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Town Council Meeting Minutes 2016

Meeting Minutes

01-14-2016 Town Council

January 14, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 14, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:18 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: BOY SCOUT TROOP 561
Mr. Forbes announced that Boy Scout Troop 561 would lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings, Christen Jorgensen and Gregory Volk. Attorney David Austgen was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present. Recording Secretary, Susan E. Wright, was present.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Mr. Forbes noted the first item of business before the Council was election of officers. He asked for a nomination for the office of President.

Mr. Steve Hastings made a motion to elect Mr. Michael Forbes as President of the Town Council for 2016. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other nominations. Mr. Jorgensen nominated Mr. Mark Barenie for the position of President. There were no other nominations.

Mr. Forbes asked all those in favor of Michael Forbes for the position of President say aye. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes --- four Nay --- one. Mr. Jorgensen voted no. Mr. Forbes asked all those in favor of Mr. Mark Barenie for the position of President say aye. The motion failed (1/4). Ayes --- one. Nay --- four.

Mr. Forbes asked for a nomination for the office of Vice-President. Mr. Forbes nominated Mr. Mark Barenie for the office of Vice-President for 2016. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the nomination. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other nominations for the office of Vice-President. There were no further nominations. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nay --- none.

PRESENTATION: FRED FREGO

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was a presentation for former Chief of Police Fred Frego. Mr. Forbes presented Chief Fred A. Frego a plaque to memorialize the respect and gratitude of the St. John Town Council and the community and their acknowledgement of his dedication and service to the Town of St. John.

Chief Frego thanked the Town Council, Town attorney, Town manager, all of the department heads and Chief Willman for all of the cooperation he received in his 11 ½ years as Chief of Police. He wished Chief Kveton the best of luck.

SWEARING-IN CEREMONY: JAMES KVETON --- CHIEF OF POLICE

Mr. Forbes moved on to the next item on the agenda, the swearing-in ceremony of James Kveton, as the new Chief of Police for the Town of St. John.

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez stated she has had the pleasure of working with Chief Kveton for approximately two weeks; she stated in the short time she has known him she can confidently say he will do good for the Town. She stated Chief Kveton is fair, structured and has the best interests of the Town and residents at heart.

Ms. Hernandez stated it is her honor and privilege to swear-in Mr. James Kveton as the new Chief of Police.

(Clerk Treasurer Beth Hernandez administers the oath of office to Chief Kveton.)

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES (HAAS & ASSOCIATES) FOR 2016.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business for the Council’s attention was to consider the professional services agreement for engineering services in 2016 to be provided by Haas & Associates. He asked if there were any questions on the agreement. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council president to execute the same. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR LEGAL SERVICES (AUSTGEN KUIPER & JASAITIS, PC) FOR 2016.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s attention was to consider the professional services agreement for legal services for the year of 2016 to be provided by Austgen, Kuiper & Jasaitis, PC. He asked if there were any questions on this agreement. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council president to execute the same. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES (CENDER & COMPANY) FOR 2016.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s consideration was the professional services agreement for financial services for the year 2016 to be provided by Cender & Company. He asked if there were any questions on this agreement. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council president to execute the same. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. 2016 BOARD AND COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was the 2016 Board and Commission appointments and recommendations, as follows: Board of Zoning Appeals President, Mr. Jim Maciejewski, will be the Town Council’s appointment to the Plan Commission, Mr. Tom Ryan will fill the one-year vacancy on the Board of Zoning Appeals left by Mr. Maciejewski.

Mr. John Gil, building inspector, was appointed to the Contractor’s Board. Mr. Forbes stated that he had received a letter from Mr. Jack Slager, who resigned from the Contractor’s Board with one year left on his term. Mr. Forbes recommended that Mr. Joe Gomeztagle be appointed to fill this one-year vacancy left by Mr. Slager. Mr. Forbes added that Mr. Kozel and Mr. Hoover have been reappointed to the Contractor’s Board.

Mr. Forbes recommended that the following individuals be reappointed to the Economic Development Committee: Mr. Nick Georgiou, Mr. John DeYoung, Mr. William Keith, Ms. Kelly Stranahan, Mr. Steve Kil, Mr. Mark Barenie and Mr. Rich Setlak. Ms. Gina Fessler was appointed to the Economic Development Committee to fill the vacancy of Mr. Mark Hill (deceased).

Mr. Forbes reappointed Mr. Pete Kohut, Ms. Shirley Nivens, Mr. Frank Buck and Mr. Vince Frassinone to Impact Fee Board.

Mr. Forbes reappointed Mr. Frank Bradke and appointed Mr. Carl Mikusak to the Park Board.

The following appointments were made to the Plan Commission: Mr. Jim Maciejewski, Mr. Bob Birlson and Mr. Jason Williams. Mr. Steve Kozel was reappointed to the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes noted that himself, Mr. Greg Volk and Mr. John Gil would be the staff appointments to the Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes announced the following reappointments to the Police Commission, Mr. Kevin Vanna and Robert Long.

Mr. Forbes stated that all of the members of the Town Council were appointed to the Redevelopment Commission. He stated that Lake Central and Hanover High Schools would be contacted for school board appointments.

Mr. Forbes stated that following individuals were appointed to the Sanitary Board, Mr. Ken Gembala and Ms. Michelle Haluska.

Mr. Forbes stated that the following individuals would be reappointed to the Water Board, Mr. Greg Volk and Mr. Michael Forbes. Mr. Christian Jorgensen was appointed to the Water Board.

Mr. Forbes stated that all of the members of the Town Council were appointed to serve on the Utility Board.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the aforementioned recommendations. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the recommendations to the various Boards and Commissions as discussed above. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve the recommendations. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes noted the liaison assignments were as follows: Mr. Mark Barenie, Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Committee; Mr. Volk, Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals; Mr. Forbes, Park Board and Impact Review Commission; Mr. Steve Hastings, Police Commission and Fire Department; Mr. Jorgensen, NIRPCI and Lake County Solid Waste; and, Mr. Steve Kil, Safety Village.

Mr. Forbes noted that the Ethics Committee needs to send letters to Hyles Anderson, the school corporation and the St. John Chamber of Commerce requesting recommendations from these entities for members for the Ethics Committee.

E. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1619, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TEMPORARY FEE PAYMENT DEFERRAL POLICY FOR THE 2016 PARADE OF HOMES.

Mr. Forbes noted the Ordinance No. 1619, an ordinance establishing a temporary fee payment deferral policy for the 2016 Parade of Homes was before the Board for their review and consideration. Mr. Forbes stated that this temporary fee deferral was done last year at the original Parade of Homes. He stated the Town is fortunate to again have the Parade of Home, in its entirety, in a single site in the Gates of St. John.

Mr. Forbes stated the purpose of Ordinance No. 1619, allows a one-year temporary waiver of all of the fees for building of the units in the Parade of Homes. Mr. Forbes stated that the fee waiver is done to entice more builders to come to the development to build and participate in the Parade of Homes. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on Ordinance No. 1619. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1619 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1619. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1620, AN ORDINANCE RESCINDING ORDINANCE NO. 1538 AND ORDINANCE NO. 1540 REGARDING BUILDING PERMIT DEFERRAL POLICY.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was to consider Ordinance No. 1620, an ordinance rescinding Ordinance No. 1538 and Ordinance No. 1540, regarding the building permit deferral policy. He stated that these two ordinances were enacted in 2011. Mr. Forbes stated the purpose of the ordinances were to continue development in Town and the ordinances allowed builders to pay half of the building fees associated with building a house in Town at the start of construction and allowed them to pay the other half of the building fees upon securing an occupancy permit.

Mr. Forbes stated that since the Town has fully recovered from any impacts of the recession, staff suggested that this deferral policy be discontinued. He explained that the purpose of Ordinance No. 1620 would be the discontinuation of Ordinance Nos. 1538 and 1540. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on Ordinance No. 1620. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1620 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1620. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

A. TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked the Council members if they had anything to report.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report. Mr. Jorgensen had nothing to report. Mr. Hastings had nothing to report. Mr. Barenie had nothing to report.

Mr. Forbes stated he had a note in front of him that the Council needs to appoint Chief Kveton to the E-911 Commission. He asked for a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated she would start off by saying what an honor it is for her to be able to serve the community as Clerk-Treasurer. She stated she spent a lot of time anticipating and planning for the when the time came for her to take office. Ms. Hernandez acknowledged she knew her work was cut out for her, but it is difficult to understand the full spectrum until you jump in.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she believes the majority of people are aware that Some of the existing staff took part in the retirement package. She stated that, thankfully, Pat Kocot and Bev Gawrys came out of a very brief retirement to assist her with the transition in the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office so far. Ms. Hernandez stated that their knowledge and expertise has been very beneficial to her new staff and herself. Ms. Hernandez thanked Connie for remaining on staff and assisting in the training in her office as well. She stated words cannot express how thankful she is for these three ladies.

Ms. Hernandez introduced two new staff members from the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, Kim Miller and Donna Little. She stated she is extremely pleased in how much they have learned in a short nine days. Ms. Hernandez introduced Michelle Tyler, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer. She stated Ms. Tyler has been making tremendous gains so far. Ms. Hernandez stated she and her Deputy Clerk are focusing on closing out the books for 2015 and completing the bank recs.

Ms. Hernandez stated that preparation of the annual report for the State is the next job on their horizon. She stated that her office is continuing to transition and restructure with accountability, efficiency and transparency at the forefront.

STAFF

Attorney Austgen had no reports.

Mr. Kil had no reports.

Chief Kveton expressed his gratitude and honor for being selected for his new position. He stated he has not met all or talked with all of the officers or members of the Town staff yet. He stated he has worked closely with Ms. Hernandez for the last couple of weeks. Chief Kveton stated he sees a lot of pride and integrity in the Town and in the police officers.

Chief Kveton stated he looks forward to the next several years working with all of the officers and creating an environment of trust and pride throughout the entire department. He thanked all of the police officers who were present tonight to honor his swearing-in, and also to honor Chief Frego’s retirement. Chief Kveton stated it was great to see all of the police officers present and he looks forward to working with them every day.

Chief Willman stated as of January 5, 2016, he has completed twenty years as Chief of the St. John Fire Department, and thirty-five years altogether as a member of the fire department.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road
Ms. Pacific noted an interesting article in the January 7, 2016, issue of The Times regarding the boom in home building in St. John. She stated if you read what Town Manager, Steve Kil, is saying the only conclusion that can be reached is that the St John Council does not understand the problems that the current homeowners will face as a result of this boom.

Ms. Pacific stated it is not possible to build as many homes as are being proposed off of the Town’s current two-lane highways without creating major problems for the present homeowners. She stated that there is already unmanageable traffic congestion on 101st, Calumet and State Line. Ms. Pacific stated it is impossible to cross 101st during high traffic times now. Ms. Pacific stated you cannot put this many people in such a small area and not expect huge problems.

Ms. Pacific stated that, obviously, none of the owners of Schilling Development live in the small area, or it would not even be a consideration to destroy the quality of life even further than it already has been. Ms. Pacific stated the article also mentioned a new well that was being built in the southwest quadrant of St. John to accommodate the building of these homes. She asked how the well was going to affect her existing area. Ms. Pacific asked “Will we even have enough water?”

Ms. Pacific noted the Greystone subdivision, to be located on the corner of 101st and Calumet Avenue, will be in the Hanover Township school district. She stated any children in Greystone would attend Cedar Lake schools. Ms. Pacific stated this means more schools would have to be built to accommodate these children. She stated the St. John residents do not need additional taxes added to their property taxes.

Ms. Pacific stated that Schilling Development and other developers like them need to be charged impact fees to pay for the road improvements and schools. She stated that these developers are making millions of dollars from these subdivisions. Ms. Pacific asked why these developers should be able to plunder the Town’s neighborhoods and then make off with the profits leaving the residents to pick up their tab. She asked how Schilling Development could feel this is fair; she opined it’s neither fair nor just.

Ms. Pacific asked the Town Council what they were going to do. She stated that her understanding is that the Council has already approved a huge subdivision “strangely called the Preserves, when that is the last thing that will be done.” Ms. Pacific stated this subdivision will be another subdivision done by Schilling Development without making adequate provisions to accommodate additional people and vehicles. She stated that the only reason the Council is now requiring Schilling Development to provide some highway improvements is because of the caring, local residents who stepped up to the plate and testified at the last Council meeting, forcing them to take some action.

Ms. Pacific asked if the developers could be required to provide money to widen the roads and install traffic lights so the residents can at least cross 101st Avenue, and provide money to accommodate the additional children forced into the school system. She asked if the Council if they were going to make the residents pay for the mess that they are approving.

Ms. Pacific stated she does not understand where the Council’s thoughts or ideas are, but this is not fair to the homeowners who live in the area now. She stated this is a rural area, farm land, and not a Town like St. John. Ms. Pacific stated that they can’t take these farms and turn them into 700 homes and expect the little roads, torn apart as it is, to provide for the vehicles from the new developments. She asked, “What are you thinking of? Don’t you care about us residents at all?”

Ms. Pacific stated that the Town annexed this property. She stated at the last Council meeting she attended Mr. Slager testified that the reason the property was annexed was in order to build the subdivision. Ms. Pacific stated, “That’s not right to us. We’re just regular people just like you and we want our homes to stay the way they are.” Ms. Pacific described the route she has to take if she wants to go north on State Line Road when she can’t cross 101st.

Ms. Pacific asked again about the well the Town was building. Mr. Kil explained that the well is in the Town’s Master Plan. He stated that a fracture trace analysis was done of the entire southwest quadrant. Mr. Kil stated that the Town knew that at some point in the future they would have to put an additional well in to provide volume. Mr. Kil stated that the location of the well has not been determined only that a well will have to be constructed in the future.

Ms. Pacific asked how the Town’s proposed well would affect the wells of the residents in her area. Mr. Kil explained that the well would function fundamentally the same way the well operates on the east side of Town. Mr. Kil explained that the Town’s wells are typically about 260 feet down into the bedrock. He stated that the private wells, not having to produce the volume of a Town well, are significantly shallower.

Ms. Pacific asked how this would affect the aquafer. Mr. Kil reiterated that the exact location of the well is not yet known. He stated that the fracture trace analysis geologically identifies where most of the fractures intersect and identifies the logical locations to dig a well.

Ms. Pacific asked if the Council was against charging developers impact fees so the existing residents don’t have to pay for the additional schools and highway additions and improvements. Mr. Kil stated that impact fee statutes are pretty clear. He asked Attorney Austgen to elaborate on the impact fees.

Attorney Austgen stated that impact fees cannot be assessed for schools. He stated that specifically identified infrastructure can be assessed impact fees, and it does not include schools or educational institutions. Attorney Austgen cited the statute he was referring to 36-7-4-1300.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Kil explained the system development fees for water and sewer. He explained the difference between impact fees and development fees.

Mr. Forbes explained that the Hanover Township is in the Town’s district, that Hanover Township runs right through the middle of St. John. He explained that the Town is split right down the middle between St. John Township and Hanover Township. Mr. Kil explained that the school districts do not follow town boundaries, the school districts follow the township boundaries. Mr. Kil stated that the residents of St. John live in three townships, St. John Township, Hanover Township and Center Township. He described the boundaries of each township.

Ms. Pacific asked the Council how they arrive at a decision to approve a subdivision. She stated she went to a Plan Commission meeting and was not allowed to speak. Mr. Kil stated that the Preserve will be on the February 3, 2016, Plan Commission agenda. He stated that Schilling Development has decided to hire a traffic engineer to do a traffic study for the Preserve development.

Mr. Kil explained that a Town has zoning ordinances and a Subdivision Control Ordinance in place. He explained that if the Town tells someone that they cannot develop their property, then the Town must buy the property (adverse possession). Mr. Kil stated that the Town cannot deny someone a right to develop their property provided that they develop a property in accordance with all of the Town’s ordinances.

(General discussion ensued.)

Brian Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:
Mr. Blazak stated since the last Plan Commission meeting was cancelled due to no quorum, he was wondering if the Town has required the developer of the Preserve have a traffic study done in compliance with the ordinance? Mr. Kil explained in discussion with Mr. Slager, representative for Schilling Development, it was determined that a traffic study/analysis will be done. Mr. Kil stated he believes First Group Engineering was hired to do the traffic study. Mr. Kil stated that this traffic study was supposed to be done and submitted to the Plan Commission at the February 3, 2016,

Mr. Blazak asked if First Group Engineering was the same entity that created the Town’s 10-year Development Plan. Mr. Kil stated that First Group did the Town’s Thoroughfare Plan. Mr. Blazak asked if the draft online is going to remain a draft. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Dennis Cobb is in the process of finalizing the Thoroughfare Plan for the Town. Mr. Kil stated that the Thoroughfare Plan is supposed to be completed within the next two weeks and submitted to the Town. Mr. Kil stated that a final draft of the Thoroughfare Plan will be put on line.

Mr. Blazak asked how a traffic study is done if traffic is not counted or accounted for. He stated that 93rd and White Oak is his back yard, and he has seen no evidence of a traffic study being conducted, no counters, no trips and no people and no evidence at all that a traffic study is being conducted. He asked again, how is the traffic study being done? Mr. Blazak asked again “Where is this traffic study being done?” He asked if people were going to sit around and hypothetically create things.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Blazak stated that White Oak, 93rd and 101st, will be the roads catching the brunt of the Preserve traffic. He stated since there are only two exits, one on White Oak and one on 93rd, all of the traffic will funnel through these two roads. Mr. Kil stated his understanding is that Mr. Cobb will be taking a hard look at these intersections in the traffic study. Mr. Kil stated he does not have any information in front of him at the present time, only that a traffic study is being performed.

Mr. Blazak asked how the Town is going to prove that this traffic study being done by Schilling Development is worth the paper it is printed on. Mr. Kil stated that the Town’s professionals will review the traffic study when it is completed. Mr. Kil stated that the Town Engineer will review the traffic study. Mr. Kil stated that he will rely on the Town’s engineering firm to review this work.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Blazak asked if there would be another public hearing on the Preserve. Mr. Kil stated that the Preserve will be back before the Plan Commission on February 3, 2016, to make a presentation of the traffic study and other issues that they are preparing for right now.

Vince Carbonic, 9679 White Oak Avenue:
Mr. Casboni stated he was a former fireman for the Town of St. John. He stated he will be located right across from the Preserve, a proposed 319 acre subdivision with 445 homes. Mr. Casboni stated that his main concern is the drainage run off as far as retention and detention.

Mr. Casboni stated that Bull Run Creek runs through the back of his property. He stated that water comes in from the north of Town and now the creek will also be taking in water coming from the west. Mr. Casboni asked what kind of retention/detention ponds will be provided to stop the flow of water onto his property. Mr. Forbes stated this is another factor that would be reviewed by the Town’s Engineer. He stated that this matter is currently under review.

Mr. Casboni stated that 30 years ago, Bull Run ditch was cleaned. He requested that the Council send a letter to the Drainage Board requesting the Bull Run Ditch be cleaned out again. Mr. Casboni stated with the new subdivision coming in, he’s going to get flooded out again.

Mr. Casboni stated that the sign located at 93rd Avenue and White Oak, reflecting White Oak going west off of Hilltop is one of the smallest signs ever made. Mr. Casboni stated that he did a traffic study of his own on November 24, 2015, from 3:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., three hours and twenty minutes. He stated from 93rd Avenue to 101st, southbound there was a count of 517 vehicles and 408 vehicles going northbound. Mr. Casboni stated this is a total of 925 vehicles that passed in front of his gate at 9679 White Oak Avenue.

Mr. Casboni stated on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, he conducted another three hour traffic study from 3:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m. He stated going north and south on White Oak Avenue the vehicle count was 1,175, and on 93rd Avenue, going east and west from Hilltop to Monix Drive, the vehicle count was 1,442. He stated that makes a total of 2,619 vehicles that passed through this intersection.

Mr. Casboni stated that 93rd Avenue to 101st and White Oak is not even reflected in the Town’s 2005 Thoroughfare Plan graph. He noted that the Town has sold a parcel to the ice arena. He stated this this sale will create even more of an influx of traffic coming down White Oak Avenue. Mr. Casboni stated that the ice arena is open almost twenty-four hours.

Mr. Casboni noted that the Town has a police commission; he asked why there was no fire commission.

Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu stated he has been a St. John resident for 39 years. He stated it was not even a year and he was terrorized by these people. Mr. Bugariu stated the Town does not need “Frego, Fryzel and Steve Kil.” He stated he understands that David Austgen is a very good friend with Fryzel.

Mr. Bugariu stated he was put behind bars by these people (pointing) for eleven years, not to mention 1977.

Vince (unintelligible last name), 9161 Franklin:
He stated he has been a Town resident for approximately five years. He stated that recent developments have him very concerned. He stated he was a project manager for over 40 years and oversaw some pretty significant projects. He addressed Mr. Kil, he stated if someone attended one of his meetings and expressed the level of knowledge that Mr. Kil has about the process, he would asked that they be removed.

He stated he is stunned Mr. Kil is still here. He stated Mr. Kil has no clue as to how to prepare for a project of this size and he doesn’t even know what paperwork or studies are required. He stated things have been approved without traffic control studies and God knows what else. He stated that this project has been very badly handled and he hopes there is time to fix it before it is totally screwed up.

He stated in the future, the residents of this Town will be faced with massive road construction costs because St. John is not coordinating with other cities and towns in any way to aid traffic flow. And now, he stated, we’re adding an unknown number of cars for 435 houses to three roads that are totally unequipped to handle the traffic.

Gerry Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets stated he is a member of the St. John PAC. He addressed the entire Council. He stated residents look to the Council with respect due to the positions that they hold, but do not always respect all of the decisions that are made. Mr. Swets stated that they are in disagreement with a lot of decisions that are made. He stated this is not personal, it is business, the Town’s business.

Mr. Swets stated that the Council tries to improve the Town as best they can, and the residents try to add improvements to the Town as well. He welcomed Mr. Jorgensen and Mr. Hastings the new Town Council members. Mr. Swets told them they have many tough jobs ahead of them.

Mr. Swets noted it was a new year and an opportunity for a brand new start. He stated if some improvements and changes could be made, it would eliminate a lot of the criticisms that have come upon the Council. Mr. Swets stated it was an opportunity for everyone on the Council to start fresh.

Mr. Swets told Mr. Forbes, as president, he left many unresolved issues, number one, the lawsuits that the Town has been bombarded with and with the Town Manager in the middle of them. He remarked upon the conversion charge that Mr. Kil is facing, and Mr. Kil not even having been put on administrative leave or being fired, which, he opined, is a pretty normal process in most businesses.

Mr. Swets noted another issue is unmanageable traffic. Traffic that might have been improved if the guidelines that were set up in 2005 had been followed. Mr. Swets stated he believed Mr. Forbes was a part of setting up these guidelines and he didn’t follow them. Mr. Swets stated that 93rd Avenue is a problem area and would have called for a new traffic study. He stated this has not been done and Mr. Forbes is not doing his job.

Mr. Swets stated that re-zoning and new building is being approved for multi-family housings. He stated when an open hearing is held, one of the biggest concerns expressed by residents is that no more multi-family housing be approved because it will destroy the property values of the residents who are in single family dwellings.

Mr. Swets stated that a re-zoning is approved for the Preserves development without even following the guidelines set forth in the Town’s ordinances which require traffic studies. He stated none of this stuff was done. Mr. Swets stated Mr. Forbes is being asked to do his job and do it the right way.

Mr. Swets stated things aren’t going to get any better here. He stated that the Council is not allowed to do anything that they please. Mr. Swets stated that the Council is not allowed to make the rules and then decide which ones are to be followed without some consequences.

Mr. Swets reiterated he’s hoping this year can bring about a new start. He stated, based on his concerns, he’s asking Mr. Forbes to begin a search for a new town manager. He opined Mr. Kil needs to be replaced due to his actions. Mr. Swets stated that the legal issues Mr. Kil has brought the Town into are an embarrassment.

Mr. Swets stated, Mr. Forbes, being the head of the Council, is responsible for this. He stated many times executives are faced with these type of decisions and they understand their responsibility for it, and they would resign under these conditions. Mr. Swets asked Mr. Forbes to resign from his position.

Dale Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated he looked up a few things pertaining to the Preserve. He stated this section of land was incorporated into St. John in July of 2015. Mr. Robert stated it was zoned on 8-5-15 as an R-1, and on 11-19-15 it was changed to a PUD according to Ordinance No. 1615. Mr. Robert recommended that this ordinance be rescinded just as an ordinance was rescinded on the agenda tonight.

Mr. Robert asked if the councilmen had received a plat plan of the Preserve before they passed Ordinance No. 1615. Mr. Forbes stated the plan was included in the packet. Mr. Robert asked if the residential lots had been reflected in the plan. Mr. Forbes stated the plan did not have any engineering.

Mr. Robert asked if the designated wet lands were reflected on the plan. Mr. Forbes responded, “Yes.” Mr. Robert noted the four acres that are right in the middle of the plan, off of 97th and he asked if the Council if they knew what this location was. Mr. Forbes stated he does not recall there being wet lands in the middle of the development. Mr. Robert stated the location he is referring to is on the US Fish and Wildlife website as a designated wet land. Mr. Forbes responded that if it is a wet land, it will be brought to the Plan Commission’s attention by the Town Engineer.

Mr. Robert stated his understanding of a PUD is that it allows any size lot that the developer wants. He stated that Council approved the PUD. Mr. Robert stated, in other words, the Council is saying it is okay to have 80-foot lots with all of the R-2 and R-1 lots that are designated 100 foot lots. He stated that the Council is approving over 200 80-foot lots in the Preserves.

Mr. Robert stated that there is a fresh water emergent wet land right in the middle of the proposed subdivision. He stated you can’t build on the wet land. Mr. Robert stated he did not see the plan himself. He, again, recommended that Ordinance 1615 be rescinded and the lots revert back to R-1.

Mr. Robert asked why the building commissioner job was not advertised for bid. Mr. Kil explained that a current Town employee from the Public Works department was transferred into the job. Mr. Robert asked why the job was not put out for bid. Mr. Kil explained that a transfer from within the Town was made to fill the job. Mr. Kil stated that the building commissioner has a degree in construction technology from Purdue University.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Robert stated it just seems like people are put in different jobs without putting the jobs out for public bids and he was really disappointed in this action.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated you have a Town Manager who has been charged with conversion. He asked Mr. Forbes how he could allow Mr. Kil to control purchases and control the money of the Town. He asked Mr. Forbes if he could answer this question. Mr. Hero asked, how could you have him handling credit cards? How can you have him handling any financial matters if he has been charged with conversion? He asked Mr. Forbes to explain this.

Mr. Hero asked Mr. Forbes if he was present when Mr. Kil was converting the signs. He asked him if this is why he would not answer the question. Mr. Hero stated, if the Council listened to the comments, looking at the conversion charge, Mr. Forbes should at least suspend Mr. Kil and take away his financial authority until the conversion charge is resolved. He stated that is typically what would happen in any other community.

Mr. Hero stated that the issue that comes up in his mind is that Mr. Forbes is not taking seriously the leadership as the Town Council president. He stated Mr. Kil should be suspended, at the very least. He asked if it was because Mr. Forbes was a part of this action. He asked if this is the reason Mr. Forbes won’t take action. Mr. Forbes responded, “You know I had no part in it.”

Mr. Hero stated Mr. Forbes was there as the Town Council president when the conversion occurred. He stated Mr. Forbes’ car pulled up next to Mr. Kil’s, and then Mr. Kil went out and converted more signs. Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Forbes had knowledge of what was going on.

Mr. Hero stated that notwithstanding the trust issue, the issue of competence has come up tonight, if the Council has been listening to the previous comments. He stated if Mr. Forbes was not willing to make a change for the conversion charge, he should be making a change for competency.

Mr. Hero stated take a look at St. John and all of its traffic problems, all of the complaints of the residents and Mr. Kil is running the Town. He stated that the previous Council was just a rubber stamp, they collected their paycheck and allowed Mr. Kil free rein. He asked if this is why Mr. Forbes won’t suspend Mr. Kil, because they get a paycheck and don’t have to do any work. Mr. Hero stated he does not hear any answers.

Mr. Hero welcomed the new Police Chief and also gave him some condolences for all of the other problems that have been highlighted with the Police Department. He stated “There is supposedly a grand jury investigation tied into all of this.” Mr. Hero asked what did the Council know as all of these activities have gone on.

Mr. Hero asked why the Council offered a retirement package for a bunch of Town employees and did not eliminate their jobs. Mr. Hero stated now there are some people coming back who received the retirement package. He asked if the retirement package was a bribe to shut people up. He asked if the retirement package was an incentive to “Shut up. Take your money and go.” He asked Mr. Forbes if this was the purpose of the retirement package.

Mr. Hero stated that the other issue he has for Chief Kveton was for him to examine everyone who has had access to Spillman over the last five years and see what inappropriate activity has been going on. He asked Chief Kveton to look at this communication system and identify any illegal use of the system.

Mr. Hero stated another issue to be looked at is if St. John letter head or police letterhead was used to purchase any assault rifles, and, if so, investigate to see if this was an appropriate purchase.

Mr. Hero reiterated he would like to see Mr. Forbes suspend Mr. Kil, at the very least, and Mr. Forbes resign from his position.

Mary Therese Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Ms. Robert addressed Mr. Kil. She stated when her husband and her first moved to Town, they came to his office. She stated they questioned Mr. Kil about the sewer project across the street. Ms. Robert stated Mr. Kil told them he knew nothing about the sewer project. She stated these are the storm sewers that Arzumanian did not finish. She stated the tax payers of St. John paid these bills.

Ms. Robert stated the Town now has a Tree Commission. She asked what the purpose of the Tree Commission was. Ms. Robert asked if they have found, identified and/or removed the emerald ash borers before they infect more trees.

Ms. Robert asked who is responsible for the signage at the subdivisions. She stated, “We are not a community. We are subdivisions.” She stated her subdivision has no sign. Ms. Robert asked why the developers are being allowed to come in and build a subdivision and then not being required to maintain the entrances after the last lot is sold. Ms. Robert stated she spoke to Mr. Kil on the phone about this issue.

Ms. Robert asked if everyone was on board with the Code of Ethics. She asked Mr. Jorgensen if he had been informed of the Code of Ethics or signed it yet. She stated she would talk to him about this matter. Ms. Robert asked Mr. Kil if he had signed a Code of Ethics. Mr. Kil stated he doesn’t know that the Council has ever adopted the Code of Ethics.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Robert stated Mr. Kil is the Town Manager, and she expects him to have a Code of Ethics also. She stated Mr. Kil lied to her and husband “bold-faced” about the sewer project that he said he knew nothing about. Mr. Kil stated he still doesn’t know what Ms. Robert is talking about.

Ms. Robert stated it was sewers that were put behind “those homes.” Ms. Robert asked Mr. Robert to explain what she was talking about. Mr. Robert stated it was the completion of a sewer project that was from Heron Lake to the retention pond on the north side. Mr. Robert stated it cost over $50,000 to the taxpayers that they did not know about. Mr. Robert stated that the sewers had something to do with Mr. Arzumanian and (unintelligible). Mr. Kil stated he does not have any idea what Arzumanian was supposed to do; he stated this was so long ago he probably wasn’t even with the Town yet. Mr. Robert stated the project was completed in the 2004-2005-time frame.

Ms. Robert asked why the fire and police chiefs aren’t required to sign off on subdivisions that the subdivision is safe as to fire and for the police department to do the same.

Ms. Robert stated she has made previous comments to the Council wherein businesses in Town would be required to beautify Indianapolis Boulevard.

Ms. Robert stated that the DNR just awarded funds to various towns for trees. She asked why the Town is not doing anything to get ahead.

Ms. Robert asked if the Town was involved in the Regional Cities runoff where free money was being given out.

Ms. Robert stated she suggested that the Town open up the naming of the dog park. She stated it would have been nice to have the school kids voting on a name. She stated, “But, it was already decided --- I don’t know by which one of you, nor do I care.” Ms. Robert stated it was a sad thing to lose this, because it would have been a good thing to involve the schools in.

Ms. Robert asked if the Council if they attend the Shared Ethics Advisory Committee meetings. She asked again if anyone attended the meetings. She stated she would take no response as a no.

Ms. Robert stated that the DNR was also giving out money for forestry. She stated that there is a lot of money out there, “But we’re too worried about covering the things that we do than being forthright and trying to go ahead.”

Ms. Robert stated she is sorry she moved to St. John. She stated “This is not a community; it’s a subdivision.”

Kathleen Voss, 17753 Thielen St.:
Ms. Voss stated she agrees with the previous comments regarding the leadership in Town. She stated, “Unfortunately, Mr. Kil, you’ve been here way too long.” She stated the Town does whatever is convenient for them.

Ms. Voss stated she wanted to talk about Public Works. She asked if the Town was supposed to notify adjacent homeowners before property is rezoned and allow them to comment. She stated Public Works [sic] was never notified. She stated it wasn’t until the houses are going down and it’s “Oh, here’s the grand plan.”

She asked where are the trees to block the buildings? Where is the gazebo?

Ms. Voss asked about the Industrial Park that was developed. She stated it supposedly doesn’t border any homes. Ms. Voss stated that the Industrial Park is supposed to have screening or opaque walls, and there’s nothing but a chain link fence. Ms. Voss stated that the Town is worried about trailers in the back yard that must be on concrete, yet it looks like a Christmas tree in her back yard with all of the fire trucks and the lights and the signs and everything else. She reiterated…it seems like whatever is convenient for the Council.

Ms. Voss stated, “Please, take this Town into consideration for a moment. Look at the grand plan, not just what’s on your plate or convenient for your friends at the moment.” Ms. Voss stated, “You need to go and we need somebody that will step up to the damn plat for a change.”

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he’s been a resident for 56 years. He stated he has a number of points and questions concerning a number of things. Mr. Parada stated most of his concerns are with the Town’s leadership. Mr. Parada stated that he’s glad to see four new eyes on the Council. He stated he is not very happy with the way things have been done in the past.

Mr. Parada stated he had a question for Mr. Forbes. He stated he has been videotaping the meetings for a while, and it seems to Mr. Parada when he reviewed Mr. Forbes on tape, he seems to spend a good deal of time chuckling, laughing and acting like questions are really outrageous. Mr. Parada stated when he reviewed the videotape from the last meeting he noticed when he mentioned that Mr. Forbes’ actions took a pretty high toll on Sherry Sury’s health, you really got a big chuckle out of that.

Mr. Parada added, he hoped Ms. Hernandez is treated much better in her position than Ms. Sury was.

Mr. Parada stated Mr. Kil’s court date for the conversion charge is coming up pretty soon. He asked Mr. Forbes if he will take the same “cavalier attitude” in front of Judge Schiralli as he does at the meetings. Mr. Parada repeated his question loudly two more times. Mr. Parada stated since he was not getting an answer he would take it as a “yes.”

Mr. Parada stated he has a “bone to pick” with Mr. Barenie. Mr. Parada stated that Mr. Barenie was present at the November meeting as was Ms. Sury. Mr. Parada stated Mr. Barenie made a comment “We need a full-time Clerk-Treasurer.” Mr. Parada stated that this was a very distasteful thing to say.

Mr. Parada stated he and Mr. Barenie have interacted briefly in the past. He stated he would enlighten the audience. Mr. Parada stated he got on Mr. Barenie pretty hard at the Meet the Candidate meeting. Mr. Parada stated this was a very emotional time for him as his house was in jeopardy, “And I still think it is -- of being wrecked by the Town or torn down.“

Mr. Parada stated two days after this encounter he came up to Mr. Barenie and apologized because he had found out Mr. Barenie had a lot of problems at home because his daughter had been in a near fatal accident. Mr. Barenie agreed that he believes Mr. Parada apologized to him profusely.

Mr. Barenie stated he would appreciate it if Mr. Parada would not talk about his personal matters.

Mr. Parada opined that it would only be fair and right for Mr. Barenie to apologize to Ms. Sury. He stated Ms. Sury has had a lot of problems.

Mr. Parada repeated his request for Mr. Barenie to apologize to Ms. Sury because of what was said about her being a “non full-time Clerk -Treasurer.”

Mr. Barenie stated he does not believe he said that. Mr. Parada stated that “You said exactly that.”

Mr. Parada asked Mr. Barenie “So you’re not going to apologize?”

Mr. Barenie stated he would not know what to apologize for. Mr. Prada stated he just told Mr. Barenie what the apology was for. Mr. Barenie stated he doesn’t believe he called Ms. Sury a part-time clerk. He stated what he said was “We need a full-time clerk.” Mr. Parada concurred.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie stated he wished Ms. Sury no ill will, and he made no comment about her health. He stated if someone interpreted his remark as such, he apologized.

Mr. Parada asked Mr. Barenie again, to apologize to Ms. Sury. Mr. Barenie, again, stated he’s not sure what he would be apologizing for. Mr. Parada stated he would explain.

Mr. Prada stated “Here’s how this works. You made the comment in public that we need a full time treasurer, and you have not attended 29% of the meetings in the last three years nor 27% of the Utility Board meetings. How do you answer for that?”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Parada stated that Mr. Forbes got a big chuckle out of Mr. Parada’s comments on job-related stress at the last meeting. Mr. Forbes stated he laughed at Mr. Parada’s inaccuracies of the situation. Mr. Parada asked Mr. Forbes to enlighten him. Mr. Forbes refused.

Mr. Parada commented that he’s noticed that Mr. Forbes doesn’t have many answers. He stated its usually dead silence. Mr. Forbes stated he could not share this information with Mr. Parada. Mr. Parada stated that Mr. Forbes shouldn’t be so irresponsible about something he can’t share.

Mr. Barenie stated he wanted to make a few more comments. He stated, based on the comments that the Council has heard about Mr. Kil, no one will believe that for every meeting he did not attend, he was in full discussion with his fellow councilmen and Mr. Kil. Mr. Barenie stated there were many nights he was up from 5:30 a.m. to midnight in order to keep informed on the Town’s business.

Mr. Barenie stated he did not know who did Mr. Parada’s math, he stated he should be graded on the twelve years he has been in office. Mr. Prada asked Mr. Barenie if he knew how much time Ms. Sury devoted to the Town. Mr. Barenie stated did not realize he was battling Ms. Sury in an election.

Mr. Barenie stated he supported Ms. Sury for probably 11 years. He stated that the last year was not so good. Mr. Barenie reiterated there were 11 good years. Mr. Barenie stated when he told the truth and the truth was not bad, Mr. Parada didn’t like his statements.

Mr. Parada stated he did not believe that Mr. Barenie was telling the truth. Mr. Barenie stated Ms. Sury would probably tell him that they got along good for ten or eleven years. Mr. Parada stated he has his opinions just like Mr. Barenie has his. Mr. Parada reiterated he did not believe Mr. Barenie was telling the truth.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Parada asked Mr. Kil if there was any news on the redraw of Joliet Street. Mr. Kil stated he did not have anything yet. He stated when he has drawings he will present them to the Town Council and Mr. Parada would be more than welcome to the same information.

Mr. Kil stated that the Clerk-Treasurer has a copy of Mr. Parada’s survey. Mr. Parada stated that he received a copy of the survey. Mr. Kil stated that he wanted to ensure that Mr. Parada had a copy of the survey.

Mr. Parada stated he’s been hearing for years and years and years that they could not have a traffic signal at Joliet and Route 41. He stated no matter how much of a danger this intersection is to citizens of the Town, the State just won’t allow the signal light. Mr. Parada stated, in reality, the Town Council never petitioned the state for a traffic signal at this location. He stated that it was explained to him that the Town had it all covered because of the grand plan to put at traffic signal it at 97th or 96th. Mr. Parada asked why the townspeople have been lied to about this for all of these years. Mr. Kil stated he was not sure what Mr. Parada was talking about.

Mr. Kil stated that the State of Indiana, INDOT, were made privy to the conceptual drawing that the Town had for the Boyer development. He stated this conceptual drawing calls for the elimination of left turns at Joliet Street and the addition of a traffic signal at 96th (which would be a future 96th Avenue to the east). Mr. Kil explained that typically INDOT will not allow a traffic signal within 1000 feet of another signal. Mr. Prada stated, “That’s a crock.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil talked about information out of the Uniform Traffic Control manual.

Rita Burg 10351 Joliet Street:
Ms. Burg stated she is one of many parents who lost children due to an accident on Route 41. She stated she lost her only son on Route 41. Ms. Burg stated, since that time, she has been before the Council many times before and she gave up because she kept hearing “We don’t have the money to put sidewalks down Joliet.”

Ms. Burg stated that there are a lot of kids who walk up and down Joliet Street and there are no sidewalks. She stated that kids are walking up and down Joliet Street and it’s so dangerous. Ms. Burg stated every parent on the street is apprehensive.

Ms. Burg stated she was very upset that the signal light didn’t get put in at Joliet Street. She stated Joliet Street, 93rd Avenue and Route 231 are all major roads going to Crown Point. She stated that it’s important to a lot of people in Crown Point that they can go up the street to go shopping. Ms. Burg stated now they will have to find another way around, using 93rd Avenue or Route 231, she stated that this will add to the existing traffic nightmare on these roads.

