

NEW BUSINESS

A. ORDINANCE NO. 1618, RE-ZONE OF GREYSTONE SUBDIVISION FROM R-2 RESIDENTIAL TO R-2 PUD/C-1 PUD AND R-3 PUD (FAVORABLE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE TOWN COUNCIL.)

Mr. Forbes noted Ordinance No. 1618, rezone of Greystone subdivision from R-2 Residential to R-2 PUD/C-1 PUD and R-3 PUD. He stated the Plan Commission forwarded this matter to the Council with a favorable recommendation. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. There were no questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1618. “So moved,” by Mr.Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. RETIREMENT OFO POLICE CHIEF AND DISPOSITION OF SERVICE WEAPON.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was the acceptance of the retirement of Chief Fred Frego and the disposition of his service weapon. Mr. Forbes highlighted some of the achievements during Chief Frego’s tenure in St. John. He stated Chief Frego has overseen an increase in officers from 12 to 19; improved the Police Department’s Records Management System by being one of the first agencies to join into the Lake County Spillman system; implemented mobile data terminals in all police vehicles; increased training opportunities for officers; introduced and implemented the use of tasers as an additional non-lethal use of force; sent supervisors to attend and pass staff and command training through Northwestern University; implemented a school resource officer at Lake Central High School; introduced police department clerks that could fulfill payment of reports, tickets and accidents outside of normal business hours and most recently, oversaw the accreditation of the St. John Police Department through the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police.

Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Frego for everything he has done for the Town of St. John. Chief Frego thanked Council for giving him the opportunity to work for the Town. Mr. Volk stated he would echo Mr. Forbes sentiments, and it was great working with Chief Frego.

Mr. Forbes stated the past practice of the Council has been to grant retiring officers their service weapons, per the Council’s approval. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept Chief Frego’s retirement and provide him with his service weapon upon written agreement. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER APPOINTMENT OF POLICE CHIEF.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was to Consider the Appointment of a Police Chief. Mr. Forbes stated this individual will take up the position of Chief of Police on January 1, 2016. Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Austgen to enlighten the Council on this matter.

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that earlier this evening the Board of Police Commissioners met in a special public meeting. He stated at this meeting the Police Board made a motion and approved the motion to recommend to the Town Council that a conditional offer of employment be tendered to Mr. James Kveton and specific terms for employment.

Attorney Austgen read the terms of employment as follows: salary will start out at $88, 374, 2016 Chief’s salary per Ordinance No. 1617; the job performance will be reviewed six months after start date at which time there is eligibility for up to a six percent salary increase at the discretion of the Town Council; the review and potential salary increase will be independent of any annual salary increase contemplated and/or given to all Town employees for 2017; vacation, the new chief will receive four weeks of vacation at the start of his employment; vehicle, a free vehicle will be provided (vehicle provided will be Chief Frego’s unmarked 2014 Ford Explorer); sick time, there will not be any advance sick time but the new chief would accrue sick time consistent with the current Town policy covering same under ordinance; teaching, part-time, Mr. Kveton will not teach beyond his current semester thereby terminating his teaching by January 1, 2016; attendance at the annual IACP conference will be permitted, which is currently allowed for; personal days and holidays, there will be a total of 12 days per year pursuant to the current department policy; uniforms, an allowance will be given to the new chief as to all sworn police officers at $1,000.00 annually per the salary Ordinance 1617; service weapon, the Town will provide the service weapon which will be the standard service weapon issued to all sworn officers, currently, the department uses Glock; health/dental/ vision and life insurance, the new chief will have eligibility to participate in the Town’s benefit plan that all full-time employees are eligible for, he will not be reimbursed in any way for current insurance that he currently utilizes, it is his choice to participate or not in the Town offered benefit plan; moving expenses, the Town will reimburse up to $1,500 in moving expenses provided the new chief provides the Town receipts showing costs actually incurred; account, the Town will deposit $10,000 annually for an account to be used for this purpose, the Town will assist with setting up the account, the $10,000 annual contribution is all inclusive of costs to establish a plan as well as the direct contribution into the plan; residency, residency shall be required within 14 months from start date of employment, it is to be understood that the new chief shall maintain a temporary residence that shall be the primary domicile as soon as possible after the start of his employment, this temporary residence can be (unintelligible) in Lake County, Indiana, he shall be readily able to respond to the needs of the Police Department; cell phone, the new chief will be provided by the Town cell phone, like and kind to the current phone used by Chief Frego (Samsung Droid).

Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the recommendation of the Police Commission to tender a conditional offer of employment is based upon the terms that he read into the record.

Mr. Forbes stated, for the public’s information, upon receiving word of Chief Frego’s retirement, three firms were vetted to search for a new chief for the Town of St. John. From the three firms, a group calling themselves GovHR was hired to vet potential candidates for the chief’s position. Mr. Forbes explained that 65 individuals sent their applications to GovHR for the chief’s position; some of the officers who applied for the position were officers from the Town’s own police force. He stated GovHR vetted all 65 applicants and whittled the list down to five candidates who were recommended to the Police Commission.