Ms. Burg stated that she took the initiative and called the Laporte INDOT office. She stated that she voiced her concerns about the road safety to a representative in that office who told her they would be out to do a study in approximately two weeks. Ms. Burg stated that she then received a phone call from the INDOT representative approximately a week later informing her of the plans the Town has for the mall, side roads and a roundabout.

Mr. Kil stated that no one from INDOT ever called him, and he hasn’t talked to anyone from INDOT in months. Mr. Kil stated that INDOT was shown a conceptual drawing. He stated that anytime a town is going to undertake on a project like this involving a state highway, the Department of Transportation has to approve it. Mr. Kil reiterated that INDOT was shown a conceptual drawing of the Boyer project where Joliet Street would be rerouted to a traffic light on 96th Avenue. Mr. Kil stated that INDOT was also shown a very rough draft of a conceptual drawing of how left-turn traffic would be stopped at Joliet Street.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Burg stated she has both personal reasons and practical reasons for wanting to see something done about the traffic on Joliet Street. Mr. Kil stated that approximately ten years ago, the Town wanted to put in sidewalks on both sides of Joliet Street. He stated that the residents on Joliet Street, at that time, would not hear of it. Mr. Kil stated that the residents did not want people walking in their front yards. Mr. Kil stated that the Town is a big proponent of sidewalks.

Ms. Burg stated that the two neighbors at the end of her block were paid for a portion of their front yards, and the yard was then used to go into the new housing development behind them. She stated that those are the only two residents in her neighborhood that objected to sidewalks on Joliet Street, and it was because they would not have any front yard left. Ms. Burg stated she had obtained the signatures of everyone else on her block on both sides, all of whom were in favor of sidewalks.

(General discussion ensued.)

Ms. Burg stated she wants to see the safety issues put in for the children, especially on the corner. She asked how many kids have been hit at this location. Ms. Burg reminded the Council that in 1984, St. John lost 14 children. Mr. Kil stated that is why the Town wants to eliminate the left-hand turns at Joliet Street.

Ms. Burg asked the Council to request a traffic study by INDOT at Joliet Street, and request a signal light at this location. Mr. Kil stated he would contact INDOT and request an analysis of Joliet Street. Ms. Burg stated there are enough accidents here that everyone should be concerned.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated that the Boyer plan has been around since 2006. Mr. Kil stated that Boyer plan was submitted to him in 2015. Mr. Prada asked how many accidents have been at Joliet Street. He stated that the Joliet Street intersection has been bad for a long time, and something needs to be done about it before anything else. Mr. Kil stated that is what the Boyer plan is proposing, to eliminate the left-hand turns.

Mr. Parada stated that he didn’t wish to debate this matter. He stated that the Town says that this plan will cut off 90 percent of the traffic on Joliet Street. Mr. Parada stated “That’s just stupid because it’s not going to change a bit.”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Parada stated “Signalize it now.”

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific asked what, if anything, of the landowners near the proposed Greystone can do to stop Greystone. Mr. Kil stated that the residents can attend the public hearings that are advertised. He stated that Greystone will probably be before the Board in March, although they have not yet requested a public hearing. He stated any resident within 300 feet of the property will receive a certified letter. Mr. Kil stated that there will also be a sign posted facing 101st advertising the public hearing.

Ms. Pacific asked if a subdivision of the size that the Greystone developer is proposing could be stopped if there was enough public support against it. Mr. Kil stated this was a very difficult question to answer. He stated he did not know how to answer this question.

Mr. Kil stated that the residents can show up at a meeting and remonstrate against a subdivision, and the Plan Commission will take those comments into consideration when they vote. He stated he would certainly recommend that concerned citizens attend the public hearings.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated that a developer is using the same engineering company to do a traffic study that the Town uses. He asked if the engineering company has been asked to submit an “anti-collusion affidavit.” Mr. Hero opined that the Town should find a new company to do the traffic study that is independent of the company hired by the developer to avoid any conflict of interest. He stated that the engineering company should be made to sign an “anti-collusion affidavit” so the company cannot be doing private work for a developer. Mr. Hero stated that it will be difficult to judge whose interests the traffic study is in.

Garret (unintelligible) 2736 Edgar Drive
This young man asked the Council what they were going to do about the old K-Mart. He stated this building has been sitting for a really long time. Mr. Forbes stated that there has been conversation with the company that owns that building. He stated that the company is not interested in selling the empty building but they are looking for a long-term lease.

Garret asked the Council, “What are you going to do about the food situation. There’s like a lot of fast food places here...” Mr. Forbes stated that the Council is hoping that if and when the Boyer development comes into Town, it will bring some more high level restaurants in. Mr. Forbes stated that there are two restaurants coming into the north end of Town across from Lake Central.

Leo Lazroff, 9490 Julia Drive:
Mr. Lazroff stated that there was a little run-in approximately four years ago about a basketball court in his backyard. He stated that the zoning was overridden so that the basketball court could go in. Mr. Lazroff stated it cost him $10,000 to put a wall around his swimming pool to stop his basement from being flooded.

Mr. Lazroff asked the Council to start looking at things. He stated that the proposed Preserve is going in on 93rd Avenue. Mr. Lazroff stated that it looks like the bike trail is going through the wet lands. He stated if the trail is going through the wet lands, the Town is in some serious trouble. Mr. Lazroff stated to build a bike trail in the wet lands will leave the Town dealing with the Army Corps of Engineers and inviting another lawsuit. Mr. Lazroff stated the Town should think about this before they take any actions.

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. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

 

01-28-2016 Town Council

January 28, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 28, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

Mr. Forbes requested a moment of silence be observed for Deputy Clerk, Michele Tyler, who recently passed away.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

(A moment of silence was observed.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings, Christen Jorgensen and Gregory Volk. Attorney David Austgen was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: DECEMBER 17, 2015

Mr. Forbes stated that the meeting minutes of December 17, 2015, were before the Council for their review and approval. He asked if there were any questions on the minutes. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the December 17, 2015, Town Council meeting minutes. Mr. Hastings seconded the minutes. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none. Mr. Barenie abstained.

NEW BUSINESS:

PUBLIC HEARING
A. ORDINANCE NO. 1616, A PETITION FOR ANNEXATION OF REAL PROPERTY, PETER AND RADA TZANETKOS.

Mr. Forbes noted the first item under New Business was a public hearing for the annexation of real property for Peter and Rada Tzanetkos. Attorney Austgen informed the Council that the Proofs of Publication for the public hearing were in order, and he had the Publisher’s Affidavits evidencing same.

Mr. Kil stated that this parcel of property is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of 101st Avenue and Calumet Avenue. He stated that the parcel is slightly over 24 acres. Mr. Kil stated that the Petitioners are proposing to annex the entire parcel into Town. He stated that the only plans Petitioner currently has are to look at developing the very corner of the roadway and leaving the rest of the property undeveloped.

Mr. Kil stated that Petitioners are requesting that the parcel be annexed into Town in two separate zoning classifications. He stated the commercial property is annexed in under C-2. Mr. Kil stated the bulk of this property will be residential and will be annexed in at R-1. Mr. Kil stated that the Council has been provided with a map for review.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would open the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated, in the past, every time there is an annexation it comes in as agricultural. He stated what is happening tonight, or what is changing is that zoning is being specified prior to the annexation. Mr. Hero stated if there are going to be adjacent homeowners who may or may not like the zoning that is being adopted tonight, it would be appropriate to annex the property in as all R-1. He stated if the owners want a zoning change, a public hearing should be held to do the zoning change.

Mr. Hero stated he does not feel it is appropriate to specify zoning at the initial annexation. He stated the practice of specifying zoning at the time of annexation deprives the people of Town to comment on the zoning that is approved. He stated that there is not enough study that goes into the impact of the zoning and traffic concerns.

Mr. Hero requested that this parcel be annexed into Town as all R-1. He stated that another public hearing could be held for a rezoning. He stated that this would enable the Council to get the input of the Town, review traffic, drainage and everything else to see if the zoning that is being adopted is appropriate. Mr. Hero stated he has not heard anyone say that this parcel has undergone a traffic study, a water study and all of the other studies that are required by the Town’s ordinance.

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific asked for the exact location of the property. She noted that at the present this property is farmland. Ms. Pacific asked if the studies that Mr. Hero mentioned would be done, studies for water and traffic.

Mr. Kil stated that the property is just being annexed into the community and is not being approved to build anything. He stated if the Petitioner wants to build something on the property, they would have to come in front of the Plan Commission. Mr. Kil explained the process of the Plan Commission when a property is being subdivided. He stated that residents within 300 feet of the subdivided property would receive notice, a sign would have to be posted on the property and the advertising in the newspapers would be required.

(General discussion ensued.)

Jerry Swets, 9490 Joliet:
Mr. Swets asked what the Town’s normal procedure is as far as zoning when farmland is being annexed into Town. Mr. Kil explained that the normal procedure is if the property is annexed in as residential, it’s annexed in as R-1, if the property is annexed in as commercial it is assigned commercial zoning.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil noted that the vast majority of this parcel is being annexed in as residential R-1 zoning. Mr. Swets asked if it was normal to do studies prior to the zoning. Mr. Kil stated that doing studies prior to zoning is not the normal procedure.

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific stated that it appears that this real property is owned by the Petitioner. She asked if the Petitioner(s) were going to develop the property or if someone else would. Mr. Kil stated that the Petitioner is in the audience tonight, and will be working on the property and coming before the Plan Commission. Mr. Kil stated his understanding is that the Petitioner is going to sell the property. He stated that they consented to the annexation, because they are the actual owners of the property.

Ms. Pacific asked if the actual developer of the property could be identified. Mr. Kil stated that the developer is Lagestee-Mulder. He stated Lagestee-Mulder has done a lot of work locally.

Mr. Forbes called for additional public comment. There was no additional public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back to the Council. He asked the Council if they had any questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would introduce the fiscal plan. Mr. Kil stated that there is not much to it; he stated that there are no plans for the property other than the actual corner itself.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1616, on first reading only. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. RESOLUTION NO. 2016-01-28, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ENTERING INTO A JOINT INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH THE TOWN OF SCHERERVILLE FOR BUILDING INSPECTION SERVICES.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration is Resolution No. 2016-01-28, a resolution authorizing entering into a joint interlocal agreement with the Town of Schererville for building inspection services. Mr. Forbes noted that this agreement is entered into every year. He stated that the Town shares resources with Schererville. Mr. Forbes explained that when the Town’s inspector is on vacation, they use Schererville’s inspector and vice-versa. Mr. Forbes explained at the end of the year, depending upon usage, the Town may owe Schererville for inspection services or Schererville may owe St. John, which equalizes the costs associated with the agreement.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the agreement. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-01-28A. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 2016-01-28A, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CLERK-TREASURER TO WRITE-OFF UNCOLLETIBLE BAD DEBT. (AMBULANCE FEES).

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 2016-01-28A, a Resolution authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to write-off uncollectible bad debt. He asked if there were any questions on this resolution. There were no questions.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-01-28A. So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

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

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was the Annual Report and Comprehensive Report from the Redevelopment Commission. He asked the councilmen if they had any questions. There were no questions

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the Annual Report and Comprehensive Report from the Redevelopment Commission and authorize the same to be filed with the DLGF pursuant to statute. “So moved,” Mr. Barenie. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. CONSIDER THE 2016 ST. JOHN FIRE DEPARTMENT ROSTER.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was the 2016 St. John Fire Department Roster. He asked if there were any questions on the fire department roster. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to accept the 2016 St. John Fire Department Roster. Mr. Volk made a motion to accept the 2016 St. John Fire Department Roster. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

A. TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Barenie had nothing to report. Mr. Hastings had nothing to report. Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he would like to respond to a comment from the last Council session wherein some residents had commented on Route 41 and Joliet Street and whether or not a traffic study had been performed, and what would happen in the future at this intersection. He stated that there was discussion about this location being a state highway. Mr. Jorgensen stated that after this discussion at the last Council Meeting, Mr. Kil got in touch with the Deputy Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation and requested that a study be performed. Mr. Kil requested that INDOT analyze, in addition to signalization, whether or not this intersection is suitable to be posted with a “no left-turn” sign as an alternative.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that INDOT has informed the Town that this study is “in the works,” and the Town will be informed when it proceeds in the coming weeks. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the Council would keep the residents of St. John informed.

Mr. Kil stated that INDOT will most likely perform this study as soon as possible. He stated he saw some equipment set up. Mr. Kil stated he does not know how long it will take INDOT to generate a report.

Mr. Forbes stated there has been discussion on an impact fee for roads. He stated the Council seems to be in agreement with this. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion that due diligence be done to begin the process of study and review of the road impact fee. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated that she lost her dear friend and her Deputy Clerk, Michele Tyler. She stated it was unexpected. Ms. Hernandez stated that this past week has been extremely difficult for her office. She stated the community has truly lost a very special person, and Michele Tyler will be missed by many. Ms. Hernandez thanked everyone, particularly, Chief Kveton, for the outpouring support during a very difficult time. She stated it really means a lot to her and her staff.

Ms. Hernandez stated her office continues to transition and make progress. She stated she is looking at ways to streamline the current practices. Ms. Hernandez stated one of the newest additions is a Google calendar on the Clerk-Treasurer’s web page. She stated that meetings, times and locations can be accessed through the calendar. She stated meeting notices, agendas and minutes (once approved) will be accessible through the calendar. Ms. Hernandez stated that this calendar allows the Clerk-Treasurer’s office to communicate amongst departments and with the public as well.

Ms. Hernandez thanked Chief Willman for his 20 years as Fire Chief and 35 years as a firefighter. She stated his dedication to the community is unparalleled.

Ms. Hernandez stated she has an open door policy and she really appreciates the feedback that she has received so far. She stated everyone should feel free to contact her.

C. STAFF
Attorney Austgen had no reports.

Mr. Kil stated he and Attorney Austgen will begin the process of review for the impact fee for the road infrastructure as soon as possible. Mr. Kil stated as far as he can tell, St. John will be the first in the State to adopt a road infrastructure fee (in the event it is adopted). He stated he would keep the Council informed on the progress of this study.

Chief Kveton stated that St. John has been named the second safest community in the State of Indiana, and he is very proud to be a part of this. He thanked all of his current staff and those who came before him.

Chief Kveton reported that an outstanding action was taken by one of his officers. He stated approximately a week ago there was a missing, endangered elderly lady out of Illinois who was spotted in the Northwest Indiana area. Chief Kveton stated that a resident tried to intervene and get her help but she drove away before assistance arrived. He stated Officer Ron Olson located the elderly woman on Route 41 and was able to get her stopped and provide assistance. Officer Olson brought her back to the station and called her family, who came out and picked up the woman and her car.

Chief Kveton stated yesterday himself, retired Chief Frego and a sergeant went to Indianapolis to the Indiana Chiefs of Police conference and were rewarded for the Department’s accreditation in the State of Indiana. He stated that this was a lot of work that was done before he arrived. He stated the sergeant and many other staff members at the police department worked to revamp the entire St. John Police Department Policies and Procedures handbook. Chief Kveton stated that the Department was recognized for this accreditation achievement yesterday by the Indiana Chiefs of Police Association.

Chief Kveton reminded everyone, even though St. John is the second safest community in the State, all of us can be victims of crime occasionally. He stated the crimes that most concern him are residential burglaries. Chief Kveton stated one frequent tactic burglars might use is to drive around the community and watch people leave their driveways. He stated burglars make the assumption if you’re leaving you’re going to be gone for a few minutes. Chief Kveton stated he has been on several surveillances and caught several burglars and he can assure everyone if they do get in your house, it could be in less than five minutes.

Chief Kveton urged residents to report suspicious vehicles and persons. He stated that if a resident sees anything in their neighborhood that looks suspicious to call 911 and report it to the police department.

Chief Kveton thanked the School Resource Officer. He stated the Officer Sidebender applied for and received a grant from a local vehicle club in the amount of approximately $2,000.00. Chief Kveton stated that the officer was able to purchase a DUI prevention packet with these funds, and together with the school, put together a DUI program.

Chief Willman stated the Fire Department responded to 120 requests for assistance during the month of December, 2015. He then stated exactly how many calls there were in each of the three districts.

Chief Willman then stated that the Fire Department conducts a business meeting on the first Monday of every month. The December, 2015, business meeting included the annual election of officers and board of directors. However, the last two Mondays in December were spent with family.

Chief Willman then explained the benefits of the Volunteer Fire Department. This allows the Fire Department to accept tax-exempt contributions and allows opportunities to provide out-reach programs like CPR classes and car-seat programs.

Chief Willman stated they had an EMS in-service. This was an intensive in-service with a main focus on basic life support.

Chief Willman thanked Ms. Hernandez for her kind words.

Mr. Barenie stated this action goes back to a public comment that was made at a previous meeting. He stated he wanted the Council to know that a full audit from the State Board of Accounts has been requested. He stated that this request has been made on several occasions.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes stated that payment of the bills was the next item on the agenda. He stated he has an amended number of $1,833,654.13 for the docket. 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 in the amount of $1,833,654.13. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public comment.

Jerry Swets 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets congratulated Chief Kveton; he stated the residents are happy for him. Mr. Swets gave a word of advice, when good things happen in Town even if you aren’t in charge, take credit for it because when it’s the other way around, he will get blamed for it. Mr. Swets thanked Chief Kveton and the police department.

Mr. Swets stated that there are some unresolved issues. He asked Mr. Forbes about the unresolved lawsuits. Mr. Swets stated that the Town Manager is in the middle of this and also has a pending conversion charge. He reiterated that Mr. Kil has not even been put on administrative leave or fired. Mr. Swets stated it’s kind of like the inmates running the asylum.

Mr. Swets asked Mr. Forbes if there has been any discussion on looking for a replacement for Mr. Kil. Mr. Forbes had no comment. Mr. Swets asked if there have been discussions about placing Mr. Kil on administrative leave or firing him. Mr. Forbes stated he had no comment. Mr. Forbes stated all of Mr. Swets questions pertain to pending litigation and he cannot comment.

Mr. Swets stated Mr. Forbes is responsible for the acts that go on in Town. He asked, as he did at the last meeting, that Mr. Forbes to resign so that the Town can move forward without problems and issues.

Sharon Pacific, 11423 State Line Road:
Ms. Pacific commended the Council on their decision to study a road impact fee. She stated this is a step forward and she really appreciates that the Council is willing to do something.

Ms. Pacific asked the Council what their individual misgivings and concerns are regarding building subdivisions like the proposed Preserves and Greystone in agricultural settings. She asked the Council members if they could give her their own individual opinions on this matter. She asked Mr. Forbes to answer this question. Mr. Forbes stated he had no comment at the present time.

Ms. Pacific asked again if Mr. Forbes had any misgivings at all about the aforementioned. Mr. Forbes stated he had no comments. She asked any of the other councilmen had any comments. There were no comments.

Mr. Hastings commented on the Preserves. He stated that the developer is trying to keep the water where the water is. Mr. Hastings stated that the developer is also trying to preserve as many trees as possible. He stated that a lot more building could have been done in this development but in order to preserve trees they did not build in every location they could have. Mr. Hastings stated that the developer chose a PUD in order to be able to preserve property.

Mr. Hastings stated that with the possible impact fee, maybe the Town will be able to get bigger roads. Ms. Pacific thanked Mr. Hastings for speaking up and stated that she appreciated it.

Vince Casboni, 9679 White Oak Avenue:
Mr. Casboni stated that the proposed Preserve will be right across the road from him. He stated his biggest complaint is whether there will be enough retention/detention ponds. Mr. Casboni stated that Bull Run runs in the back of his property, and they are constantly being flooded out from the north. He asked what is going to happen when the three hundred plus acre subdivision is added. Mr. Casboni stated he has not seen any engineering of this parcel. He stated he has talked about this for the past couple of months.

Mr. Casboni stated the other issue is traffic on White Oak and 93rd Avenue. He stated that a traffic study is supposed to be done. Mr. Casboni stated this evening he was entering St. John from Crown Point at approximately 5:25. He stated that the traffic from US 41 going east was backed up to Palmira Golf Course.

Mr. Casboni addressed Chief Kveton. He stated when he performed his own traffic studies, most of the vehicles on White Oak Avenue are going over the speed limit.

Phil Merna, 9361 Hilltop Drive:
Mr. Merna stated he has a problem with the (unintelligible). He stated that outside the street there is a small pad and a long driveway to the east side of the home. He stated after there are two cars in there, they start filling the street up from Hilltop all the way down to their driveway with their kids and their friends.

Mr. Merna stated when he tries to get out of the driveway, if he ever has an emergency, he is going to have to “hit one of these guys or drag them out of there.”

Mr. Merna stated part of the street from (unintelligible) park coming back west is “no parking.” He asked if the entire south side of the street and/or both sides of the street could be designated as “no parking.” Mr. Merna stated it is very, very narrow street.

Mr. Forbes directed Mr. Merna to contact Mr. Steve Kil and provide him with the information he presented tonight. Mr. Kil stated that this is a matter that may be best addressed by Chief Kveton. Mr. Kil stated that he and Chief Kveton will investigate this matter.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero addressed Mr. Barenie, he stated it was good that Mr. Barenie requested an audit. He stated that he commented on a specific audit on the project with the (unintelligible). Mr. Hero stated that this should be highlighted as a specific request in addition to Mr. Barenie’s request.

Mr. Hero asked if the Town was paying to defend Mr. Kil in his conversion charge. He asked who paid the attorney’s fees? What is the position of this Town Board? Mr. Hero stated he did not hear a response.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero if he had any further comments. Mr. Hero stated since he can’t get a specific answer on attorney’s fees, he asked Mr. Barenie to request that the State Board of Accounts do an audit of all of the attorney’s fees that have been charged to the Town of St. John over the last four years and include in that audit request the adjoining towns of Schererville, Cedar Lake and may be Winfield. Mr. Hero stated a request should be made to look at all of those attorney fees and “see what you see.”

Mr. Hero stated that the Town has given the appearance of authorizing the attorney to pay for political work in regards to the Clerk-Treasurer’s candidacy; he asked that this request (to the Indiana State Board of Accounts) also be specifically highlighted. He stated that the audit should also examine the attorney’s fees relative to the sign issue that occurred on November 2nd.

Mr. Hero requested that Chief Kveton investigate if St. John letter head was used to purchase an Israeli assault rifle, a TAR1, for personal use. He stated that this rumor has been around, and he doesn’t know if it’s true or not. Mr. Hero stated, in his mind, officers get discounts for rifles and guns and “stuff like that.” In addition, Mr. Hero asked Chief Kveton to investigate whether St. John police letter head used to purchase this type of assault rifle.

Mr. Hero stated that there have been allegations of sexual harassment and sexual battery by employees. Mr. Hero stated it is his understanding that one of the plaintiffs in the matter has a police officer who works for the Town. Mr. Hero asked Chief Kveton to investigate whether, in any of the settlement agreements, there was any intimidation or blackmail made to the Complainant to retaliate against her son who is one of your officers. Mr. Hero stated he does not know if this is true or not, but the rumor mill says something about this and he would like Chief Kveton to investigate this matter.

Mr. Hero stated he would also like Chief Kveton to investigate, for the past five years, the use of Spillman which is accessed by “all these police departments.” He stated Chief Kveton should look at all of the entries that were made in St. John to see if they were appropriate. He stated that Chief Kveton should also investigate if the Spillman system was used to, one, alter other police department reports, and, two, if in any way the access of Spillman, by the St. John Police Department, was used to fraudulently bring charges against a St. John policeman.

Mr. Hero asked Chief Kveton to investigate who had access to Spillman, the dates, the time, who has access to the passwords and codes and determine if it was fraudulently used for any purpose.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

(The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

 

02-25-2016 Town Council

February 25, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the February 25, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, Christian Jorgensen and Steve Hastings. Attorney David Austgen was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JANUARY 28, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to defer the minutes of the January 28, 2016 meeting. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 2016-02-25, FISCAL PLAN FOR REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 101ST AND CALUMET AVENUE.

Mr. Forbes stated that Resolution No. 2016-02-25, a fiscal plan for real property located at 101st and Calumet Avenue, was before the Council for their consideration and action. He stated that this was an annexation that was presented to the Town Council at their last meeting. He asked the councilmen if there were any questions on the fiscal plan. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-02-25. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1616, THE ANNEXATION OF REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 101ST AND CALUMET AVENUE.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was consideration of Ordinance No. 1616. He stated that a public hearing had been held on the annexation at the last meeting. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on Ordinance No. 1616. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1616. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER AN INDEMINFICATION AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE SERVICE WEAPON FOR BERNIE J. JOHNSON.

Mr. Forbes noted that the next item for the Council’s consideration was an indemnification and hold harmless agreement for the transfer of the service weapon for Bernie J. Johnson. Mr. Forbes asked the councilmen if they had any questions on this matter. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the indemnification and hold harmless agreement for the transfer of the service weapon for Bernie J. Johnson. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER A DONATION TO THE LAKE CENTRAL DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS PROGRAM IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,000 (ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS).

Mr. Forbes noted that the next item for the Council’s consideration was a $1,000 donation to the Dollars for Scholars program for Lake Central.” Mr. Forbes noted that this donation was made last year. He stated $1,500 was also donated from the Haunted House fund to the scholarship program. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the scholarship donation. The councilmen had no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to donate $1,000 to Lake Central’s Dollars for Scholars on behalf of the Town Council. “So moved,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

E. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1621, AN ORDINANCE FOR A ZONE CHANGE FROM R-1 TO R-2 FOR DEVELOPMENT OF EDEN’S COVE.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item for the Council’s consideration and action was Ordinance No. 1621, a zone change from R-1 to R-2 for development for Eden’s Cove. Mr. Forbes stated that the Plan Commission had held a public hearing for the zone change at Eden’s Cove and sent a favorable recommendation to the Town Council. He asked if there any questions on the Eden’s Cove zone change. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the zone change from R-1 to R-2 for Eden’s Cove. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

F. CONSIDER ORDINANCE 1622, AN ORDINANCE FOR A ZONE CHANGE FROM AN R-2 PUD TO AN R-3 PUD, GATES OF ST. JOHN, UNIT 10-I.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Consideration of Ordinance No. 1622, an ordinance for a zone change from R-2 PUD to an R-3 PUD for the Gates of St. John, Unit 10-I. He stated a public hearing was also held by the Plan Commission for this matter and a favorable recommendation had been forwarded to the Town Council. He asked if there were any questions regarding this matter. There were no questions from the councilmen.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1622. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

G. CONSIDER LEASE AGREEMENT WITH ST. JOHN YOUTH BASEBALL.

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item for the Council’s consideration and action was the lease agreement with St. John Youth Baseball. He stated that this matter came to the Council’s attention over a year ago. Mr. Forbes stated that there was significant discussion at that time. He stated that the reincorporation of the youth baseball group held the matter up for a time. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the councilmen. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve and authorize the Town Council President to execute the Agreement with St. John Youth Baseball. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

H. CONSIDER REDUCTION OF THE PERFORMANCE BOND FOR SILVERLEAF, PHASE TWO, IN THE AMOUNT OF $267,296.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was to consider the reduction of the performance bond for Silverleaf, Phase Two, in the amount of $267,296. Mr. Forbes noted that this recommendation comes from the Town’s engineer, Haas & Associates, after having reviewed the improvements that were put in for Silverleaf. He stated that the remaining amount of bond for Silverleaf would be lowered to $600,057.73. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this reduction. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the reduction of the Silverleaf, Phase Two, performance bond in the amount of $267,296. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

* * * * * * * *

Mr. Jorgensen made a motion to amend the agenda to add Item I, Ordinance No. 1623. Mr. Forbes stated that there was a motion by Mr. Jorgensen to amend the agenda. He asked for a second. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

I. ORDINANCE NO. 1623, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING PUBLIC MEETING PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES/PARAMETERS FOR THE PUBLIC COMMENT PORTION OF TOWN PUBLIC MEETINGS AND ALL MATTERS RELATED THERETO.

Mr. Forbes stated that Item I, added to the agenda, Ordinance No. 1623, an ordinance establishing parliamentary procedures/parameters for the public comment portion of town public meetings and all matters related thereto was next for the Council’s consideration. He asked if the councilmen had any comments on this matter. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1623 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1623. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1623, an ordinance establishing public meeting parliamentary procedures/parameters for the public comment portion of Town public meetings and all matters related thereto. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

* * * * * * *

(General discussion ensued.)

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Jorgensen stated, by way of explanation for his having amended tonight’s agenda, that the ordinance was not provided to the Council in final form until a couple of hours ago in. He stated that this ordinance has been worked on with the Town attorney and also with the Chief of Police. Mr. Jorgensen stated that Ordinance 1623 was something that the Town did not have on the books before. He stated that the ordinance relates to public decorum and the scheduling of public comment.

Mr. Jorgensen explained that every tribunal, and certainly, every town council, has some kind of parameters for public comment. He stated that Ordinance was reviewed and it is eminently fair and reasonable in establishing Robert’s Rules or Order for the Town Council and will be available for public perusal after the meeting.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report.

Mr. Hastings asked the citizens to make a report if they see any throwing of whiskey bottles and beer bottles out on Patterson and 93rd Avenue and places like that. He stated that he talked to Chief Kveton and possibly a couple of signs will be posted reminding individuals that it is illegal to litter. Mr. Hastings asked for all of the residents’ cooperation to prevent littering, and pick up the litter if it happens to be on their property.

Mr. Barenie thanked the entire St. John staff, who, over the last 24-48 hours did a tremendous job of cleaning up the streets and making them safe.

Mr. Forbes stated that he has been getting phone calls, emails and texts in appreciation from the residents for the hard work of the Public Works Department and the visibility of the Police and Fire Department during the rough weather. He stated it was a great team effort and he appreciates everything that got done.

Mr. Forbes stated he drove home from Merrillville yesterday and St. John’s roads were visibly better than most communities. Mr. Forbes stated that the visibility of the Town’s group was predominate. He reiterated his appreciation for the Public Works.

Mr. Forbes had four Requests to Purchase. He stated the first Request to Purchase was for the Public Works Department, a request to purchase a 2016 F350, 4x4, standard cab, 8’ box. He stated that the amount of the vehicle is $28,319.24. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this Request to Purchase. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would make a motion to authorize payment of this bill in the amount of $28,319.24. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes moved on to the second Request to Purchase was for the Public Works Department was for a 2016 F250 4x4, supercab with a 6.75’ box. He stated the total amount for this vehicle was $34,585.24. He asked if the councilmen had any questions. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize payment for the 2015 F250 in the amount of $34,585.24. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes read the third Request to Purchase, this request was from the Police Department for two 2016 Dodge Charger Police pursuit-rated vehicles. He stated the total amount for both vehicles is $64,494.00. He asked the councilmen if they had any questions. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize payment of the bill for the two 2016 Dodge Chargers in the amount of $64,494.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes read the fourth Request to Purchase, this request from the Fire Department for a Chevrolet Silverado for a total amount of $29,498.25. He asked the councilmen if they had any questions. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize payment for the Chevrolet Silverado in the amount of $29,498.25. “So moved,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated that the Clerk-Treasurer’s budget has recently been approved through the Department of Local Government and Finance. Bank records are currently up-to-date; she stated they have worked extensively on this item. Ms. Hernandez stated the fixed asset portion of the annual report is now complete. She stated she feels her office is on track to submitting the final annual report through Gateway by the end of the month, which is the deadline (provided there are no additional surprises.)

Ms. Hernandez stated her office has been working on evaluating the current internal controls in her office, and she thanked Mr. Mark Barenie for stopping by and helping with this process. She stated these controls ensure that the Clerk-Treasurer’s office is in compliance with the Indiana State Board of Accounts. Ms. Hernandez stated the office has until June 30, 2016, to be on board.

Attorney Austgen commented that Ms. Hernandez’s efforts are in codifying regulations that are required by recently adopted statutes. He stated that the State Board of Accounts did not provide a lot of guidance. Attorney Austgen stated that at some point, the Clerk-Treasurer will be providing documents that will need to be approved by resolution so that a policy is established on the books. He stated that Ms. Hernandez will be training her staff on these internal controls and mechanisms for budget and audits, etc.

Attorney Austgen informed that Council that he has reviewed the Town Code, pursuant to the Council’s request, and his recommendation is that the Town Code should be updated. He stated that this is a process that needs to happen periodically and now is the time for the update.

Attorney Austgen stated he has been working with Mr. Kil and developers related to the ice arena property. He noted that the successful purchaser of the ice arena parcel is present tonight. Attorney Austgen noted that this process happened last November with the ice arena being sold to the successful bidder in a public bidding project that was advertised, noticed and a public hearing held.

Attorney Austgen stated that the developer agreement is 99 percent complete. He stated he has been exchanging communications this past week with Attorney Scheele. Attorney Austgen noted that the development agreement contains language that the commitment is on the developer for the type, nature and requirements for the development of the subject parcel.

Attorney Austgen recommended that the Council accept the development agreement when the same is finished, which should be within the next couple of days. Attorney Austgen stated he would recommend that the Council authorize entry into the developer agreement to consummate the transaction for the sale of the 1.1 acres to the developer in consideration for this development agreement and for the commencement of the construction of a 40,000 square foot addition to the current facility to be constructed and utilized.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion on Attorney Austgen’s recommendations. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion to authorize the Council President to sign the developer agreement upon its final form. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Attorney Austgen updated the Council on the road impact fee research and activity. He stated it has been discovered through some research done by the engineering consultants that there are studies that validate and justify impact fees in communities in Central Indiana.

Attorney Austgen recommended that the Council solicit proposals so that there are several proposals to consider and assess for the needs of St. John and the next action steps related to it.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil had no reports.

Chief Willman presented the Fire Department’s January, 2016, monthly report.

Chief Kveton informed the Council that policy coordinator has been working with Chief Willman on acquiring grants for Narcan for both the Fire and Police Department so the drug can been accessible at all times. He stated they are also trying to acquire EEDs, not only for the officers on the street, but also one at the station in case of a cardiac medical emergency.

Chief Kveton stated that the last 30-plus hours have been exciting for everyone at the Police and Fire Departments and all of the other Town Departments. He stated fifty calls for service were answered in the last 30 hours. Chief Kveton stated 101st between White Oak and Calumet was closed for a period of time on Wednesday; he stated that there were over a dozen cars stuck on the hill there.

Chief Kveton stated that the Department had some great assistance from some citizens in Town. He stated that the Police Department had assisted Lake County and Crown Point with a semi-truck and some vehicles stuck on Route 231 east of Cline Avenue. Chief Kveton stated, with the help of the Fire Department, several citizens were evacuated to the Public Safety facility from the stranded vehicles. He stated that the citizens were given a ride back to the Public Safety facility, where some of them found rides while others slept in the Fire Department overnight.

Chief Kveton stated that Route 231 was closed until approximately 5:00 p.m. this afternoon. He stated that’s how long it took to remove the stuck vehicles and the stuck snowplows that were there.

Chief Kveton stated that the Police Department is in the process of conducting a one-hundred percent audit of the entire evidence storage facility to account for all crime-related evidence that is being stored there.

Chief Kveton stated he has been working to build relationships with the residents and their concerns. Chief Kveton stated he has been addressing resident concerns as immediately as he possibly can.

Chief Kveton he has been working on some audits of weapons. He stated he has been working on the records management system, Spillman. Chief Kveton stated that the biggest complaints of the residents is of speeding and traffic in the subdivisions and traffic violations. He stated over the last month, the Police Department responded to 27 different complaints from residential areas. Chief Kveton stated he participated in stopping vehicles on White Oak for speeding. Parking concerns over on Larimer were discussed.

Chief Kveton stated that the school resource officer, Brett Sidebender, worked with the high school on a class where a DUI educational video was produced. Chief Kveton stated he is continuing to build community relationships, and he had his second breakfast with the Chief on Monday at the Aspen Café. He stated that he hopes to continue the breakfasts on a monthly basis.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the general APV docket is six pages, 6991 through 26774. Mr. Forbes stated the total amount of the bills was $1,572,455.25. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “I’ll make that motion to pay the bills,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings 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 stated Ordinance 1623 would be published on the Town’s website tomorrow morning.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Dale Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated that there are many issues he would like to bring up. He asked if the cars that were purchased tonight were put out for bid. Mr. Forbes stated that the vehicles were not put out for bids, the Town goes through the government purchase program.

Mr. Robert stated he thinks the Town is supposed to put the cars out for bid. Mr. Kil explained that there are three prices on each of the vehicles. He stated that the police vehicles are purchased through the state purchasing program. Mr. Kil stated, for general knowledge, anything under $150,000 does not have to put out to bid. Mr. Kil stated, the Town’s practice is to get three prices on everything. He stated that the Fire and Police Departments both use State bids. Mr. Kil stated that there is a difference between bids and proposals.

Mr. Robert stated he was one of the individuals who attended the Schererville Town Council meeting last month. He stated, “I was sort of impressed. They’re a little more professional than what we see here.” Mr. Roberts stated that their attire was much better, they don’t sit as close together and talk to each other during the meetings, a little more professional. He stated he was very impressed.

Mr. Robert stated that the Schererville Town Council has public comment on their agenda before all of the considerations and ordinances are passed, not after. He stated this is a good idea; it would allow people read the agenda and come up to comment before things are passed. Mr. Roberts recommended that the public comment portion be put in the middle, very similar to what Schererville has done, to make things more transparent.

Mr. Robert stated he is very ashamed of the Town Council President, Mr. Forbes, for his public comments about the Town’s former clerk-treasurer. He opined this was very rude and uncalled for to make rude comments about Sherry Sury. Mr. Robert requested a public apology to her, not only at this meeting, but on record. Mr. Robert asked Mr. Forbes if he had any comment on this. Mr. Forbes responded, “No.” Mr. Robert opined that Mr. Forbes is an embarrassment to the Town of St. John.

Mr. Robert stated he went into the Clerk-Treasurer’s office the other day seeking to find out the composition of the Town’s boards and commissions. He stated he is apparently still on a board. Mr. Robert stated he did not know this for sure because he has not had any correspondence for two years. Mr. Roberts stated he went to the Building Department and then received a phone call later in the day to be informed he was still on the board.

Mr. Robert stated he received a letter from Attorney Muenich advising him that he’s been designated to represent the Town Contractor’s Board. He said the letter stated, “You have previously been advised the Board had a scheduled meeting on the 24th.” Mr. Roberts asked, who told him that? Who advised him of this meeting? Nobody. Mr. Forbes stated a notice was sent out. Mr. Robert responded, “Nobody sent out notices.”

Ms. Hernandez stated the Contractor’s Board meeting was noticed for probably close to a month. Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Robert knew about the meeting because he was instrumental in setting it up. Mr. Robert reiterated that there was no notice. He asked where the notice was published. He asked someone to show him.

Ms. Hernandez stated the notice is posted in the bulletin case outside of the office. She stated she personally put up a sheet. Mr. Robert stated that the former administrator in the Building Department used to send out notices every month. He stated the current administrator had no idea what he was talking about. Mr. Robert stated she directed him to Mr. Kil’s office.

Mr. Robert stated that what he brought up with the young lady who came in to complain about a contractor had nothing to do with warranties or a contract (unintelligible word). He stated she had a complaint about a contractor that built the building and she had water leaks and complaints. Mr. Robert stated water leaks cause mold. He stated that there are four units in that building and every unit in the building can be affected. He stated for this reason, the complainant should bring the contractor before the Board.

Mr. Robert brought up the hiring practices in the Town of St. John. He stated he put in a request for the salary ordinances, but he has not received it yet.

Mr. Robert asked Attorney Austgen to explain to the audience what a tort claim is. Attorney Austgen defined “tort claim” for the audience. Mr. Robert stated that there was a tort claim filed on 4-7-05. Mr. Robert asked Mr. Kil if he was familiar with this tort claim. Mr. Kil asked him which specific one he asked about.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Council does not discuss litigation in public. Mr. Robert stated this is not litigation. Mr. Forbes told him he was asking questions about litigation. Mr. Robert said he was not. Mr. Forbes stated he felt Mr. Robert was asking questions about litigation. Mr. Robert responded, “You don’t know any better.”

Mr. Robert stated the tort claim “Is closed, so it’s not under litigation. It’s with Chris and Jamie Gil --- Gil – Gil. Chris and Jamie Gil.” Mr. Kil: If you say so. Mr. Robert: If I say so? You don’t remember? Mr. Kil: No, I don’t. Mr. Robert: Really? Mr. Kil: Really. What did you say it was? What year? Mr. Robert: 2004. Mr. Kil: 2004. Okay. Mr. Robert: I’m sorry. 2005. Mr. Kil: Okay. Mr. Robert: 2005, settlement, 2006. Mr. Kil: And? Mr. Robert: It’s a tort claim. Mr. Kil: And? Mr. Robert: What---

Mr. Kil: What’s your point? I don’t understand the point. Mr. Robert: What happened? That’s what I want to know. Mr. Kil: I don’t remember. I told you that already. Mr. Robert: You don’t remember? Mr. Kil: If you have it in front of you, why don’t you let us know what happened. Mr. Robert: I didn’t get the actual thing. Mr. Kil: Oh. Well, I’m sorry. I don’t remember, Mr. Robert. Mr. Robert: (untelligible word) memory sometimes. Mr. Kil: Well, you have the document in front of you. Please, bring it out.

Mr. Robert: You had a tort claim with Mary Dobka. Mr. Kil: Mary Dobka? Mary Dobka. Mr. Robert: Yeah, a tort claim. Steve Kil. Fred Frego. David Rybicki, 2-24-14. Mr. Kil: Dale, do you know that as part of my job in state law, I am required to received service summons on behalf of the Town for every little thing that happens. Mr. Robert: Here. Mr. Kil: Well, if you want, I mean you can go through it all. That’s fine. I mean, that’s part of my job. There’s nothing I can do about it. Mr. Robert: I didn’t ask you what your job was. Mr. Kil: You didn’t? Mr. Robert: No. I asked if you were aware of the tort claims? Mr. Kil: And I’m not. Mr. Robert: Okay. Okay.

Mr. Robert asked if Mr. Kil was aware what date the building commissioner was hired. Mr. Kil responded that the building commissioner was hired last year, but he did not recall the exact date. Mr. Robert stated he meant the Town of St. John. Mr. Kil stated for the Town of St. John, it was a decade or so ago. Mr. Kil stated he did not remember the exact hire date of every employee. Mr. Kil stated that there are dozens of employee.

Mr. Robert stated what he was saying is that he sees a lot of nepotism taking place. Mr. Robert stated that Mr. Gil, now our building commissioner, had a tort claim in 2005, approximately the same time Mr. Gil was hired for the Town of St. John. He stated “This seems weird to me.”

Mr. Robert stated that the State of Indiana does not recognize a claim of nepotism as to just family. He asked Attorney Austgen if this was correct. He asked Attorney Austgen to define “nepotism.” Attorney Austgen responded, “No.”

Mr. Robert: You don’t know the definition of nepotism? Attorney Austgen: I”ll get my code book out and read it, but, no, I’m not going to engage in this dialogue with you.

Mr. Robert: State code says it’s a favoritism of people in power hiring relatives. Attorney Austgen: Is that what the state law says? Mr. Robert: Yeah, state law says it. Attorney Austgen: Which code, sir? Mr. Robert: I don’t have the code written down in front of me. Attorney Austgen: Neither do I. Mr. Robert: But I’m not a lawyer. Attorney Austgen: Well.

Mr. Robert: Anyway, the other means of state --- of that code is hiring by persons in power with relatives and friends. It just seems a coincidence to me that somebody gets hired about the same time the tort claim was done. But I don’t know for sure. Never know. How much hiring was done in the last year-and-a-half…of (unintelligible word) people? Does anybody know? No one knows? Mr. Kil: I don’t understand your question. Mr. Robert: How many people --- Mr. Kil: What do you want to know? I don’t know. Three. Mr. Robert: What I’m saying --- three. Mr. Kil: Are you talking about public works employees or are you talking volunteer fireman? Or are you ---- what are you talking about? Mr. Roberts: I’m talking about the people for the Town of St. John hired in the last year-and-a-half approximately? Mr. Kil: Well, I’d have to check, but there is several. I don’t understand the point. Mr. Robert: The point is there’s a lot of people being hired, no --- nothing put out, nothing being advertised. The only time --- the first time --- I did see it today. Mr. Kil: There’s a job advertised today. Mr. Robert: There’s a job advertised on the website. Not everybody’s got computers.

Ms. Hernandez: I placed it on the bulletin board. Mr. Kil: I thought it was posted outside too, Mr. Robert. Mr. Robert: Yeah, but--- Mr. Kil: In the event that you don’t have a computer. Mr. Robert: What I’m saying is that should be public notice in the papers so that--- Mr. Kil: In the legal section that nobody reads? Mr. Robert: Excuse me? Mr. Kil: In the legal ad section where nobody clearly reads it? I’d rather put it on the Town website. Mr. Robert: In other words, you’d just rather do the hiring without letting everybody have the opportunity do anything? Mr. Kil: It’s on the website. Are you interested in it? Mr. Robert: Not at this point, no. I was just questioning the hiring practices. Mr. Kil: It’s posted and we’re accepting applications and/or resumes for the position at this time. Mr. Robert: One ; position. Mr. Kil: For the position at this time, yes.

Mr. Robert: Is the assistant building commissioner on the salary ordinance? Mr. Kil: We don’t have one. Mr. Robert: Yes, you do. Mr. Kil: We do? We have a part time inspector. Mr. Robert: We had a plan commission last night and at that plan commission, Mr. Hero got up and addressed the building commissioner. He was hesitant until he looked at you to make sure he could answer his question. Next to him, Steve Kozel. I’m the assistant building commissioner. When did that job happen? Mr. Kil: He’s a part time inspector; that’s correct. Mr. Robert: He said assistant building commissioner. Mr. Kil: I don’t recall that but he’s the part time building inspector.

Mr. Keith, from the audience, yelled out to Mr. Robert to quit wasting his time.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Robert stated the main thing he’s concerned about is how much did it cost to send these out, a minimum of $150.00 a piece? Mr. Forbes asked where he got $150.00 from. Mr. Robert stated that’s what an attorney charges to send stuff out. Mr. Forbes stated this was an outrageous claim. Mr. Robert mentioned if they get $150.00 an hour and they have a minimum of one hour? Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Robert had anything else. Mr. Robert stated, “Than you.” Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Robert for being a proponent of Ordinance 163.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other public comment.

Adrian Bugariu 11747 W 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu requested copies of all the letters that were given to Sherry’s office from 2001-2011. Mr. Bugariu stated two years ago he gave copies to Mr. Michael Forbes before he became President and Vice President of the Town Council. Mr. Bugariu stated he sent tort notices to the Town of St. John through certified mail. Mr. Bugariu claimed Jerry Tiebel was picking up the mail from the post office and the tort notices were never presented to you or any other members of the Town Council and that’s a federal offense. He asked what happened to these tort notices. Mr. Forbes stated he does not recall getting a tort notice. Mr. Forbes: did we ever received a tort claim from Mr. Bugariu? Attorney Austgen: Yes. Mr. Forbes: When? Attorney Austgen: A long time ago. Mr. Forbes: You never handed me a tort claim. Mr. Bugariu: “You’re a liar. I can give you exact date and time last year. Mr. Forbes: Thank you, sir. Chief Kveton: Please stop this. Attorney Austgen: Personal attacks will not be acceptable.

Chief Kveton requested, due to safety concerns, to discontinue public comments this evening and go to the adjournment of the meeting.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated, based on Chief Kveton’s recommendation, he will accept that motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

 

03-24-2016 Town Council

March 24, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the March 24, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, and Steve Hastings. Christian Jorgensen was absent. Attorney David Austgen was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: JANUARY 28, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion on the minutes of January 14 and January 28. He asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

NEW BUSINESS:

PROCLAMATION TO CONSIDER FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS DAY.

Mr. Forbes stated that there was a Proclamation to Consider Fibromyalgia Awareness day as a proclamation for May 12, 2016. He read the proclamation as follows:

“Whereas, an estimated ten million people in the United States and millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disease for which there is no 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 becoming an increasingly common diagnosis and taking a toll emotionally, financially and socially on patients, their families, friends, co-workers and community; 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 in to fill in the void left when all of the patient’s efforts are focused on just getting through the day, showing just 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 costs and expenses associated with their treatment, medication and sometimes hospitalizations; and whereas, increased awareness and expanded knowledge of the realities of life with fibromyalgia will allow the community at large to better support patients and their families, friends, co-workers and employers who struggle with the challenges of this chronic pain disorder; and whereas, fibromyalgia unite the National Fibromyalgia Association, the Fibromyalgia Network and other groups around our country have joined together to promote fibromyalgia awareness and support including improved education, diagnosis, research and treatment.

Now, therefore, I, Michael S. Forbes, do hereby recognize the needs of the chronically ill people and proclaim May 12, 2016, as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in St. John, Indiana, and urge all of our citizens to support the search for a cure and assist those individuals and families who deal with this devastating disorder on a daily basis.”

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to declare May 12, 2016, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in St. John and authorize signature of the proclamation. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

A. CONSIDER THE REQUEST OF THE SAFETY VILLAGE FOR A $22,000.00 DONATION.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s consideration was a request from the Safety Village for a $22,000.00 donation. He stated that the Council was approached last year by Mr. Jarvis, who explained then the need to change the amount of money that is donated to the Safety Village in order to continue its operation and the great work they do there. Mr. Forbes asked if there any questions on the donation. Mr. Volk noted it was the same amount as last year. Mr. Forbes acknowledged that the donation was the same amount as last year’s donation.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the annual donation to the Safety Village in the amount of $22,000.00. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

B. CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF A NEW FIRE ENGINE FOR THE ST. JOHN FIRE DEPARTMENT.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for the Council’s review and consideration is the purchase of a new fire engine for the St. John Fire Department. Mr. Kil stated that the Fire Department is seeking permission to go out for bids. He stated that he has submitted a memo to the Council outlining exactly how the Fire Department proposes to purchase the new vehicle. Mr. Kil stated the plan is to put $200,000.00 down and borrow the rest from a local bank.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no further questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “l’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

C. DISCUSSION REGARDING THE TAX APPEAL PROCESS AND THE EFFECTS ON THE MUNICIPALITY.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the Council’s agenda was discussion regarding the tax appeal process and the effects on the municipality. Mr. Forbes introduced Ms. Melody Kikkert, St. John Township Assessor.

Ms. Kikkert stated tonight she wanted to explain the potential financial impact the tax appeal process could have on the Town. She stated that presently there is legislation that is called Our Big Box Store. Ms. Kikkert stated that what is happening is that the appeals are coming in and they are finding comp properties that are vacant and abandoned. She stated assessments are coming in roughly anywhere between $35 to $40 per square foot.

Ms. Kikkert used St. John’s Target as an example. She stated she paid to have an appraisal done for one year to show that they are accurately and fairly assessing. She stated that the appraisal came in at roughly about $75.00 per square foot. Ms. Kikkert stated that the appraisal that the other party is coming in with is right around $38.00 per square foot. She stated that this practice could have a devastating impact on the Town.

Ms. Kikkert stated she was here tonight to find a way to work with the Council as far as protecting the investments for the Town. She submitted a couple of handouts to the council. Ms. Kikkert cited the big box stores in St. John: Target, Tractor Supply Center, Strack & Van Til, the old K-Mart building and Northwoods, and the potential that this appeal process could have on the community could be quite devastating.

Ms. Kikkert stated in order to handle the appeals and win at the state level, expert evidence is needed. She stated the law firm that is representing Target right now is Baker & Daniels. Ms. Kikkert stated expert evidence is needed because they will be coming in with appraisals, there will be a hearing, and the Town needs to have someone on their side as well. Mr. Kil asked Ms. Kikkert to explain how this assessment process is affecting some of the other communities that the Town has met with.

Mr. Weiser introduced himself to the Council. He stated that he came along to explain the tax appeal process and help people to understand what’s been going on across Lake County and across the state. Mr. Weiser stated that Lake County and other municipalities are finding that these tax appeals are going to be really devastating to the cities, towns, schools and TIF Districts.

Mr. Weiser explained that TIF Districts usually have debt associated with them, and the money that comes in from the increments on the types of stores previously mentioned is what pays the TIF debt. Mr. Weiser explained that when a company appeals and wins the appeal, depending on when it was filed, there are times when a refund has to be made for the amount of money that was overcharged.

Mr. Weiser stated they have just finished calculating one appeal in two communities for one store, Lowes. He stated that if the Lowes located in Merrillville wins the appeal and they settle at $60 per square foot, the monies owed to them will be approximately $847,000.00. He stated that would be a one-time check that the county would write, but the tax settlement is taken away from the city/town or TIF District.

Mr. Weiser stated if the Town is looking for money to pay their bonds, the $847,000.00 for the one store is eight years of their revenue. He explained if the Town intends to pay their debt service based on revenue coming in from the four or five big box stores in St. John, they won’t be able to pay their bills. He stated when the TIF District doesn’t pay their bills, then the enabling agency becomes the entity to pay the bill.

Mr. Weiser reiterated if the TIF District does not have the revenue, the Town’s coffer, the general fund gets hit at distribution. He stated this happened in Munster and Crown Point this year. He stated this is a lot of money and it is pretty devastating. Mr. Weiser stated he believed that Crown Point was approximately a half a million dollars short after they refunded the Franciscan Alliance.

Mr. Weiser stated although St. John is a smaller community and it doesn’t have quite the exposure that other towns do, it is coming down the road and it will affect everyone. He stated in St. John, they have the ability to grow the tax rate before they hit the tax caps and some of the other communities aren’t so lucky. Mr. Weiser stated when the tax rate is raised, it goes right to the citizens because someone has to pick up the slack.

Mr. Weiser stated every time an assessment drops, somebody else out there will pick up the slack and it’s going to be the citizens/taxpayers whose taxes are raised and they’re going to want to know why. He stated that there are not a lot of people speaking out against the tax appeals. Everybody is quiet. Mr. Weiser stated it’s only after the tax appeal process is over do people start talking about them. He stated each community needs to be proactive and try to support the assessed values that we have now. Mr. Weiser stated that the assessed values need to be kept where everybody can continue to do business just the way they are doing it now.

Mr. Weiser recommended that people don’t do business with the people that are trying to take money away from you. He stated firms like Baker Baker & Daniels are out there trying to get money from both sides.

Mr. Weiser stated Ms. Kikkert is going around and trying to get the tax appeal facts out. He stated that the assessors need the Town’s voice and the support of the community before these things happen. Mr. Weiser stated that they are not getting the support from the county that they should be getting. He stated they have to go and get some voice and support for their positions to cover their communities.

Ms. Kikkert stated she does not want to accept anything without the Council’s knowledge. She stated she had the appraisal done on Target and she feels it was accurately and fairly assessed to within about a $5.00 range. Ms. Kikkert stated coming up with the appraisals that she’s up against and with the law firms from Indianapolis, it’s going to be a tough fight without support from the communities which this affects.

Ms. Kikkert stated she grew up in St. John and she lives in Schererville and the communities and the taxpayers are so important. She reiterated she is doing everything she can to protect the assessment and to protect the tax dollars as well.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the Town just has to be glad that they don’t have any TIF debt so they don’t have to worry about any payments. He stated that the Town does not have to worry about its tax draws. Mr. Kil stated tonight’s meeting was held in order to get the Town ready to participate in a multi-community initiative where communities can band together and fight this as it’s going to have a substantial impact on the community. Mr. Kil stated that assessments are being done based on abandoned stores, et-cetera. He stated the comps they are using are ridiculous. Mr. Kil stated that the Town really needs to watch out for themselves. He stated that “trickledown effect” that Mr. Barenie referred to earlier could really hurt the Town.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any further comments. There were no further comments. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to participate in the multi-community initiative to appraise and establish fair market values as a result of EGA 1290. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

D. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 16-03-24, A RESOLUTION APPROVING AND AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN TOWN-OWNED REAL ESTATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATED WITH RENAISSANCE UNIT 8 AND ALL MATTERS RELATED THERETO.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 16-03-24, a resolution approving and authoring the sale of certain town real estate for the purpose of development associated with Renaissance, Unit 8 and all matters related thereto. He asked Attorney Austgen to explain Resolution No. 16-03-24.

Attorney Austgen explained that Resolution No. 16-03-24 is compliant with the statutory process for the exchange of a parcel of land with the developer for infrastructure improvements that have already been proposed, presented and reviewed by the Plan Commission. He stated that tonight is the statutory process this parcel must go through.

Mr. Kil added that this sale of real estate has been planned since the annexation of the Gates of St. John and it is reflected on every Town map and drawing. He stated all of the detention to the new subdivision has been provided for, and this parcel is an old abandoned detention basin. Mr. Kil stated that the Town just recently acquired this property back from the County. Mr. Kil stated tonight’s resolution will effectuate the transfer of this parcel from the Town to the developer to allow the infrastructure improvements to be put in.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions from the councilmen. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 16-03-24. “l’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked for any comments from the councilmen.

Mr. Barenie stated he wanted to inform the residents that he believed the State has finally begun its audit of the Town’s books. He stated an audit has been requested by the Council several times. Mr. Barenie stated that the audit has been in the process for the past couple of days.

Mr. Barenie stated after hearing what Ms. Kikkert had to say tonight, the Town is going to have to pull together as hard as they can against the tax appeals. He stated it is the equivalent of a household losing their job; it will have a big impact on the Town if it goes through.

Mr. Forbes stated last year the road project for 2016 was discussed. He stated that the Oakwood subdivision was on the list. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council had been presented with a petition from the residents of Oakwood Drive to have the road paved, although Oakwood Drive was already scheduled to be done.

Mr. Forbes stated that the Town has been given the opportunity to use the 2015 bid numbers from Walsh & Kelly, or they could bid the job all over again. He stated that Haas & Associates Engineering ran some numbers and the total project cost for using the Walsh Kelly numbers is $223,907.00, and this is based on last year’s number.

Attorney Austgen stated that the statute permits the Council to do this upon an offer or suggestion of the same from the vendor.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if they wanted to go out for bids or use the 2015 number of $223,907.00.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil stated that the if the Council was happy with Walsh & Kelly’s work, accepting the 2015 bid is definitely something to consider. Mr. Kil stated that if the old bid is accepted, the paving would begin immediately in the spring.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize Walsh & Kelly’s 2015 price for the Oakwood subdivision road project, the total cost with contingencies is $234,052.35. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

CLERK-TREASURER:

Ms. Hernandez stated that the audit began a couple of days ago, but it is not too far along yet. She stated she would keep everyone updated with any findings.

Ms. Hernandez stated additional office hours were added to the Clerk-Treasurer’s schedule for the residents. She stated the office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on the second Saturday of every month the office is now open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Ms. Hernandez stated March 12 was the first Saturday the Clerk-Treasurer’s office was open and they were pleasantly surprised at how many residents utilized the extended office hours. She stated 32 people stopped in the office on the first Saturday that the Clerk’s office was open.

Ms. Hernandez noted that the employees’ schedules have been altered to accommodate the Saturday schedule and no overtime is being paid.

Ms. Hernandez referred back to the audit. She stated the State is auditing the fiscal years 2012 to 2015. She reiterated her promise to keep everyone updated of any findings.

Ms. Hernandez informed the Council that she has hired a new Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, Marilyn Hrnjak. She stated Ms. Hrnjak comes to the Town with a wealth of knowledge, experience and an extensive background. She stated Ms. Hrnjak is an attorney who has spent the last several years serving as Executive Chief Deputy Clerk for Michael A. Brown of Lake Circuit and Superior Courts. Ms. Hernandez stated she is thrilled to have Ms. Hrnjak join her staff.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil informed the Council that he should have the quote for the Town’s roadway impact fee from the consultant by next week, and he would send the same out upon receipt.
CHIEFS’ REPORTS:
Chief Kveton informed the residents that northwest Lake County area has been experiencing residential burglaries over the last month or so. He stated that a white, GM-type panel van or a white or silver hatchback type vehicle is being looked at in connection with the residential burglaries. Chief Kveton cautioned the residents if they see vehicle like this in their neighborhood that looks suspicious or doesn’t belong, please call 911 and have an officer come out and check it out.

Chief Kveton stated another issue that was brought to the Department’s attention by a local jurisdiction is the criminal element who will come in and steal copper from construction sites, which is also happening in the area. Chief Kveton stated that the department has photographs of a light gray or tan GM pickup truck or a very dark pickup truck. He stated this type of crime typically happens after work hours when all of the construction workers have gone home. He cautioned the citizens if they see a construction site in their neighborhood and if there’s a vehicle there well after work hours, call 911 and have the police come out and check the site. Chief Kveton stated that the residential burglaries are happening in the surrounding areas during the day when people are at work.

Chief Kveton stated when he started his position a couple of months ago, he was made aware of a constant problem that’s been happening over the past several years in the area of Patterson and 81st, where it crosses the CSX railroad tracks. He stated railroad tracks are frequently blocked because a train pulls in and delivers at Schilling Lumber.

Chief Kveton stated this is an unusual situation because this train track crosses the Norfolk Southern train track right outside by the Town’s Public Work’s garage. He stated that the crossover has to be cleared to be able to make their delivery and the trains extend all the way to 81st. Chief Kveton stated he has been working with the Federal Railroad Administration and the CSX public affairs officials and also getting some great help from the residents. He stated the residents have been his eyes and ears when it comes to date, time of day and the how long the train is blocking those crossings. He stated this information is very important in order to get this problem solved. Chief Kveton asked the residents to keep providing him with this information.

Chief Kveton informed the residents that at all railroad crossings there is a blue sign with an 800 telephone number and a DOT number. He explained the DOT number is basically the address of the railroad crossing. Chief Kveton stated if the residents see a railroad crossing blocked for more than 10-15 minutes, get the 800 telephone number he referred to earlier and call the CSX helpline, give them the DOT number and let them know how long the crossing has been blocked. He stated this information will help the Federal Railroad Administration get this problem solved.

Chief Kveton stated that the Department’s K-9, Match, and his partner were called about a week ago to assist in finding an autistic child who went missing from a local school. He stated a great deal of credit can be given to Match and his partner in finding the child at a local mini mart.

Chief Kveton stated that this is prom season with the prom to be held at the local high school within the next few weeks. He stated that the Department’s School Resource Officer is working with Triple A to promote safety at prom time. Chief Kveton stated that student safety is uppermost in everyone’s mind at prom time. Students are promising to be safe, not to drive after drinking and get home safely after the evening is over. He stated anyone should feel free to call him for some handout information related to the prom.

Chief Kveton stated he attended a 911 Commission meeting earlier today. He stated that he learned that during the snow event that happened a few weeks ago, the 911 center took in 2,421 calls.

Chief Kveton thanked the residents for staying in communication with him and bringing him a lot of good information.

Chief Willman submitted his report for the month of February, 2016.

PAYMENT OF BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the general APV docket is eight pages for a total of $1,019,955.95. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

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

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. Mr. Forbes stated tonight is the first night that the new ordinance will be enacted. He stated the Clerk-Treasurer will call a person’s name, the person should step up to the podium and state their name and address for the record. He stated as soon as an individual identifies himself, the clock will start for the three-minute time limit.

Vince Casboni, 9679 White Oak Avenue:
Mr. Casboni stated that in looking at the Preserves, it is 319 acres with 445 homes that are going to be built right across from his home. He stated he took some pictures of the rains that St. John had. Mr. Casboni stated you can see the flooding that he has experienced during the rains. He asked what is going to happen when this subdivision is approved.

Mr. Casboni stated that Bull Run ditch crosses 93rd to 101st and is part of the Huppenthal/Herman land that the Schillings bought. He stated the ditch goes behind Rosewood subdivision and crosses into his property. Mr. Casboni showed a photograph of his back yard. He asked again what is going to happen when the subdivision is approved.

Mr. Casboni stated he has asked a number of time of the engineers, “Where’s the drawings? He stated nobody has given him these. Mr. Casboni stated that is one thing he takes issue with.

Mr. Casboni stated he has asked, “What are they going to do with Bull Run ditch?” He stated the last time the Bull Run ditch was cleaned out was in 1995. He stated this is another matter he has an issue with.

Mr. Casboni mentioned the traffic. He stated the Town is getting too much traffic. He stated he talked to Chief Kveton last month, and if he recalls correctly, the Chief called three or four squad cars within 15 minutes. Mr. Casboni stated he conducted his own traffic study and there were over 917 vehicles in three hours and twenty minutes; he asked again, what will happen when the subdivision comes in.

Mr. Casboni stated then there is the Greystone subdivision, which will have 84 homes. He stated there will be a total of 595 vehicles coming from 101st and Calumet Avenue, go down 101st to White Oak and go either north or south. He asked if the Council was aware that 101st is just 22 feet wide. Mr. Casboni stated nobody says anything about the 2005 traffic flow study that stated it should have been taken care of in 2005. He stated it’s now 2016 and nothing is done.

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Casboni he had thirty seconds remaining.

Mr. Casboni stated he is a former fire fighter. He asked Chief Willman, “Do we really need another fire engine?” How many runs do they have?

Mr. Forbes instructed Mr. Casboni to direct his questions to the Council.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street
Gerald Swets commented that when he signed the list he didn’t realize it was a requirement to be able to speak. He said he was going to start by asking a question, is the public comment time strictly comment time, he can’t ask questions and get any responses?

Mr. Forbes stated he started the clock for Mr. Swets.

Mr. Swets stated he was hoping he could talk to the Council tonight because most of his problems with the building and expansion in Town have to do with decisions of the Building and Planning Commission. He stated they are approving lots smaller than the 100-foot minimum as stated in the ordinances, and he wants this Board to know what’s going on.

Mr. Swets stated he knows Mr. Forbes understands because he also sits on the Plan Commission, but he wants everybody on this Board to understand this as well, the minimum lot size for R-1 and R-2 is 100 feet. He stated he would like this Board to encourage enforcement of those ordinances. Mr. Swets stated that the two factors that will drive down the housing values are going to be smaller lots and multi-family buildings.

Mr. Swets stated that the Town has a guideline of eight percent of multi-family units. He asked the Council to look at this guideline and think about revising it. Mr. Swets stated at the last meeting he asked about the eight percent, and the eight percent doesn’t count units it counts buildings. He stated that this number will skew all of the numbers. Mr. Swets stated a house, a duplex and a quad all count as one unit. Mr. Swets stated that this doesn’t seem to add up properly. He stated if things keep going at this rate and the Building Commission can keep approving quads, before you know it 32 percent of the residences in this Town will be multi-family. Mr. Swets reiterated his request that the Council look at revising this goal, number or ordinance. He stated he’s not sure what it is.

Mr. Swets stated another area of concern is the approval process for the Preserves. He stated this was done based on a one-day traffic study. He stated a one-day traffic study for adding 430 homes really does not seem adequate. Mr. Swets stated one resident asked the Town engineer if the traffic study included the summer traffic to the ball fields for the baseball and softball players. Mr. Swets stated the engineer responded “Yes, it does.” He stated he didn’t believe it then and he doesn’t believe it now. Mr. Swets stated it was impossible. He stated there wasn’t anything on the study that addressed this issue.

Mr. Swets stated that the development was approved and they said they were going to look at the traffic again in five years.

Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Swets had 30 seconds remaining.

Mr. Swets stated that the Town’s own master plan says the study should be done in three to five years. He stated he does not understand why the Town is letting the developers make these decisions and run away with things like this. Mr. Swets stated, “It’s totally out of control,” and he thinks this Board could do something about it. He stated he’s also concerned about the green space and the wetlands.

Mr. Swets commented, “Mr. President, I wondered why you weren’t willing to work with the Lake County Park Department when they wanted to put a full run county park in.” Mr. Swets stated when he talked to the Park Department they said they wanted to put a park there and they said they were told by Mr. Kil that the Town wanted to develop this land instead.

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Swets his time was up.

Brian Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:
Mr. Blazak stated in follow-up to Mr. Swet’s comments that Mr. Kil was asked a month or two ago about this calculation that calculates the eight percent for multi-unit housing in Town and Mr. Kil said he wasn’t sure exactly how it was done. Mr. Blazak asked, “Do you know now how that eight percent is calculated? Who is responsible for the calculation? And how do I go to the Clerk’s office and put in a public request so I can get a copy of that calculation? How it’s done and all that’s included.”

Mr. Kil stated that this information is included in the Town’s comprehensive plan. Mr. Blazak asked if anything was kept on a day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month basis as these items are approved. He asked if anyone updates this information. Mr. Kil stated this information is not updated every week, it is done once every year to two years. Mr. Kil stated that there is no point in doing it every week.

Mr. Blazak stated when a new subdivision like the Preserves is being put in with four hundred some odd houses, you have to add the eight percent to that. He stated next is Greystone, which has multiplexes which has to be added in. Mr. Blazak asked who is keeping these calculations. Mr. Kil stated Greystone has not been approved yet, and the Preserves is all single family housing.

Mr. Blazak said his question was this, “If the houses are approved, you have eight percent of those houses, okay, so you need a calculation so when the next developer comes and says I want to put in 80 multiplexes, you can look at the calculation and go, no, you can’t really do that, you can only have 45. So who keeps that calculation up-to-date?” Mr. Blazak stated doing it once every one or two years is irresponsible. Mr. Blazak asked how they know the calculation. Mr. Kil stated he doesn’t know that he ever said that, but he knows for a fact that the multi-housing is right around eight percent.

Mr. Blazak stated if Mr. Kil knows for a fact and you want to have a calculation, the public should know. Mr. Kil stated it is in the Comprehensive Plan and it was just done.

Paul Zlotkowski, 12040 West 83rd Place:
Mr. Zlotkowski stated he had pictures and asked if he could approach the Council. He submitted pictures to the Council.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Zlotkowski explained about a beaver problem that he had in his neighborhood and how Josh from Groen’s Wildlife captured the beavers and if it weren’t for Josh Groen last year there were lots of properties that would have been destroyed. Mr. Zlotkowski stated before winter, the ground still wasn’t hard enough to open up the blockages. He stated Public Works came out on a real crappy day just before winter and opened up another opening and the water was flowing.

Mr. Zlotkowski stated this year he kept watching to make sure the water is flowing and no beavers returned and plugged up the openings. He stated that there is still around 15 feet that’s plugged up out of a 20-foot stretch. He stated that the water is backed up and it’s stagnant. Mr. Zlotkowski stated he went back and forth with Public Works to see if anyone could do anything. He wanted the water way opened a little more so the water could move as it was stagnant.

Mr. Forbes stated Mr. Zlotkowski had thirty seconds remaining.

Mr. Zlotkowski stated a person gets pretty depressed when you see things in the paper or hearing about the heights of the fountains in the dog park while his property is getting destroyed.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mary Therese Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mrs. Robert stated she has been before the Council numerous times. She stated she has researched what other towns and cities have done and forwarded these ideas to the Town. Mrs. Robert stated she is trying to make St. John the best, and it is not for personal or self-serving reasons.

Mrs. Robert stated that the trains going through Town have become a big problem that has put the neighborhood in danger regarding police, fire, ambulance, emergency vehicles and private citizens trying to get medical attention. She stated it causes good drivers stress and causes them road rage and they are bringing it to the subdivision by speeding or disregarding stop signs.

Mrs. Robert gave the Town Council a rundown for the month of the crossing being stopped, 5:55 to 7:23 on the first, on the third, 5:55 to 7:20, the sixth, 5:15 to 5:55, on 3-7, repairs were made between 10:50 and 11:40. She stated the gate was blocked from 4:47 to 6:02 on the tenth, from 5:05 to 6:13 on 3-11, 7:40 to 8:40 on 3-12, 4:50 to 5:40 on 3-15, 4:15 to 5:18 on 3-20.

Mrs. Robert stated she did some research and according to Indiana Code 8-6-7.51, no train is to sit for more than ten minutes and they must allow five minutes between trains and the infraction is $200.00. She stated in 2013, CSX took over the Elston line and they reached agreement with the Surface Transportation Board that if a train was blocking an intersection longer than ten minutes, the train would be split. Mrs. Robert stated that they are not living up to this agreement, and it’s the responsibility of the Town to ensure the residents of St. John safety.

Mrs. Robert stated that Munster, Hammond and Griffith are enforcing the Indiana Code. She stated it would be a big help to the Council if everyone could work as one. She stated we belong to one region and there is the RDA and NIRPCI. She stated St. John is not involved in anything and she doesn’t understand why the Town is secluded.

Mr. Forbes noted that Chief Kveton mentioned in his monthly report that he is working on the issue of railroad crossings. Chief Kveton acknowledged Mr. Forbes comment.

Dale Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated he would like to take a moment to inform the residents of St. John that he is sorry for having any part of the inappropriate termination of (unintelligible name). He stated Ordinance 1623 was passed “under the table” last month without being on the agenda, being discussed before the Council and without comment from any residents, another inappropriate action.

Mr. Robert stated, then again, most public meetings are (unintelligible). Mr. Robert stated this shows that Mr. Forbes should be removed from the Town Council and Plan Commission because of his inability to control inappropriate behavior at a meeting.

Mr. Robert addressed Mr. Kil.; he said before he was interrupted at the meeting last month, Mr. Kil asked him what his point was. Mr. Robert stated his point is that Mr. Kil’s behavior regarding the tort claims, indictments, hiring practices, nepotism, pending lawsuits and purchases without bids makes him assume Mr. Kil is overwhelmed with the task of running the Town. Mr. Robert stated, “The point is, you should be placed on administrative leave and/or replaced immediately.” Mr. Robert stated that the Council works for the residents not for themselves.

Ms. Hernandez called Drew Schwalm to speak. There was no response. She called Mr. Tom Parada.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he brought his own stopwatch so violence would not break out if he went over the allotted time. He stated he had written down things he wanted to talk about. Mr. Parada stated that the residents wait an entire month to get to a Town Council meeting to say what’s on their minds; he stated it’s like swatting flies off.

Mr. Parada stated it is disgusting, immoral and heartbreaking to see that the Town he has lived in for 57 years has come down to this. He stated last month was nothing but a joke. Mr. Parada addressed Chief Kveton and told him he liked him a lot.

Mr. Forbes instructed Mr. Parada to direct his comments to the Council. Mr. Parada stated his point is, “That was all a big mistake.” He stated he has worked security before and he knows when someone is coming at someone looking for trouble. Mr. Parada stated he trusts Chief Kveton.

Mr. Parada stated that, “Dale had no idea that we were going to be cut down to three minutes that day. Mike, that was your job, to stop that --- as he said already.” Mr. Parada stated that the bigger point is that there was a time that this Town had half the population it has now and there were 22 to 27 meetings per year. He pointed out the Town is the largest it’s ever grown, the busiest it’s ever grown and with the most problems it’s ever had.

Mr. Parada stated there are railroad problems, building problems, road problems and lawsuit problems. He stated that the Town has every kind of problem you can imagine, and now is the time that the Council cuts down on the amount of the meetings. Mr. Parada stated, ironically, it just happens that the number of meetings are cut down when more people are showing up at the meetings.

Mr. Parada stated he looks at every one of the Council members as “immoral beings” for doing what they are doing. He stated he had other things to say. Mr. Parada stated when he sees people come up to the podium for three minutes, hustle through what they have to say and turn around and go back to their seat whether they’re done or not --- it’s pathetic. He stated he was quoted in the paper as saying, “This town stinks.” Mr. Parada stated that the Town doesn’t stink just some of the leadership. He stated it is an absolute pity --- he’s almost sorry that he’s still alive to see this after being here for 57 years.

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Parada he had 30 seconds remaining.

Mr. Parada told Mr. Forbes he was aware of the time remaining because he brought his own stopwatch and he knows how to tell time. He stated that it feels to him like the dome is closing up on the Town, first, it’s fewer meetings, then it’s three minute statements. Mr. Parada stated next it would be executive sessions and before you know it, residents will be required to make individual appointments. He stated he would be willing to do an individual appointment.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Parada for his statement.

Ms. Hernandez called Dave and Nancy Siminak.

Nancy Simanck, 9005 Morse Street, Crown Point:
Ms. Simanck indicated that her comments would be brief. She stated that she lives in an unincorporated area that is adjacent to Tiberon and an “as of yet” unbuilt/undeveloped parcel of land. She stated she doesn’t know when the next parcel of land is going to be built on. Ms. Simanck stated she feels very strongly that the Council should go back and review the Town’s Comprehensive Plan; she stated she has reviewed the plan extensively. Ms. Simanck stated that there are many passages in the plan that talk about preserving natural features whenever possible, and she doesn’t believe that this is always happening.

Ms. Simanck stated if some of the natural areas were left open, places for water to go and places for trees to absorb water, maybe some of the drainage and flooding problems wouldn’t be so severe. She stated that the Town can’t take down any of the houses that have already been built, but they certainly could look forward and get out there and look at the site and talk to people who are in environmental positions before any plans are approved.

Jerry Koster, 9194 Eggert Lane:
Mr. Koster stated he has been a resident in Town for 18 years. He recalled being able to leave his house with the doors and garage open, and he said that was a pretty good feeling. Mr. Koster stated a lot of things are happening today. He stated that the Town is growing and with growth comes a multitude of problems including traffic and congestion.

Mr. Koster stated, in the last two years, he is getting water in his back yard that he never had before. He stated in his subdivision, Edgewood, he has been a victim of vandalism in the last six months. Mr. Koster stated he doesn’t have answer for this problem, but he wanted the Council to be “cognizant” of it. He recommended one way to curb the vandalism was to establish a neighborhood crime watch program. Mr. Koster stated with increased growth, you have increased problems. Mr. Koster stated he can’t say if it’s all young kids but there is speeding and vandalism. He reiterated to be cognizant when you are growing to make sure you have plans for all these problems.

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Koster reported the vandalism to the police department. Mr. Koster stated, “Unfortunately, not.” He mentioned they have a group called Edgewood Subdivision and it was put out through that. Mr. Forbes stated that when it happens to make sure the Chief knows about it so he can figure out a pattern if there is one and have people out there.

Adrian Bugariu 11747 W 90th Avenue
Mr. Bugariu stated that three months ago he told Mark Barenie certain things and he said he would relay that information to you guys and nothing happens 90 days later. Mr. Bugariu advised there is a 66.6 million dollar law suit to be filed against the Town of St. John. He said it is verbal right now for the crimes that have been committed against him for 38 years. Mr. Bugariu mentioned he must be the most arrested person in the history of Lake County, Indiana by criminals in police uniforms, lawyers and judges. He stated cops are bribing lawyers, bribing witnesses, every single one from 1977 until now it will become a lawsuit.

Mr. Bugariu demanded that Beth, David Austgen, Forbes, Barenie and Steve Kil be __. Mr. Bugariu stated if he would have stolen the signs like he did, he would have been hung in jail; election signs, that’s illegal.

Mr. Bugariu stated, secondly, when he was in Mississippi on his exile, someone went in his house; Dahlin had the key since 2006. Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Bugariu was accusing one of the police officers of breaking into his house. Mr. Bugariu stated that stuff disappeared from his house. Mr. Forbes asked once again if he was accusing one of the police officers of breaking into his house. Mr. Bugariu said his window which was never broken, was broken and raccoons and other animals ransacked his house.

Mr. Bugariu stated in 2007, three weeks after he filed a law suit against Jerri Tiebel and Mike Fryzel, he got his house sold on a tax sale and he saw Jerri Tiebel by his property instigating neighbors and bribing his lawyers. He mentioned when he found out what happened with his latest lawsuit, which was filed properly, his computer was hacked. The next morning he could find nothing on his computer not Guzik’s, a good chief, or his lawsuit against the Town of St. John.

Mr. Forbes stated there were 30 seconds remaining.

Mr. Bugariu mentioned that Ordinance 1623 is a violation against our freedom of speech.

Rita Berg, 10351 Joliet Street
Ms. Berg stated her major complaint tonight is that she has not heard half of what’s being said up here. She mentioned that she sits here because she wants to know about the Town and everything going on and she can’t hear half of it and there’s nothing wrong with her hearing. Ms. Berg mentioned she would appreciate it if they would use the microphones more and speak up especially about the numbers because they aren’t catching it.

Ms. Berg said she had a group question and wanted to know if the meeting are cut in half, does that mean that the Council is getting paid less because there are less meetings or is it just one of those things (unintelligible).

Marko Jurkovic, 11847 West 105th Street
Mr. Jurkovic thanked the Council for having him there tonight and mentioned he is a newer resident who grew up in Lake County. He mentioned with spring time coming around we are starting to get a lot more solicitors coming in and he’s not sure if there is an ordinance established in St. John. He stated a lot of the municipalities in the area do have an ordinance. Mr. Jurkovic mentioned in the last week he had 17 different solicitors. He stated he works in the service industry, but they are required to have background checks on all of the solicitors because, unfortunately, you never know in this day and age. Mr. Jurkovic asked the Council to look into it. Mr. Forbes stated there was a solicitors’ ordinance but that was turned over by the State; they were deemed illegal? Mr. Austgen stated, “Not all of them”. Mr. Forbes stated they had an ordinance in place but he was told he could not enforce it. Mr. Jurkovic stated all he asks is they look into a little bit more. Mr. Forbes stated, “Absolutely.”

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oakridge Drive
Mr. Hero stated he would like to remonstrate against Ordinance 1683. It has a penalty of shutting people’s speech off, any ordinance of a municipality has to be published in the paper, and it’s illegal to just bring it up in a meeting.

Mr. Hero mentioned when you open the bids, in order to make sure there’s no collusion or anything, they should be opened in the public where they can stand around the chair and look at the bids and how they are being opened; that’s how they do it at the County.

Mr. Hero said the other issue is this, since we have gone to the 911 thing in Lake County, he has requested the Police Chief and the Fire Chief to start tracking when the call is put out, when they received the call and when they arrive on the scene. Mr. Hero mentioned he would like the Town Council to demand that they publish that every month for all the calls, both fire and police.