Mr. Forbes stated that of the five recommended candidates, the St. John Police Commission interviewed four candidates as one candidate dropped out. From the initial interview, three candidates were recommended for continued interview. These three candidates were interviewed by the Town Council members with the Police Commission members present. Mr. Forbes stated that the Police Commissioners made their final selection today, and this recommendation is now before the Council

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to tender a conditional offer of employment to Mr. Jim Kveton, with the terms and conditions as read by Attorney Austgen. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion.

The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. AUTHORIZATION TO HIRE A FULL-TIME FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC.

Mr. Forbes noted Authorization to Hire a Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedic was next on the agenda. He stated that this year, in the budget, the Town had anticipated hiring another police officer. In discussion after the fact, it was determined through ambulance calls and activities of the Fire Department, it would be best interests of the residents to hire a full-time paramedic/firefighter.

Mr. Forbes stated that based numbers the Town had budgeted for a police officer, they could easily hire the full-time firefighter/paramedic. Mr. Forbes stated that there should be money left over, and this matter should be revisited in July and possibly hire another firefighter/paramedic.

Mr. Forbes stated that he was looking for a motion to grant authorization to Chief Willman to hire a full-time firefighter/paramedic. “I make that motion” by Mr. Bustamante.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Bustamante had made a motion to authorize the hiring an additional full-time firefighter. Mr. Gembala seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-12-17, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A TRANSFER OF FUNDS.

Mr. Forbes stated Resolution No. 2015-12-17, a Resolution Authorizing a Transfer of Funds. Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury to enlighten the Board. Ms. Sury explained this was a transfer or a transfer up of appropriations from one line item to another. She stated that there are four categories in each fund and it’s simply moving money, for example, from a 400 category to a 300 category. Ms. Sury explained a 400 category is capital outlay and a 300 category is other services and charges. Ms. Sury stated at the end of the year the Clerk must go through all of the funds and make sure nothing has a minus sign. She stated, fortunately, this year they did not have to take any money out of her budget or the Town Council to give to Fire, Police or any other department. Ms. Sury stated everyone was self-sufficient that way and “We’re in pretty good shape.”

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-12-17. “So moved” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER UPDATE TO THE TOWN’S CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN, PURSUANT TO I.C. 6-3.5-5-7-15 (CAGIT).

Mr. Forbes stated next on the agenda was to Consider an Update to the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan, Pursuant to I.C. 6-3.5-5-7-15, CAGIT. Mr. Forbes stated this matter is necessary to receive the Town’s CEDIT money. He asked Mr. Kil to elaborate.

Mr. Kil stated this plan mirrors the one that was first done in 2014 in that the money that the Town is going to receive from the County (income tax money) will be earmarked for street repairs and improvements. He stated that there are a lot of street repair/improvements left to be done.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt the updated Capital Improvement Plan. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

G. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-12-17A, CONSIDER EXTENSION OF LOAN (CUM SEWER).

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 2015-12-17A, Consider Extension of Loan (Cum Sewer). Mr. Forbes stated that this extension has been going on for a long time, but he believes it is nearing the end.

Mr. Kil stated he strongly believes that Town should be able to pay this loan back very quickly. He stated that this is like a safety net, so to speak, in case the full amount can’t be paid back all at once. Mr. Kil stated they would like to extend the loan one more time. He stated that this money was not borrowed from an independent source, it is an internal loan so there is no interest. Mr. Forbes stated this was basically a bookkeeping matter for the State Board of Accounts. Mr. Kil concurred.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-12-17A. “So moved” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

H. RESOLUTION NO. 2015-12-17B, A RESOLUTION FOR ENCUMBRANCE OF FUNDS.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 2015-12-17B, A Resolution for Encumbrance of Funds. Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Sury to elaborate. Ms. Sury explained that this is money that would be expended from the budget of 2015 and payable in 2016 because the invoices weren’t available. She stated these expenditures would not reflect in the 2016 budget.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-12-17B. “So moved” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

I. ACCEPTANCE AND FILING OF ANTI-NEPOTISM CERTIFICATIONS.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda is Acceptance of the Anti-Nepotism Certifications. He stated all of the elected officials must sign the anti-nepotism policy each year. Mr. Forbes stated that the anti-nepotism policy contains language wherein the official who signs it pledges not to hire relatives, et-cetera. Mr. Forbes passed documents out to the councilmen for their review and signature.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve Acceptance of the Anti-Nepotism Certifications and file same with the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

J. CONSIDER ANNUAL CONTRACT WITH THE ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE FOR FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda for the Council was to Consider Annual Contract with the St. John Township Trustee for Fire Protection Services. Mr. Forbes asked Chief Willman if he had reviewed the contract. Chief Willman stated he had reviewed contract and it is the same as the 2015 contract and there is no increase.