Mr. Hero said for years he has complained about the TIF district and now it’s coming back to bite you so to speak. He mentioned if there is not enough money coming in and taxes aren’t there you are going to be paying out of the public treasury and it’s going to affect the taxes of the Town. He stated it’s a big mistake and poor management; we don’t need TIF districts.

Mr. Hero stated the land that was given to the developer tonight should be out for public bids, we should know the price and what’s going on there.

Mr. Hero said he believes the blacktop thing tonight is illegal and should be rebid. He thinks this will fall on the liability of the Clerk-Treasurer so he urged Mrs. Hernandez to step up to these guys because she will be on the hook in his opinion.

Mr. Hero stated when we pay the bills for these commissions, we need docket sheets and a list of bills. There’s no checks and balances; who knows what you’re paying. Mr. Hero mentioned as far as the road impact, we need to demand that the developers put the roads in because the impact fee is not going to pay in the future money what it’s going to cost to relocate the utilities and everything else.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if we did anything illegal this evening. Mr. Austgen responded, “No.”

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked if anyone had anything else to add tonight. There were no additional comments. Mr. Volk made a motion to adjourn. So moved by Mr. Hastings. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes---four. Nays---none.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
BETH R. HERNANDEZ
Clerk-Treasurer

 

04-28-2016 Town Council

April 28, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the April 28, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:18 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, Steve Hastings and Christian Jorgensen. Attorney David Austgen was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: FEBRUARY 24, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion on the minutes of February 24, 2016. He asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on the minutes. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

PRESENTATION:

MEDAL OF VALOR: DEPUTY CHIEF DAVID DEMETER, OFFICER RONALD OLSON AND OFFICER LUKE SCHREIBER.

Michael Forbes stated a Medal of Valor would be given out tonight to Deputy Chief Demeter, Officer Ronald Olson and Officer Luke Schreiber. He asked Chief James Kveton to proceed to the presentation of the medal.

Chief Kveton: Back in July of 2015, the St. John Police Department responded to an “investigate 911” call. These three officers were the officers that responded and due to their heroism and actions that they took that day, they will be receiving a Medal of Valor this evening. I’m going to read on the Valor Award:

“On July 15, 2015, Officer Olson responded to a hang-up 911 call at 9016 Industrial Drive where it was later learned that an offender with a gun had committed a homicide. Shortly thereafter, Officer Schreiber and Commander --- well, now he’s Deputy Chief --- Commander Demeter arrived to assist in locating the offender. The three officers collaborated, began setting up a perimeter and started clearing the area. They quickly located the offender outside the front of the business. Officers Olson, Schreiber, and Deputy Chief Demeter started giving the offender verbal commands as the offender pulled out a handgun and threatened to shoot himself. Over the next 42 minutes the officers attempted to use less lethal force to take this offender into custody which was not successful.

They also continued negotiating with the offender in attempts to have him surrender his weapon and himself to the officers. Prior to Officer Olson’s arrival, the offender had shot and killed a fellow employee. His intention on killing another individual was prevented by these officers’ arrival and the actions they took that day. The offender, who was captured, later pled guilty and was sentenced to 50 years in jail. Each of these officers should be recognized for their negotiation skills and patience as they responded to this very volatile and life-threatening event. All three officers maintained control and made sure that the surrounding area was as safe as it could be during such a dangerous, fluid and continually evolving situation. These officers didn’t hesitate to act that day. They placed their own lives and safety in harm’s way to protect others.

President Michael Forbes presented each officer with a medal.

The officers were congratulated by each member of the Council.

Mr. Forbes stated a recess would be taken.

(A brief recess was taken.)

Mr. Forbes called the meeting back to order after a brief recess.

PRESENTATION: State Representative Mike Aylesworth and Dan Dernulc

MR. DERNULC: Mr. President and members of the Council, thank you very much for letting me be here today. And I come and I do --- I try to --- before I do that, I was a former councilman --- town councilman in Highland, and --- and Greg, I remember going to down to our first meeting down in Indianapolis ---

MR. VOLK: Yeah.

Mr. DERNULC: --- together and it was you, Bernie and I. But seeing the --- the officers and the Deputy Chief here really, really shows how much this Town appreciates your police. These are true St. John heroes, and, of course, American heroes.

I’ve been a big proponent and --- and I’m always behind our police. Deputy Chief Demeter, Officer Olson and Officer Schreiber, I don’t know if you’re here, but --- you know, thank you very much for what you’ve done for not just this Town but for our county. And in keeping us safe in St. John and everywhere else. It means a lot to us. So thank you very, very much and --- and I’ll let you know from the County how much --- and I think the State how much we appreciate it.

I’m here just to say hi and let you know that, you know, I want to be transparent. I want to be able to let you know that if you need anything from the County, please give me a call. All of you --- I think most of you if not all of you have my number. I’m there to serve and --- and bring any needs that you have that the county can help you with. To the Council, I’m just reiterating my point that I’ve done in the past. And I’ll probably see you by the end of the year also just to say hi again.

MR. AYLESWORTH: As is my custom, I’d like to give a business card, because as your state representative, on occasion, you may want to communicate with me. Some of you have a card. Some of you probably threw darts at it, but --- some of you are new.

MR. DERNULC: Mine is supposed to say “Get out of jail free,” Mike.

MR. AYLESWORTH: That’s my wife, she has that for me.

Yeah, my district is the (unintelligible) to keep get ahold of Dan to keep communication up with the state government and the local town and community, and it’s really a privilege and I’m proud to be here tonight to witness the presentation of those awards to our public servants that serve and protect. We often don’t recognize them as we should. They’re there 24/7. And the Chief knows and anybody that’s been in public service, especially a policeman, when you go into domestics, those are some of the most dangerous situations you can ever find yourself in. And the police are often underappreciated for the work they do in the community. So it’s a privilege to be here tonight.

And one other ironic note, but it’s not anything to do with that, when I worked for nine years for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management I often went to Fremont, Indiana. And the person, the State Rep that represents that is right next to me in the cubicle in our work space in Indianapolis, and he was a dentist and he has that area. And we often talked together about the commonality of the areas. So it’s really going to be nice that --- I’ll tease Dr. Zanda about the nice award that you gave to --- gave the community, which is really nice. And it shows that you can work together because that town is five miles from Ohio and five miles from Michigan. It’s an old, old town like St. John, going back to the 1830s, and it’s got some infrastructure issues that I helped them work through, but I know they really appreciate the ability to do what they needed to do with technology. So it’s sort of an ironic thing that I’m here tonight. I’ve been to that town many times, so ---

Now, do you have questions of me, as a state representative? And no, I don’t have a satchel full of money.

(General discussion ensued.)

Any questions of me? Otherwise, I’ll let you continue on your normal business process here tonight. And I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you every couple of years and say hi.

MR. FORBES: It’s good to see you both.

MR. DERNULC: Thank you, Mike.

MR. FORBES: Next is Lake Central School Board member Janice Malchow.

MS. MALCHOW: Hi, thank you for the opportunity to come tonight before you, and I apologize, Mr. Forbes, because I misled you. I’m not representing Lake Central School Board tonight. So if you want to change that on your agenda, I’m not representing Lake Central School Board.

I’m representing, actually, Tri-Town Safety Village. I wanted to make you aware of a project that we have going on at the village. And we certainly do appreciate the support we receive from St. John in many ways, through the fire and police and obviously, through your financial donation.

Years ago, thirty years ago, there was a young man who attended Lake Central High School, and his name is Doug DeVries. Doug DeVries is the son of Dr. DeVries, the veterinarian that’s retired out of Dyer. Well, Doug was in Tom Clark’s U.S. History class and Doug said, ‘Mr. Clark, what about these Viet Nam veterans and service men that we are not representing?” An idea formulated, and I think it’s a national initiative, and they, meaning the students and Mr. Clark at Lake Central High School, gravitated towards that project and they have a phenomenal memorabilia collection, over 30 years that is in Mr. Clark’s U.S. history class at Lake Central High School.

It’s so outstanding. I had no idea --- I’d never heard of Mr. Clark when I was a principal at Bibich School --- I think I heard that he was pretty cool, but never had any idea what he did until I went to his class room. I was like amazed at what this gentleman has done. Did you have---

MS. HERNANDEZ: I had Mr. Clark. I sure did.

MS. MALCHOW: Oh, my gosh. It’s just phenomenal. So Steve, I’m going to leave these pictures with you. These are the displays of World War I and, I think, the Korean War. These are on display in the entrance of Lake Central High School. But in addition to that, we want to establish a museum on the Safety Village campus because we know that it would be a phenomenal field trip in the future for children to learn about veterans, POW, MIA --- what does all that mean? What have these gentlemen gone through? Mr. Clark and his --- and his students have established a great reputation with parents over the years. It’s just phenomenal to hear the stories. Parents that will call or write him and say, “Hey, you know, I’m 85. I don’t know what to do with my son’s uniform. I would like to donate it to you.” Also his Purple Heart. He has wonderful display units. It’s just outstanding.

I was --- I’m not --- I’m still in amazement at what these kids have done. So 30 years of memorabilia and we need to make sure it’s protected and safe for our future. So as you know, the Safety Village is a 501 3c so we don’t have a great amount of funding for these type of activities so we are turning to our public and we are hosting, on May 21, a 3k, 5k, 10k walk/run combination for a minimal fee, but all the proceeds from that will go to the construction of a future veterans’ museum on the Safety Village campus.

In addition to that, in the afternoon, from 1:00 to 3:00, Mr. Clark and his current U.S. history students will have a display, and you will just be so amazed at what he has. He has been interviewed by U.S. News and World Reports, Washington Post. If you ever have a dull moment, go to U.S. History Man on You Tube --- U.S. History Man, and you will find out a little bit more about Mr. Clark and his students, and obviously, that you participated in that too, so --- that’s what I’m here to represent, not Lake Central and the (unintelligible word) --- sorry --- but the Safety Village.

So I’m hoping that we can get your support on that in the future. And I have a little palm card for each of you. I’ll give this to Mr. Kil and he can put it on your mailboxes. Thank you.

MR. FORBES: Thank you very much.

(General discussion ensued.)

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. TO CONSIDER THE 2016 COMMUNITY BLOCK DELVELOPMENT GRANT --- PUBLIC HEARING --- CDBG PROJECT.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda was a public hearing for the 2016 Community Block Development Grant. He asked Attorney Austgen if the Proofs of Publication were in order. Attorney Austgen acknowledged that the Proofs of Publication were in order and the public hearing could be properly conducted tonight. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil for opening remarks.

Mr. Kil stated that the Council would find in their packets information summarizing the proposed project. He stated that there would be a sidewalk replacement along Thielen Street near the Public Works. Mr. Kil stated that the area has been reviewed and pictures taken, and all of the necessary income surveys and analysis have been completed. Mr. Kil stated that this was the last step of the process, required by HUD through the County Economic Development Department, and ending with the Council passing a resolution that authorizes a project submittal by the Town Council president.

Mr. Kil stated that the agenda lays out the format that must be followed. He stated that there are only a few things that need to be read. Mr. Kil asked Attorney Austgen to further elaborate on the agenda.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Kil asked the Council to move on while he took a brief leave of the meeting.

Mr. Forbes asked if any councilmen had any objection to moving on in the agenda. There were no objections.

NEW BUSINESS:

B. CONSIDER REQUEST FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR PROVIDENCE BANK.

Mr. Forbes stated the first item under New Business for the Council’s action was to consider a request for a special exception for Providence Bank. He stated that this matter comes before the Council with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes informed the Council that Providence Bank is looking to locate on the corner of 101st and Calumet Avenues. He stated that the bank’s plan is currently under the review by the Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes stated that, as required by Town Ordinance, a bank requires a special use permit. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions regarding the request for a special exception by Providence Bank. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve the special exception with any and all stipulations and incorporating the findings of fact by reference. So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

C. CONSIDER ACCEPTANCE OF UNIFORM CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURE FOR MR. MICHAEL MEUNICH.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the agenda for the Council’s action was to consider acceptance of a uniform conflict of interest disclosure for Mr. Michael Muenich. He stated that this is a yearly event for the Council; he stated that the conflict of interest disclosure is needed because Mr. Muenich is an attorney who occasionally represents the Town and the St. John Fire Department. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the uniform conflict of interest disclosure for Attorney Michael Muenich. There were no questions.

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

D. CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION OF THE INTERSECTION IMPROVEMENT PROJECT FOR CALUMET AVENUE AND WEST 101ST AVENUE.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item on the Council’s agenda was to consider authorization of the intersection improvement for Calumet Avenue and West 101st Avenue. He stated that this project includes right of way acquisition and engineering for signalization of a stop light at the intersection.

Mr. Forbes stated at the Plan Commission it was discussed the Providence Bank will add a turning lane on 101st Avenue as part of their project. He stated additional right of way will be sought along Calumet Avenue. Mr. Forbes stated that the Plan Commission members felt that it was unreasonable to expect the bank to signalize the intersection considering the fact that it is a failed intersection now.

Mr. Forbes stated that the thought process here is to begin the land acquisition, begin the engineering and continue the discussion with Lake County. He stated improvements of the other intersections will continue to be discussed, 109th and Calumet Avenue(s) and 101st and Sheffield Avenue(s). Mr. Forbes stated that the project needs to be a collaborative effort, but this improvement shows how serious the Council is about the project and the need to address the concerns that are occurring in these areas.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments on this project. There were no questions or comments from the Council. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to authorize the project engineering and right of way acquisition. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated that the meeting would back up now and continue with the CDBG public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING (CONTINUED)

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if he was ready to proceed with the CDBG. Mr. Kil stated he was ready for the opening remarks for the CDBG public hearing.

Mr. Kil read the opening remarks as follows:

“Each spring the Lake County Community Development Department applies to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for new funding through the Community Development Block Grant program, the CDBG.

One of the application requirements is to hold public hearings in the communities where CDBG funding is allocated in order to obtain input from local citizens on the proposed uses of the funding.

For fiscal year 2016, the Town of St. John CDBG allocation is $69,500.00. The most common use of CDBG funds is for infrastructure including street reconstruction, sanitary sewers, water line extensions, storm drainage improvements, sidewalks and projects to remove architectural barriers, i.e., handicapped access such as curb cuts and wheel chair ramps. CDBG funds may also be used to eliminate slums and blight through demolition of unsafe buildings or other clearance activities.

CDBG funded infrastructure projects may only be done in areas where the neighborhood is at least fifty-one (51) percent low to moderate income according to HUD guidelines. In most cases, an income survey must be done to qualify the area for funding eligibility. The income for information taken by the survey is strictly confidential and is used solely for the purposes of determining the area’s eligibility for CDBG funding.

Handicap access projects and demolition may be one anywhere in the community without the need for an area income determination. The public hearing is just the start of the application process for Lake County. There are a series of legal advertisements and comment periods to take place during the summer prior to final grant approval from HUD in late August. New CDBG funding is released to the County and its entitlement communities on or around September 1 and needs to be expended by June 13, of the following year.

After public comment tonight, three documents need to read and adopted, the affirmative action program, Section Three Understanding, and the resolution authorizing the Town executive --- that would be our council president --- to submit a project proposal for CDBG funding. Finally, project applications and supporting documentation need to be submitted no later than May 20, 2016, for review by Lake County.”

Mr. Forbes acknowledged Mr. Kil’s reading of the CDBG opening remarks. Attorney Austgen stated when the proceeding was concluded, as part of the agenda, those items should be incorporated into the public meeting minutes verbatim.

Mr. Kil read as follows: “This is the Affirmative Action Program implementing Section Three of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968.”

Mr. Forbes stated he would open the floor to public comment.

PUBLIC HEARING

Rita Berg, 10351 Joliet Street:
Ms. Berg stated she was back on her same, old bandstand. She stated she would like to see Joliet Street to be improved and get some of the grant money to start working on Joliet Street. Ms. Berg stated this would get the kids and older folk that are wandering up and down her street with much terror right now some sidewalks so they can walk and not be worried about getting hurt.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets stated “There was discussion at a Council meeting in February about residents’ requests for sidewalks on Joliet Street”. He stated that the Town finally has some money in front of them that would allow the Town to do that. He asked why this project, since it was discussed all the way back in February, wasn’t brought up in this year’s project. Mr. Swets stated since the resolution has not been approved yet, he would like to see this money go towards Rita’s neighborhood and her sidewalks.

Mr. Kil explained that a project requires an income survey and an income survey was done last year for the Thielen Street project. He stated that Thielen Street needs sidewalks too. He stated that the income survey was done in accordance with the actual project before the Council tonight. Mr. Forbes concurred; he stated that the income survey is the tool that determines if a project can be done in a certain area.

Mr. Kil stated, as was read in the opening remarks, the area has to be fifty-one (51) percent low to moderate income area per the HUD guidelines. Mr. Forbes stated, for clarification purposes, projects are often offered and thought of but they may not qualify, again, because of income.

(General discussion ensued.)

MS. BERG: Okay. Let me --- one comment about that. Nobody has ever come by our neighborhood and done any kind of a survey to qualify for this. So I just wanted to stick that out there.

MR. FORBES: Right. And in order --- in order to do that, we would need to do that survey.

MS. BERG: Yeah.

MR. FORBES: So don’t --- I mean, we can’t just---

MS. BERG: I know. I understand. What I’m saying is it hasn’t been done.

MR. FORBES: But we have --- we have discussed with you sidewalks on Joliet Street and---

MS. BERG: Right.

MR. FORBES: ---nobody is in opposition to it.

MS. BERG: Okay. I just know that we aren’t --- I know you can’t do it this time---

MR. FORBES: Right.

MS. BERG: Because we haven’t been authorized yet as far as the HUD standards.

MR. FORBES: But again, there’s no guarantee that we could use CDBG money in your area to do these sidewalks.

MS. BERG: I understand.

MR. FORBES: Okay. Just so we’re all clear.

MS. BERG: Yeah, we’re all clear. I just wanted you guys to know too that I ---

MR. FORBES: We’re ---

MS. BERG: --- know what they’ve done so far.

MR. FORBES: We hear you.

MR. KIL: Hey, Mike, the $69,500, our allocation of CDBG funds, that’s a two-year allocation. They’ve changed the program to once every two years. So we won’t be getting money next year. It won’t be until the following year. We’ll be sitting here in ’18 at this exact time doing another project proposal.

MR. FORBES: Part of the money that we used to get automatically goes to the Southlake Bus, correct?

MR. KIL: Southlake County Community Services, yes.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero stated that this is federal money, community grant money. He stated what is required is that the Town get public input into how the money is spent. Mr. Hero stated if it has already been decided in advance that another street is going to be done, then the Town stifles any public comment.

Mr. Hero stated that the Town has already decided what they’re going to do. He stated that public comment to put the sidewalk on Joliet Street is meaningless. Mr. Hero stated that public comment should have been had and if there was enough people on Joliet Street who have no sidewalks at all --- and it’s a very heavily traveled street compared to Thielen.

Mr. Hero stated that the Town has put money into a dog park and they leave no sidewalks on Joliet Street. He stated that he does not believe that the Town has followed the proper guidelines in arbitrarily picking a neighborhood first to do the study. He stated then the Town stated that Joliet doesn’t qualify because the study wasn’t done and their decision was already predisposed in the making. Mr. Hero stated that this defeats the purpose of a public hearing and public comments for the people who live on Joliet that asked for the sidewalks.

Mr. Hero stated he objects to the way the Town is doing the project. He opined that the feds should review how the money is spent and the fact that the Town went ahead and picked a neighborhood without asking for input and doing an analysis on their income. He reiterated, “You’ve already predisposed yourself. You’ve defeated the purpose of the public hearing and the comments of those people who live on Joliet. For those reasons, I object to the way you’re doing the project.”

Mr. Forbes called for further public comment on the CDBG project.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated, “There is some duplicity here. (Unintelligible words.). Rita Berg has politely and diligently been asking for this for decades and I think she deserves it.” Mr. Parada stated he lives on Joliet Street and the sidewalks stop right in front of his house. He stated it is a 20 mile an hour zone, and zero percent of the cars that drive by his house are going 20 miles per hour.

Mr. Parada stated he feels very adamant about the fact that it’s time that pressure is put on the powers that be to make this happen. He stated it has been a long time now. Mr. Parada stated he has lived in St. John for 57 years, for the most part. He reiterated that it is time that the sidewalks stop ending in front of his house.

Gary Curtis, 12600 102nd Avenue:
Mr. Curtis stated that everyone is aware of the lawsuits plaguing the Town. He stated that everyone knows that they are the result of questionable actions of individuals and not the Town Council itself, as a few have implied.

Mr. Forbes informed Mr. Curtis that the public hearing now being held was for comments related to the CDGB project. He stated that it does not sound like Mr. Curtis’ comments are related to the public hearing. Mr. Forbes explained that there is a public comment period, but this public hearing was specifically related to the CDBG project.

Mr. Forbes apologized for interrupting Mr. Curtis and told him that he would be called back up during the appropriate public comment period.

Mr. Forbes called twice for additional public comment related to the CDBG project. There was no further public comment. Mr. Forbes closed the public hearing and brought the matter back before the Council.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to read Section Three, the Understanding Form. Mr. Kil stated that the record should reflect that the entirety the Lake County, Indiana, Section Three Understanding Form, which he read by title only, would be made a part of the record.

E. RESOLUTION NUMBER 2016-04-28 --- A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE 2016 CDBG PROJECT AND DIRECTING THE TOWN COUNCIL PRESIDENT TO SUBMIT A PROJECT PROPOSAL.

Mr. Forbes noted Resolution Number 2017-04-28, a resolution authorizing the 2016 CDGB project and directing the Town Council president to submit a project proposal was next on the agenda.

Mr. Forbes read as follows: “Resolution Number 2016-04-28, this is a resolution authorizing and directing the Town Council president of the Town of St. John to submit a project proposal for community development block grant fund for federal fiscal years 2016 through 2017.” He asked if there were any questions on this resolution or the public hearing. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would like to make one comment before a vote was taken. He stated he does support Ms. Berg’s sidewalk proposal. Mr. Forbes stated that there has been previous discussion about sidewalks on Joliet Street. He stated that in a previous council he brought up sidewalks on Joliet Street and the residents along Joliet Street did not want sidewalks at that time. Mr. Forbes stated that the residents did not want to give up the easements and did not want the sidewalks on their property.

Mr. Forbes stated he vehemently disagreed with the residents’ posture at that time. He stated he agreed that there should be sidewalks throughout the Town. Mr. Forbes stated he is hoping to be able to move the Joliet Street sidewalk project forward one way or another, whether it’s CDBG money or otherwise, he fully supports the desire to have sidewalks put in along Joliet Street. Mr. Forbes commented he felt it is important to have sidewalks along Joliet Street due to the amount of traffic.

Mr. Kil stated he received two calls from residents on Joliet Street on this date. He stated that he would like to ask when the CDGB project comes up again in two years that he gets help from the residents on Joliet Street in order to complete the required surveys and acquire the necessary right of way. Mr. Kil stated he will be calling upon the residents of Joliet Street for their help in the future in order to get the project done.

Mr. Barenie asked for a ball park estimate on the costs to have sidewalks put in on Joliet Street.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated the Council could ask the Town’s engineer to lay out the sidewalks on Joliet Street and provide them with a potential cost of what the project would be if the Town were to proceed without CDBG funds. Mr. Kil stated he would get a cost estimate from the Town’s engineer.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes asked for additional comment from the councilmen. There was no further comment. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution Number 2016-04-28. ” So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Jorgensen apologized for missing the last Council meeting. He stated he was out of town. Mr. Jorgensen stated that based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 Supreme Court 221A he would like to make a motion today to repeal Ordinance Number 1483, Chapter 15, Section 8.2, entitled Permitted Political Signs in its entirety effective immediately. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the motion. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes asked for a vote on the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Jorgensen requested, if proper, Attorney Austgen would draft an applicable ordinance repealing Ordinance Number 1483, Chapter 15, Section 8.2, making the date of the repeal retroactive to today’s date. Attorney Austgen stated this would be perfectly acceptable.

Mr. Volk had nothing to report. Mr. Hastings had nothing to report.

Mr. Barenie suggested that the Council give some thought to the residents’ request of possibly posting the accounts payable vouchers on the website. He stated this would give residents an opportunity to take a look at the vouchers. Mr. Barenie stated this method would be sustainable and green.

Ms. Hernandez stated she was okay with this as the copies could be rather voluminous.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he would like to make a comment on a matter that seems to be causing a lot of confusion. He stated that tax bills have come out recently and he has been fielding numerous phone calls related to the tax bills. Mr. Forbes stated comment has been made on social media that the Town Council has taken no action regarding the “big box issue” that they are facing.

Mr. Forbes stated that a lot of businesses are going in and looking for tax cuts that end up being quite substantial. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council is concerned about it. He stated Melody Kikkert was invited to and spoke at the Council last meeting wherein she explained the situation and the process that she was currently involved in in fighting the assessments. Mr. Forbes stated Ms. Kikkert asked the Council to join in her efforts and the Council immediately joined in.

Mr. Forbes stated that there have been two subsequent meetings since Ms. Kikkert’s presentation. Mr. Forbes noted that Mr. Jorgensen attended the last meeting and Mr. Kil has attended a couple of meetings. Mr. Kil stated that the Town is well-represented at these meetings.

Mr. Forbes reiterated that the Council is very concerned and very involved in the tax appeals process. He stated that there is an accusation out there that the Council is contemplating some sort of a tax and nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council is not looking to tax the residents in order to make up for the potential losses that would be seen by restructurings.

Mr. Forbes stated that there is another issue related to taxes, and this is predominantly in Hanover Township. He stated that there are comments being made that due to the Town’s “fiscal inadequacies” residents have seen marked raises in their property taxes. Mr. Forbes stated that the fact of the matter is, if one looks at their tax bills they will see that the corporate tax rate for St. John has dropped.

Mr. Forbes stated that the tax rate for Hanover School District has risen significantly, and it is due to the fact that the referendum has come on line and people are now seeing the real and true numbers associated with the value of their properties and the impact of the referendum.

Mr. Jorgensen commented further on the “big box issue.” He stated just for everyone’s edification and those in St. John Township covered by Melanie Kikkert, the ongoing litigation is being covered by the county and Commissioner Scheub. He stated Jerome Prince and the county assessor are the only individuals who can bring a claim before IPTR. He stated, unfortunately, Melanie Kikkert cannot do this on her own.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the residents in St. John Township are going to be somewhat at the mercy of Jerome Prince and Commissioner Scheub in the respect that they are the ones who will be called upon to defend the assessments. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the Council has supported Melanie Kikkert in every way that they possibly can knowing that her assessments and work are top notch. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the Council is certainly staying involved as best they can at the county level to ensure that there is consistency in the assessments throughout Lake County.

Mr. Forbes stated he appreciated Mr. Jorgensen’s explanation. He noted that Ms. Kikkert is in Dyer tonight trying to recruit them. Mr. Forbes stated if all of the Towns are united in this and back up the county, hopefully things can move forward and the Towns can be protected.

CLERK-TREASURER:
Ms. Hernandez gave an update on the audit. She stated that they are approximately mid-way through the audit. Ms. Hernandez stated that Michelle, the State Board of Accounts auditor, has been extremely helpful and is working with her entire staff.

Ms. Hernandez states that the information gleaned from the audit so far has been invaluable as it relates to evaluating some serious safety concerns that were identified, the way in which the residents’ money is handled and processed internally and general day to day work flow. She stated that this information is being passed along to the different departments. Ms. Hernandez stated that communication, accountability and efficiency is improving town wide.

Mr. Forbes asked for an update on the software upgrade. Ms. Hernandez stated that she should have something to present within the next month. She stated that it is going to be a huge undertaking that will affect every single department. Ms. Hernandez stated that the software update will offer residents on-line bill pay, account set-up, and enable them to take care of business right from their computers. She stated that the software upgrade will enable the Town to have a work flow from department to department which will give them a check and balance accountability.

ATTORNEY’S REPORT:
Attorney Austgen had nothing to report.
TOWN MANAGER:
Mr. Kil had nothing further to report.
CHIEFS’ REPORTS:
Chief Kveton submitted his monthly report to the Council. He gave the Council a brief update on the criminal investigation involving a bomb threat. Chief Kveton stated that last week seven schools in the surrounding area were closed due to the bomb threat. He thanked all of the responding agencies that aided the Police Department on the day of the bomb threat. Chief Kveton extended thanks to the 50 law enforcement officers and 19 K9 units that responded.

Chief Kveton stated that the daytime burglaries in Town continue and he implored all residents to report any suspicious persons or vehicles in neighborhoods, and stay on the telephone with the dispatcher until the officer arrives.

Chief Kveton stated a community outreach program has been instituted. He stated he created a warning letter asking people to be more neighborly with their friends and neighbors by not parking over the sidewalks. Chief Kveton stated that there is an ordinance that can be enforced for the sidewalks but he’s really hoping for compliance.

Chief Kveton stated he has been working on the railroad issue which seems to be a longstanding problem in St. John. He stated with the exception of last Tuesday, the Town has gone almost a month without a blockage. Chief Kveton stated he called CSX and they were right on the problem. He stated that it appears that the efforts to keep the tracks clear is working.

(General discussion ensued.)

Chief Willman submitted the March, 2016, St. John Fire Department report.

Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Willman and Chief Kveton for their tireless service to the Town. He stated that the Council appreciates the hard work of the Chiefs and their staff.

(General discussion ensued.)

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the general APV docket is eight pages. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any additions to the docket. Ms. Hernandez stated that there was one addition, the invoice of Jeff Gunning in the amount of $42,842.50.

Mr. Forbes noted the total amount of the docket with the addition is $1,571,697.36. Ms. Hernandez concurred. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for some clarification for the add-on bill. Ms. Hernandez stated this invoice was for attorney’s fees. Mr. Jorgensen noted that these attorney’s fees were from the former Clerk-Treasurer, Sherry Sury, in a lawsuit with the Town Council. Ms. Hernandez stated that the invoice is for services rendered in 2015.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion on payment of the bills in the amount of $1,571.697.36. “l’ll make a motion,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion and stated he had one comment. He asked why it would take a year to get Mr. Gunning’s detailed legal bill. Mr. Barenie stated he would like the residents that showed up at tonight’s meeting to know that it took a whole year for a legal bill to be turned in to the Town.

Attorney Austgen explained that the Council was presented with an invoice from Mr. Gunning at the December meeting, and the minutes will reflect that the Council declined to consider the invoice at that time. Mr. Barenie stated that the bill that was presented in December was for twelve months’ worth of billings and hours that wasn’t even presented to the Council until December.

Mr. Jorgensen commented that the bill is a large amount for the Town to deal with at this late date, but at least Attorney Austgen obtained a deduction. Mr. Jorgensen stated that this was appreciated.

Mr. Forbes noted that there was a motion and a second. He asked for a vote. The motion was carried by voice vote. Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oak Ridge Drive:
Mr. Hero complimented Chief Kveton for building morale back up for a police force that has been under attack over the last couple of years. He stated Chief Kveton is doing a good job and is the right chief in the right place. Mr. Hero stated he hoped his comments don’t sabotage his efforts “with these guys.”

Mr. Hero stated he really appreciates what Chief Kveton has done in looking at the response time for 911. He stated that the 911 review has to be in more detail because “We’re looking for the one call that takes 15-20 minutes.”

Mr. Hero stated that the Chief now needs to go to the next step and (unintelligible word) because somebody could die on the (unintelligible word) if the response time is too long. Mr. Hero thanked Chief Kveton for his efforts.

Mr. Hero stated that there have been a lot of burglaries and crime going on that has never been heard about before. He opined that the police force needs to be increased and establish a crime watch again and make it active in the community. Mr. Hero stated that there are a lot of people coming to the meetings now. He stated it’s kind of a new era for the Council now where there used to be only a few people in the audience.

Mr. Hero reiterated that the crime watch should be reinstated and the police force should be increased due to what is happening in the community. Mr. Hero stated that the Council should quit playing the “political stuff about development and all that” and install a full stop light at U.S. 41 and Joliet Street. He opined that this is the worst and most hazardous intersection in Town with more accidents and injures than any place he could imagine.

Mr. Hero stated that there is an election and some precincts have been pushed to Lake Central. He opined this is going to present a big traffic nightmare. He asked that the Council along with the Police Department, on May 3, help direct traffic at Lake Central because there are going to be a lot of problems.

Mr. Hero stated that the Council haggled over the $42,000. He stated that the other side of the coin is how much did the Town Attorney make on fighting the Clerk-Treasurer. Mr. Hero stated he was going to take a guess and double that amount to $80,000-$100,000 of funds wasted just to stop the old Clerk-Treasurer from taking the minutes of the meeting.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he appreciated Mr. Hero’s guesswork. He asked Ms. Berg if she recalled back when there was an issue at U.S. Route 41 and Joliet and he and Mr. Kil requested that INDOT do a study for signalization at this intersection. Mr. Jorgensen stated he specifically requested a “no left turn” sign at that time. Mr. Jorgensen stated that INDOT denied this request. He stated he just wanted to clarify this. Mr. Jorgensen stated he has discussed this matter with Ms. Berg, but it always seems to come up again and again.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that U.S. Route 41 is a state road and it is controlled by the state, and he believes Mr. Hero knows this. For clarification, Mr. Jorgensen reiterated that U.S. Route 41 is a state road and the Town was denied signalization. He stated that the Town is still waiting and following up with the “no left turn” sign at U.S. 41. Mr. Jorgensen stated he has not forgotten about Ms. Berg’s issue.

(General discussion ensued.)

State Representative Aylesworth stated he would follow through and visit with INDOT on the next day with this issue.

Rob Kmet, 8581 (unintelligible) Lane:
Mr. Kmet thanked Chief Kveton for working on the railroad blockings. He stated it has probably been two years in the making. Mr. Kmet stated he dealt with Lake County and he could get no resolution to this problem, and in just a couple of months Chief Kveton has taken care of this problem. He thanked Chief Kveton and the Council.

Jerry Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:
Mr. Swets thanked Chief Kveton for the work he has done on the railroad blocking. He also thanked Mary Robert because she’s the one who actually found the state ordinance and worked with Lake County as well. Mr. Swets stated this was a group effort. He also thanked the homeowner’s group.

Mr. Swets stated that the bill payment is going to be placed online, and he realizes that he will have to wait until the minutes are approved. Ms. Hernandez stated she believes once the docket is ready she will be able to upload it on the website.

Mr. Swets stated that it doesn’t appear that the public comments are in the order they need to be in at the end of the meeting. He stated at the end of the meeting the Council has already made all of their decisions. Mr. Swets stated he had a question, for example, on “Item C” under “New Business,” about the stop light at Calumet and 101st. Mr. Swets stated at the last meeting of the Plan Commission, it was stated that this can’t be done yet because it would just back up traffic at Sheffield and other places. He asked if there was a time frame for this.

Mr. Forbes responded that the Council is still in discussion about the entire project.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Swets stated he understands the Council’s concerns for the issues on Joliet Street. He stated, personally, doesn’t want to see a “no left turn” in and out of Joliet Street.

Gary Curtis, 12600 102nd Avenue:
Mr. Curtis stated that everyone is aware of the lawsuits plaguing the Town and everyone knows that they are the result of questionable actions of individuals and not the Town Council itself as some have made it sound. He stated on behalf of everyone who realizes this point, he supports the Town Council and hopes for a speedy resolution to all of these problems.

Steve Urbanski, 13281 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Urbanski stated that he did not want to break protocol, but he wanted to address Mr. Swets and Mr. Hero. He asked if it was true that they were filing a lawsuit against the Town in reference to the issue they had with the signs.

Mr. Forbes stated he appreciated Mr. Urbanski’s concern about this matter, but this conversation should not be taking place during the meeting. Attorney Austgen stated that this is a litigation matter. Mr. Forbes directed Mr. Urbanski to take his questions for Mr. Swets and Mr. Hero outside of the meeting. He apologized for the inconvenience.

Mr. Urbanski stated he would make a comment. He stated that, once again, the Town has been through enough with lawsuits and that for the PAC organization to bring forth another frivolous lawsuit and have the Town have to finance it is something that is unnecessary. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council appreciates his comment.

Mike McPhillips, St. John Township:
Mr. McPhillips stated he has seen the Town grow and a wonderful job is being done despite some disruptive forces. He stated that he’s been to many public meetings and Town Council meetings most of his adult life. Mr. McPhillps stated that there are always going to be some disruptive forces and some efforts to micromanage.

Mr. McPhillips stated that the Town Council has done a wonderful job. He stated that the Town has developed by leaps and bounds and has a wonderful Police and Fire Department. Mr. McPhillips stated it is great to see all of the people out and involved in the Town Council meetings. He told the Town Council to keep up the good work and thanked them for their service.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. McPhillips on behalf of the Town Council.

Mary Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Ms. Robert stated at the last Council meeting everyone received an “Open Government Secures Liberty.” She stated it is important for everyone to embrace the idea of increasing government transparency as a means of securing freedom. Founding Father, Patrick Henry, said “The liberties of people never will or will ever be secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them”

Ms. Robert stated she has brought up the trees before. She stated that she was informed that the Tree Board was not complete and that they were hoping that a master gardener would be on the Tree Board. Ms. Roberts stated that there are over 30 million trees infested with a disease. She stated every surrounding community has dealt with this, Hammond, Schererville, Dyer and Highland.

Ms. Robert stated that Wicker Park alone took out 259 diseased trees. She stated that the Town needs to hire an arborist and address this issue before the Town loses something that they cannot get back in a matter of a day or two.

Ms. Robert stated she is disappointed that the Town is not involved in the Indiana Bicentennial. She is disappointed that the Town is not involved with NIRPCI. Ms. Robert stated that NIRPCI has article after article of issues the Town could be involved in. Ms. Robert stated that St. John is the only Town that is not involved. She stated that the Town is losing all kinds of money.

Ms. Roberts stated there is $1.5 million for purchasing vehicles, and an $800,000 request by Hammond for funding and she reiterated that the Town is not a part of this. She stated that Lake Station just signed the Ethics Group and St. John is still the only town that does not belong to the Ethics Group.

Ms. Roberts noted the Tri-Town Fire Territory is under review. She stated the Town should hold off purchasing another fire truck until they find out where they are going to be with this.

Ms. Robert stated she was at the Schererville Police Station the other day and she noticed they have a wonderful program called (unintelligible). She stated she would like to see (unintelligible) on the Town’s squads as it would save a lot of lives.

Ms. Robert stated that the Town is not listed on the Public Region Safety Board. She questioned the advertisement that says “The Future hold on the Lake County School System,” which is in Renaissance. She stated she was confused by this also.

Dale Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:
Mr. Robert stated hopefully last month’s meeting minutes were read. He stated a lot of people are concerned about the way the Ordinance No. 1623 was passed. Mr. Robert stated he was glad to see a Plan Commission meeting held and making comments there and how Greystone subdivision went.

Mr. Robert opined that if the residents of St. John wish to boycott Schilling Lumber they are entitled to do so.

Mr. Robert stated he noticed an increase on his water bill this month. He stated that the increase will start in May. He asked if there was a contract with Republic at the present time. Mr. Kil stated that there was a contract in place.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Robert stated Schererville renegotiated their contact with Republic and their monthly charges are less than St. John and it’s the same company. He stated Lowell also renegotiated their contract with Republic. Mr. Kil stated that there is no question that the contract will be bid out as soon as it expires.

Mr. Robert stated that there was a meeting of the Contractor’s Board on April 4 for a complaint that was filed in December. He stated that the records are incomplete at this time, but the current claims that he brought up previously is up to nearly $1,500. Mr. Robert stated it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot more than what they paid the assistant administrator in the Building Department in previous years.

Tom Parada, 9295 Joliet Street:
Mr. Parada stated he is the chairman of the St. John Homeowner’s PAC. He explained that the PAC formed to kind of keep an eye on things that were going on in Town. Mr. Parada stated that the federal court does not think their lawsuit, when it comes to freedom of speech, is a frivolous lawsuit. Mr. Parada opined that the lawsuit is not frivolous.

Mr. Forbes directed Mr. Parada to refrain from discussing litigation.

Mr. Parada stated that he would like to remind Mr. Jorgensen, that Mr. Parada, as the chairman of the St. John Homeowner’s PAC, has worked as hard as anybody to get him elected. Mr. Parada stated, as chairman of the PAC and in agreement with Mr. Hero, he would like to see sidewalks on Joliet Street.

(General discussion ensued.)

Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:
Mr. Bugariu asked Mr. Forbes purpose of (unintelligible). He stated it is very obvious that there is a conflict going on there.

Mr. Forbes asked, “You believe that I left on a Thursday night from a Town Council meeting and went to the Ukraine?”

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes stated he wasn’t sure whether or not Mr. Bugariu kept up on current events, but his e-mail was hacked and some individual sent out an e-mail saying they were him and stating that he was in the Ukraine. Mr. Forbes stated he did not go to the Ukraine and he has never been to the Ukraine. Mr. Forbes stated “It’s called a hack,” and someone stole his information and attempted to solicit money from people in order to supposedly rescue him from some Ukraine jail.

Mr. Forbes stated he has been out of the continental United States twice, once to the Bahamas and once to Hawaii. Mr. Bugariu stated he thought for a moment Mr. Forbes was going over there for the KGB (unintelligible).

Mr. Bugariu stated it is not proper for Ms. Hernandez to chew gum or speak and sometimes she opens her mouth so much you can see her tonsils. Ms. Hernandez stated she didn’t think it is proper for Mr. Bugariu to stand up and attack her. Mr. Bugariu stated he is not attacking her, but it is not proper. Ms. Hernandez replied that it is not proper for Mr. Bugariu to sit and stare at her in a threatening manner while slapping rolled up paper on his leg; she stated this is inappropriate behavior. Mr. Bugariu stated Ms. Hernandez is disturbing.

Mr. Bugariu stated that the relation between Mr. Forbes and the townspeople is not good and get out.

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

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to adjourn. “I make a motion to adjourn,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- five. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

 

05-26-2016 Town Council

May 26, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the May 26, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:12 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Greg Volk, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings and Christian Jorgensen. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief Fred Willman and Chief James Kveton were present. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: March 24, 2016

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion on the minutes. Mr. Volk stated that he would make a motion on the meeting minutes of March 24, 2016. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Abstention made by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes ---four. Nays ---none. Abstained ---one.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Gerry Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated:

Dear Council Members,

Back in November on Election eve, when the homeowners PAC’s illegally placed voting signs were pulled from the polling places by Mr. Steve Kil, the Town Manager. You stole our free speech. You stole our rights to the first amendment. You stole our rights as voters to campaign for or against the candidates of our choice.

We didn’t like how you were running the town. The comprehensive plan to destroy the homes on Joliet and Thielen Streets were an issue. Approving 80 foot lots, smaller than what is allowed on your own ordinances. Continuing to build and grow without current and effective plans to handle all of the traffic and additional support personnel like fire and police. Lawsuits from women employees who were charging of sexual harassment and battery and nothing was being done.

We tried to speak out against you. Not with protests and marches, but at the voting booth, the American way. You took our signs, you took our voice, and you took our votes. Mr. Forbes you won by 85 votes. If we could have changed one vote by one of the 44 signs that were removed, you would have been defeated. Don’t you think that is kind of like stealing an election? If there are no consequences to that it could happen again. It could happen all over the town, all over the county, and all over the country.

What’s the price to influence an election by removing signs? Well, in Indiana the crime of conversion is a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a $10,000.00 fine.

We asked in November for you Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes, for you to resign. We asked you to put him on administrative leave or to fire him. We asked in December. We also asked at both Council meetings in January. What was your response? Absolutely nothing. As if, you hadn’t even heard our voices. Didn’t hear us speak. You refused to answer our questions. So, I am wondering if maybe the reason why did nothing is because maybe you might have been involved.

One of your responsibilities as elected officials is to listen to all of your constituents. If you would have listened and responded you may have had one less lawsuit to deal with. You left us with no alternative. We tried and we tried.

Now, you’ve resorted to the court of public opinion to judge the merits of this case. We’ve seen newspapers and emails loaded with misinformation and lies to get everyone to think that this group of homeowners are bad guys, when in fact we are just seeking justice. Mr. Jorgensen stated in the newspaper that we sandbagged him with this lawsuit and why didn’t we come to them. Well, we did at every meeting for three months.

So, what about the lawsuit? Since I am a spokesperson for the PAC and not an officer---actually since the officers are not here I will cover that.

Mr. Forbes stated to Mr. Swets, “We aren’t going to talk about the lawsuit”. “It is an inappropriate atmosphere for this.” Mr. Austgen added that it is a pending litigation.

Mr. Swets responded that he didn’t ask for responses to anything. He is simply making statements. That is what a public session is for. I didn’t make any accusations. I didn’t ask you for any comments. I just want to make a public statement. Mr. Swets said that we are in the newspaper making public comments about this lawsuit that are inappropriate. He thinks it is appropriate to be able to respond to that. If they won’t allow them to respond then he will just sit down.

Mr. Swets finished by stating that he would like to address it some more, but his wife is waiting for him to pick her up at the airport.

Libby Popvic 12210 Northcote Court:

Ms. Popvic stated that with respect to the comments regarding the lawsuit, her comment was only regarding specific settlement negotiations. If this is not the form or the appropriate time, Ms. Popvic stated she would withdraw her comments.

Mr. Forbes responded that we cannot discuss the litigation.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the idea is that we cannot be asked direct questions, so we will not be responding. His understanding is that the public can make a comment. So, you can make a comment about whatever she wants to, but she cannot ask a direct question.

Ms. Popvic stated that to that extent, she was not going to be addressing any questions. She would simply be making comment. Ms. Popvic noted that she is the treasurer of the St. John Republican Party. To any extent that any settlement negotiations are in discussion, which she understands may not be discussed, she stated that it is her opinion, respectfully, that it would be pre-mature at this time. They are not supported by the factual background or the case precedent. That was her only comment for tonight.

Mrs. Hernandez asked Ms. Popvic to please state her address. Ms. Popvic: 12210 Northcote Court.

Vince Casboni 9679 White Oak Avenue:

Mr. Casboni started, “Everybody’s talking about traffic studies, the Casboni’s have done three of them now”. The first one was done November 24, 2015 on Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. to 6:31 p.m. for a total of three hours and twenty-one minutes. Traffic study was down on White Oak Avenue from 93rd to 101st and from 101st to 93rd. 925 vehicles passed their home. Wednesday, December 9th from 3:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m. for three hours exactly. Again, White Oak Ave. from 93rd to 101st and 101st to 93rd. Mr. Casboni said he also did 93rd from Monix Drive to Hilltop Drive. The combination of the two together, in three hours, was 2,619 vehicles.

Mr. Casboni stated that himself and Anthony did another study last Monday, May 19th from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There were a total of 3,268 vehicles in fifteen hours. One particular time, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., they had 508 vehicles pass their house. Mr. Casboni claimed, “That’s a boulevard, a boulevard!” However, we are still allowing subdivisions to go up with two lane roads.

Amy Jorgensen 10157 Wellington Court East:

Ms. Jorgensen said that as a St. John Republican Chairman she would first like to say thank you for the dedication and hard work on behalf of our town. It is a pretty thankless job most days, especially during the public comment section.

Ms. Jorgensen stated she has one comment. She has been following the newspaper, talking with many of her neighbors, and to a lot of the republicans in town. The response she is getting is absolutely overwhelming with dozens and dozens of people saying the Ordinance has been repealed. That is a victory the PAC can celebrate, but everyone is asking that the town hold firm and not give a single dollar to the ACLU or to the PAC they represent.

Dale Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Mr. Robert stated at our December Council meeting Donna Stopper came up for a complaint about a contractor. They built her townhome in Lake Hills. There was no response from this Council in what she could do. So, Mr. Robert came forward and told Ms. Stopper that she can file a complaint. In December of 2015, Ms. Stopper filed a complaint in the Building Department. At that time, the Building Commissioner did nothing. The Building Commissioner continued without action then and through the meeting on April 4th.

Mr. Robert stated that at the February Council meeting he came forward with a packet from the attorney’s office and asked Mr. Forbes, “How much is this going to cost us?” They used to do that in the building department for a minimal amount of money. Mr. Robert says that still nothing was done.

In February, Mr. Robert received another packet from the attorney’s, Mr. Muenich. In March, another packet. Mr. Robert stated that it was all wasted paper talking about the complaint about Mr. Stopper’s problem in bringing Oltoff Construction to the Contractor’s Board. Mr. Robert explained that when Ms. Stopper showed up to the Contractor’s Board meeting, she was not prepared to discuss her case. At that meeting, the Contractor’s Board, excluding Mr. Robert, dismissed Ms. Stopper’s case against Oltoff and doing anything for Ms. Stopper who still has leaks and probable mold in her attic. Mr. Robert added, “The only one who made out on that was the attorneys”. The attorney’s fees that cost the town, not a lot of money, but it was the principle of it. Mr. Robert questioned why we are spending unnecessary money. The total cost for the Stopper matter was $2,486.61. He claimed this was wasteful spending by Mr. Kil. The meeting night cost $405. Mr. Robert: “Grin if you want Mr. Forbes; you are just as bad.”

Mr. Robert continued with a comment on last Sunday’s newspaper article. Mr. Forbes: Mr. Robert your time is up. Mr. Robert: Mr. Jorgensen, have you ever heard the phrase loose lips sink ships? Mr. Forbes: Your time is up, Mr. Robert. Mr. Robert: You need a life jacket.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to address one thing with Mr. Robert before he leaves. Mr. Forbes: You brought that individual to the Contractor’s Board. Mr. Robert: No I didn’t. Mr. Forbes: As soon as you invited her to file a complaint at the Contractor’s Board; that started the attorney’s clock running. So, that is completely on you.

(General discussion ensued.)

Rita Berg 10351 Joliet Street:

Ms. Berg stated that she came to the meeting with a different concept, but she would oblige the Council by not talking about what they don’t want to talk about. Ms. Berg said that she would like the Council to know that she joined the PAC because there are many people in the PAC that she respects. These people are interested in the Town and interested in getting things done properly. Ms. Berg stated she doesn’t want to see things done improperly, but she wants to see them done properly. She thinks the PAC is trying to get that going in our Town. She asked the Council to try to please not fight with the PAC too much on this. They are not interested in money. The PAC can care less about money, except when they have to incur expenses. When they have to incur lawyer’s expenses and that type of thing, is when they ask for money. Ms. Berg claimed they have no desire to use the money for anything other than helping the Town.

Mary Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Ms. Robert noted to Mr. Kil that she asked that he be put on administrative leave in March of 2015. Ms. Robert: I don’t think your nervous laughter is appropriate at meetings to laugh at people. I wish you would conduct yourself in a better manner. I did not plan on saying that this evening, but I think it is downright shame to laugh at your constituents like that.

Mr. Forbes commented that Mr. Kil is not an elected official so constituents implies Town official. Ms. Robert: the Town folk.

Ms. Robert claimed that she was told when her subdivision was finally finished, their streets would be done. Ms. Robert: Not done yet. The Town is going to be getting its one percent in June. She asked what we are going to do with it. 75% of it has to go to infrastructure. Ms. Robert: I think Mr. Kil needs to live up to some of his promises that he doesn’t recall.

Ms. Robert stated the widow of the town’s VFW President has a flooded backyard. She called Public Works and they told her they were too busy. Then someone came out, but they have since retired; never made a report. Ms. Robert: She can’t even mow her own lawn. She is not a young woman. 9511 Primrose; I hope someone can look into that. She does very much for our VFW.

Mr. Forbes: What was the address again? Ms. Robert: 9511 Primrose

Ms. Robert said she would like to know why our police officers are retiring at such a great rate. At such a rate that we are unable to fill those spots or have officers properly trained. Ms. Robert claimed that we put a lot of stress on the Police Chief. There is another officer on leave for quite some time. Ms. Robert would like to see that addressed. She would like to know how many officers we have out on the street during each shift.

Ms. Robert: Can you answer that Chief? How many cars? Mr. Forbes: This is not a discussion. Ms. Robert: Ok. I’ll take that to the Police Commission. Thank you.

Maureen Wozniak 10471 White Water Crossing:

Ms. Wozniak stated to her understanding we are not discussing the lawsuit, but as a taxpayer of St. John, she would hope there is consideration not to settle.

Elliott Segara 7864 Three Springs Drive:

Mr. Segara stated as a concerned taxpayer of St. John, he opposes any financial settlement with the PAC. Not one red cent.

Ms. Hernandez called Joe Hero.

Mr. Forbes asked that attendees not harass or react to any comments made by people at the podium. He stated it seems to be coming from one side of the room whenever it counters their position. He asked that all act respectfully.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero said that he read the newspapers about, to quote, the damage of things. Mr. Hero does not believe any of it should be charged to the tax-payers. It should be taxed to the perpetrators. Normally, insurance companies cover stuff. To what Mr. Hero has read, there is no insurance coverage. All damages should be assessed to the perpetrators, those who support the perpetrators, and to those who are with the perpetrator. We should look at why the insurance company does not cover this.

Mr. Hero stated that Mr. Jorgensen was a $100.00 contributor to the PAC. He is negotiating for the Town as a Councilman. Mr. Hero stated Mr. Jorgensen should abstain. There is a conflict of interest. Being the second largest contributor to the PAC and now attempting to negotiate the lawsuit through the newspaper is inappropriate. Mr. Hero suggested Mr. Jorgensen needs to file a Conflict of Interest Statement with the Town. Taxpayers should not have to pay for the misdeeds at the expense of Public Officials. The Public Officials should compensate the Town for any and all costs. That is what all the tax-payers want.

Gary Curtis 12600 102nd Avenue:

Mr. Curtis asked that no taxpayer’s dollars be spent on these lawsuits.

Rob Kmetz 8581 Fair Oaks Lane:

Mr. Kmetz echoed absolutely no tax-payer dollars should be spent settling with the PAC. The ordinance was repealed. They got what they wanted. There is no need to spend money settling with them.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 2016-05-26, AUTHORIZING AND APPROVING ENTRY INTO JOINT INTERLOCAL COOPERATION AGREEMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP PARTICIPATION IN THE NORTHWEST INDIANA REGIONAL SWAT TEAM.

Mr. Forbes referred to a brief conversation with the Chief and asked the Chief if he felt this was the way for the Town to go. Chief Kveton stated that he met the representatives from the regional SWAT team and the representation of the County Sheriff’s Department. Chief Kveton responded that based on the information he received, this is the way for the Town to go.

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

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to approve resolution no. 2016-05-26. “So Moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

B. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1624, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A LOCAL OPTION INCOME TAX Y2016 SPECIAL DISTRIBUTION FUND FOR DEPOSIT OF A ONE-TIME Y2016 LOIT SPECIAL DISTRIBUTION AMOUNT RECEIVED, OR TO BE RECEIVED BY THE TOWN OF ST.JOHN, CONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS AND PROVISIONS OF RECENTLY ADOPTED S.E.A. 67.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for Council’s consideration was Ordinance No. 1624. Mr. Forbes asked if this is something we have to do every year if we want the disbursement from the County. Mr. Austgen responded that it is a special one-time distribution that was authorized by this legislation for this year. Mr. Austgen added if it is re-done in ensuing years, we will face that opportunity. Mr. Austgen reiterated that this is described as a one-time distribution.

Mr. Barenie asked if there is an amount or an estimate. Ms. Hernandez responded roughly $333,000; a substantial amount. Ms. Hernandez stated that we have received the check. We need the ordinance passed in order to have a fund in which to deposit it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1624 on first reading. “So moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Motion seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1624. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

C. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1625, BEING AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE ESTABLISHEMENT OF A CASH RESERVE FUND OF THE TOWN’S WATERWORKS UTILITY.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for Council’s consideration was Ordinance No. 1625. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if he would like to share information highlights on this. Mr. Kil responded that this will allow us to place money from the water account into the special fund where we can then loan it to other utility funds or do special projects and things of that nature. Mr. Kil asked that we consider this ordinance on first reading only and then there will be action needed by the Water Board prior to its adoption. Mr. Kil reiterates that it is a first reading ordinance only tonight.

Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Forbes to note that this was vetted by our financing attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. Mr. Forbes said he appreciated the information.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this item. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to entertain a motion for Ordinance No. 1625 on first reading only. “Somoved” by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

D. CONSIDER NO. 1626 BEING AN ORDINANCE APPROVING A TEMPORARY LOAN FROM THE WATERWORKS UTILITY OF THE TOWN TO THE SEWAGE WORKS UTILITY OF THE TOWN.

Mr. Forbes noted the next item for Council’s consideration was Ordinance No. 1626. Mr. Forbes asked for clarification that this was basically transferring money from water to sewage works. Mr. Kil stated that was correct. Mr. Kil said again this was a first reading only.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this item. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion for Ordinance No. 1626 on first reading only. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

E. CONSIDER ORDINANCE NO. 1627, BEING AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE “TOWN OF ST.JOHN PET PARADE SPECIAL REVENUE FUND”, AND ALL MATTERS RELATED THERETO.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item was the consideration of Ordinance No. 1627. An ordinance establishing the Town of St. John Pet Parade special revenue fund, and all matters related thereto. Mr. Forbes: Obviously a Pet Parade. Ms. Hernandez: Right. Ms. Hernandez explained Sonya Furman sent out an email which several members received. Ms. Hernandez mentioned the email expressed they would like to do a pet parade and that there were several fees attached. Ms. Hernandez said the fees included a $20.00 entry fee and $30.00 would be the maximum fee charged for pets participating. Mr. Kil agreed the numbers were correct. Ms. Hernandez stated they would take those funds and donate them this year to Match the K-9 and going forward, if it’s successful, they would take the funds and donate them to the Town in some way. Mr. Kil added they would probably be donated to Animal Control.

Mr. Forbes stated that by establishing this fund, it would allow us to collect funds for this project. Ms. Hernandez stated that was correct. An ordinance is needed to collect the donations and to establish fees.

Mr. Austgen commented that this is similar to other special funds we have had in the past. Such as, Christmas in the Park, Farmer’s Market and Haunted House.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this ordinance. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1627. Motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings.

Mr. Forbes corrected that he would like to entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1627, rather than adopt. Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion for Ordinance No. 1627 on first reading. First motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would now like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1627. First motion by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

F. CONSIDER DONATION TO THE NICK FOUNDATION (THE NORTHWEST INDIANA CANCER KIDS) IN THE AMOUNT OF $500.00.

Mr. Forbes stated the next item on the agenda was the consideration of a donation to NICK foundation, the Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids, in the amount of $500.00. Mr. Forbes stated we have done this the last few years. Typically we donate $500.00 and the dinner seats to a needy family within the NICK foundation. Mr. Forbes asked if everyone is okay with that. All agreed.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to entertain a motion to make the $500.00 donation. First motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Barenie if he has anything to share. Mr. Barenie stated he has a few items.

Mr. Barenie asked how the sidewalk bid requests were going. Mr. Kil answered the engineer is still working on it and getting his calculations and by next meeting there will be a cost estimate.

Mr. Barenie stated he had a question for Ms. Hernandez on the expense vouchers. Mr. Barenie: If it doesn’t cause any additional work, I would ask that you print on both sides of the paper. Ms. Hernandez: I do print on both sides of the paper.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Barenie stated that when going through the expense vouchers he came across some normal payroll tax payments that he followed out. It appeared we have received a third or fourth penalty from 2015. The penalties regard payroll taxes that were not handled. The penalties are approximately $2,300.00 or $2,400.00. Ms. Hernandez stated that was correct. She was going to acknowledge those in her report, but she would answer now.

Ms. Hernandez stated that yesterday (May 25, 2016) we received an additional IRS penalty. This time it was for the fourth quarter of 2015. It was for failure to make a proper federal tax deposit. This penalty is in the amount of $2,315.67. Ms. Hernandez said she spoke with our auditor as far as how to handle this penalty. The auditor advised that we make this payment immediately as to not incur any additional fees or fines. However, she is still auditing. She is in the middle of disbursements right now. Ms. Hernandez said if the auditor detects a trend of penalties, the previous administration may be held accountable for the fines. Ms. Hernandez shared that we drafted a letter to IRS requesting forgiveness for this penalty. Being this is our fourth penalty, she is unsure they will give forgiveness. She believed it was worth an attempt to see if they would waive the fee.

Mr. Barenie thanked Ms. Hernandez for her efforts in the report.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Hernandez if she will need approval for that payment. Ms. Hernandez answered that it was technically a can-pay because if it is not paid in time we will incur additional fees. Ms. Hernandez told Mr. Forbes it will show up on the next docket but will have been paid.

Mr. Hastings had no reports. Mr. Volk had no reports.

Mr. Jorgensen said he would like to thank everyone who came tonight to speak in public comment. He noted everyone had a lot to say and seemed to be keeping up with current affairs. Mr. Jorgensen addressed Ms. Berg specifically to express his appreciation and respect. In regards to her comments, he asked that she seek clarification on some of the things she spoke about.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he would like to acknowledge Mr. Robert’s threat on loose lips sinking ships. He said he appreciated the comment and would keep that in mind. Mr. Jorgensen continued by thanking Mr. Hero for clarifying that he is against the taxpayers funding any settlement.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had been approached by the consultants for the Lake Hills Haunted House. He asked for members to verify they are ok with doing the event this year. He will sit down with the consultants and bring a contract to the next Council meeting, if it is acceptable to do the event. Everyone confirmed the project was okay.

CLERK-TREASURER

Ms. Hernandez stated that her Chief Deputy, Marilyn Hrnjak, was in attendance and would like to introduce herself. Ms. Hrnjak said that it is her pleasure to serve the Town of St. John, the residents, and all the Council Members. After working with Ms. Hernandez for the last two months, Ms. Hrnjak is proud to be second in command to someone so special. Ms. Hrnjak stated that Ms. Hernandez is ambitious and knowledgeable. She is tenacious when it comes to her desire to learn and to do things the right way. Ms. Hrnjak explained that she has been a Northwest Indiana resident her entire life. Moving can be stressful, but when Ms. Hrnjak and her husband moved to St. John 16 years ago, they settled right in. She stated that it is a very welcoming family community and she trusts it will stay that way. Ms. Hrnjak briefed her education and professional background as an attorney and as Executive Chief Deputy for Lake County Superior Courts. She expressed that she is proud to work for the Town of St. John and thanked the attendees.

Mr. Forbes welcomed Ms. Hrnjak to the team.

Ms. Hernandez then referred back to the audit. She stated the State Board Accounts estimates roughly another month until completion of the audit. They are currently in the early stages of auditing distributions. Ms. Hernandez: Basically, the process will look like this. Upon completion we will receive an exit report with the findings and comments they feel need to be addressed. From there, we will be allotted a time frame in which we are to complete a corrective action plan. We will formally state how we intend to address those findings and concerns. Ms. Hernandez said that as of now the auditor has shared that there will be some comments. Ms. Hernandez is unsure of what they will be, but she is aware they are coming.

Ms. Hernandez stated that last meeting there was a brief discussion regarding new software. Last January when she took office we began the process of interviewing software vendors for an overhaul of our currently outdated system. We have met with Harris ERP, BS & A, and New World. Ms. Hernandez stated that she wanted to emphasize when she says, “We” that includes representatives from each department who have participated in webinars and interviews. She stated that she would not feel comfortable making a decision without the Town’s input. New World was the overwhelming favorite amongst departments. It is user-friendly and offers everything the Town needs such as a financial management suite, payroll and human resources, and utility management. Those would be used out of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office. They have Enter-Gov which would be used out of the Building and Planning office, a suite for Parks & Recreation and an E-Suite application, which would allow for online payments. It would provide a citizen self-service portal for online registrations, and an employee portal as well. Ms. Hernandez stated that granted the council accepts, she has requested that New World attend the next Town Council meeting. They would provide a brief presentation of the software and the benefits it brings to the employees and the residents of our town. Ms. Hernandez asked if that is something we are willing to entertain. Mr. Forbes: Absolutely. Ms. Hernandez: Ok, I will get that in place.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she would also like to mention internal controls. Today she and Ms. Hrnjak attended a seminar in Morrocco to discuss the importance and implementation of internal controls. The creation of internal control is the law. There are certain check points that we must meet in order to be in compliance. The first item we need to accomplish is having our employees attend a webinar session on internal controls. The webinar is on the State Board of Accounts website. Ms. Hernandez and Mr. Kil are in the process of scheduling two training sessions. There will be an A.M. and a P.M. session, so that all employees can attend. The second item is the creation of an ordinance stating that we will adhere to the internal controls that we put into place. This ordinance needs to be completed by June 30th. From there, it is stated that the Clerk-Treasurer is the responsible party in planning and designing, implementing, and training of the internal control structure. The Town Council is the oversight body. They are responsible for overseeing that the internal controls have been implemented and are being followed by personnel. Ms. Hernandez: This will be quite an extensive undertaking. There are three types of objectives with five components and seventeen different principles that need to be addressed. They need to be addressed in different policies, procedures, and possibly ordinances and resolutions. Ms. Hernandez stated the probable first step will be to review all of the current financial ordinances. Then begin to write policies and procedures. Evidence of the work needs to be in place by December 31st of this year. Areas that were suggested to be considered priority include: Payroll and leave time, credit card usage, purchasing, petty cash vs. cash change, Bank Recs, vendor disbursements, financial reporting, receipting, customer service, computer systems and informational technology, investments, capital assessments, and contraction fees. Ms. Hernandez stated that she would love to work with anyone interested in giving input on these matters.

Mr. Austgen had no reports.

Mr. Kil stated that he would defer to the Chief’s report.

STAFF

Chief Kveton informed the Council that Mr. Turturillo has retired. Chief Kveton described Mr. Turturillo’s professional background. He stated that Mr. Turturillo served in the Cook County Sheriff’s police. He served in the Jails of Cedar Lake Police and also worked in a private sector as a certified trained CPA. While on the St. John Police Department, he was a D.A.R.E officer, supervised the civilian clerks, and was a voice stress analyst. Chief Kveton stated that Mr. Turturillo was a distinguished police officer and wished him the best on his next step.

Chief Kveton noted that he recently completed testing for certification in Indiana. He passed all phases of testing, so he is now a policeman in Indiana.

Chief Kveton stated that we are in the process of doing an emergency hire. He acknowledged officer Turturillo’s retirement and the recent resignation of another officer. The emergency hire process is intended to fill two police positions. Applications will be handed out until the end of business on Saturday.

Chief Kveton reported that this past Tuesday they had extra officers patrolling for the last day of school in St. John. He thanked the St. John Police Department and Chief Willman. Chief Kventon added that Chief Willman assisted in training all of the officers to administer NARCAN, which is an antidote to opiate overdose. Chief Kveton stated that a burglary had been reported in Dyer. Our Corporal, Jay Dahlin, located the individual and took him into custody. He thanked Mr. Dahlin for his good work.

Chief Willman stated that in the month of April 2016 the St. John Fire Department responded to 99 requests for assistance. There were 70 within the limits of St. John. There were 20 in the unincorporated limits of St. John Township. There were nine in all of the destinations including mutual aid. Mutual aid was to Lake Hills Fire EMS with and ALS for residential medical emergencies times 5. Mutual aid was also to Schererville Fire EMS with an ambulance for medical emergencies times two.

Chief Willman said that Monday night activities in April included a hands-on fire training that was designed as a review. This included procedures that should be followed when performing on-site rescue on the fire ground. The drills were done at the training site by four of our own Indiana department of Homeland Security and fire certified fire instructors. The sessions were divided into two scenarios. First was primary search in an area with heavy smoke and no water availability. The second scenario was a primary search with a charged unintelligible line. This enables the rescue personnel to stimulate efforts that make it possible to hold back live fire and construct a path out of the building.

Chief Willman stated there was an EMS in-service that had a two part course known as PHTALS. It stands for Pre-hospital trauma and life support. This course is a requirement of Franciscan St. Anthony health in Crown Point who is our medical director. The second session will be completed this month at our EMS in-service in May. The last part of training was a joint training with the Lake Hills Fire Department. The ISO requires that St. John and Lake Hills train together no less than four times a year to keep our automated agreement valid and stable. This incident was reviewed in an initial attack in an unincorporated response area where no municipal water source exists. There are no hydrants available. Water must be brought to the scene in tankers. Lake Hills provides that resource from their tanker which holds 3,000 gallons. There are many other departments that will also bring us water. Lake Hills is the closest and will respond automatically, as part of our agreement.

Mr. Forbes thanked both Chief Kveton and Chief Willman for getting the NARCAN procedure in place and training the officers.

(General discussion ensued.)

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. He stated the general APV docket is six pages. Mr. Forbes stated the total amount of the bills was $982,219.41. He asked if there were any questions on the bills. There were no questions.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So moved” by Mr. Hastings. Seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

06-23-2016 Town Council

June 23, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the June 23, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings and Greg Volk. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Attorney David Austgen was present. Chief Fred Willman arrived at 8:00 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April 28, 2016 and May 26, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated the first item was the approval of the meeting minutes from April 28 and May 26. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would make a motion on the meeting minutes as written. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Presentation:

Mr. Forbes stated that we would be hearing two (2) presentations this evening. The first would be from New World to cover new municipal software for the Clerk’s Office.
A. New World- Municipal Government Software
The representative from New World greeted the attendees and began the presentation. The representative introduced himself as Mr. Steve Wittbrodt, a Vice President of Sales for Tyler New World out of Troy, Michigan. Mr. Wittbrodt introduced the fellow representative Ms. Diane Effinger. He stated that he would introduce who New World System is, why it is the right solution for St. John, and then open it up to questions.

Mr. Wittbrodt introduced the company as a software company. New World has been exclusively focused on the public sector, city and county governments, and some water districts. They have been doing business for 35 years. All of their software has been developed by them, as a company. They have experienced 35 years of growth and profitability. Mr. Wittbrodt explained that when you do business with a software company, you want a software company that is viable, profitable, and growing. New World takes 20% of profit each year to invest in their product.

Tyler New World is in 48 out of 50 states. They have 13 customers in Indiana. They have 160 employees and approximately 430 customers throughout the 48 states. Mr. Wittbrodt explained their “customer for life” philosophy. Once a customer signs a contract with New World, everyone they come in contact with is passionate and excited about the successes. Mr. Wittbrodt expressed that they want to keep St. John for life. It is not a 5-10 year project but a 15-20 year project.

Mr. Wittbrodt acknowledged their past experience with converting from Keystone, which is the Town’s current software. They recently underwent a merger with Tyler, which is their new parent company. New World ERP is the name of the software product in consideration for St. John and has a long-term future. This is based on Tyler’s commitment to New World as a result of New World’s positive outlook.

Mr. Wittbrodt explained Tyler’s “Evergreen philosophy” as follows:

When you invest in a Tyler product and 15-20 years down the road something is done to replace it, you will get the exact equivalent. So, if we bought a general ledger package 20 years from now you would get the new general ledger package without spending money.

Mr. Wittbrodt showed a snapshot from the New World ERP of their own company’s core financials including Payroll, HR, Utilities, and community development software. He explained that Tyler had enterprise applications that they gained when they merged together. Tyler has a complete content management solution application. This means that any document that you would put into the New World ERP system would become registered and would be automatically integrated throughout the applications. They have a form library that provides hundreds of forms to cities or towns like St. John. This shows examples of forms that other customers may use and they are given to you as part of the offering. Mr. Wittbrodt noted that they offer Parks & Recreation management, which is something of deep interest for St. John. Parks & Recreation along with EnterGov is something that will be integrated into the New World System for the Town.

Mr. Wittbrodt acknowledged the “Three P’s” of Tyler/New World that sets them apart. First is their proven track record of being on time and on budget for implementation. This is most important when working with software companies. Anyone from New World is passionate about what they do. All they do in their career is work with city and county governments to get their citizens involved and create transparency. Lastly, they are prompt. They start the project with a phone call within one week of signing the contract, and they will be on site within thirty (30) days. This is unprecedented in the software company. Mr. Wittbrodt called on Ms.Effinger to speak, as she has already been working with Ms. Hernandez and the Town of St. John.

Ms. Effinger introduced herself. She stated that she has been working with Ms. Hernandez, Mr. Jason Dravet, and a lot of the staff here for several months. She has met Mr. Kil as well. Ms. Effinger understood the challenges that we have faced and what kind of solution we are looking for. She acknowledged that the software the Town has now has served very well and has been in place for 25+ years. Ms. Effinger has heard that there have been some challenges that have come on that just naturally occur with aging technology. There is a lot of redundant entry and a lack of integration which creates the need for a lot of paper processes. That makes it difficult to get the full picture that is needed when it comes to the information about the town. She has also heard that it is very important to the town and to the Council to provide online services and self-services to the citizens and to the employees. Ms. Effinger expressed her belief that their software solution is a great fit to meet those objectives. It comes down to the value that their solution will provide.

At a high level, their technology is based on a SQL database and is served on Microsoft.net. It is the same toolkit and is tightly integrated with the tools we already use now. Such as, Microsoft word, excel, and outlook. It is browser based which means that, with the appropriate securities; it can be accessed from anywhere. This makes upgrades simple. Also, we will have decentralized data as we deem appropriate. The data could be in the hands of the department heads/managers and Council members. It has a secure role-based access. Each user will only see the data that they are allowed access to and the parts of the system that they need to work in.

Ms. Effinger added that they have a user-friendly interface. This decreases the learning curve for current employees and potential new hires when they need to learn the system. The navigation is window based and mouse-driven, which everyone is accustomed to.

Ms. Effinger acknowledged the lack of integration we experience with our current system. It causes more work for employees and repeated data entry. With the New World solution the data is entered once and it flows appropriately throughout the system. This creates a lot of efficiencies. Also, the Town’s current procurement process is paper based. With their system, everything is electronic. There is a built-in work flow and built-in approvals to help eliminate paper.

Ms. Effinger said that she knows another thing very important to the Council is providing more online services for our citizens. All the solutions that we have been considering from New World offer online solutions that make it easier for citizens to do business with the Town. Also, employees will be able to generate their own W2’s and look at paystubs. This creates efficiencies for them and for the payroll staff, so they no longer have to field those calls and requests. Also, decentralizing data; putting the data that the Council and department heads need in their hands with easy access. The solution includes real-time access to data, graphs, and dashboards for quick reference.

Ms. Effinger explained how implementation is most important in software solutions. She showed a slide of their implementation history and time. The implementation times differed based on the product and population size of the city or county. She stated that we can expect 6-9 months for an implementation. New World has many customers in the state of Indiana. All of the things that we would need specific to the state of Indiana, including an electronic upload to the Indiana Gateway, are already in place.

Ms. Effinger asked for any questions.

Mr. Barenie: Regarding the first presentation, did I understand that upgrades are free?

Mr. Wittbrodt: The upgrades to the newer version of the products that you currently license are absolutely free, yes. Twenty years down the road, if we were to replace the New World product, you would get a like-replacement for free.

Mr. Barenie: But there is an annual maintenance fee?

Mr. Wittbrodt: There is an annual maintenance fee.

Mr Barenie: Of?

Ms. Effinger: We have two major releases each year, and that is part of your annual maintenance; upgrades and service packs. As Steve mentioned the Evergreen; whenever there is a major shift in technology platform most companies will have you re-invest to stay with the same product and the Evergreen Policy protects your investment.

Mr. Wittbrodt added that it is a swap.

Ms. Hernandez: Right now, through Keystone we are paying $11,640.00 a year for our annual fees. Keep in mind that is for the Clerk-Treasurer’s office only. Through New World it would be $26,592.00. However, we are adding: Building and Planning, Parks, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works. This would be a town wide system.

Mr. Barenie: So the $11,000.00 we’re paying now is just for the Clerk’s office? Now we’re going to be purchasing more modules for the town’s use.

Ms. Hernandez: Correct.

Mr. Barenie: By which we’re going from the $12,000 to $26,000 and that percentage is?

Mr. Wittbrodt: 18%. The first year the charge is waived.

Mr. Barenie: Report writer, we didn’t talk about that too much. At this point are there canned reports?

Mr. Wittbrodt: There are over 1,000 canned reports that you can pull up and print, save, and publish. We also have an extensive data mart and report writer that is in excel format. It is extremely easy to use. If you come to a meeting like this and you have a question you can generate a report right there.

Mr. Barenie: Is one of those 1099’s?

Ms. Effinger: Yes, 1099 is one of them.

Mr. Barenie: I would assume W2’s then. I would assume in the canned reports there are balance sheets as well. Would there be a key representative from your company to guide us through the whole process from start to finish?

Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes. We will assign a project manager that will be there from beginning to end. We also have subject matter experts in the financials, payroll/HR, utilities, and the CD that will also stay with you. For an executive would be myself and my counter partner Andy Breton, Vice President of services.

Mr. Barenie: Within the disbursement modules would positive pay be a part of this?

Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes.

Mr. Barenie: Do we have an idea how many users we would be purchasing at this time?

Mr. Wittbrodt: We eliminate that decision right out of the gate, because you have unlimited site license; unlimited users.

Mr. Barenie: Very good. Ok. You mentioned the securities by role in the municipality. Who would set that up?

Ms. Effinger: Our project manager and our subject matter experts. Our implementation and training is on site. We feel like the personal, in person, touch is the most effective. So, they’re going to guide you through. They are going to take your feedback on how you want the system to work, who you want to have what data, who has the approvals of what aspects of your processes and then they configure it. They also teach you how to configure it, because we feel like it’s best for you to be able to be self-sufficient if you want to make changes versus being required to call us, and then us send you a bill. Certainly we are there- our customer support and customer care rep, but we would be working with you to configure it.

Mr. Barenie: Thank you for that answer. It was great, but my actual question was who on our side would determine what the security levels are for the different staff members.

Ms. Hernandez: That ties into the internal controls that we’re working on. So, it is really a good time to take on this venture, because that’s when we determine who needs to be doing what as far as State Board of Accounts is concerned. Work flow is a big part of this; purchase ordering and things of that nature. Steve and I will sit down and decide who has to sign off based on our ordinances and policies.

Mr. Barenie: Ok, so it would be a combination. Bank recs online automatic? (New World Reps nod yes) PC compliance? (New World Reps nod yes) If we were to have an issue where we had a funding source that was a bank and we wanted to be able to do transfers-wire transfers back and forth?

Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes.

Ms. Effinger: ACH.

Mr. Barenie: Good. ACH. That is all I have for now.

Mr. Jorgensen: Is this system going to be cloud based then?

Ms. Effinger: We have that option if that’s what you prefer, but the solution that I’ve spoken with Jason was that you prefer to house it here. Which is what the majority of our customers do, but cloud is an option.

Mr. Jorgensen: If it were based in a cloud would there be accessibility from other locations, provided there was a system malfunction here or some kind of disaster or something like that.

Mr. Wittbrodt: Yeah. We have two (2) disaster recovery sites. One in our company headquarters in Maine and also another backup in Texas. So, just a clarification on the cloud; you would have the server here, but anywhere you have access to the internet you can sign on to the New World system. As long as you have the VPN security to get in you can be on the beach and approve your budgets. It’s what is called a web-based system. So, you don’t actually have to be tied to the building here. Just anywhere you can get on the internet.

Mr. Jorgensen: That would be the same whether is cloud-based or server-based?

Mr. Wittbrodt: Correct.

Mr. Barenie: Have we decided completely on that?

Ms. Hernandez: When it comes to the server-based or the cloud that has been Jason’s thing since he is the Director of IT. I’m open to...

Mr. Barenie: Now probably wouldn’t be the best time to talk about that, but there are some issues that I would like to talk about with that, maybe after this presentation before we have to make our next decision.

Ms. Hernandez: As far as server-based and cloud-based?

Mr. Barenie: Yes, I would like to hear that analysis.

Mr. Kil: Jason would be the appropriate person to really address that you guys, our IT Director.

Mr. Barenie: I’d actually like to hear it from you guys (New World Reps.

Mr. Jorgensen: Or in combination with our IT guy and one of you.

Mr. Wittbrodt: We’d be happy to come back and do that.

Mr. Forbes: Anybody else have any other questions?

Mr. Kil: Why do most of your customers choose the server versus the cloud?

Mr. Wittbrodt: So, pre-merger with Tyler I would say probably 98% of them were on premise through their own server. We started offering through Amazon services as a new cloud, and we deployed two or three. With Tyler’s acquisition in November we will have probably 25% of our customers. Our existing customers are also moving to the cloud. So, I would say by year-end probably 25%. Tyler as an organization probably has close to 40%. It is really starting to move that way.

Mr. Barenie: 40% in the cloud? So, I would say a lot of those who aren’t in the cloud, the 60%, are probably some of your older customers. I would say the customers that just went with you are probably a much higher percentage of on the cloud.

Mr. Jorgensen: I would say generally for us, just now, what are the security controls? Obviously this contains a lot of sensitive information. Talk a little bit about keeping the integrity of that.

Mr. Wittbrodt: The very first thing is you have a secured VPN network that you guys control. So, anyone that has access to the system has to go through your VPN firewall. Once you get into the firewall, then we have field level security. We have role based security, so they can’t get in to see. We can lock out social security numbers for instance. We can get down to the field level depending on the security that you want to implement. So, we can have field level, role based, and then they have to get into the VPN firewall in order to get into the computer and into the system. So, there is extensive security.

Mr. Barenie: The actual mart where all the cloud customers are, is it actual Tyler? Are you working with a third party company?

Mr. Wittbrodt: No, it’s Tyler. It’s our own database-our own data centers.

Mr. Jorgensen: Have any of your systems ever been hacked?

Mr. Willbrodt: Not to my knowledge, no. I’ll double check. That is a good question.

Mr. Forbes: From the way it sounds, we need to have a little bit more conversation with Jason and Beth. We’ll have a representative come back.

Mr. Barenie: Regarding the cloud, yes.

Mr. Forbes: We appreciate you coming out. We appreciate the information.

The representatives thanked the Town Council. They offered informational brochures. Ms. Hernandez added that we have interviewed with three (3) different companies. It has not just been her, Jason, and Steve; they have pulled in just about every single employee from every single department that is going to be utilizing the software on a daily basis. New World was overwhelmingly the favorite. They have interviewed the company several times and people seem to really like the fact that it is user-friendly. It really connects inter-departmentally. It just seemed to make the most sense. Ms. Hernandez said that she thought it was important that she wasn’t the only one making the decision or just Steve and her. Everyone using it should have some input. She stated they have done their due diligence when choosing computer software, if it’s something the Council decides to move forward with in the future.