Mr. Kil stated he has had e-mail correspondence with the St. John Township Trustee, Jean Shepherd, who informed him that the budget could not support an increase for anyone. He stated the contract amount was the same as it was in 2015, $58,853.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the Annual Contract with the St. John Township Trustee for Fire Protection Services for the amount of $58,853. Mr. Gembala made a motion to authorize Town Council President, Michael Forbes, to sign the 2016 St. John Township Fire Protection Service Contract. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.
TOWN COUNCIL:
Mr. Forbes moved on to Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Gembala stated that the last six years he has served on the Town Council it has been a privilege working with the Council members and serving the citizens of St. John. Mr. Gembala stated even though there were some disagreements, the Council worked together to reach many goals, water and sewer repairs, water main replacement, the Veterans Park and the dog park.

Mr. Gembala thanked the citizens of the Town for their support. He thanked the Council members, the Chiefs, the Town Manager and the Town employees for their help and cooperation.

Mr. Gembala expressed special thanks to Mr. Forbes, Mr. Barenie and Mr. Volk for having faith in him when he joined the Council six years ago. Mr. Gembala noted the national recognition the Town has received in the last couple of years. He opined this will continue and the Town will be even better due to the make-up of the new Council.

(Audience applauds.)

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Bustamante reminded the citizens that Saturday, December 19, 2015, would be the last Christmas in the Park. Mr. Bustamante thanked Mr. Phil Wieland for the very nice write-up in the newspaper.

Mr. Bustamante stated he would not toot his horn. He stated it was a privilege and an honor to serve as a councilman for the citizens of St. John. Mr. Bustamante thanked the citizens for the opportunity and the privilege of serving them.

(Audience applauds.)

Mr. Forbes had one Request to Purchase from the Fire Department for a Lifepak monitor/defibrillator in the amount of $29,865.26. Chief Willman stated that the Fire Department has three monitor/defibrillators in use at the present time and one was from when they started in 2002. Chief Willman stated that the Fire Department is maxed out and they don’t have any extra monitor/defibrillators; he stated this item will allow the Fire Department to provide advanced life support service to the citizens.

Chief Willman stated with the purchase of second Tahoe, they are going to outfit it as an advanced support, non-transport vehicle. He stated with the second Tahoe outfitted as such, the Department will have more ability to move around more quickly.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize purchase of the Lifepak monitor/defibrillator from Physio Controls, Incorporated, in the amount of $29,865.26. “So moved,” by Mr. Gembala. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0) Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Sury read a statement as follows:

“I want to thank the residents for their support and words of encouragement expressed through chance meetings and from the calls and cards I have received. Since I was not invited to attend the Christmas luncheon, I wanted to say a farewell to the employees and thank you for all of their support.

“It has truly been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as the St. John Clerk-Treasurer since 2003 and uphold the principles of honesty and integrity of this office. Throughout my tenure, I continually utilized the knowledge I attained of municipal government instilled in me from the predecessors I served under, Betty Seidelman and Judy Companik, and also by attending the schooling sponsored by the Indiana League of Municipal Clerk-Treasurers and the State Board of Accounts.

As I leave on December 31, in my heart and with a clear conscience, I know I continually honored the oath of office I pledged to, assumed the responsibilities and performed the duties as specified by state statute despite the consequences I endured.

And lastly, I wanted to address this Council. This is the last time you will be able to publicly embarrass and humiliate me. I have been a full-time working clerk-treasurer since 2003 and my time sheets attest to that up until my illness in the middle of 2014.

I wanted to say ‘Shame on Mr. Barenie,’--- he’s not here --- for attacking my disability last month. And, uh, it is recorded digitally, yet not in the transcript of the minutes that you approved tonight.

I hope none of you are ever stricken with an illness that is intensified with work-related stress, leaves you in a near death state and requires hospitalization for six weeks. Whereas, when you are released, you have to accept that you have to learn again how to breathe --- which takes almost a year. You have to learn how to stand, walk, bathe and dress. And, yes, use the facilities without assistance.

In my opinion, this Council truly lacks empathy and professionalism as evidenced by your words and actions. Thank you.

(Audience applauds)

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had no reports.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing to report.
CHIEFS’ REPORTS:

Chief Fred Willman presented the Fire Department’s November, 2015, monthly report to the Council.

Chief Fred Frego stated he would like to say a few words. He told the Council it was an honor and a privilege to be St. John’s Police Chief for the past 11 ½ years. He thanked this Council and the previous councils for their support and cooperation over the last 11 ½ years; many good things have been accomplished.

Chief Frego thanked his staff and the department heads, he stated they all worked well together.

Chief Frego expressed special thanks to Chief Willman; he stated they worked together with great cooperation as a team and always with the same goal in mind, public safety.

Chief Frego wished everyone the best of luck and success in the future.

(Audience applauds.)

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the Corporation. Mr. Forbes stated before the Council approves the docket he requested they “Remove an item for a vendor that’s on Page 5 of 5, it is the fourth item down. It is item – it is Vendor No. 711, Mr. Jeffery Gunning, Clerk-Treasurer, legal”. Mr. Forbes stated he would like to remove the 23-page bill in the amount of $55,080, that was handed to the Council just two days ago. Mr. Forbes noted the Council needed additional time to review this 23 page invoice.