Mr. Forbes said that he appreciated Ms. Hernandez’s comment, and that we would now move on to the next presentation.

B. Roadway Impact Fee

Mr. Forbes introduced the speaker for the Roadway Impact Fee as Mr. Tagi Arshami. Mr. Arshami gave handouts to the Council members. He introduced himself as part of the ARSH Group, a planning/consulting firm. Mr. Arshami said he is here today to present something that we are somewhat familiar with, an Impact Fee concept. We already have a Park Impact Fee. This is allowed by state statute. What services they are looking to hopefully provide us with is to institute a Road Impact Fee. A Roadway Impact Fee is another impact fee that a lot of other communities, primarily suburban and growing communities in Indiana, in recent years have instituted. It is similar to the Parks Impact Fee. It is a fair share type of concept. That means that the people who use those roads, or create the needs for those roads will have to pay for it. Mr. Arshami explained that there is a certain amount of process they have to go through to determine what that impact is. In the case of Road Impact Fee, the basis for that would be the number of trips that are generated by any particular use. First Scope Engineering works as part of their team. They will be doing most of the engineering, most of the capacity studies, and most of the cost estimates. Mr. Arshami’s group will be doing primarily the overall development of the process of the Impact Fee Study, as well as the land use part of it and the final product. There is a lengthy process. It is included in the handout. Mr. Arshami stated that he would be happy to go through the process with the Council if they feel it is necessary. Otherwise, he is ready to answer any questions.

Mr. Barenie stated he wanted to touch on one quick point. The fee would be generated for new homes only. Mr. Arshami corrected this statement and said it is only for new developments, including new homes. It is for commercial and residential, although that determination could be made at some point. Certain elements can be excluded, if we choose that route. Mr. Arshami explained that the Park Impact fee only imposes conditions or fees on homes, new residential. This is both residential and commercial.

Mr. Kil: Tagi, how many different levels of commercial would we be looking at? For example, professional offices are one type of category. Retail is another. Food service may be another.

Mr. Arshami: American Institute of Traffic Engineers sets up a huge list of different uses ranging from small restaurants or single family homes all the way to multiplex. As a general rule there are nine (9) different categories including: residential, commercial, retail type of developments, and entertainment. We will be following those guidelines, so that’s already in place. There are factors that they provide as a part of our analysis. (intelligible) will determine the traffic and how it is generated based on these different land uses and what is currently being developed. A significant amount of our work is creating that model of determining what the number of trips is based on the land use. We are not going to go through the 200+ land uses, because you do not have many of those. As a part of the initial inventory we will identify existing land uses and potential land uses. This is based on your zoning and comprehensive plan.

Mr. Kil noted to the general public that if you look at the handout, Tagi has identified three (3) communities and what type of costs a single-family home would generate. We have Zionsville, Noblesville, and Westfield as examples in Indiana. Zionsville is $1,009.00 for a single-family home. Noblesville identified a range of $517.00 to $1378.00. Mr. Kil stated he was unsure how they got those numbers. Mr. Arshami answered that because of the rural conditions of the town, the way he understands it is that there are significant portions of the town that are just rural.

Mr. Kil: So you identify rural areas of the town and urban areas of the town?

Mr. Arshami: Correct. That impact relates a particular area or sub-areas of the town.

Mr. Kil continued. Westfield is $2,228.00. He stated that there seems to be a wide range. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Arshami to confirm those numbers are configured by trips generated as studied by the traffic engineer. Mr. Arshami confirmed that is correct. It is done by the traffic engineer based on the model. He said it is an extensive amount of work. It is driven based on the proposed land use and how it generates the amount traffic.

Mr. Volk stated that there is a fee development process outlined in the handout. He asked Mr. Arshami if he could go over it. Mr. Arshami clarified that the goal of the fee development process is to determine the cost of one single trip, to the town, of this new development. That is the service unit that is measured. He explained the following process. What they do initially is determine the existing conditions, meaning the different road facilities. That includes segments of the road, intersections, and any other facilities associated with that. Then we determine the existing land use. Then, we

Determine what the capacity of generated trips from that land use is. That is usually the third step. A twenty (20) acre parcel of land in a certain segment of the town will generate X number of trips; based on that type of zoning and that type of land use in the town. For all of the different land uses-we will identify it, inventory it, create the process of the trips generated and the improvements necessary to address the number of trips. Then it is figured out. For example, for 1,000 people we need X amount of road. For 10,000 people we need X amount of road. All of the numbers are combined then we get what is called a service unit. That is the cost per trip. Then, when a new use comes to the town we know, based on the modeling and based on the available documents, how many trips this particular type of use typically generates. Then, you multiply that by the single cost per trip. That is our process. We cannot say what that range would be at this point, because we don’t know any of these numbers.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions.

Mr. Kil: This typically only works in a growing community, like St. John. The cost is significant, but the benefit, as you can see if you look at the examples of other communities where they charge just a single family home; and in this case, unlike the park, commercial would be impacted as well. It is hard to say what that would be. Like he said, there’s just no way to tell yet.

Mr. Jorgensen: The funds accumulated are earmarked specifically for road infrastructure.

Mr. Kil: That’s it. Just like the Park is for Parks; the Road is for Road.

Mr. Arshami: Dedicated funds.

Mr. Jorgensen: Ok, dedicated funds. Mr. Arshami, would you say for our general edification, the first portion of this is a super comprehensive traffic study? Correct?

Mr. Arshami: That is correct.

Mr. Jorgensen: Ok, and going down to actual usage and places traveled, correct? Mr. Arshami: Correct.

Mr. Jorgensen: A traffic study like this, a comprehensive traffic study, could have multiple uses well beyond determining the impact fee, correct?

Mr. Arshami: Absolutely. That’s a side benefit of this study. You are in fact getting a ten year capital improvement plan. Where you’ll know over the next ten years what your growth will be and what that cost will be. That is part of our calculations.

Mr. Jorgensen: To help us plan for future road improvements, correct?

Mr. Arshami: Future road improvements, yes.

Mr. Kil (to Mr. Jorgensen): Another thing that we included in the engineering component of this was a complete model of the entire town, a computer model to be done. Some firms proposed it, some didn’t. I told Tagi that we need a complete model done. Everybody has to be apples to apples on this. So, that will further assist us. We will definitely have multiple benefits of this.

Mr. Jorgensen: And a ten year benefit?

Mr Arshami: That’s correct.

Mr. Kil: Now the impact fee only lasts five (5) years and then it has to be updated. Our park is actually coming up. Tagi does our park impact fee too. This exercise would have to be undertaken every five (5) years. So, just know that going into it. The cost to update the process is not cheaper than the actual process itself. It has to be done all over again. This would be subject to challenge, obviously, depending on the charge and what we decide to cost. We would be subject to challenge by the development and building community.

Mr. Jorgensen: Because this is assessed at the building -permit level.

Mr. Kil: It is assessed on the building permit, yes.

Mr. Barenie: Would the funds just go to new roads or to repair existing roads?

Mr. Arshami: Very good question. It is only for new roads unless it is a capacity increasing on an existing road. That would be eligible. No maintenance costs can be paid with these funds.

Mr. Kil: Meaning if we wanted to put a center turn down 93rd that is a capacity enhancing project, and then it would qualify. We can’t use the money to patch pot- holes.

Mr. Jorgensen: In your review and preparation for this and the initial study, have you taken a look at the success rate that Zionsville, Noblesville, and Westfield have had with theirs?

Mr. Arshami: I have talked to them and, without naming any particular community, one of them was very pleased with their progress. They did say that initially they had some issues, but this was their first impact fee. They had no experience with impact fees. You have had experience for fifteen (15) years with impact fees. So, they had some challenges, but by and large they have been satisfied with the results. The comments that one of them made was that since these dollars are directly used for road development, after a couple years the people will suddenly begin to see the results of what they have paid much better than the other type of impact fee because this is a road that would not have been there.

Mr. Jorgensen: We have all reviewed this and looked at the other communities, but when reviewing this are you able to get a general idea of how quickly these communities re-coop their initial investment for the impact fee?

Mr. Kil: Did you get any permit data from them at all? Did you ask that question?

Mr. Arshami: We looked at some of their permit data, yes. We are heading towards the end of the recession that we have had. So there have been some issues. The best criteria or the best factor would be the number of residential units. If we take that into account, in your case, you had only 200 residential units and if you multiply that by just residential, in just the course of one year you will be paying off.

Mr. Jorgensen: In just one year right? Based upon our current growth?

Mr. Arshami: Based upon your current growth, yes.

Mr. Jorgensen: Given the general numbers that we have here and that the other communities have re-cooped from the fees. I am just reiterating this in boiled down terms, so that everybody understands where we are at here and just how quickly the investments have and could, especially in a community in St. John, be re-cooped.

Mr. Kil: We would spend a year making our money back then the next four (4) we could put towards projects. That’s what it amounts to at our current growth rate.

Mr. Jorgensen: How much better is this than a wheel tax?

Mr. Arshami: The development could still go up much higher. We have been talking to Mr. Austgen and he has been involved in several of these communities. We have been in a community here and in one year they had 700 and this was 2007. So, that number can add up significantly.

Mr. Kil: We are at a little over 200 a year. We have been at a pretty steady growth, some years 200, 210, or 220. Back in the hay day we had 400 which is too many in my opinion. If you look at our future lot inventory and what has been coming before our plan commission, people develop a lot but they don’t go crazy like they used to. People develop now in a more controlled manner. Instead of blowing out a subdivision with 500 homes, they do 50 at a time to see how it goes. The development that’s coming and the lot inventory that’s going to be available, provided the economy holds up, we should be ok. It is a big initial investment though, guys. What is it $250,000.00, right Tagi?

Mr. Arshami: correct

Mr. Kil: $250,000. The vast majority of it wouldn’t be going to Tagi it would be going to the engineer’s. We contract with him, though, not directly with the engineers. I think you guys have seen numbers from engineers its expensive.

Mr. Arshami: It is not $250,000 it is $211,000.

Mr. Jorgensen: The commercial entities are also a part of this and they will pay a higher percentage.

Mr. Arshami: Based on the trip generation of those commercial uses. The best example of that is a restaurant. Typically a restaurant can generate 10-15 times more than a residential trip generation. So by the same number their amount of fee would be much higher. The amount of fee also depends on the size. We will determine the fee by 1000 square feet and how many trips are generated per 1000 square feet. The larger the facility the larger the amount of fee because larger the amount of trips.

Mr. Kil: I would think that when we look to recapture our investment we leave commercial out of it and just look at residential. I would look at commercial as just a bonus, because we don’t have a great deal of it. Although, we are entertaining a project now, but the residential is used as our barometer in this community, because we are primarily a residential community.

Mr. Jorgensen: Then we also have discretion once the parameters are set as to what to set the rate at?

Mr. Kil: You can’t go above the rate that Tagi sets in the study. He sets a ceiling. You can go anywhere below the ceiling but you cannot go above.

Mr. Forbes: We did the same thing with the Park impact fee. We dropped it down a bit, because it seemed a bit excessive at the time.

Mr. Barenie: The comment that Steve you made that it is mandatory that after five years we have to do this again?

Mr. Kil: It’s mandatory by state law.

Mr. Barenie: So we have to do the $211,000.00 every five (5) years?

Mr. Kil: Or $220,000.000 if the price went up, yes.

Mr. Arshami: It’s not mandatory, but if you want to continue the fee, yes. It expires after five (5) years.

Mr. Kil: It’s mandatory if we want to keep the fee in place. Like our parks, it will be coming up next year. So, I will be coming in front of you guys and our park now is only $10,000.000 or 12 or 15 grand. Not near what this one is. This will be my sixth park impact fee that I have done in my career. So, Mark, you are right every five (5) years if we don’t want the fee to lapse. If it is generating funds I would assume we would do it every five (5) years.

Mr. Forbes: What is the next step here on this?

Mr. Kil: The next step would be to authorize the project to commence. Tagi has given us a fee of $211,000.000. You guys have been provided with all the cost estimates, so a

vote to start the impact fee process and employ the ARSH Group. I would need a vote from the Town Council to get moving.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to that effect. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie asked for a pause to finish one more calculation. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets started by saying that his first comment was one that he raised at the last meeting. He asked Mr. Forbes to have an opportunity for discussion when there is a motion and a second followed by a vote. Mr. Swets did not hear that and he thinks it would be beneficial to follow those guidelines. His second comment involves him looking for minutes that he did not have. He stated that online the last minutes that are recorded there are the November 2015 Council minutes. Mr. Swets asked that those be updated. Ms. Hernandez told Mr. Swets that she puts them on her online calendar. Mr. Swets believed that not everybody has access to that calendar. Ms. Hernandez explained that if you go to the town website and go to her Clerk-Treasurer tab there is an option to click on her calendar. From there the meeting minutes can be found. Mr. Swets asked that she post the calendar, so that everybody could have access. Mr. Jorgensen asked for the website.

Ms. Hernandez: www.stjohnin.com

Mr. Swets thanked Ms. Hernandez and then continued with his last comment. He wanted to speak about the comprehensive plan and thoroughfare plan. He knows there is a public hearing scheduled for July 6th, but this has been out for a while. He wanted to mention, again, that the number of stoplights on the plan is unbelievable. If you have traveled 41 or Main Street by Schererville you probably know what it is like to be stuck in traffic and the frustration that comes with it. If we add five or six stoplights to 41 we are going to have exactly the same thing. Mr. Swets said that there’s a stoplight at 97th right now and we’re proposing another one at 96th and he opposes that. The one at 97th should be sufficient. The plan highlights using frontage roads to minimize the need for controlled intersections and that should be utilized there. The lights need to be spaced farther apart. A light at Joliet Street would be a better solution for the safety for the residents of St. John. Mr. Swets said that is what he would like to see.

Mr. Forbes stated that for the record the stoplights shown on the comp plan are potential stoplights. They are not set in stone. It is just to show where stoplights could be, and how if one is put in it affects the others. He added that we cannot put a stoplight in on Joliet Street because of the distance between 93rd and Joliet Street. This is just concept for planning for the future. We are saying here is an opportunity or here is a potential site for stoplights. It is not to say that we are putting six stoplights in. Mr. Forbes said that is why they are focusing so much on the frontage roads system; to eliminate the traffic going in and out of the commercial developments to 41.

Mr. Swets said he understands that, but then why would we need one at 96th when we already have one at 97th. Mr. Forbes answered that it is just concept.

Mr. Jorgensen added that it is just concept, and that Mr. Birlson brought up the exact same point at the last Plan Commission meeting. Mr. Forbes had addressed it then as well. Mr. Jorgensen explained that with potential concept sites one affects the other. So, if one is put one place you cannot put another directly adjacent, if that is the correct word. He said that is the concept plan and not the proposed plan. Mr. Swets stated that there is also a concept that is going to wipe his neighborhood out and he is repeatedly told that it is just a proposed. Yet, when Mr. Swets sees it on paper he still worries about it. Mr. Jorgensen said he could understand that. Mr. Jorgensen reiterated that Mr. Birlson raised the same point and it was addressed effectively. Mr. Swets said he was out of town and was sorry he missed it. Mr. Jorgensen said not to be sorry, but that Mr. Birlson does have the notes and could explain it to him.

Mary Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Ms. Robert brought a newspaper and a poster board up to the podium with her. Ms. Robert stated that she was very, very disappointed when everybody was putting out their summer information. She acknowledged her poster board which had newspaper articles posted on it. Ms. Robert said that the few articles were all that St. John put out. She showed her stack of newspaper and stated that those were what the surrounding towns and cities put out. She said Winfield was even able to put something together and (holding up poster board) that is all St. John could do? Ms. Robert said that our posting, based on 1000 replies, was totally absurd. She added that she is very disappointed in St. John that we are doing nothing for our bi-centennial. Ms. Robert said our Park Department needs to get up to “snuff”. We need to have day-camps for our kids and be more proactive with the children. We built this town up and who is to say that the kids will want to stay. What will the next generation stick around here for? The jobs are leaving. We have to build this town up so they want to stay here.

Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak said he had two comments. Firstly, no one asked or stated what the initial cost of the software system would be. Nobody mentioned what the overall cost is. Mr. Blazak noted that Mr. Barenie asked what the maintenance fee would be- $26,000. Mr. Barenie stated that was on the back page (referred to the presentation handout). Mr. Blazak replied that they don’t have that information, which is why he asked what the initial cost of the module will be.

Ms. Hernandez stated to Mr. Blazak that at this point they have not decided on what components the software would include. Mr. Blazak said he now understood that they are just looking and have not yet decided, so there is no cost in place yet. Mr. Barenie added that on the handout they just have everything that is possible listed and the pricing. Mr. Blazak asked what the total cost for everything possible would be. Ms. Hernandez answered that off the top of her head it would cost $250,000 for everything included. Mr. Blazak noted that Mr. Barenie was on top of it with the maintenance fees and upgrades because you can really get stuck there with software companies.

Mr. Blazak’s second comment regarded the Roadway Impact Fee. He understands that it is in the planning phase. He noted Mr. Kil’s knowledge of laws pertaining to Impact fees. Mr. Blazak asked Mr. Kil if there is a law pertaining to who pays this fee. He asked why the developers shouldn’t be asked to pay this fee upfront for all the lots they have under their developments. Why should we have to wait for the building permits? Mr. Kil explained by comparing it to parks. He said that just because you develop a subdivision doesn’t mean that the people that are moving in are utilizing the parks. You cannot assess someone for something until they have utilized it. Mr. Kil said the way it was explained to him was that if you charge the developer for 200 lots and the 200 lots sat there, he would pay an impact fee for people who are not utilizing or affecting the parks. That is the thought process.

Mr. Blazak: So basically what you are saying is the per- permit or per- building the actual cost falls directly to the builder who builds it, who in turn gets it from the home owner? So, the developer walks away scott free and doesn’t pay anything for the road impact for building that development?

Mr. Kil answered that depends on what the Plan Commission does. The Plan Commission can require they make improvements above and beyond anything that we would collect off of the impact fees. Most developers will put parks in their subdivisions knowing that we collect fees from each house. Mr. Kil stated that he envisions something like that taking place.

Mr. Blazak said the point he is trying to make is that we should try and get as much money for the town and for the taxpayers who are already residents here. We should get the money upfront and in our pockets, so that we can make the roads and improvements that are necessary as the developments are on-going. Mr. Kil said that we used to do that in the early 90’s. He was one of the first ones that were taken to court for it and got destroyed miserably. Mr. Blazak said that was why he was asking. He wanted to know if things were being done this way because it is the law. Mr. Kil said they were told at that time that they did not follow the impact fee statute. In the state of Indiana the statute must be followed. Mr. Jorgensen added that we are constrained by the law in how this is collected. Mr. Blazak said that the point he is making is that if we are going to have to do something like put lanes in on 93rd we should get the money as up front as possible. This way we have the money at our disposal to do the developments as they are coming along. Four or five years from now you’re collecting $2,000 a house. In five years it will be more of a cost and the road work won’t have been done, because you don’t have enough money in the fund. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Blazak that his time was up and he appreciated his thoughts. Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Blazak and told him that it is a cumulative process.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated that he would like to oppose putting in a light at 96th Lane. He explained that the input road on the west side is too small. The way the print shown from Boyer looks like it is going to exit on to Joliet, so he is opposed to that whole idea. He believes we should reexamine Joliet, because that is where the light should go.

Mr. Hero said his other point was for Mr. Jorgensen. He asked Mr. Jorgensen if it is true that his wife has applied to be a Hammond City Judge. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero what that has to do with the Town of St. John. Mr. Hero said it has to do with Mr. Jorgensen’s position on the board and what he is voting for. He asked that Mr. Forbes let him speak. Mr. Forbes said he would not let him speak on that topic. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Jorgensen if that means that he will be moving out of town. Mr. Forbes reiterated that has nothing to do with the Town of St. John. Mr. Hero said we needed to know when he is voting on this stuff if he is a long-timer or if he is going to move out. Mr. Forbes said he is in Town now and he is a Councilmen, so what is the issue?

(General Discussion Ensued)

Mr. Hero stated to Mr. Jorgensen that to his understand Mr. Jorgensen received a contribution from Mike Pence of Indiana for $500.00. He asked Mr. Jorgensen if he thinks that will embarrass the governor if he appoints Mr. Jorgensen’s wife as Judge. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero to take his politics outside.

Mr. Hero said his other fee was the Impact fee, because it is wasting money. The Plan Commission has the power to make the developer’s do it now. He stated that if we wait until this accumulates for many years we won’t be able to afford a road; we will have to move the utilities and everything else. He added that this is the fault of the Plan Commission for not making developers widen the roads as they go. We shouldn’t be putting that fee on future developments.

Mr. Hero’s other question is the same thing with the Lift Station. If we need the Lift Station for future development, we shouldn’t be paying for that out of our own funds. That should be assessed to the developer.

Mr. Hero stated that he would like to remonstrate against 1628, the establishment of a cumulative fire fund. He believes the town wastes a lot of money. We can put funds in there from taxes we have already received. He stated we should do away with that ordinance.

Ms. Hernandez stated that there is no one else signed in for public comment.

Public Hearing:

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item is the public hearing. This is to establish Ordinance No. 1623 the re-establishment of the Cumulative Fire Fund. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if the proofs of publication were in order. The Council corrected Mr. Forbes that the Ordinance was No. 1628. Mr. Forbes corrected his statement.
A. Ordinance No. 1628, re-establishment of Cum Fire Fund.
1. Proofs of Publication- Town Attorney
Mr. Austgen stated that the proofs of publication are in evidence. They have been timely published. Notice of this public hearing is properly made.
2. Opening Remarks- Town Manager
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil for opening remarks. Mr. Kil stated that this is not a new fund. Mr. Kil asked Chief Willman how long the fund has been in place. Chief Willman stated that he has been here for 20 years and it was in place then. Mr. Kil explained that the Cum Fire Fund is a cumulative fund that has a very small tax rate attached to it. Formerly it was called Cum Fire Equipment. The fund is used solely to buy Fire Department equipment and nothing else. It is used to support our local Fire Department. Mr. Kil said that without this fund he doesn’t know how we would be able to buy fire trucks and things of that nature, because we are contemplating a new fire truck right now and the initial down payment would come directly out of the Cum. Fire Fund. Mr. Kil reiterated that the fund goes one-hundred percent to the fire department, and it is not a new fund. We have had it for 20+ years. Every now and then we have to re-establish a fund, because the assessed value of the town grows or tax rates drop; as we have enjoyed in St. John for quite a while. Mr. Kil stated that all we are doing right now is re- establishing a fund that has been in place for 20+ years and that will goes solely to the fire department. Mr. Kil told Mr. Forbes that is the easiest way to explain it.

Mr. Forbes asked the council if they have any questions or comments before he opens the floor to public comment.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Chief Willman if we needed fire equipment. Chief Willman answered that we do. Mr. Jorgensen said that he wanted to establish that we do in fact need fire equipment for the safety of our town and its residents. Chief Willman added that we need fire equipment but we also need to maintain the equipment that we have and make it last. He said it is not just buying new equipment. We have fire trucks that are going on 30 years old, and they require constant maintenance. They have to pass UL every year.

Mr. Kil added that we do need turnout gear, air packs, and a rescue truck we bought. Mr. Forbes said that the problem isn’t the upkeep on the vehicles. It is more of a problem keeping them certified. The older they get, even though we upkeep them and they perform the way they should, they change standards and it is tough to keep them updated. Chief Willman explained that they needed an 80 foot ladder on there (the truck) and it passed. Two years later they came back and it didn’t pass and it hadn’t even been off of the truck. He said it’s because the standards change. Mr. Forbes said he has seen comments online where people are of the opinion that you can throw a coat of paint and some new tires on the vehicle and you will be set. That is not the case. Chief Willman said we have to do pump testing annually, UL tests on the ladders every other year, (unintelligible). Those things happen every year.

Mr. Jorgensen directed a question to Mr. Kil, because of his experience in doing this. He asked Mr. Kil if there is a cheaper or more efficient way to accumulate funds for the purchase and maintenance of fire vehicles, other than this? Mr. Kil stated absolutely not. He said he is basically asking for $0.03 per $100.00 of assessed value. That will generate roughly $300,000.00 a year for the Fire Department. It helps purchase equipment and to certify equipment. We are looking at purchasing a new vehicle. Mr. Kil asked how old the truck, that the council authorized to bid out, is. Chief Willman answered that it is the one they are replacing and it is 34 years old. The other two are 22 years old. Mr. Kil noted that he doesn’t know how Chief Willman does it, but he makes them last for over 30 years. Chief Willman said its constant maintenance and being able to pass ratings and tests. Mr. Jorgensen asked Chief Willman if he would say this is then essential to keep the Fire Department in St. John up to speed. Chief Willman answered that it most certainly is.

3. Open the Floor to Public Comment
Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public hearing.

Joe Hero 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated that to his understanding Ordinance No. 1852 was established in 1990. Now we are re-establishing it. The way that he understands the statute is that based on this ordinance people will have to file personal property tax if they do not meet the exemption by May 15th. Mr. Hero asked how it is that we have made it since 1990 until today without this fund. He asked where the money has been going and why we are re- establishing it now. Mr. Hero said to his understanding it is Ordinance No. 1852. Why didn’t we do this last year or the year before; have we gone 26 years without this fund?

Mr. Forbes answered that we have not gone without this fund. This fund has been in place and its collection rate has been diminishing over the years. What we are doing is re-establishing that fund rate. We have been collecting this money all along. This money has always gone to the Fire Department. It has always been used to improve the safety of the residents of St. John.

Mr. Hero asked why we are re-establishing it now. Mr. Austgen referenced Mr. Hero to statute 36-08-14. Mr. Austgen said that we have this fund. The terms establish, re- establish, and continue are statutory terms. They come directly from that statute. This fund exists. It has continued to exist. It has never been repealed. It has never been eliminated. It has never been stricken. It is a statutory mechanism in this statute to re- establish the rate, not to exceed .0333 per 100. That is what this does specifically. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Austgen to explain how the rate has diminished. Mr. Austgen explained that as AV changes and over time the rate reduces for these cum funds. Mr. Austgen added that this isn’t the only cum fund we have. Mr. Kil explained that it works just like a normal tax rate; when your assessed value raises, your rates lower. Mr. Kil said that is what we enjoy in St. John. Our assessed value keeps rising, so our tax rates keep going lower. Over time the 0.0333 per hundred will go down to 0.031. Then down to 0.029. It slowly diminishes over time, because the assessed value is going up. Mr. Kil stated that this is why we re-establish it back to 0.0333. Mr. Austgen added or not to exceed. Mr. Kil said that is what keeps the money healthy for the fire department. Mr. Hero asked what the rate is now. Mr. Kil answered that it is probably around 0.01, because we are collecting about $100,000.00 per year. That is about a third. Mr. Hero asked if that money was inadequate. Mr. Kil answered that yes, it is inadequate. Mr. Hero asked by how much that money is inadequate. Mr. Kil said by approximately $200,000.00. Mr. Hero said he is going to research it. He stated that for the public hearing he would like to remonstrate against it. He said we would all like to support our fire department. They do a good job, but he thinks we spend enough money by blowing it in other places. Such as retiring people, giving them bonuses, and not reducing the jobs here. Mr. Hero believes that there is money here that can be appropriated for the fire department. Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Hero and asked him to let everyone know when he finds it.

Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak asked Mr. Kil to give him a ball park amount of how much is in the fund currently. Mr. Kil said he just looked at it and there is roughly $200,000. Mr. Blazak said his next question has to do with impact fees and the law. He asked if there is a law against St. John creating an impact fund for fire. He added that there has been talk about fire stations for the last year. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Blazak if he was asking for them to create an impact fee for fire instead of a cum fund. Mr. Blazak said that his point is if they can be co-mingled. Mr. Kil said no they can’t.

Mr. Austgen said the provisions of Indiana Code 3674-1300 series is a long lengthy 40- part series. It provides that impact fees are for specific purposes: roads, sewers, water, bridges, and storm drainage. Mr. Austgen said his point in saying that is so Mr. Blazak understands that there is a specific purpose for impact fees. Mr. Blazak said what he is speaking about specifically is that we know that at some point St. John is going to need another fire station on the other side of town. Whether it is in five years or eight years from now, it is not going to cost $100,000.00. It will cost millions to build a new fire station that is completely loaded and ready to go. Mr. Blazak asked what opportunity we have to start putting money aside, so the town and taxpayers don’t have to spend five million dollars. He added that in reality the developers are bringing people into town and bringing homes to town. These people are going to need to be protected by the fire department and the police department. We will probably need a police attachment to the fire department, and where is the money to pay for it.

Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Forbes if he could explain to Mr. Blazak. Mr. Austgen said that there is a statutory mechanism, and there is another statutory section that provides, what is called, CCD, CCDF; we have dealt with that here before. That is a fund that is set aside by a special segregation of the levy, so that’s special projects such as: fire stations, buildings, structures, capital equipment including fire vehicles or sewer vac trucks can be funded or purchased. It is a segregated and non-reverting fund statutorily prescribed very specifically and follows a procedure just like we are doing here.

Mr. Blazak asked why we don’t do that. Mr. Kil said we do have one and we use it to buy the snow plows. Mr. Blazak said his point is that he is trying to plan for the future. The only way to do that is to get these funds established. Mr. Kil said that is why we have them. We are not establishing them; we are re-establishing them. Mr. Blazak asked where the funds come into play when a developer comes into town and says he wants to develop 100 units. Mr. Kil stated that the only funds we have towards a fire station right now is a $400,000.00 commitment, from a developer, to build a fire station next to the assisted living facility. He added that we are not ready to staff that station. Therefore, we don’t want it there yet. Mr. Kil explained that the cum fire fund could be used for buildings or equipment.

Mr. Blazak said that he is interested in the taxpayers not having to pay for it out of their dollars five or ten years from now, when we know now we are going to need it. Mr. Kil stated that he does not know another mechanism. Mr. Blazak said that if we are not putting money in these funds we need to get after it. Mr. Kil said that Chief Willman is probably the most penny pinching guy you will meet. Ms. Hernandez stated she would attest to that. Mr. Kil said Chief Willman doesn’t waste money. If he could save money from that cum fire fund for a rainy day he would. Mr. Blazak said that he wants the money in there to build the fire station, so that when it comes time and they need five million they don’t have to go to the tax payers.

(General Discussion Ensued.)

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Blazak that his point was well taken. He asked If there were any other public comments.

Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets asked who determines or sets what the rate of the tax will be. Mr. Kil said the state. Mr. Swets said no, the state says it cannot be more than the rate of 0.0333, unless, that is the rate they are going to set. Mr. Kil said yes that is the rate they are going to go to; that is what it says in the ordinance.

Mr. Swets said based on what the Council was saying, we are only collecting $100,000.00 now. What he found on the internet was that based on the 2010 Census there were 500,000 houses in St. John, 4,425 families residing in the town, and the median home value was $255,000.00. He added those numbers up at 0.0333 per hundred and it came out to $84.78 per household. That would mean we collected over $400,000.00. Mr.Kil stated that those numbers have nothing to do with it. It is based on our assessed value. Mr. Swets said he understands it is assessed value and he missed a step. Assessed value of the homes is $254,600.00. Mr. Kil said no. It is the assessed value of the town. He said the FA did the numbers.

Mr. Forbes stated that what Mr. Kil had said was that we are collecting $100,000.00 now at the diminished rate. When it is re-established we should be collecting somewhere in the range of $300,000.00. Mr. Swets asked if it has anything to do with the value of his home. Mr. Kil answered that it has to do with the assessed value of the community. The Town has an assessed value as a whole. Right now we are just over a billion dollars. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Swets to remember that the tax rate now is diminished. Value goes up and tax rates drop. Mr. Swets asked if this was a tax that was going to be charged on top of what he pays now. Mr. Kil said no; this is what everybody in town is currently paying right now. Mr. Swets: it’s just going to go up, though. Mr. Kil said it is going to be re-established. Mr. Swets said he doesn’t like extra or new taxes, so he would like to remonstrate against this. He thanked the Council for their explanation.

Mr. Forbes stated that just to be clear this is not a new tax; it is a re-establishment. Mr. Swets said it is an increase. Mr. Jorgensen said that it is not. It is a re-establishment. At one point he was paying this exact amount and then at one point he wasn’t paying that exact amount anymore. Now, we need to re-establish it so we can pay for fire equipment. So, in case anything burns down or is on fire, like we have seen in the past, they can fight it. Mr. Swets said that its going to cost him more this year than it did last year. Mr. Jorgensen said because you weren’t paying enough.

Eric Schnieder 9190 W. 106th (Gates of St. John)

Mr. Schnieder stated that he is the Town liaison for the Chamber. He has been coming to meetings and he has been listening to all the back and forth. He stated that if it costs him $87.00 more a year in taxes to have our Chief have the right equipment to come save him if something happens, by all means tax him what we need to. He sits at the meetings and the Council gets belittled and beat up over the silliest stuff. We are a community in St. John. If you don’t want to live here put your house up for sale and move. Mr. Schnieder said that was all he needed to say.

Mr. Forbes made a final call for public comment. There was no further comment.

4. Closed to the Floor
5. Introduction to Fiscal Plan
Mr. Forbes corrected the agenda. There is no fiscal plan. That is an annexation issue.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Austgen if they could adopt the ordinance on first reading, and then motion to adopt. Mr. Austgen said yes.

Mr. Forbes stated that hearing no discussion, he will entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1628 on first reading. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes said he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1628. Motion was made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

New Business:

A. Resolution No. 2016-06-23, being a resolution establishing Internal Controls to promote Government Accountability and Transparency.
Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 2016-06-23. This is a resolution establishing a system of Internal Controls for the Town of St. John in Lake County, Indiana, consistent with current applicable law to promote government - accountability and transparency, and all matters related there-to. Mr. Forbes called on Ms. Hernandez.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she had made mention of this last meeting. We need to have an ordinance in place by the target date from State Board of Accounts of June 30, 2016. It is stating that we plan to follow internal controls; we plan to train our employees and public officials and then become certified. Ms. Hernandez stated that all the Councilmen have watched the internal controls video, so we are ahead on that. She believes all the department heads have as well. It is very in depth. The next step is for all of the employees to watch it. Ms. Hernandez said she would use the meeting room so she can answer any questions as it relates to internal controls. It can be quite voluminous, so she foresees questions coming about. Ms. Hernandez reiterated that we do have to pass an ordinance and the target date is June 30th.

Mr. Austgen added that this is mandate of the State Board of Accounts and the legislation out of the last General Assembly that just finished. The deadlines are not from Ms. Hernandez. They are established. Timelines are required. It is the update the state believes is appropriate for the transition of public sector, government accounting, and accountability.

Ms. Hernandez noted that change is difficult. Being in education for several years, she has gone through this is some way. She understands that it may be difficult for some employees. We have to tighten up in not just our Town, but throughout the state of Indiana. She knows it may be a rough road as we take this on.

Mr. Austgen told Mr. Forbes that this will also be fluid, because Ms. Hernandez , Mr. Kil, and the team here will have an evolution of processes. They will continue to be enhanced and expanded. It’s all for the transparency and the proper operation of the business for the public. Mr. Kil noted that they would periodically be coming in front of the council with this. Mr. Austgen said that would be his expectation.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-06-23. “So Moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

B. Ordinance No. 1625, being an ordinance approving the establishment of a Cash Reserve Fund of the Town’s Waterworks Utility.
Mr. Forbes paused for discussion. There was none. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1625 on first reading. Motion was made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1625. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

C. Ordinance No. 1626, being an ordinance approving a Temporary Loan from the Waterworks Utility of the Town to the Sewage Works Utility of the Town.
Mr. Forbes stated next item was Ordinance No.1626. As discussed it is a transfer from one to utility to the other for the lift station.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1626 on first reading. “So Moved,” from Mr. Hastings. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No.1626. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

D. Ordinance No. 1629, being an ordinance establishing a Rainy Day Fund.
Mr. Forbes asked for questions or comments. There was no discussion.

Mr. Forbes said he would like to entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1629 on first reading. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would now like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1629. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

E. Consider approval of Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement, (Officer James Turturillo) service weapon.
Mr. Forbes stated the next item was an agreement regarding retired Sargent Turturillo. He asked for discussion. Hearing none Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion to approve the Indemnification and hold harmless agreement. Motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. . Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked each member of the council if they had any reports.

Mr. Barenie stated he had one item. He said the public safety team gets a lot of great accolades with snow and some of the other emergencies. When Mr. Barenie was walking over to the meeting room today he saw a young man walking down Civic Road picking weeds on our street. The man was not dressed in a St. John uniform. He was dressed in shorts and just going to his kid’s baseball game. Mr. Barenie got a closer look and confirmed that it was one of our public works gentlemen. He was off-duty. He was watching his son play baseball and he was picking weeds. Mr. Barenie said he would like to thank Gabe Hernandez, because that is who it was. Mr. Barenie asked Ms. Hernandez to thank Mr. Gabe Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez said he would appreciate that Mr. Barenie noticed.

Mr. Forbes stated that he had brought up the Haunted House event at the last meeting. After meeting with the consultants, it was agreed that they would accept $8,500; the same amount that they were paid last year. The Haunted House can be done this year for the same total amount as last year, $41,800. That budget includes the food and everything else.

Mr. Barenie asked if the revenues are still above. Mr. Forbes said the revenues were between $8,000 and $11,000 last year. Mr. Barenie: So say we spend $40,000.00 and make $50,000.00. We take the $10,000.00 and put it in reserve fund or towards potential scholarships. Mr. Forbes said that Dollars for Scholars will still be a part of the event. We will have one Dollars for Scholars day. Mr. Forbes noted that we still make money even after the donation. It is a self re-generating event. Mr. Barenie added it is neutral or profit. Mr. Forbes mentioned you can’t put a value on what the kids get out if it.

Mr. Forbes stated that with the council’s approval he would like to entertain a motion to approve the contract with the Forstyke’s in the amount of $8,500, also, to approve the budget of $41,100.00. Motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion Seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

(General Discussion Ensued.)

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez introduced Alyssa Gallegos. Alyssa Gallegos was a former student of hers and has been a part-time employee in her office since February. Ms. Hernandez stated that the office is blessed to have her as she has been diligently working to assist in the organization of files, records, and the dreaded basement. A new task that Ms. Gallegos will be tackling is that of transcribing the minutes for the Town Council, Utility Board, and Waterworks. Ms. Gallegos completed the May minutes with Ms. Hernandez’s assistance. Minutes can be expected in a more timely manner.

Ms. Hernandez stated that in the past month she and her Chief Deputy attended the League of Municipal Clerk’s Conference, the second session of the internal controls seminar, and State Board of Accounts school. The information they are learning through attending these seminars and schooling events along with the networking opportunities, have been invaluable. It has been busy, but the knowledge is great.

Ms. Hernandez stated that as she comes to the end of her first 6 months in office she feels it has been a very rewarding experience. She thanked the residents for entrusting her with this position. She is enthusiastic and motivated to continue to work and serve the residents to the best of her ability. Ms. Hernandez stated it has been a great six months and she is excited to continue to serve the residents of St. John.

STAFF
Mr. Austgen asked for the Council’s consideration of approving the resolution of the dispute the town has with the developers of the TRAM Phase II lawsuit and subdivision. Mr. Austgen has negotiated and executed settlement documents for that, but he needs permission and authority at a public meeting. He noted the Town will recover $70,000.00.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to execute the agreement. A motion was made by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Forbes if there could be a motion made tonight to execute a conflict of waivers for the Schererville issue. Mr. Kil stated that we needed a motion to authorize Mr. Forbes to execute a waiver. Mr. Austgen suggested to Mr. Forbes that he acknowledge receipt of the notice of conflict and acceptance of waiver of same. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if a motion would be an acceptance of that. Mr. Austgen said it would be an acceptance of being notified, yes. Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion to authorize both waivers. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none.

Chief Willman stated that during the month of May 2016 the St. John Fire Department responded to 110 requests for assistance. There were 81 calls in the incorporated limits of St. John and 17 calls in the unincorporated township areas under contract with the St. John Township Trustee. There were 12 calls in District 3, which would include all other destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid responded to the Schererville Fire EMS with an ALS ambulance for residential medical emergencies X4 and with an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, motor engine and main power structure fire. Lake Hills Fire EMS with an ALS ambulance for residential medical emergency X2. The Monday night activities for the fire department included a fire training to review all the handheld portable equipment that we carry on the fire suppression vehicles: rams, chainsaws, demolition saws, ventilation equipment, hydraulic spreaders, hydraulic cutters, hydraulic rams, air bags and vehicle stabilizers, along with all of the other equipment that we may have to use when we respond. Every one of our members needs to refresh their minds and practice their skills to stay current with the abilities that they have developed. We had a fire training that served as our annual hands on review associated with motor vehicle extrication. At least one time each year we go to Stan’s Auto Yard and get the opportunity to work with retired vehicles that are provided by Stan’s. Chief Willman stated that they appreciate the working relationship they have shared for so many years with the employees at Stan’s. These annual the fire department more competent and better prepared when they arrive on the scene of a critical incident that might include life or death consequences for the victims. The Fire Department held and EMS in-service which was the second and last session of the PHTLS course (Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support). The first half was in April and the second half was in May. Activities scheduled for the last Monday in May were cancelled in observance of Memorial Day. Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Willman.