Mr. Forbes stated that he was going to ask for a separate motion to remove the 23 page bill. Mr. Volk made a motion to remove the bill for review. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills on the revised docket in the amount of $1,332,883.96. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions on the bills. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve revised docket. “So moved,” by Mr. Bustamante. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. He asked anyone wishing to speak to provide their name and address for the record.

P U B L I C C O M M E N T

Sharon (unintelligible last name) 11423 State Line Road:
She asked why Ordinance No. 1618 was approved without public comment. She stated she was at the Plan Commission meeting when this was brought up, asked if she could speak and it was denied her. She stated she came here, thinking she would be able to speak. She stated now it’s approved... and why wasn’t she able to speak?

Mr. Forbes explained that the Plan Commission held a public hearing on Ordinance No. 1618 wherein all public comment was accepted. Mr. Forbes stated he believed she attended a study session. She asked how was she to know that.

She stated this is going to affect her; she lives on State Line Road. She stated traffic is so bad on 101st right now that you can’t even cross it when you’re going south. She stated if you allow this subdivision and all these businesses to go in there, you are making our home life and where we live unmanageable. She said it was ridiculous. We don’t have the roads to facilitate this type of development. She didn’t understand why they would approve this type of development.

She asked why isn’t the developer required to pay an impact fee to improve the roads. Why are the taxpayers stuck with paying for the roads? Mr. Forbes stated that the subdivision development still has to be reviewed. He stated this was just for a zone change. All of the topics that she mentioned will be discussed during the subdivision platting process. She asked how the public can get in on this? Mr. Forbes told her it would be at the Plan Commission meeting and there will be both study session and a public hearing on this matter. He stated this matter will be noticed in the newspapers, it will be noticed on the Town Hall directly outside the Clerk-Treasurer’s office and on the Town’s website as it has been in the past.

Mr. Forbes asked her if she lived within 300 feet of the property. She stated she lives on State Line Road, but this development is going to affect everyone who lives in this area. She stated she moved to her location because it was a rural area. She stated the people who are developing this property are making millions of dollars on the backs of the residents. She stated this is not right, and the Council should consider this.

(Audience applauds.)

She stated this is not acceptable and she can’t believe the Town of St. John would allow this to happen, She stated these properties were farms and now St. John is moving out to her rural area and the residents don’t want St. John out by them. She stated they want their location to remain a rural area. She stated it was a shame because everyone has to put up with all of the traffic. She stated you don’t understand what it’s like unless you live out there. She stated nobody will let you out. She stated you have to go all the way around the back to avoid the traffic.

She asked how many homes were going to be in the development. The audience answered with 400. She noted it was changed from R2 to R-2 PUD, she asked what this meant. Mr. Forbes stated it would be a residential area which gives flexibility in the development.

She asked Mr. Forbes to explain to her what this meant? Mr. Forbes stated it would be easier for her to come of the Plan Commission. She asked Mr. Forbes if she could call him and find out when the Plan Commission meeting is. Mr. Forbes responded, “Absolutely.” He directed her to call the Town Hall and they would provide his number.

Michelle Haluska:
Ms. Haluska stated she wanted to take this opportunity to thank Councilman Bustamante and Councilman Gembala, she stated is has been a pleasure. Ms. Haluska stated she will also miss Chief Frego.

Ms. Haluska extended a special thinks to the St. John Ambulance Service. She stated she was glad that they are adding paramedics speaking as one who recently experienced the need for the services of a paramedic. She stated she was up one morning at 3:00 a.m. doubled over in pain and her husband called an ambulance. She stated that the lady and gentleman who responded to the ambulance call were amazing and it was life-saving.

Ms. Haluska directed her comments to Mrs. Sury. She wished Mrs. Sury continued health and told her she would miss her. Ms. Haluska cleared up some confusion on Mrs. Sury’s part; Ms. Haluska informed her that she had been invited to the Christmas luncheon, as all members were invited to the Christmas including the incoming clerk, her deputy and the incoming councilmen.

Mrs. Sury asked if the invitation was sent via e-mail. Ms. Haluska acknowledged the invitation was sent via e-mail. Mrs. Sury responded, “I never got that, never got it.” Ms. Haluska apologized for her not having received it. She reiterated that Mrs. Sury and her staff were invited. Mrs. Haluska stated she did not know why a call wasn’t given and stated she would take that responsibility. She again wished Mrs. Sury continued health and a great retirement. Mrs. Sury thanked Ms. Haluska. Ms. Haluska wished good luck to the incoming clerk and councilmen.

(Audience applauds.)

Ed Everett: (no address provided)
Mr. Everett stated that he has lived in St. John for about 15 years. He stated approximately a month and a half to two months ago “You guys” came out surveying the property. He stated the surveying was taking place by the subdivision. Mr. Everett stated he lives just off of 101st Avenue on White Oak.

Mr. Everett stated he was told that the Town had the plan of extending the bike path from 102nd down to the new subdivision. He stated they were talking about his yard and he was told there was a lot of room to work. Mr. Everett stated he only has a ten foot easement.

Mr. Everett asked what the plan was or where the path would go at this time? Mr. Kil stated that the new subdivision, the Preserve is going to put a bike trail in at what is Schilton Hills all the way down to White Oak to 101st, cross White Oak to the east side then come back to the existing bike trail.

Mr. Kil explained that because of the new development and the connectivity of the bike trails the surveyors were simply asked, by the Town, to determine what the route could be. He stated there could be sufficient right of way or there may not be, it wouldn’t be known until the survey is completed. Mr. Kil stated that the surveyor is establishing what right of way and easements exist, if any. He stated a plan will be drawn, which can’t be done until there is a survey.

Mr. Everett asked if he could get a copy of the survey. Mr. Kil stated he would give him a call or e-mail it to him. Mr. Kil directed Mr. Everett to provide him contact information after the meeting.

Donna Safford: (no address provided)
Ms. Safford stated she lives in the Lake Hills subdivision in a townhome. She stated that she has been experiencing some problems with her roof. Ms. Safford stated she is trying to get the homeowners association to help her out to get the builder to fix the roof. She stated that there should be some type of extended warranty on the roof.

Ms. Safford stated that this issue has been going on for approximately two years. She stated that the homeowners association informed her there was no help or assistance they could give. Ms. Safford stated she called Todd Olthoff herself and informed him of the situation. She stated she had a roofing company in Town come out to check the leak and they told her she had a “phantom leak,” and they couldn’t locate the leak. Ms. Safford stated she has several leak spots on her ceiling in her house.

Ms. Safford also stated that the roofer she hired had told her they would have to start pulling up shingles in an attempt to locate the leak. She stated, in the meantime, the dampness caused mold and warped wood in her attic.

Ms. Safford stated that Todd Olthoff told her that he can’t do anything and there’s no warranty for the roof. She stated she believes this is incorrect and there should be an extended warranty for the roof. She stated Mr. Olthoff won’t even come out and look at it, and she thinks he should, at the very least, come out and look at it to assess what is going on. She stated she’s only lived there nine years and the roof started leaking in eight years. She asked what she should do, who she could call.

Mr. Forbes stated he sympathized with Ms. Safford’s problem, but this was between her and her builder. Ms. Safford stated she can’t get anywhere with her builder. She stated she wanted to ask the Council if they could intervene for her, do something for her as a homeowner and get the builder to do something.

Mr. Forbes told Ms. Safford she may have to get an attorney. Ms. Safford stated Todd Olthoff even said something about a 30-year warranty. She stated when she asked him about the 30-year warranty he skirts around the issue and tells her he can’t warranty anything.

Attorney Austgen stated it is a warranty and a contract issue. He recommended that President Forbes direct Mr. Kil to contact Todd Olthoff and intervene on the review of the circumstances, the phantom leak assessment.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated he would call Todd Olthoff. Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Kil would call Todd Olthoff and, hopefully, will facilitate a conversation. Ms. Safford stated that Mr. Olthoff flat out did not want to deal with the issue. She stated he skirted around everything she had to say. Ms. Safford stated it is not right that Mr. Olthoff just left her out in the cold on this issue.

(General discussion ensued.)

Dale Robert, 11190 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated he was going to answer Ms. Safford’s question.

He stated he is shocked that the Council does not know of the existence of a complaint form available in the Building and Planning Department. He stated these complaint forms are for contractors and addresses these types of problems.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Robert stated that Ms. Safford does have a right to go to the Building and Planning Department, fill out the complaint form and have the contractor appear before the Board of Contractors. He stated the Contractors Board is supposed to have meetings every month, but has not had one in about a year.

Mr. Robert asked if the Town is going to have developers maintain the entranceways to their subdivision. Mr. Kil stated these entranceways are generally maintained by the homeowners associations.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Robert stated the Heron Lake Estates and Heron Lake Park entranceways are not maintained. He stated he wanted to address the Council about this. Mr. Robert stated there was typical overgrowth this summer off of Patterson and 86th Place. He stated this overgrowth is covering up the fire hydrant. Mr. Robert requested that this weed problem be addressed.

Mr. Robert noted most communities around have the markers on their fire hydrants (flags) so the hydrants can be seen easily if there is a lot of snow. Mr. Forbes stated that these markers are on the most difficult to locate hydrants in Town, but not on all of them. He informed Mr. Robert that the firefighters have an app on their cell phones that locates the fire hydrants so the firefighters are well aware of where they’re at.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he had a couple of comments and questions. Mr. Parada directed his remarks to Ms. Sury. He said he was speaking for himself, but he knows a lot of people feel the same way he does. He stated he appreciates very much Ms. Sury’s past 25 years of service to the Town. He stated he regrets that for the past two years it has felt more like a tour of duty than a job. Mr. Parada opined that Ms. Sury has become a casualty, physically and emotionally, of this war. Mr. Parada stated he understands because some of the powers that be in Town did the same thing to him; however, his problem will be dealt with at another time in another forum.