Chief Kveton stated he would start with some basic statistics for May. Our officers traveled 19,583 miles and responded to 538 law incidents. This resulted in 20 adult arrests, 34 charges, and 3 juvenile arrests with 4 charges being filed. Chief Kveton gave an overview of some of the activities the Police Department has been involved in. They are currently in the process of researching and preparing a St. John Police Department Association. It will be a 5013C organization that will interact with the community for charity purposes. They will be taking charity donations in and also will provide charity back out to the community. In the past Chief Kveton has participated in organizations such as this, and has done things like a neighborhood cleanup day. It will be a good connection and interaction with our citizens.

When Chief Kveton was going through his hiring and interviewing he had indicated one of the things he wanted to bring to the Town was support and assistance for our officers in case they needed someone to talk to after critical events or incidents. Chief Kveton has networked with Police Chaplains and has been familiarized with Police Chaplain’s through presentations. A man who recently moved here from Iowa introduced and volunteered himself to Chief Kveton as a Police Chaplain. There has been an extensive background check done on him and so the department will begin moving forward working with him. They are working on the policy and will begin working on implementing the Police Chaplain program. This would also be offered out for the Fire Department.

Chief Kveton informed the Council that we are in the process an emergency hire. They are currently going through the process with two hires. There is a police written test being conducted on Saturday morning at the Police Department. The police department recently lost their accreditation manager to retirement. It has been posted as a civilian position to help the community save some money. It will save about $20,000 per year and will also save the cost of a vehicle. The position is a combination of accreditation manager, training manager, and a component of community outreach.

Chief Kveton stated our School Resource officer that was working out of the school corporation at the high school will be coming back on the street. A new officer has been recently selected to go to the high school. That officer is Corporal Moffitt. He is a very outgoing, interactive, and knowledgeable officer. The school corporation, superintendent’s office, and Chief Kveton worked together to design the new job responsibilities and job description for that position. There have been a few threats made in the school corporation recently. One was minor, but one was very major. Chief Kveton and the school corporation have been holding school safety meetings once a month. The police department is going to assist the school corporation and all other schools in our area to host a quarterly school safety meeting. That will be in coordination with the police department and will start in the fall. It will include the Lake Central School Corporation, Hanover schools, and all the private and parochial schools.

Chief Kveton stated that as of the 9th of the month he had an in-person meeting with administrators from CSX Rail Road. They assured Chief Kveton that the solution of bringing the delivery for Schilling Lumber out of Lafayette instead of Riverdale has permanently eliminated our blockages. He stated that he says that cautiously but they have assured him several times that the problem is gone.

Chief Kveton said he has a crime prevention tip for everybody and asked that they share it with their neighbors. Within the last two weeks we have had gypsy traveling groups in town. They victimized one of our residents. They commit home improvement type scams. Such as, asking to re-asphalt the driveway and they use a substance that is mostly water based and will just wash away. The groups also use distraction techniques where one of them ends up going in the house and robbing it. The groups usually victimize the elderly, because they keep cash in the house. In our particular case, a resident was able to identify the family group and get their license plate number. The police department is working on getting them identified and recovering the cash lost to the victim.

Chief Kveton stated that earlier in the year we were having a series of burglaries of about one or two a week. All of the surrounding communities were experiencing this as well. Thankfully, some residents in Hobart called the police. The police got four of them in custody and were able to recover a huge amount of proceeds in their residence. Two or three of our victims have identified some of those proceeds that were recovered. Chief Kveton asked that everyone keeps their cars, doors, and windows locked. If something doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t, so please call the police. Call 9-1-1 for any police service.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. There is a seven page docket with an amount of $1,543,929.50. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “I’ll make that motion to pay the bills,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes wished everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July. He asked that everyone be respectful of their neighbors and clean up their mess afterwards.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

07-28-2016 Town Council

June 23, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the June 23, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:15 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings and Greg Volk. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief James Kveton was present. Attorney David Austgen was present. Chief Fred Willman arrived at 8:00 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April 28, 2016 and May 26, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated the first item was the approval of the meeting minutes from April 28 and May 26. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would make a motion on the meeting minutes as written. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Presentation:

Mr. Forbes stated that we would be hearing two (2) presentations this evening. The first would be from New World to cover new municipal software for the Clerk’s Office.
A. New World- Municipal Government Software
The representative from New World greeted the attendees and began the presentation. The representative introduced himself as Mr. Steve Wittbrodt, a Vice President of Sales for Tyler New World out of Troy, Michigan. Mr. Wittbrodt introduced the fellow representative Ms. Diane Effinger. He stated that he would introduce who New World System is, why it is the right solution for St. John, and then open it up to questions.

Mr. Wittbrodt introduced the company as a software company. New World has been exclusively focused on the public sector, city and county governments, and some water districts. They have been doing business for 35 years. All of their software has been developed by them, as a company. They have experienced 35 years of growth and profitability. Mr. Wittbrodt explained that when you do business with a software company, you want a software company that is viable, profitable, and growing. New World takes 20% of profit each year to invest in their product.

Tyler New World is in 48 out of 50 states. They have 13 customers in Indiana. They have 160 employees and approximately 430 customers throughout the 48 states. Mr. Wittbrodt explained their “customer for life” philosophy. Once a customer signs a contract with New World, everyone they come in contact with is passionate and excited about the successes. Mr. Wittbrodt expressed that they want to keep St. John for life. It is not a 5-10 year project but a 15-20 year project.

Mr. Wittbrodt acknowledged their past experience with converting from Keystone, which is the Town’s current software. They recently underwent a merger with Tyler, which is their new parent company. New World ERP is the name of the software product in consideration for St. John and has a long-term future. This is based on Tyler’s commitment to New World as a result of New World’s positive outlook.

Mr. Wittbrodt explained Tyler’s “Evergreen philosophy” as follows:

When you invest in a Tyler product and 15-20 years down the road something is done to replace it, you will get the exact equivalent. So, if we bought a general ledger package 20 years from now you would get the new general ledger package without spending money.

Mr. Wittbrodt showed a snapshot from the New World ERP of their own company’s core financials including Payroll, HR, Utilities, and community development software. He explained that Tyler had enterprise applications that they gained when they merged together. Tyler has a complete content management solution application. This means that any document that you would put into the New World ERP system would become registered and would be automatically integrated throughout the applications. They have a form library that provides hundreds of forms to cities or towns like St. John. This shows examples of forms that other customers may use and they are given to you as part of the offering. Mr. Wittbrodt noted that they offer Parks & Recreation management, which is something of deep interest for St. John. Parks & Recreation along with EnterGov is something that will be integrated into the New World System for the Town.

Mr. Wittbrodt acknowledged the “Three P’s” of Tyler/New World that sets them apart. First is their proven track record of being on time and on budget for implementation. This is most important when working with software companies. Anyone from New World is passionate about what they do. All they do in their career is work with city and county governments to get their citizens involved and create transparency. Lastly, they are prompt. They start the project with a phone call within one week of signing the contract, and they will be on site within thirty (30) days. This is unprecedented in the software company. Mr. Wittbrodt called on Ms.Effinger to speak, as she has already been working with Ms. Hernandez and the Town of St. John.

Ms. Effinger introduced herself. She stated that she has been working with Ms. Hernandez, Mr. Jason Dravet, and a lot of the staff here for several months. She has met Mr. Kil as well. Ms. Effinger understood the challenges that we have faced and what kind of solution we are looking for. She acknowledged that the software the Town has now has served very well and has been in place for 25+ years. Ms. Effinger has heard that there have been some challenges that have come on that just naturally occur with aging technology. There is a lot of redundant entry and a lack of integration which creates the need for a lot of paper processes. That makes it difficult to get the full picture that is needed when it comes to the information about the town. She has also heard that it is very important to the town and to the Council to provide online services and self-services to the citizens and to the employees. Ms. Effinger expressed her belief that their software solution is a great fit to meet those objectives. It comes down to the value that their solution will provide.

At a high level, their technology is based on a SQL database and is served on Microsoft.net. It is the same toolkit and is tightly integrated with the tools we already use now. Such as, Microsoft word, excel, and outlook. It is browser based which means that, with the appropriate securities; it can be accessed from anywhere. This makes upgrades simple. Also, we will have decentralized data as we deem appropriate. The data could be in the hands of the department heads/managers and Council members. It has a secure role-based access. Each user will only see the data that they are allowed access to and the parts of the system that they need to work in.

Ms. Effinger added that they have a user-friendly interface. This decreases the learning curve for current employees and potential new hires when they need to learn the system. The navigation is window based and mouse-driven, which everyone is accustomed to.

Ms. Effinger acknowledged the lack of integration we experience with our current system. It causes more work for employees and repeated data entry. With the New World solution the data is entered once and it flows appropriately throughout the system. This creates a lot of efficiencies. Also, the Town’s current procurement process is paper based. With their system, everything is electronic. There is a built-in work flow and built-in approvals to help eliminate paper.

Ms. Effinger said that she knows another thing very important to the Council is providing more online services for our citizens. All the solutions that we have been considering from New World offer online solutions that make it easier for citizens to do business with the Town. Also, employees will be able to generate their own W2’s and look at paystubs. This creates efficiencies for them and for the payroll staff, so they no longer have to field those calls and requests. Also, decentralizing data; putting the data that the Council and department heads need in their hands with easy access. The solution includes real-time access to data, graphs, and dashboards for quick reference.

Ms. Effinger explained how implementation is most important in software solutions. She showed a slide of their implementation history and time. The implementation times differed based on the product and population size of the city or county. She stated that we can expect 6-9 months for an implementation. New World has many customers in the state of Indiana. All of the things that we would need specific to the state of Indiana, including an electronic upload to the Indiana Gateway, are already in place.

Ms. Effinger asked for any questions.

Mr. Barenie: Regarding the first presentation, did I understand that upgrades are free?

Mr. Wittbrodt: The upgrades to the newer version of the products that you currently license are absolutely free, yes. Twenty years down the road, if we were to replace the New World product, you would get a like-replacement for free.

Mr. Barenie: But there is an annual maintenance fee?

Mr. Wittbrodt: There is an annual maintenance fee.

Mr Barenie: Of?

Ms. Effinger: We have two major releases each year, and that is part of your annual maintenance; upgrades and service packs. As Steve mentioned the Evergreen; whenever there is a major shift in technology platform most companies will have you re-invest to stay with the same product and the Evergreen Policy protects your investment.

Mr. Wittbrodt added that it is a swap.

Ms. Hernandez: Right now, through Keystone we are paying $11,640.00 a year for our annual fees. Keep in mind that is for the Clerk-Treasurer’s office only. Through New World it would be $26,592.00. However, we are adding: Building and Planning, Parks, Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works. This would be a town wide system.

Mr. Barenie: So the $11,000.00 we’re paying now is just for the Clerk’s office? Now we’re going to be purchasing more modules for the town’s use.

Ms. Hernandez: Correct.

Mr. Barenie: By which we’re going from the $12,000 to $26,000 and that percentage is?

Mr. Wittbrodt: 18%. The first year the charge is waived.

Mr. Barenie: Report writer, we didn’t talk about that too much. At this point are there canned reports?

Mr. Wittbrodt: There are over 1,000 canned reports that you can pull up and print, save, and publish. We also have an extensive data mart and report writer that is in excel format. It is extremely easy to use. If you come to a meeting like this and you have a question you can generate a report right there.

Mr. Barenie: Is one of those 1099’s?

Ms. Effinger: Yes, 1099 is one of them. Mr. Barenie: I would assume W2’s then. I would assume in the canned reports there are balance sheets as well. Would there be a key representative from your company to guide us through the whole process from start to finish? Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes. We will assign a project manager that will be there from beginning to end. We also have subject matter experts in the financials, payroll/HR, utilities, and the CD that will also stay with you. For an executive would be myself and my counter partner Andy Breton, Vice President of services. Mr. Barenie: Within the disbursement modules would positive pay be a part of this? Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes. Mr. Barenie: Do we have an idea how many users we would be purchasing at this time? Mr. Wittbrodt: We eliminate that decision right out of the gate, because you have unlimited site license; unlimited users. Mr. Barenie: Very good. Ok. You mentioned the securities by role in the municipality. Who would set that up? Ms. Effinger: Our project manager and our subject matter experts. Our implementation and training is on site. We feel like the personal, in person, touch is the most effective. So, they’re going to guide you through. They are going to take your feedback on how you want the system to work, who you want to have what data, who has the approvals of what aspects of your processes and then they configure it. They also teach you how to configure it, because we feel like it’s best for you to be able to be self-sufficient if you want to make changes versus being required to call us, and then us send you a bill. Certainly we are there- our customer support and customer care rep, but we would be working with you to configure it. Mr. Barenie: Thank you for that answer. It was great, but my actual question was who on our side would determine what the security levels are for the different staff members. Ms. Hernandez: That ties into the internal controls that we’re working on. So, it is really a good time to take on this venture, because that’s when we determine who needs to be doing what as far as State Board of Accounts is concerned. Work flow is a big part of this; purchase ordering and things of that nature. Steve and I will sit down and decide who has to sign off based on our ordinances and policies. Mr. Barenie: Ok, so it would be a combination. Bank recs online automatic? (New World Reps nod yes) PC compliance? (New World Reps nod yes) If we were to have an issue where we had a funding source that was a bank and we wanted to be able to do transfers-wire transfers back and forth? Mr. Wittbrodt: Yes. Ms. Effinger: ACH. Mr. Barenie: Good. ACH. That is all I have for now. Mr. Jorgensen: Is this system going to be cloud based then? Ms. Effinger: We have that option if that’s what you prefer, but the solution that I’ve spoken with Jason was that you prefer to house it here. Which is what the majority of our customers do, but cloud is an option. Mr. Jorgensen: If it were based in a cloud would there be accessibility from other locations, provided there was a system malfunction here or some kind of disaster or something like that. Mr. Wittbrodt: Yeah. We have two (2) disaster recovery sites. One in our company headquarters in Maine and also another backup in Texas. So, just a clarification on the cloud; you would have the server here, but anywhere you have access to the internet you can sign on to the New World system. As long as you have the VPN security to get in you can be on the beach and approve your budgets. It’s what is called a web-based system. So, you don’t actually have to be tied to the building here. Just anywhere you can get on the internet. Mr. Jorgensen: That would be the same whether is cloud-based or server-based? Mr. Wittbrodt: Correct. Mr. Barenie: Have we decided completely on that? Ms. Hernandez: When it comes to the server-based or the cloud that has been Jason’s thing since he is the Director of IT. I’m open to... Mr. Barenie: Now probably wouldn’t be the best time to talk about that, but there are some issues that I would like to talk about with that, maybe after this presentation before we have to make our next decision. Ms. Hernandez: As far as server-based and cloud-based? Mr. Barenie: Yes, I would like to hear that analysis. Mr. Kil: Jason would be the appropriate person to really address that you guys, our IT Director. Mr. Barenie: I’d actually like to hear it from you guys (New World Reps. Mr. Jorgensen: Or in combination with our IT guy and one of you. Mr. Wittbrodt: We’d be happy to come back and do that. Mr. Forbes: Anybody else have any other questions? Mr. Kil: Why do most of your customers choose the server versus the cloud? Mr. Wittbrodt: So, pre-merger with Tyler I would say probably 98% of them were on premise through their own server. We started offering through Amazon services as a new cloud, and we deployed two or three. With Tyler’s acquisition in November we will have probably 25% of our customers. Our existing customers are also moving to the cloud. So, I would say by year-end probably 25%. Tyler as an organization probably has close to 40%. It is really starting to move that way. Mr. Barenie: 40% in the cloud? So, I would say a lot of those who aren’t in the cloud, the 60%, are probably some of your older customers. I would say the customers that just went with you are probably a much higher percentage of on the cloud. Mr. Jorgensen: I would say generally for us, just now, what are the security controls? Obviously this contains a lot of sensitive information. Talk a little bit about keeping the integrity of that. Mr. Wittbrodt: The very first thing is you have a secured VPN network that you guys control. So, anyone that has access to the system has to go through your VPN firewall. Once you get into the firewall, then we have field level security. We have role based security, so they can’t get in to see. We can lock out social security numbers for instance. We can get down to the field level depending on the security that you want to implement. So, we can have field level, role based, and then they have to get into the VPN firewall in order to get into the computer and into the system. So, there is extensive security. Mr. Barenie: The actual mart where all the cloud customers are, is it actual Tyler? Are you working with a third party company? Mr. Wittbrodt: No, it’s Tyler. It’s our own database-our own data centers. Mr. Jorgensen: Have any of your systems ever been hacked? Mr. Willbrodt: Not to my knowledge, no. I’ll double check. That is a good question. Mr. Forbes: From the way it sounds, we need to have a little bit more conversation with Jason and Beth. We’ll have a representative come back. Mr. Barenie: Regarding the cloud, yes. Mr. Forbes: We appreciate you coming out. We appreciate the information. The representatives thanked the Town Council. They offered informational brochures. Ms. Hernandez added that we have interviewed with three (3) different companies. It has not just been her, Jason, and Steve; they have pulled in just about every single employee from every single department that is going to be utilizing the software on a daily basis. New World was overwhelmingly the favorite. They have interviewed the company several times and people seem to really like the fact that it is user-friendly. It really connects inter-departmentally. It just seemed to make the most sense. Ms. Hernandez said that she thought it was important that she wasn’t the only one making the decision or just Steve and her. Everyone using it should have some input. She stated they have done their due diligence when choosing computer software, if it’s something the Council decides to move forward with in the future. Mr. Forbes said that he appreciated Ms. Hernandez’s comment, and that we would now move on to the next presentation. B. Roadway Impact Fee Mr. Forbes introduced the speaker for the Roadway Impact Fee as Mr. Tagi Arshami. Mr. Arshami gave handouts to the Council members. He introduced himself as part of the ARSH Group, a planning/consulting firm. Mr. Arshami said he is here today to present something that we are somewhat familiar with, an Impact Fee concept. We already have a Park Impact Fee. This is allowed by state statute. What services they are looking to hopefully provide us with is to institute a Road Impact Fee. A Roadway Impact Fee is another impact fee that a lot of other communities, primarily suburban and growing communities in Indiana, in recent years have instituted. It is similar to the Parks Impact Fee. It is a fair share type of concept. That means that the people who use those roads, or create the needs for those roads will have to pay for it. Mr. Arshami explained that there is a certain amount of process they have to go through to determine what that impact is. In the case of Road Impact Fee, the basis for that would be the number of trips that are generated by any particular use. First Scope Engineering works as part of their team. They will be doing most of the engineering, most of the capacity studies, and most of the cost estimates. Mr. Arshami’s group will be doing primarily the overall development of the process of the Impact Fee Study, as well as the land use part of it and the final product. There is a lengthy process. It is included in the handout. Mr. Arshami stated that he would be happy to go through the process with the Council if they feel it is necessary. Otherwise, he is ready to answer any questions. Mr. Barenie stated he wanted to touch on one quick point. The fee would be generated for new homes only. Mr. Arshami corrected this statement and said it is only for new developments, including new homes. It is for commercial and residential, although that determination could be made at some point. Certain elements can be excluded, if we choose that route. Mr. Arshami explained that the Park Impact fee only imposes conditions or fees on homes, new residential. This is both residential and commercial. Mr. Kil: Tagi, how many different levels of commercial would we be looking at? For example, professional offices are one type of category. Retail is another. Food service may be another. Mr. Arshami: American Institute of Traffic Engineers sets up a huge list of different uses ranging from small restaurants or single family homes all the way to multiplex. As a general rule there are nine (9) different categories including: residential, commercial, retail type of developments, and entertainment. We will be following those guidelines, so that’s already in place. There are factors that they provide as a part of our analysis. (intelligible) will determine the traffic and how it is generated based on these different land uses and what is currently being developed. A significant amount of our work is creating that model of determining what the number of trips is based on the land use. We are not going to go through the 200+ land uses, because you do not have many of those. As a part of the initial inventory we will identify existing land uses and potential land uses. This is based on your zoning and comprehensive plan. Mr. Kil noted to the general public that if you look at the handout, Tagi has identified three (3) communities and what type of costs a single-family home would generate. We have Zionsville, Noblesville, and Westfield as examples in Indiana. Zionsville is $1,009.00 for a single-family home. Noblesville identified a range of $517.00 to $1378.00. Mr. Kil stated he was unsure how they got those numbers. Mr. Arshami answered that because of the rural conditions of the town, the way he understands it is that there are significant portions of the town that are just rural. Mr. Kil: So you identify rural areas of the town and urban areas of the town? Mr. Arshami: Correct. That impact relates a particular area or sub-areas of the town. Mr. Kil continued. Westfield is $2,228.00. He stated that there seems to be a wide range. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Arshami to confirm those numbers are configured by trips generated as studied by the traffic engineer. Mr. Arshami confirmed that is correct. It is done by the traffic engineer based on the model. He said it is an extensive amount of work. It is driven based on the proposed land use and how it generates the amount traffic. Mr. Volk stated that there is a fee development process outlined in the handout. He asked Mr. Arshami if he could go over it. Mr. Arshami clarified that the goal of the fee development process is to determine the cost of one single trip, to the town, of this new development. That is the service unit that is measured. He explained the following process. What they do initially is determine the existing conditions, meaning the different road facilities. That includes segments of the road, intersections, and any other facilities associated with that. Then we determine the existing land use. Then, we Determine what the capacity of generated trips from that land use is. That is usually the third step. A twenty (20) acre parcel of land in a certain segment of the town will generate X number of trips; based on that type of zoning and that type of land use in the town. For all of the different land uses-we will identify it, inventory it, create the process of the trips generated and the improvements necessary to address the number of trips. Then it is figured out. For example, for 1,000 people we need X amount of road. For 10,000 people we need X amount of road. All of the numbers are combined then we get what is called a service unit. That is the cost per trip. Then, when a new use comes to the town we know, based on the modeling and based on the available documents, how many trips this particular type of use typically generates. Then, you multiply that by the single cost per trip. That is our process. We cannot say what that range would be at this point, because we don’t know any of these numbers. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other questions. Mr. Kil: This typically only works in a growing community, like St. John. The cost is significant, but the benefit, as you can see if you look at the examples of other communities where they charge just a single family home; and in this case, unlike the park, commercial would be impacted as well. It is hard to say what that would be. Like he said, there’s just no way to tell yet. Mr. Jorgensen: The funds accumulated are earmarked specifically for road infrastructure. Mr. Kil: That’s it. Just like the Park is for Parks; the Road is for Road. Mr. Arshami: Dedicated funds. Mr. Jorgensen: Ok, dedicated funds. Mr. Arshami, would you say for our general edification, the first portion of this is a super comprehensive traffic study? Correct? Mr. Arshami: That is correct. Mr. Jorgensen: Ok, and going down to actual usage and places traveled, correct? Mr. Arshami: Correct. Mr. Jorgensen: A traffic study like this, a comprehensive traffic study, could have multiple uses well beyond determining the impact fee, correct? Mr. Arshami: Absolutely. That’s a side benefit of this study. You are in fact getting a ten year capital improvement plan. Where you’ll know over the next ten years what your growth will be and what that cost will be. That is part of our calculations. Mr. Jorgensen: To help us plan for future road improvements, correct? Mr. Arshami: Future road improvements, yes. Mr. Kil (to Mr. Jorgensen): Another thing that we included in the engineering component of this was a complete model of the entire town, a computer model to be done. Some firms proposed it, some didn’t. I told Tagi that we need a complete model done. Everybody has to be apples to apples on this. So, that will further assist us. We will definitely have multiple benefits of this. Mr. Jorgensen: And a ten year benefit? Mr Arshami: That’s correct. Mr. Kil: Now the impact fee only lasts five (5) years and then it has to be updated. Our park is actually coming up. Tagi does our park impact fee too. This exercise would have to be undertaken every five (5) years. So, just know that going into it. The cost to update the process is not cheaper than the actual process itself. It has to be done all over again. This would be subject to challenge, obviously, depending on the charge and what we decide to cost. We would be subject to challenge by the development and building community. Mr. Jorgensen: Because this is assessed at the building -permit level. Mr. Kil: It is assessed on the building permit, yes. Mr. Barenie: Would the funds just go to new roads or to repair existing roads? Mr. Arshami: Very good question. It is only for new roads unless it is a capacity increasing on an existing road. That would be eligible. No maintenance costs can be paid with these funds. Mr. Kil: Meaning if we wanted to put a center turn down 93rd that is a capacity enhancing project, and then it would qualify. We can’t use the money to patch pot- holes. Mr. Jorgensen: In your review and preparation for this and the initial study, have you taken a look at the success rate that Zionsville, Noblesville, and Westfield have had with theirs? Mr. Arshami: I have talked to them and, without naming any particular community, one of them was very pleased with their progress. They did say that initially they had some issues, but this was their first impact fee. They had no experience with impact fees. You have had experience for fifteen (15) years with impact fees. So, they had some challenges, but by and large they have been satisfied with the results. The comments that one of them made was that since these dollars are directly used for road development, after a couple years the people will suddenly begin to see the results of what they have paid much better than the other type of impact fee because this is a road that would not have been there. Mr. Jorgensen: We have all reviewed this and looked at the other communities, but when reviewing this are you able to get a general idea of how quickly these communities re-coop their initial investment for the impact fee? Mr. Kil: Did you get any permit data from them at all? Did you ask that question? Mr. Arshami: We looked at some of their permit data, yes. We are heading towards the end of the recession that we have had. So there have been some issues. The best criteria or the best factor would be the number of residential units. If we take that into account, in your case, you had only 200 residential units and if you multiply that by just residential, in just the course of one year you will be paying off. Mr. Jorgensen: In just one year right? Based upon our current growth? Mr. Arshami: Based upon your current growth, yes. Mr. Jorgensen: Given the general numbers that we have here and that the other communities have re-cooped from the fees. I am just reiterating this in boiled down terms, so that everybody understands where we are at here and just how quickly the investments have and could, especially in a community in St. John, be re-cooped. Mr. Kil: We would spend a year making our money back then the next four (4) we could put towards projects. That’s what it amounts to at our current growth rate. Mr. Jorgensen: How much better is this than a wheel tax? Mr. Arshami: The development could still go up much higher. We have been talking to Mr. Austgen and he has been involved in several of these communities. We have been in a community here and in one year they had 700 and this was 2007. So, that number can add up significantly. Mr. Kil: We are at a little over 200 a year. We have been at a pretty steady growth, some years 200, 210, or 220. Back in the hay day we had 400 which is too many in my opinion. If you look at our future lot inventory and what has been coming before our plan commission, people develop a lot but they don’t go crazy like they used to. People develop now in a more controlled manner. Instead of blowing out a subdivision with 500 homes, they do 50 at a time to see how it goes. The development that’s coming and the lot inventory that’s going to be available, provided the economy holds up, we should be ok. It is a big initial investment though, guys. What is it $250,000.00, right Tagi? Mr. Arshami: correct Mr. Kil: $250,000. The vast majority of it wouldn’t be going to Tagi it would be going to the engineer’s. We contract with him, though, not directly with the engineers. I think you guys have seen numbers from engineers its expensive. Mr. Arshami: It is not $250,000 it is $211,000. Mr. Jorgensen: The commercial entities are also a part of this and they will pay a higher percentage. Mr. Arshami: Based on the trip generation of those commercial uses. The best example of that is a restaurant. Typically a restaurant can generate 10-15 times more than a residential trip generation. So by the same number their amount of fee would be much higher. The amount of fee also depends on the size. We will determine the fee by 1000 square feet and how many trips are generated per 1000 square feet. The larger the facility the larger the amount of fee because larger the amount of trips. Mr. Kil: I would think that when we look to recapture our investment we leave commercial out of it and just look at residential. I would look at commercial as just a bonus, because we don’t have a great deal of it. Although, we are entertaining a project now, but the residential is used as our barometer in this community, because we are primarily a residential community. Mr. Jorgensen: Then we also have discretion once the parameters are set as to what to set the rate at? Mr. Kil: You can’t go above the rate that Tagi sets in the study. He sets a ceiling. You can go anywhere below the ceiling but you cannot go above. Mr. Forbes: We did the same thing with the Park impact fee. We dropped it down a bit, because it seemed a bit excessive at the time. Mr. Barenie: The comment that Steve you made that it is mandatory that after five years we have to do this again? Mr. Kil: It’s mandatory by state law. Mr. Barenie: So we have to do the $211,000.00 every five (5) years? Mr. Kil: Or $220,000.000 if the price went up, yes. Mr. Arshami: It’s not mandatory, but if you want to continue the fee, yes. It expires after five (5) years. Mr. Kil: It’s mandatory if we want to keep the fee in place. Like our parks, it will be coming up next year. So, I will be coming in front of you guys and our park now is only $10,000.000 or 12 or 15 grand. Not near what this one is. This will be my sixth park impact fee that I have done in my career. So, Mark, you are right every five (5) years if we don’t want the fee to lapse. If it is generating funds I would assume we would do it every five (5) years. Mr. Forbes: What is the next step here on this? Mr. Kil: The next step would be to authorize the project to commence. Tagi has given us a fee of $211,000.000. You guys have been provided with all the cost estimates, so a vote to start the impact fee process and employ the ARSH Group. I would need a vote from the Town Council to get moving. Mr. Forbes asked if there was a motion to that effect. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie asked for a pause to finish one more calculation. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none. PUBLIC COMMENT: Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment. P U B L I C C O M M E N T Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street: Mr. Swets started by saying that his first comment was one that he raised at the last meeting. He asked Mr. Forbes to have an opportunity for discussion when there is a motion and a second followed by a vote. Mr. Swets did not hear that and he thinks it would be beneficial to follow those guidelines. His second comment involves him looking for minutes that he did not have. He stated that online the last minutes that are recorded there are the November 2015 Council minutes. Mr. Swets asked that those be updated. Ms. Hernandez told Mr. Swets that she puts them on her online calendar. Mr. Swets believed that not everybody has access to that calendar. Ms. Hernandez explained that if you go to the town website and go to her Clerk-Treasurer tab there is an option to click on her calendar. From there the meeting minutes can be found. Mr. Swets asked that she post the calendar, so that everybody could have access. Mr. Jorgensen asked for the website. Ms. Hernandez: www.stjohnin.com Mr. Swets thanked Ms. Hernandez and then continued with his last comment. He wanted to speak about the comprehensive plan and thoroughfare plan. He knows there is a public hearing scheduled for July 6th, but this has been out for a while. He wanted to mention, again, that the number of stoplights on the plan is unbelievable. If you have traveled 41 or Main Street by Schererville you probably know what it is like to be stuck in traffic and the frustration that comes with it. If we add five or six stoplights to 41 we are going to have exactly the same thing. Mr. Swets said that there’s a stoplight at 97th right now and we’re proposing another one at 96th and he opposes that. The one at 97th should be sufficient. The plan highlights using frontage roads to minimize the need for controlled intersections and that should be utilized there. The lights need to be spaced farther apart. A light at Joliet Street would be a better solution for the safety for the residents of St. John. Mr. Swets said that is what he would like to see. Mr. Forbes stated that for the record the stoplights shown on the comp plan are potential stoplights. They are not set in stone. It is just to show where stoplights could be, and how if one is put in it affects the others. He added that we cannot put a stoplight in on Joliet Street because of the distance between 93rd and Joliet Street. This is just concept for planning for the future. We are saying here is an opportunity or here is a potential site for stoplights. It is not to say that we are putting six stoplights in. Mr. Forbes said that is why they are focusing so much on the frontage roads system; to eliminate the traffic going in and out of the commercial developments to 41. Mr. Swets said he understands that, but then why would we need one at 96th when we already have one at 97th. Mr. Forbes answered that it is just concept. Mr. Jorgensen added that it is just concept, and that Mr. Birlson brought up the exact same point at the last Plan Commission meeting. Mr. Forbes had addressed it then as well. Mr. Jorgensen explained that with potential concept sites one affects the other. So, if one is put one place you cannot put another directly adjacent, if that is the correct word. He said that is the concept plan and not the proposed plan. Mr. Swets stated that there is also a concept that is going to wipe his neighborhood out and he is repeatedly told that it is just a proposed. Yet, when Mr. Swets sees it on paper he still worries about it. Mr. Jorgensen said he could understand that. Mr. Jorgensen reiterated that Mr. Birlson raised the same point and it was addressed effectively. Mr. Swets said he was out of town and was sorry he missed it. Mr. Jorgensen said not to be sorry, but that Mr. Birlson does have the notes and could explain it to him. Mary Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road : Ms. Robert brought a newspaper and a poster board up to the podium with her. Ms. Robert stated that she was very, very disappointed when everybody was putting out their summer information. She acknowledged her poster board which had newspaper articles posted on it. Ms. Robert said that the few articles were all that St. John put out. She showed her stack of newspaper and stated that those were what the surrounding towns and cities put out. She said Winfield was even able to put something together and (holding up poster board) that is all St. John could do? Ms. Robert said that our posting, based on 1000 replies, was totally absurd. She added that she is very disappointed in St. John that we are doing nothing for our bi-centennial. Ms. Robert said our Park Department needs to get up to “snuff”. We need to have day-camps for our kids and be more proactive with the children. We built this town up and who is to say that the kids will want to stay. What will the next generation stick around here for? The jobs are leaving. We have to build this town up so they want to stay here. Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive: Mr. Blazak said he had two comments. Firstly, no one asked or stated what the initial cost of the software system would be. Nobody mentioned what the overall cost is. Mr. Blazak noted that Mr. Barenie asked what the maintenance fee would be- $26,000. Mr. Barenie stated that was on the back page (referred to the presentation handout). Mr. Blazak replied that they don’t have that information, which is why he asked what the initial cost of the module will be. Ms. Hernandez stated to Mr. Blazak that at this point they have not decided on what components the software would include. Mr. Blazak said he now understood that they are just looking and have not yet decided, so there is no cost in place yet. Mr. Barenie added that on the handout they just have everything that is possible listed and the pricing. Mr. Blazak asked what the total cost for everything possible would be. Ms. Hernandez answered that off the top of her head it would cost $250,000 for everything included. Mr. Blazak noted that Mr. Barenie was on top of it with the maintenance fees and upgrades because you can really get stuck there with software companies. Mr. Blazak’s second comment regarded the Roadway Impact Fee. He understands that it is in the planning phase. He noted Mr. Kil’s knowledge of laws pertaining to Impact fees. Mr. Blazak asked Mr. Kil if there is a law pertaining to who pays this fee. He asked why the developers shouldn’t be asked to pay this fee upfront for all the lots they have under their developments. Why should we have to wait for the building permits? Mr. Kil explained by comparing it to parks. He said that just because you develop a subdivision doesn’t mean that the people that are moving in are utilizing the parks. You cannot assess someone for something until they have utilized it. Mr. Kil said the way it was explained to him was that if you charge the developer for 200 lots and the 200 lots sat there, he would pay an impact fee for people who are not utilizing or affecting the parks. That is the thought process. Mr. Blazak: So basically what you are saying is the per- permit or per- building the actual cost falls directly to the builder who builds it, who in turn gets it from the home owner? So, the developer walks away scott free and doesn’t pay anything for the road impact for building that development? Mr. Kil answered that depends on what the Plan Commission does. The Plan Commission can require they make improvements above and beyond anything that we would collect off of the impact fees. Most developers will put parks in their subdivisions knowing that we collect fees from each house. Mr. Kil stated that he envisions something like that taking place. Mr. Blazak said the point he is trying to make is that we should try and get as much money for the town and for the taxpayers who are already residents here. We should get the money upfront and in our pockets, so that we can make the roads and improvements that are necessary as the developments are on-going. Mr. Kil said that we used to do that in the early 90’s. He was one of the first ones that were taken to court for it and got destroyed miserably. Mr. Blazak said that was why he was asking. He wanted to know if things were being done this way because it is the law. Mr. Kil said they were told at that time that they did not follow the impact fee statute. In the state of Indiana the statute must be followed. Mr. Jorgensen added that we are constrained by the law in how this is collected. Mr. Blazak said that the point he is making is that if we are going to have to do something like put lanes in on 93rd we should get the money as up front as possible. This way we have the money at our disposal to do the developments as they are coming along. Four or five years from now you’re collecting $2,000 a house. In five years it will be more of a cost and the road work won’t have been done, because you don’t have enough money in the fund. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Blazak that his time was up and he appreciated his thoughts. Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Blazak and told him that it is a cumulative process. Joe Hero 11723 South Oakridge Drive: Mr. Hero stated that he would like to oppose putting in a light at 96th Lane. He explained that the input road on the west side is too small. The way the print shown from Boyer looks like it is going to exit on to Joliet, so he is opposed to that whole idea. He believes we should reexamine Joliet, because that is where the light should go. Mr. Hero said his other point was for Mr. Jorgensen. He asked Mr. Jorgensen if it is true that his wife has applied to be a Hammond City Judge. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero what that has to do with the Town of St. John. Mr. Hero said it has to do with Mr. Jorgensen’s position on the board and what he is voting for. He asked that Mr. Forbes let him speak. Mr. Forbes said he would not let him speak on that topic. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Jorgensen if that means that he will be moving out of town. Mr. Forbes reiterated that has nothing to do with the Town of St. John. Mr. Hero said we needed to know when he is voting on this stuff if he is a long-timer or if he is going to move out. Mr. Forbes said he is in Town now and he is a Councilmen, so what is the issue? (General Discussion Ensued) Mr. Hero stated to Mr. Jorgensen that to his understand Mr. Jorgensen received a contribution from Mike Pence of Indiana for $500.00. He asked Mr. Jorgensen if he thinks that will embarrass the governor if he appoints Mr. Jorgensen’s wife as Judge. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hero to take his politics outside. Mr. Hero said his other fee was the Impact fee, because it is wasting money. The Plan Commission has the power to make the developer’s do it now. He stated that if we wait until this accumulates for many years we won’t be able to afford a road; we will have to move the utilities and everything else. He added that this is the fault of the Plan Commission for not making developers widen the roads as they go. We shouldn’t be putting that fee on future developments. Mr. Hero’s other question is the same thing with the Lift Station. If we need the Lift Station for future development, we shouldn’t be paying for that out of our own funds. That should be assessed to the developer. Mr. Hero stated that he would like to remonstrate against 1628, the establishment of a cumulative fire fund. He believes the town wastes a lot of money. We can put funds in there from taxes we have already received. He stated we should do away with that ordinance. Ms. Hernandez stated that there is no one else signed in for public comment. Public Hearing: Mr. Forbes stated that the next item is the public hearing. This is to establish Ordinance No. 1623 the re-establishment of the Cumulative Fire Fund. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if the proofs of publication were in order. The Council corrected Mr. Forbes that the Ordinance was No. 1628. Mr. Forbes corrected his statement. A. Ordinance No. 1628, re-establishment of Cum Fire Fund. 1. Proofs of Publication- Town Attorney Mr. Austgen stated that the proofs of publication are in evidence. They have been timely published. Notice of this public hearing is properly made. 2. Opening Remarks- Town Manager Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil for opening remarks. Mr. Kil stated that this is not a new fund. Mr. Kil asked Chief Willman how long the fund has been in place. Chief Willman stated that he has been here for 20 years and it was in place then. Mr. Kil explained that the Cum Fire Fund is a cumulative fund that has a very small tax rate attached to it. Formerly it was called Cum Fire Equipment. The fund is used solely to buy Fire Department equipment and nothing else. It is used to support our local Fire Department. Mr. Kil said that without this fund he doesn’t know how we would be able to buy fire trucks and things of that nature, because we are contemplating a new fire truck right now and the initial down payment would come directly out of the Cum. Fire Fund. Mr. Kil reiterated that the fund goes one-hundred percent to the fire department, and it is not a new fund. We have had it for 20+ years. Every now and then we have to re-establish a fund, because the assessed value of the town grows or tax rates drop; as we have enjoyed in St. John for quite a while. Mr. Kil stated that all we are doing right now is re- establishing a fund that has been in place for 20+ years and that will goes solely to the fire department. Mr. Kil told Mr. Forbes that is the easiest way to explain it. Mr. Forbes asked the council if they have any questions or comments before he opens the floor to public comment. Mr. Jorgensen asked Chief Willman if we needed fire equipment. Chief Willman answered that we do. Mr. Jorgensen said that he wanted to establish that we do in fact need fire equipment for the safety of our town and its residents. Chief Willman added that we need fire equipment but we also need to maintain the equipment that we have and make it last. He said it is not just buying new equipment. We have fire trucks that are going on 30 years old, and they require constant maintenance. They have to pass UL every year. Mr. Kil added that we do need turnout gear, air packs, and a rescue truck we bought. Mr. Forbes said that the problem isn’t the upkeep on the vehicles. It is more of a problem keeping them certified. The older they get, even though we upkeep them and they perform the way they should, they change standards and it is tough to keep them updated. Chief Willman explained that they needed an 80 foot ladder on there (the truck) and it passed. Two years later they came back and it didn’t pass and it hadn’t even been off of the truck. He said it’s because the standards change. Mr. Forbes said he has seen comments online where people are of the opinion that you can throw a coat of paint and some new tires on the vehicle and you will be set. That is not the case. Chief Willman said we have to do pump testing annually, UL tests on the ladders every other year, (unintelligible). Those things happen every year. Mr. Jorgensen directed a question to Mr. Kil, because of his experience in doing this. He asked Mr. Kil if there is a cheaper or more efficient way to accumulate funds for the purchase and maintenance of fire vehicles, other than this? Mr. Kil stated absolutely not. He said he is basically asking for $0.03 per $100.00 of assessed value. That will generate roughly $300,000.00 a year for the Fire Department. It helps purchase equipment and to certify equipment. We are looking at purchasing a new vehicle. Mr. Kil asked how old the truck, that the council authorized to bid out, is. Chief Willman answered that it is the one they are replacing and it is 34 years old. The other two are 22 years old. Mr. Kil noted that he doesn’t know how Chief Willman does it, but he makes them last for over 30 years. Chief Willman said its constant maintenance and being able to pass ratings and tests. Mr. Jorgensen asked Chief Willman if he would say this is then essential to keep the Fire Department in St. John up to speed. Chief Willman answered that it most certainly is. 3. Open the Floor to Public Comment Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public hearing. Joe Hero 11723 South Oakridge Drive: Mr. Hero stated that to his understanding Ordinance No. 1852 was established in 1990. Now we are re-establishing it. The way that he understands the statute is that based on this ordinance people will have to file personal property tax if they do not meet the exemption by May 15th. Mr. Hero asked how it is that we have made it since 1990 until today without this fund. He asked where the money has been going and why we are re- establishing it now. Mr. Hero said to his understanding it is Ordinance No. 1852. Why didn’t we do this last year or the year before; have we gone 26 years without this fund? Mr. Forbes answered that we have not gone without this fund. This fund has been in place and its collection rate has been diminishing over the years. What we are doing is re-establishing that fund rate. We have been collecting this money all along. This money has always gone to the Fire Department. It has always been used to improve the safety of the residents of St. John. Mr. Hero asked why we are re-establishing it now. Mr. Austgen referenced Mr. Hero to statute 36-08-14. Mr. Austgen said that we have this fund. The terms establish, re- establish, and continue are statutory terms. They come directly from that statute. This fund exists. It has continued to exist. It has never been repealed. It has never been eliminated. It has never been stricken. It is a statutory mechanism in this statute to re- establish the rate, not to exceed .0333 per 100. That is what this does specifically. Mr. Hero asked Mr. Austgen to explain how the rate has diminished. Mr. Austgen explained that as AV changes and over time the rate reduces for these cum funds. Mr. Austgen added that this isn’t the only cum fund we have. Mr. Kil explained that it works just like a normal tax rate; when your assessed value raises, your rates lower. Mr. Kil said that is what we enjoy in St. John. Our assessed value keeps rising, so our tax rates keep going lower. Over time the 0.0333 per hundred will go down to 0.031. Then down to 0.029. It slowly diminishes over time, because the assessed value is going up. Mr. Kil stated that this is why we re-establish it back to 0.0333. Mr. Austgen added or not to exceed. Mr. Kil said that is what keeps the money healthy for the fire department. Mr. Hero asked what the rate is now. Mr. Kil answered that it is probably around 0.01, because we are collecting about $100,000.00 per year. That is about a third. Mr. Hero asked if that money was inadequate. Mr. Kil answered that yes, it is inadequate. Mr. Hero asked by how much that money is inadequate. Mr. Kil said by approximately $200,000.00. Mr. Hero said he is going to research it. He stated that for the public hearing he would like to remonstrate against it. He said we would all like to support our fire department. They do a good job, but he thinks we spend enough money by blowing it in other places. Such as retiring people, giving them bonuses, and not reducing the jobs here. Mr. Hero believes that there is money here that can be appropriated for the fire department. Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Hero and asked him to let everyone know when he finds it. Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive: Mr. Blazak asked Mr. Kil to give him a ball park amount of how much is in the fund currently. Mr. Kil said he just looked at it and there is roughly $200,000. Mr. Blazak said his next question has to do with impact fees and the law. He asked if there is a law against St. John creating an impact fund for fire. He added that there has been talk about fire stations for the last year. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Blazak if he was asking for them to create an impact fee for fire instead of a cum fund. Mr. Blazak said that his point is if they can be co-mingled. Mr. Kil said no they can’t. Mr. Austgen said the provisions of Indiana Code 3674-1300 series is a long lengthy 40- part series. It provides that impact fees are for specific purposes: roads, sewers, water, bridges, and storm drainage. Mr. Austgen said his point in saying that is so Mr. Blazak understands that there is a specific purpose for impact fees. Mr. Blazak said what he is speaking about specifically is that we know that at some point St. John is going to need another fire station on the other side of town. Whether it is in five years or eight years from now, it is not going to cost $100,000.00. It will cost millions to build a new fire station that is completely loaded and ready to go. Mr. Blazak asked what opportunity we have to start putting money aside, so the town and taxpayers don’t have to spend five million dollars. He added that in reality the developers are bringing people into town and bringing homes to town. These people are going to need to be protected by the fire department and the police department. We will probably need a police attachment to the fire department, and where is the money to pay for it. Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Forbes if he could explain to Mr. Blazak. Mr. Austgen said that there is a statutory mechanism, and there is another statutory section that provides, what is called, CCD, CCDF; we have dealt with that here before. That is a fund that is set aside by a special segregation of the levy, so that’s special projects such as: fire stations, buildings, structures, capital equipment including fire vehicles or sewer vac trucks can be funded or purchased. It is a segregated and non-reverting fund statutorily prescribed very specifically and follows a procedure just like we are doing here. Mr. Blazak asked why we don’t do that. Mr. Kil said we do have one and we use it to buy the snow plows. Mr. Blazak said his point is that he is trying to plan for the future. The only way to do that is to get these funds established. Mr. Kil said that is why we have them. We are not establishing them; we are re-establishing them. Mr. Blazak asked where the funds come into play when a developer comes into town and says he wants to develop 100 units. Mr. Kil stated that the only funds we have towards a fire station right now is a $400,000.00 commitment, from a developer, to build a fire station next to the assisted living facility. He added that we are not ready to staff that station. Therefore, we don’t want it there yet. Mr. Kil explained that the cum fire fund could be used for buildings or equipment. Mr. Blazak said that he is interested in the taxpayers not having to pay for it out of their dollars five or ten years from now, when we know now we are going to need it. Mr. Kil stated that he does not know another mechanism. Mr. Blazak said that if we are not putting money in these funds we need to get after it. Mr. Kil said that Chief Willman is probably the most penny pinching guy you will meet. Ms. Hernandez stated she would attest to that. Mr. Kil said Chief Willman doesn’t waste money. If he could save money from that cum fire fund for a rainy day he would. Mr. Blazak said that he wants the money in there to build the fire station, so that when it comes time and they need five million they don’t have to go to the tax payers. (General Discussion Ensued.) Mr. Forbes told Mr. Blazak that his point was well taken. He asked If there were any other public comments. Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street: Mr. Swets asked who determines or sets what the rate of the tax will be. Mr. Kil said the state. Mr. Swets said no, the state says it cannot be more than the rate of 0.0333, unless, that is the rate they are going to set. Mr. Kil said yes that is the rate they are going to go to; that is what it says in the ordinance. Mr. Swets said based on what the Council was saying, we are only collecting $100,000.00 now. What he found on the internet was that based on the 2010 Census there were 500,000 houses in St. John, 4,425 families residing in the town, and the median home value was $255,000.00. He added those numbers up at 0.0333 per hundred and it came out to $84.78 per household. That would mean we collected over $400,000.00. Mr.Kil stated that those numbers have nothing to do with it. It is based on our assessed value. Mr. Swets said he understands it is assessed value and he missed a step. Assessed value of the homes is $254,600.00. Mr. Kil said no. It is the assessed value of the town. He said the FA did the numbers. Mr. Forbes stated that what Mr. Kil had said was that we are collecting $100,000.00 now at the diminished rate. When it is re-established we should be collecting somewhere in the range of $300,000.00. Mr. Swets asked if it has anything to do with the value of his home. Mr. Kil answered that it has to do with the assessed value of the community. The Town has an assessed value as a whole. Right now we are just over a billion dollars. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Swets to remember that the tax rate now is diminished. Value goes up and tax rates drop. Mr. Swets asked if this was a tax that was going to be charged on top of what he pays now. Mr. Kil said no; this is what everybody in town is currently paying right now. Mr. Swets: it’s just going to go up, though. Mr. Kil said it is going to be re-established. Mr. Swets said he doesn’t like extra or new taxes, so he would like to remonstrate against this. He thanked the Council for their explanation. Mr. Forbes stated that just to be clear this is not a new tax; it is a re-establishment. Mr. Swets said it is an increase. Mr. Jorgensen said that it is not. It is a re-establishment. At one point he was paying this exact amount and then at one point he wasn’t paying that exact amount anymore. Now, we need to re-establish it so we can pay for fire equipment. So, in case anything burns down or is on fire, like we have seen in the past, they can fight it. Mr. Swets said that its going to cost him more this year than it did last year. Mr. Jorgensen said because you weren’t paying enough. Eric Schnieder 9190 W. 106th (Gates of St. John) Mr. Schnieder stated that he is the Town liaison for the Chamber. He has been coming to meetings and he has been listening to all the back and forth. He stated that if it costs him $87.00 more a year in taxes to have our Chief have the right equipment to come save him if something happens, by all means tax him what we need to. He sits at the meetings and the Council gets belittled and beat up over the silliest stuff. We are a community in St. John. If you don’t want to live here put your house up for sale and move. Mr. Schnieder said that was all he needed to say. Mr. Forbes made a final call for public comment. There was no further comment. 4. Closed to the Floor 5. Introduction to Fiscal Plan Mr. Forbes corrected the agenda. There is no fiscal plan. That is an annexation issue. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Austgen if they could adopt the ordinance on first reading, and then motion to adopt. Mr. Austgen said yes. Mr. Forbes stated that hearing no discussion, he will entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1628 on first reading. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. Mr. Forbes said he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1628. Motion was made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. New Business: A. Resolution No. 2016-06-23, being a resolution establishing Internal Controls to promote Government Accountability and Transparency. Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda was Resolution No. 2016-06-23. This is a resolution establishing a system of Internal Controls for the Town of St. John in Lake County, Indiana, consistent with current applicable law to promote government - accountability and transparency, and all matters related there-to. Mr. Forbes called on Ms. Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez stated that she had made mention of this last meeting. We need to have an ordinance in place by the target date from State Board of Accounts of June 30, 2016. It is stating that we plan to follow internal controls; we plan to train our employees and public officials and then become certified. Ms. Hernandez stated that all the Councilmen have watched the internal controls video, so we are ahead on that. She believes all the department heads have as well. It is very in depth. The next step is for all of the employees to watch it. Ms. Hernandez said she would use the meeting room so she can answer any questions as it relates to internal controls. It can be quite voluminous, so she foresees questions coming about. Ms. Hernandez reiterated that we do have to pass an ordinance and the target date is June 30th. Mr. Austgen added that this is mandate of the State Board of Accounts and the legislation out of the last General Assembly that just finished. The deadlines are not from Ms. Hernandez. They are established. Timelines are required. It is the update the state believes is appropriate for the transition of public sector, government accounting, and accountability. Ms. Hernandez noted that change is difficult. Being in education for several years, she has gone through this is some way. She understands that it may be difficult for some employees. We have to tighten up in not just our Town, but throughout the state of Indiana. She knows it may be a rough road as we take this on. Mr. Austgen told Mr. Forbes that this will also be fluid, because Ms. Hernandez , Mr. Kil, and the team here will have an evolution of processes. They will continue to be enhanced and expanded. It’s all for the transparency and the proper operation of the business for the public. Mr. Kil noted that they would periodically be coming in front of the council with this. Mr. Austgen said that would be his expectation. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-06-23. “So Moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. B. Ordinance No. 1625, being an ordinance approving the establishment of a Cash Reserve Fund of the Town’s Waterworks Utility. Mr. Forbes paused for discussion. There was none. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1625 on first reading. Motion was made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1625. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. C. Ordinance No. 1626, being an ordinance approving a Temporary Loan from the Waterworks Utility of the Town to the Sewage Works Utility of the Town. Mr. Forbes stated next item was Ordinance No.1626. As discussed it is a transfer from one to utility to the other for the lift station. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1626 on first reading. “So Moved,” from Mr. Hastings. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No.1626. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. D. Ordinance No. 1629, being an ordinance establishing a Rainy Day Fund. Mr. Forbes asked for questions or comments. There was no discussion. Mr. Forbes said he would like to entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1629 on first reading. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. Mr. Forbes stated he would now like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1629. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. E. Consider approval of Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement, (Officer James Turturillo) service weapon. Mr. Forbes stated the next item was an agreement regarding retired Sargent Turturillo. He asked for discussion. Hearing none Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion to approve the Indemnification and hold harmless agreement. Motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Volk. . Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE: TOWN COUNCIL Mr. Forbes asked each member of the council if they had any reports. Mr. Barenie stated he had one item. He said the public safety team gets a lot of great accolades with snow and some of the other emergencies. When Mr. Barenie was walking over to the meeting room today he saw a young man walking down Civic Road picking weeds on our street. The man was not dressed in a St. John uniform. He was dressed in shorts and just going to his kid’s baseball game. Mr. Barenie got a closer look and confirmed that it was one of our public works gentlemen. He was off-duty. He was watching his son play baseball and he was picking weeds. Mr. Barenie said he would like to thank Gabe Hernandez, because that is who it was. Mr. Barenie asked Ms. Hernandez to thank Mr. Gabe Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez said he would appreciate that Mr. Barenie noticed. Mr. Forbes stated that he had brought up the Haunted House event at the last meeting. After meeting with the consultants, it was agreed that they would accept $8,500; the same amount that they were paid last year. The Haunted House can be done this year for the same total amount as last year, $41,800. That budget includes the food and everything else. Mr. Barenie asked if the revenues are still above. Mr. Forbes said the revenues were between $8,000 and $11,000 last year. Mr. Barenie: So say we spend $40,000.00 and make $50,000.00. We take the $10,000.00 and put it in reserve fund or towards potential scholarships. Mr. Forbes said that Dollars for Scholars will still be a part of the event. We will have one Dollars for Scholars day. Mr. Forbes noted that we still make money even after the donation. It is a self re-generating event. Mr. Barenie added it is neutral or profit. Mr. Forbes mentioned you can’t put a value on what the kids get out if it. Mr. Forbes stated that with the council’s approval he would like to entertain a motion to approve the contract with the Forstyke’s in the amount of $8,500, also, to approve the budget of $41,100.00. Motion made by Mr. Barenie. Motion Seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. (General Discussion Ensued.) CLERK-TREASURER Ms. Hernandez introduced Alyssa Gallegos. Alyssa Gallegos was a former student of hers and has been a part-time employee in her office since February. Ms. Hernandez stated that the office is blessed to have her as she has been diligently working to assist in the organization of files, records, and the dreaded basement. A new task that Ms. Gallegos will be tackling is that of transcribing the minutes for the Town Council, Utility Board, and Waterworks. Ms. Gallegos completed the May minutes with Ms. Hernandez’s assistance. Minutes can be expected in a more timely manner. Ms. Hernandez stated that in the past month she and her Chief Deputy attended the League of Municipal Clerk’s Conference, the second session of the internal controls seminar, and State Board of Accounts school. The information they are learning through attending these seminars and schooling events along with the networking opportunities, have been invaluable. It has been busy, but the knowledge is great. Ms. Hernandez stated that as she comes to the end of her first 6 months in office she feels it has been a very rewarding experience. She thanked the residents for entrusting her with this position. She is enthusiastic and motivated to continue to work and serve the residents to the best of her ability. Ms. Hernandez stated it has been a great six months and she is excited to continue to serve the residents of St. John. STAFF Mr. Austgen asked for the Council’s consideration of approving the resolution of the dispute the town has with the developers of the TRAM Phase II lawsuit and subdivision. Mr. Austgen has negotiated and executed settlement documents for that, but he needs permission and authority at a public meeting. He noted the Town will recover $70,000.00. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to execute the agreement. A motion was made by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Forbes if there could be a motion made tonight to execute a conflict of waivers for the Schererville issue. Mr. Kil stated that we needed a motion to authorize Mr. Forbes to execute a waiver. Mr. Austgen suggested to Mr. Forbes that he acknowledge receipt of the notice of conflict and acceptance of waiver of same. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if a motion would be an acceptance of that. Mr. Austgen said it would be an acceptance of being notified, yes. Mr. Forbes stated he would like to entertain a motion to authorize both waivers. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none. Chief Willman stated that during the month of May 2016 the St. John Fire Department responded to 110 requests for assistance. There were 81 calls in the incorporated limits of St. John and 17 calls in the unincorporated township areas under contract with the St. John Township Trustee. There were 12 calls in District 3, which would include all other destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid responded to the Schererville Fire EMS with an ALS ambulance for residential medical emergencies X4 and with an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, motor engine and main power structure fire. Lake Hills Fire EMS with an ALS ambulance for residential medical emergency X2. The Monday night activities for the fire department included a fire training to review all the handheld portable equipment that we carry on the fire suppression vehicles: rams, chainsaws, demolition saws, ventilation equipment, hydraulic spreaders, hydraulic cutters, hydraulic rams, air bags and vehicle stabilizers, along with all of the other equipment that we may have to use when we respond. Every one of our members needs to refresh their minds and practice their skills to stay current with the abilities that they have developed. We had a fire training that served as our annual hands on review associated with motor vehicle extrication. At least one time each year we go to Stan’s Auto Yard and get the opportunity to work with retired vehicles that are provided by Stan’s. Chief Willman stated that they appreciate the working relationship they have shared for so many years with the employees at Stan’s. These annual the fire department more competent and better prepared when they arrive on the scene of a critical incident that might include life or death consequences for the victims. The Fire Department held and EMS in-service which was the second and last session of the PHTLS course (Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support). The first half was in April and the second half was in May. Activities scheduled for the last Monday in May were cancelled in observance of Memorial Day. Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Willman. Chief Kveton stated he would start with some basic statistics for May. Our officers traveled 19,583 miles and responded to 538 law incidents. This resulted in 20 adult arrests, 34 charges, and 3 juvenile arrests with 4 charges being filed. Chief Kveton gave an overview of some of the activities the Police Department has been involved in. They are currently in the process of researching and preparing a St. John Police Department Association. It will be a 5013C organization that will interact with the community for charity purposes. They will be taking charity donations in and also will provide charity back out to the community. In the past Chief Kveton has participated in organizations such as this, and has done things like a neighborhood cleanup day. It will be a good connection and interaction with our citizens. When Chief Kveton was going through his hiring and interviewing he had indicated one of the things he wanted to bring to the Town was support and assistance for our officers in case they needed someone to talk to after critical events or incidents. Chief Kveton has networked with Police Chaplains and has been familiarized with Police Chaplain’s through presentations. A man who recently moved here from Iowa introduced and volunteered himself to Chief Kveton as a Police Chaplain. There has been an extensive background check done on him and so the department will begin moving forward working with him. They are working on the policy and will begin working on implementing the Police Chaplain program. This would also be offered out for the Fire Department. Chief Kveton informed the Council that we are in the process an emergency hire. They are currently going through the process with two hires. There is a police written test being conducted on Saturday morning at the Police Department. The police department recently lost their accreditation manager to retirement. It has been posted as a civilian position to help the community save some money. It will save about $20,000 per year and will also save the cost of a vehicle. The position is a combination of accreditation manager, training manager, and a component of community outreach. Chief Kveton stated our School Resource officer that was working out of the school corporation at the high school will be coming back on the street. A new officer has been recently selected to go to the high school. That officer is Corporal Moffitt. He is a very outgoing, interactive, and knowledgeable officer. The school corporation, superintendent’s office, and Chief Kveton worked together to design the new job responsibilities and job description for that position. There have been a few threats made in the school corporation recently. One was minor, but one was very major. Chief Kveton and the school corporation have been holding school safety meetings once a month. The police department is going to assist the school corporation and all other schools in our area to host a quarterly school safety meeting. That will be in coordination with the police department and will start in the fall. It will include the Lake Central School Corporation, Hanover schools, and all the private and parochial schools. Chief Kveton stated that as of the 9th of the month he had an in-person meeting with administrators from CSX Rail Road. They assured Chief Kveton that the solution of bringing the delivery for Schilling Lumber out of Lafayette instead of Riverdale has permanently eliminated our blockages. He stated that he says that cautiously but they have assured him several times that the problem is gone. Chief Kveton said he has a crime prevention tip for everybody and asked that they share it with their neighbors. Within the last two weeks we have had gypsy traveling groups in town. They victimized one of our residents. They commit home improvement type scams. Such as, asking to re-asphalt the driveway and they use a substance that is mostly water based and will just wash away. The groups also use distraction techniques where one of them ends up going in the house and robbing it. The groups usually victimize the elderly, because they keep cash in the house. In our particular case, a resident was able to identify the family group and get their license plate number. The police department is working on getting them identified and recovering the cash lost to the victim. Chief Kveton stated that earlier in the year we were having a series of burglaries of about one or two a week. All of the surrounding communities were experiencing this as well. Thankfully, some residents in Hobart called the police. The police got four of them in custody and were able to recover a huge amount of proceeds in their residence. Two or three of our victims have identified some of those proceeds that were recovered. Chief Kveton asked that everyone keeps their cars, doors, and windows locked. If something doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t, so please call the police. Call 9-1-1 for any police service. PAYMENT OF THE BILLS: Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. There is a seven page docket with an amount of $1,543,929.50. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “I’ll make that motion to pay the bills,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Forbes wished everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July. He asked that everyone be respectful of their neighbors and clean up their mess afterwards. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none. (The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