Mr. Parada stated it is a black eye on the Town of St. John that a person of Ms. Sury’s stature, knowledge and experience should be treated so poorly. He stated it should make her feel better to know that by not bending the rules and breaking laws that she operates on a higher level of morality and integrity than some of the Town government do. Mr. Parada wished Ms. Sury nothing but the best in the future that lies ahead and good health and God bless.

(Audience applauds.)

Mr. Parada stated his next comment was for Mr. Barenie, but Mr. Barenie is not here tonight. He stated his problem with Mr. Barenie is at the last Town meeting he made some pretty derogatory statements about Ms. Sury and needing a full-time clerk. Mr. Parada stated that the Town had one until they all made her sick.

Mr. Parada stated that Mr. Barenie has missed about 29% of the meetings in the last three years. He said, for this reason, Mr. Barenie might think of resigning and get someone in his place that would be more interested in the day to day operations in this Town. He said it was embarrassing for Mr. Barenie to make a comment like that to Ms. Sury when... if that’s not the pot calling the kettle black, Mr. Parada doesn’t know what is.

Mr. Parada asked Mr. Kil when he was going to get his documents that he was promised on the 20th of last month. He stated Mr. Kil keeps sending him to Ms. Sury’s office and there is nothing there. Mr. Parada asked what happened to the documents he ordered. Mr. Kil stated he didn’t know what documents that Mr. Parada had ordered. Mr. Prada responded, “You don’t know much, do you?”

Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Parada had made a public information request of the clerk-treasurer. Mr. Parada concurred. Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Parada that the clerk-treasurer is responsible for getting these documents delivered to him.

Mr. Prada asked: Why did I get a letter from Mr. Kil, signed by Mr. Kil saying that I was going to get these documents on the 20th? Where does the buck stop? Mr. Forbes: Right there. (indicating). Mr. Parada: No. No. I’ve been to her office five --- Yeah. Go ahead and laugh. I’ve been to her office five times. There are no documents there for me. Anything to say here, mister? Mr. Forbes: Not to you. Mr. Parada: Okay. Where are my documents at, Mr. Kil? Not much to say? You know, I seem to have that effect on you. Mr. Kil: I don’t know --- I don’t know what you’re--- Mr. Parada: I seem to have that effect on you. Mr. Kil: ---talking about. Mr. Parada: That whatever I say to you, you don’t have much to say. Mr. Kil: I don’t know what documents you’re talking about. Mr. Parada: Okay. The survey of my property and the appraisals. Or I should say the assassinations of my property. That’s really a better term. Mr. Kil: Mr. Swets appeared in my office because he said you did not want to. Mr. Parada: Uh-uh. Mr. Kil: I handed the appraisals, I believe, to Mr. Swets--- Mr. Parada: No, I was ill. I was when Mr.--- I came into --- Mr. Kil: I gave those to Gerry, quite a while ago. Mr. Parada: I came in to see you today and you were busy so I left. Mr. Kil: What documents did I give you when you said Mr. Parada didn’t want to come and see me? Mr. Swets: You gave me absolutely nothing. I left your office--- Mr. Parada: Where are my documents? That’s what I want to know. You get two weeks to furnish those. I put the --- I put the --- I want to say the --- it must have been on the 13th. Where are my documents? Anything?

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Parada had any additional comment.

Mr. Parada: Yeah, I do, but I’d like to be --- I would like an answer to where my documents are. Mr. Forbes: I suggest you go talk to the clerk-treasurer’s office. Mr. Parada: I have been to the clerk-treasurer’s office. Mr. Forbes: Well, there seems to be a problem with the clerk treasurer’s office. Mr. Parada: No, she never received them. Yeah. Laugh. Laugh. That’s funny. That’s funny. First you try to throw me out of my house and offer me $31,000 for it, and now I can’t even get the documents that I’m entitled to. Anybody got an answer? Mr. Forbes: I did tell you. Mr. Parada: Yeah. Mr. Forbes: You need to go to the clerk-treasurer’s office. Mr. Parada: I ‘ve done that. Mr. Forbes: Then there seems to be a problem--- Mr. Parada: How many --- do you want me to camp outside? Mr. Forbes: --- with the clerk-treasurer’s office. Mr. Parada: Do you want me to camp outside and wait until they show up?

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Parada had anything else for the Council tonight.

Mr. Parada: Let me think. Let me think. I’m not sure I remember. Let’s see. Do I have anything else for you? No, I guess not. Other than I’m going to file a complaint that I haven’t got my documents. Okay. And --- yeah, I do have one more thing. As long as I’m up here, I do have one more thing to say. You know what, in the terms of the last week since Mr. Kil is charged with a Class A Misdemeanor that is punishable by $1000 --- a $10,000 fine and a year in jail. I would like to demand his resignation as Town Manager of this Town. Now, I’m through. Find my documents.

(Audience applauds)

Gerry Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets stated in answer to Mr. Kil’s question about Mr. Prada’s papers, he received nothing from Mr. Kil. He said Mr. Forbes was in Mr. Kil’s office when he was there. Mr. Kil stated that this was a while ago. Mr. Kil’s recall on the day of Mr. Swets visit was that drawings were put up on the board prior to Mr. Forbes being there. Mr. Kil stated he could’ve sworn he gave the documents to Mr. Swets because Mr. Swets specifically told him that Tom Parada did not want to come into the Town Hall. Mr. Kil stated he honestly believes he gave the documents to Mr. Swets. He said, if for some reason, he didn’t receive a copy of them, the Town would be more than happy to provide that.

Mr. Kil reiterated that Mr. Swets specifically told him that Mr. Parada did not want to come in. Mr. Kil stated he handed the documents to Mr. Swets, and he would be happy to give them to him again.

Mr. Swets stated he would stay within his allotted time to speak. He thanked Ms. Sury for her years of service to the Town. Mr. Swets thanked the Mr. Bustamante and Mr. Gembala for their years of service to St. John.

Mr. Swets stated as he reflects on the year 2015 he has seen a lot of political cartoons on the internet and in the newspaper. He stated he almost expected to see a cartoon of St. John with political heads.

Mr. Swets stated as he read the Times over the year, in March he saw a couple of lawsuits that had to do with the Police Department and also named Mr. Kil; in June it was the offering of early retirement of over $30,000 to 12 employees in appreciation of their years of service. Mr. Swets stated companies offer early retirement to improve their financial situation as well as the financial situation of those who accept it. Mr. Swets stated the Town is running a business with taxpayer money.

Mr. Swets state that the Town did not use the early retirement as a plan to reduce the Town’s overall expense since all of the employees were replaced. Mr. Swets stated, “You just gave them all $30,000 to retire.” He stated there were probably a lot of people who served the Town over the years and in their retirement could have also used a little cash; Mr. Swets stated this is not the Town’s responsibility.

Mr. Swets stated that the Town wants their new Comprehensive Plan, targeting his house and every other house, except for three, from Route 41 all the way to the tracks on Joliet Street and Thielen Street for the new Town Center. Mr. Swets stated the residents fought against that and the Town listened and the residents appreciate that.

Mr. Swets stated, but then on election eve, our political action committee, in an effort to save our homes put out signs on the ground in polling places only to have them stolen by Mr. Kil. Mr. Swets stated he was caught on video when he took the signs and it seemed like he was proud of the fact. Mr. Swets stated that Mr. Kil said he was authorized to take the signs by Mr. Austgen. Mr. Swets asked Mr. Kil if that is what he said. Mr. Kil stated he had no comment. Mr. Swets stated it was also reported there were a couple of witnesses there, and Mr. Forbes was one of them.

Mr. Swets stated he would ask the question again because it hadn’t been answered, what made you think you could take down those signs? Mr. Swets stated that some statues and ordinances were vaguely quoted which did not apply to political signs.

Mr. Swets stated by taking the signs you affected the outcome of the election. I truly believe that. He stated the residents weren’t out there marching or protesting. Mr. Swets stated the residents were doing what Americans do best and that is come to the polls and vote for the people that we wanted to. He stated their freedom of speech was silenced, their voice and opinions stolen and laws and civil rights were violated. Mr. Swets stated that everyone knows it’s illegal to steal campaign signs; he stated he learned that when he was a little kid. Mr. Swets stated the Council claims to think otherwise. He stated that the state police and the county prosecutor seem to think otherwise and they agreed with the residents and Mr. Kil was charged with conversion. Mr. Swets stated, based on these incidents, Mr. Kil, we’re asking you to resign as Town Manager, give his resignation to this Council and to the Town.

Mr. Swets stated at times our jobs become routine and we do the best that we can but sometimes our clients, our constituents become faceless. Well, we’re not faceless. Mr. Swets stated that sometimes, maybe, people are given too much power and power can corrupt. Mr. Swets stated maybe the Council has given Mr. Kil too much power without enough accountability, and they let him do as he pleases, forgetting that he is a public servant here to serve the residents of St. John.

Mr. Swets stated today when organizations make mistakes that are egregious or bad, the head of the organization is accountable. Mr. Swets told Mr. Forbes that he was accountable. He said Mr. Forbes was quoted in the Times in March as saying, “The Town of St. John does not now, never has and never will condone any inappropriate work place environment, conditions or improper actions.” Mr. Swets told the Council that they heard what he had to say.

Mr. Swets stated he hoped for those councilmen who are returning next year, they are wise enough to elect a new council president. Mr. Swets, addressing Mr. Forbes, stated, based on all this information, we are asking you to fire Mr. Kil if he does not resign. Mr. Swets stated, and once this is done, the residents are asking for Mr. Forbes resignation.

(Audience applauds.)

Judy Stahlhut, 11315 Valley Drive:
Ms. Stahlhut stated she has lived in this Town for 18 years and she has never had a problem with the Town Council. She stated she represented Hunter’s Run Homeowners Association for 15 of those 18 years. Ms. Stahlhut stated she stands in support of Mr. Kil, Mr. Forbes and the entire Town Council.

Ms. Stahlhut stated some people in our community do not know how to read sign ordinances. She stated those of us in the community who saw those signs were appalled, and we could not understand why the signs were allowed to stand on those posts in those properties when they were public properties.

(Audience erupts.)

Mr. Forbes instructed the audience not to interrupt when someone is at the podium and has the floor.

Ms. Stahlhut stated she believes the Town Council needs the voters support. She stated she is tired of seeing the harassing and haranguing some people give their government officials. Ms. Stahlhut stated people need to stand up and support them.

Mary Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Ms. Robert addressed Mr. Kil. She asked him if she had told him about signs on 93rd Avenue, prior to the 30 day ordinance, that they were allowed to be up and he did nothing about these signs, but he was worried about the other signs. She stated, “Shame on you.” She stated she had asked for Mr. Frego and Mr. Kil to be put on administrative leave last March until this thing was resolved. She stated it should have been done then because Mr. Kil has gone and embarrassed the Town again.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated he received a threatening letter from Mr. Kil about the signs saying he had 45 signs in his possession here in Town. We videotaped Mr. Kil taking signs. We saw Mr. Forbes with Mr. Kil at the same location. Mr. Hero stated they have witnesses who say they saw Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes at the Town Hall together, simultaneously.

Mr. Hero: Now, is that true or not, Mr. Forbes, were you there when he was taking those signs? Do you want to answer or are you too timid to admit that you, as Town Board President, witnessed him taking signs? You put your car next to his. You had a conversation with him and then you got out of the car and took more signs. Do you deny that? Do you deny that, Mr. Forbes?

Mr. Forbes: Mr. Hero--- Mr. Hero: Do you deny that? Mr. Forbes: You know I was at Kolling school. You know I was there putting out my signs. Mr. Hero: Did you---

Mr. Forbes: You know I left before you did. Mr. Hero: Did you see Mr. Kil converting --- stealing those signs? Yes or no. Mr. Forbes: I did not see Mr. Kil stealing signs. Mr. Hero: Were you blind? Mr. Forbes: No. I did not see him taking --- stealing signs. Mr. Hero: Let me ask you this, every time a policeman does some little misdeed or is alleged to make a misdeed, you take away his gun, you take away his car and you put him on administrative leave? Now, we have three policemen on administrative leave. Some of these policemen are connected to women who have filed lawsuits against the Town. We’ve seen where people who filed a complaint have been terminated. Now, you as the Town Council, you know that Mr. Kil has been charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. Okay. Now, I’m asking you right now to take a vote to terminate Mr. Kil. Will you do that? There’s only one answer, yes, no or silence. If silence is no then you’re all part and agree that what he did was correct. Will you take a vote on this now to terminate Mr. Kil?

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero if he had any other business before the Council.

Mr. Hero: Yes. I take that as, no, you support his actions. Now, are you paying Mr. Kil’s attorney’s fees to defend himself? Are you going to do that? Please take a vote right now, yes or no, that you’re going to pay for Mr. Kil’s attorney’s fees in this criminal charge against him. If you say yes, make the resolution and pass it. Or say no, or if you say nothing, in your silence, I take that as a no and that you condone what he did. Is there a motion to pay his attorney’s fees? Mr. Forbes: You are on the wrong side of the counter to be asking for motions, Mr. Hero. Mr. Hero: Okay. Then I take that as a no, that you condone what he did? Now, we have --- you approved the bills today. Mr. Austgen submitted bills concerning these signs. Did you approve those bills today? Does that mean that you agree with Mr. Austgen that this was a zoning violation and that what Mr. Kil did was proper? If you agree with that, would you make a motion to say, yes, we agree, or, no, we don’t agree? Or by your silence does that mean you condone those bills? Do you view those bills as political work or as work for the Town? Can I get an answer? Is it political work or is it work for the Town?

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero if he had anything else for the Council.

Mr. Hero: Previously, the Town approved bills to do political work to check the filing of Sherry Sury. You approved those bills, this whole Council did. Now, you’ve approved the bills of the Town attorney here regarding this matter. So to me, that’s two instances, I’ll call them two counts of political work, in my opinion. Okay. That is the money of this Town. Do you condone what you did? Do you view that as a misappropriation of Town funds? Give me a yes, no, or by your silence I --- I assume you approved that. You’re smiling again, Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes: You humor me. Mr. Hero: Well, I guess --- I guess there’s one shoe that’s fallen now and I think there may be more shoes falling.

Mr. Forbes called for further public comment. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to public comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Bustamante seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:46 p.m.)

A TRUE COPY

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SUSAN E. WRIGHT, RECORDING SECRETARY
ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

 

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