08-25-2016 Town Council

August 25, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the August 25, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:13 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings, Christian Jorgensen, and Greg Volk. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief Willman and Chief Kveton were present. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: July 28th, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated the first item was the approval of the meeting minutes from July 28th, 2016 and asked for any questions. There were no questions on the minutes. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. “So Moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0/1). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none. Abstention---one. Mr. Volk was absent at last month’s meeting.

Proclamation-Constitution Week

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item was on the agenda was Constitution Week which is the week of September 17-23, 2016.

Whereas, The Constitution of the United States of America, the guardian of our liberties, is a product of reflection and choice, embodying the principles of limited government in a Republic dedicated to rule by law, not by men; and

Whereas, September 17-23, 2016 marks the two hundred twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the 1787 Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, It is fitting and proper to accord official recognition to this magnificent document and its memorable anniversary, and to the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate this grand occasion, and

Whereas, Public Law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of this great country designating September 17 through 24 as Constitution Week,

Therefore I, Michael S. Forbes as Town Council President, do hereby proclaim the week of September 17th through 23rd, 2016 as

Constitution Week

And ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, to be affixed at 7:00 P.M. this 25th day of August in the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen and the Independence of the United States of America.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council if there is a motion to approve the proclamation. “So Moved,” from Mr. Volk. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Swearing-In Ceremony: Officer Paige Hickenbottom.

Mr. Forbes stated that we would now proceed with a Swearing-In ceremony for Officer Paige Hickenbottom. He called on Ms. Hernandez to begin the ceremony.

Ms. Hernandez said that she wanted to start by saying that it is an honor for her to administer this Oath to our newest member of the St. John Police Department, Paige Hickenbottom. Ms. Hernandez added that she has no doubt that she will be an asset to our Police Department and our community. She said that Officer Hickenbottom has her utmost support in this endeavor. Ms. Hernandez asked Ms. Hickenbottom to please raise her right hand and repeat after her. Ms. Hickenbottom raised her right hand and repeated the following:

I, Paige Hickenbottom, upon my Oath do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Indiana, and that I will faithfully, honestly, and impartially discharge all my duties as a police officer of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, to the best of my skill and ability so help me God.

Chief Kveton stated he would like to introduce two other people that they are bringing on today: Mr. Roger Patz and new Police Department Chaplin, Mr. Jeff DeBoer. Chief Kveton stated that Mr. DeBoer originally lived in this area some time ago, and then he moved down to Iowa. While he was in Iowa, he became a Chaplin for the community there and he found it very rewarding. When he moved back up to this area, he felt the calling to continue that service. Mr. DeBoer approached Chief Kveton several months ago with this idea. Chief Kveton stated we have not ever had a Police Chaplin here in St. John. Chief Kveton said at that time, they had decided to start working on policy, and at the time, he was talking to our Town Manager Steve Kil about getting some assistance for our officers when they need someone to talk to, and the Police Chaplin seemed to fit right into that idea. So, they wrote policy, they prepared, and now they bring on Mr. Jeff DeBoer today. Chief Kveton welcomed him to the St. John Police Department.

Chief Kveton stated another change they are making is they are in the process of bringing two officers on, Officer Hickenbottom and one other officer who is working through the final steps in the process. In that process of bringing those two sworn officers on, they created a new position called the Accreditation Training Community Outreach Manager. Chief Kveton mentioned our ATC is Mr. Roger Patz. He was selected through an interview and testing process. He comes to us from the Cedar Lake Police Department where he served about 35 years. He served in just about every position there is in the Cedar Lake Police Department; from patrolman all the way through the ranks including Chief. Chief Kveton stated Mr. Patz has a great deal of experience and local knowledge that he brings to our department. Mr. Patz is very experienced in training and policy making, and he will be a wonderful addition to the St. John Police Department. Chief Kveton explained that Mr. Patz will assist us in the future moving forward by giving us a civilian person; thereby, bringing up one of the replacement sworn officers to help us with our manpower on the streets. Chief Kveton welcomed Mr. Roger Patz.

Chief Kveton added that throughout all of these processes there are a few groups he would like to thank. He thanked Town Council for giving him the authority to do these hires. Chief Kveton stated the Police Commission helped out a great deal during the interviews and the testing they went through for all of the officers. He stated they spent a lot of their own time and volunteered their own time doing that work. Chief Kveton thanked Mr. Luke Lukasik for filling in on policy making during this process. Chief Kveton also thanked the Town Clerk-Treasurer’s office. He said Ms. Hernandez changed some schedules and made it possible to swear Paige Hickenbottom in a week or so ago and get her training started before we were able to come to Town Council. Chief Kveton said thank you to everyone for their assistance today in getting these steps approved as well.

Public Comment:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

Ms. Hernandez called Mr. Tom Parada from the comment sign-in sheet. Mr. Parada said he no longer had any comment. She called Mr. Gerry Swets.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Mr. Gerry Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets addressed an article that he read yesterday out of the Post-Tribune. The article talked about 121 northern Indiana cities, towns, and counties that received funding for local roads. Mr. Swets stated that, in fact, 23 units in Lake and Porter County received funds, and a few of them received a maximum of one million dollars. The article listed all the towns and municipalities and such that received funds. Crown Point got one million dollars. Lowell got one million dollars. There were a number of them that got one million dollars. Griffith got $800,000 and so on. It listed all of them, and it didn’t say anything about St. John. Mr. Swets asked the Council where is our money and what are they doing about it. He said these were matching funds that were available to us up to one million dollars. Mr. Swets asked the Council if they had discussed this at all in their executive sessions. He asked if we can anticipate seeing matching funds coming in from the State. Mr. Forbes answered, “Yes”. Mr. Swets asked for an idea of how much we can expect to receive. Mr. Forbes said that it is in progress, and that he was going to bring it up shortly. Mr. Swets told Mr. Forbes he is sorry he stole his thunder. Mr. Swets asked again if the Council has been talking about it in their executive sessions. Mr. Forbes said they have been talking about it, yes.

Mary Therese Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Ms. Robert said that, unfortunately, Mr. Swets beat her to it because that was going to be something she discussed. She said that she asked at the March 26th 2016 meeting about when we were going to get on board with the ethics. Where are we? She said that she asked again in January of 2016. Again, where are we? Ms. Robert said that the only report she has seen in The Times is that Lake Station has joined. Why are we behind? Why are we not willing to be ethical and sign this? Ms. Robert said that she is confused by this. Today is her third time requesting. Ms. Robert then commented on the landscaping in front of the Town Hall. She said that it is a shame. Ms. Robert called after the last Town Council meeting requesting to clean up the weeds. She added that this is a person’s first impression of our Town, and it looks like that. She said that it was a shame on all of the Council members. Ms. Robert also requested the wetlands to be cut near her house. She is not sure what they used, but there are sharp branches sticking out right over the sidewalk. In the evening, someone walking by can easily be injured. Ms. Robert said that she hopes that will be addressed, and that the landscaping will be taken care of, so that it will look like the bedroom community that we so call ourselves.

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak asked who on the Council has the most expertise on the Park Department. He stated that he has a simple question. He is a resident of St. John, and he has been for over 40 years. He recently was required to pay $100 to rent Prairie Park, and also add another $100, which he can understand that if you do damage or something. Mr. Blazak asked why, as a resident of St. John where he pays his taxes, does he have to pay $100 to rent a park in his Town? Mr. Kil responded that he does not have to do that, but it is to secure the pavilion. Mr. Blazak said that the Clerk’s office told him that it was required to rent the park. Mr. Kil said that it is to secure the pavilion because there are a lot of people that frequent the park, so if you, for your function or family gathering wanted to reserve that pavilion and not allow any other residents who also pay taxes to use it, then you pay the $100.00 to reserve it. Mr. Kil said that is the purpose of it, but if he didn’t want to secure the pavilion he could certainly just use the park for free whenever he wanted. Mr. Blazak said that was his next question. He can understand securing the pavilion; he has no problem with that, but, if that is the case, he can go out there when there is nobody under the pavilion and basically throw a party there for free. Mr. Kil said provided he does it under the auspices of the law. Mr. Blazak said it is the simple fact that they could have gone to the park, and they could have had the party and not have had to pay $200.00. He said he takes it that $100 deposit is for damages. Mr. Kil said yes, he believes so. Mr. Blazak wanted to clarify if it was just this park. Do you have to pay for other parks because there are no pavilions? Mr. Kil said that it depends on what park it is. There are a lot of families that will pay to use Civic Park because they will have a family softball game and they want to use the field and the pavilion. Mr. Blazak asked if it’s graded on usability and accessibility. Mr. Kil said that you wouldn’t want to use a park that has nothing in it. You would want to rent one of the larger parks that have pavilions. Mr. Kil said as an example, we typically don’t rent Tot Lot Park. Nobody will pay for Tot Lot Park. It is usually Prairie and Civic for the Town of St. John. Mr. Blazak said that he found it interesting because they checked the book and there were no bookings for Prairie Park for the entire month of July and even in August.

Eric Schnieder, 9190 West 106th:

Mr. Schnieder stated that he was here tonight to ask the Town Council to give the Plan Commission an unfavorable recommendation to approve the zoning changes in The Gates of St. John, which would approximately take away thirty (30) single –family residential lots. Those would be replaced with fourteen (14) paired condo lots. He said that if they were unaware, this is going to be coming in front of the Board next month. He believes it is the September 8th meeting. Mr. Schnieder said that, as he stated in the Plan Commission meeting last month, he thinks that we have enough town home projects taking place. With The Preserves getting ready to start, that would give us five (5) town home communities already in Town. Not to mention, the southeast corner of The Gates is already putting in sewers and streets for their cottage homes and town homes which was allocated for long before when the grand scheme of things was all being put into effect. Currently, The Gates alone has thirteen (13) units that are not sold and still for sale on the market today. Mr. Schnieder said he does not know why we would need more being allocated to them. When asked why they were looking to change the zoning, the developer, Mr. John Lotton, stated that it was where the market was going. Basically, it is all about the money in the neighborhood and not about the residents. If this is truly the case, and that is where the market is changing, why would he have spent tens of thousands of dollars over the last year to host two Parades of Homes in The Gates of St. John. Both, after talking to Vicki Gadd the executive officer of the NWI Home Builders’ Association, brought in more than 6,650 attendees; not just to The Gates of St. John, but to the Town of St. John. These last two parades was the first time since 2008 that they have had a single-site parade. These parades have been a huge success, and brought a lot of people from other communities to see what the town has to offer. That being said, it is great for the town, it is great for all of us, but if 6,000 people are coming to look at single-family homes, we need to not get rid of these extra lots to make it convenient for somebody else to put more town homes; another brand of town homes in a subdivision that’s already there. Mr. Schnieder said that he is asking that maybe this zoning won’t pass, and it can stay the residential community it was always meant to be.

There was no further comment.

New Business:

A. Ordinance No. 1631, being an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1483, repealing Section G.2 of Chapter 15.
Mr. Forbes stated that this Chapter 15 of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Forbes asked for any discussions or questions on this. Hearing no questions, Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1631. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.
B. Review South Lake County Communities Services, Inc., based on documented ridership in the Town of St. John.
Mr. Forbes stated that South Lake County Communities Services, Inc., based on documented ridership is looking for a donation in the amount of $4,332.00. Mr. Forbes asked for any questions or discussions. Mr. Volk stated that the letter is requesting $4,338.00. Mr. Kil stated that there is a typing error, and the amount they are requesting is $4,338.00. Mr. Forbes said that $4,338.00 is for the South Lake bus that comes through St. John and gives the elderly rides to their doctor’s appointments, etc. Mr. Kil added that there is a ridership list attached to their documents. From 6/1/2015 to 5/31/2016, it seems that there were a total of 1,446 rides given to various residents of St. John. He added that a lot of them are the same resident, obviously. There are maybe a dozen people that utilize this, but they have utilized it 1,446 times within the last year. Mr. Kil noted that they are asking for approximately $3.00 per ride to offset the cost of fuel and maintenance. Mr. Volk asked if that is what we gave them last year, $3.00 per ride. Mr. Kil responded that the woman is usually pretty consistent with her requests. It is not a flat dollar amount anymore. Mr. Kil noted that we do not actually cut her a check from the Town. If this is authorized, Mr. Kil will tell County to go ahead and give them that portion out of our CDBG allocation. So, it’s from the Community Development Block Grant from HUD. There won’t actually be a Town check cut; our allocation will be reduced by this amount, and it will pay for the bus service.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. He stated that hearing none he would like to entertain a motion. “I’ll make that motion,” from Mr. Volk. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barenie. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes stated that he had a couple of items he would like to start with; first, is the road projects. The Council has been contacted by Lake County because up until now they wanted to re-do Calumet Avenue next year, but they have changed their plans. They are asking that we do a joint project with them to repave Calumet Ave. from 109th to 101st. The approximate dollar amount of our involvement is $150,000.00. Mr. Forbes asked if there are any finer numbers on that.

Mr. Kil responded that number is based on the County’s bid numbers. Their bid and our bid are almost identical. Their bid numbers are a little more favorable. Mr. Kil said that he believes it is going to be in the neighborhood of $150,000.00. There are engineers calculating what the share would be from Walsh & Kelly who has our bid. Mr. Kil said it will be in that neighborhood; their bids are not far off. Mr. Forbes asked, if everyone authorized it to move forward, would it be a not to exceed $160,000.00. Mr. Kil said that he would think $165,000.00 to $170,000.00 would cover it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there are any questions on joining this project. Mr. Volk said no, he wanted to. Mr. Kil asked the Council members to remember that it is not a widening. For this amount of money, it is simply a repave, some patching, and stuff like that. It is obviously a heavily traveled road. Mr. Kil clarified that it is not a widening it is a repave, so there are no misconceptions.

Mr. Jorgensen said that there is going to be another authorization that needs to be done. There is going to be some kind of contract with County or some kind of document that we are going to have to authorize Mr. Forbes to sign or do something else when it comes up. Mr. Jorgensen stated for clarification that this is not the final bid. Mr. Kil said that was incorrect. We have a bid. We have a unit priced bid. Mr. Jorgensen: We do? Mr. Kil added that County has one too. They are using their contractor and we are using ours. Their portion is about seventy something thousand dollars, but we have two-thirds more roads than they do. Mr. Kil explained they are doing their portion, and we are doing ours. We have the northern half and they have the southern half. Our Town has incorporated that much around Calumet that is ours.

Mr. Jorgensen said that he wants this to get done this year too. He was just unsure how that money was shaping out and if we’d have to actually have some other action subsequent to this one.

Mr. Kil responded no, because the Town Council already authorized the road bid with Walsh & Kelly extension. We have a unit price bid already. County has Reith -Riley as their contractor and ours is Walsh & Kelly. They have done a good job. Mr. Kil said that originally he did not think they were going to be able to get it in this year, but it looks like they are going to be able to. Mr. Kil said that it does not really require any more action than what is here.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if that is the motion then, and if we have to include a dollar amount. Mr. Kil said that he would think that since we have a bid, it is whatever our unit price bid is. Mr. Jorgensen stated that amount or under, right? It would just be our two- thirds at our contract price. Mr. Kil said that would be the motion. Mr. Jorgensen said that is what he was trying to get to. He didn’t want to necessarily have to come back and go through another motion. Mr. Kil said that all Mr. Forbes was telling us was that it was going to cost about “this much money”, and that was based on the County bid. We are comparable. Mr. Jorgensen said that he is just trying to get the motion correct.

Mr. Austgen said to Mr. Kil that it sounds like we don’t have exact units, but we have unit pricing and the range or estimate is in the $150,000.00-$160,000.00 range. Mr. Kil said that is correct, yes. Mr. Austgen asked that the projection here for the Council’s edification, probably will not exceed, let’s say $165,000.00-$170,000.00. Mr. Kil said, again, this just came up. Our engineers haven’t given Mr. Kil the complete price yet. We have a unit price. They are out there measuring the road, measuring the length and the width, and making sure it is correct.

Mr. Austgen stated the motion would then be that they consider approving the unit pricing that has been presented to the Town, and you estimate the cost to be between $150,000.00 and $160,000.00. Mr. Jorgensen asked if we are then approving the unit price. Mr. Kil said that the Council already did. Mr. Jorgensen said ok and asked if we just move for approval. Mr. Kil responded that a move for approval to participate in the repaving of that road. He said that in the next couple of days he will have the engineer’s estimate of cost, and he fully expects it to be within that range.

Mr. Jorgensen stated for a motion to proceed with the repaving of Calumet Avenue at the unit bid price. Mr. Forbes asked for a second. The motion was seconded by Mr. Barenie. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated that the other item he wanted to address deals with the State matching grant project. Mr. Forbes sent out an email to the Council members and has asked for their consideration on the formation of a project that includes Parrish Avenue from 101st to 109th, and 101st Ave. from White Oak to Calumet Ave. Both of these roads are thoroughfares, regional roads, which is what this grant deals with. Mr. Forbes said that we need to get engineering done so that we can get the cost estimate together. The transportation asset management plan is being done as part of our impact fee, so we are good there. We just really need to get the engineering done on these roads so that we can calculate the amount of money that we need in order to propose for the matching grant. Mr. Forbes asked if everyone was ok with moving forward with this project. Some members stated that they support it.

Mr. Forbes stated that he will entertain a motion to authorize the formation of this project. Mr. Jorgensen said that he will move to authorize, and then he asked Mr. Kil how to get through this one. Mr. Kil told him that it is just going to cost a small amount of money to prepare an engineer’s estimate of cost. He knows that is what Mr. Forbes is asking for, and then that will determine what the cost of the project is. Then, we will know what our match will have to be from the engineer’s estimate of cost. Mr. Austgen clarified that is not design engineering cost; that is the engineering estimate of cost. Mr. Kil said that cost is the engineer’s estimate of cost. That is all we need to apply for the grant. Engineer’s cost estimate.

Mr. Jorgensen said that he will move for the engineer’s cost estimate for those two roads. Mr. Forbes asked if there was a second. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes said that he has one other item. He has been contacted by Chief Kveton. Chief Kveton is looking to implement an e-ticketing system in our squad cars. This system would give the officers the ability to read the back of the license plates to transfer the information to the computers, and actually print out tickets in the vehicle. Mr. Forbes asked Chief Kveton if this was correct.

Chief Kveton responded that this system would automate the ticket writing process. It self-populates through driver’s license and registration information. Mr. Forbes shared that he has seen these in the Schererville squad cars, and they look like a small printer and small handheld scanner. Chief Kveton explained that Cliff Wroe has been looking into these. The system was evaluated prior to the Chief’s arrival a year or two ago. There were problems with the software at that time but has since been resolved. This is equipment provided free to the Town by the State. It will make the officers work more efficiently. Mr. Forbes noted that he sent out an email with the information about what the cost would be to the Town in the event that the free equipment basically runs out in order to supply it to the vehicles in the future. He added that it really seems like a minimal cost.

Chief Kveton noted that this not something they are locked into. If they find that it’s not working or that it is not something that they don’t want, we are not locked into it.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were none. Mr. Forbes stated that he will entertain a motion authorizing e-ticketing. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would make a motion to authorize e-ticketing. Mr. Barenie seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Jorgensen if he had any report to share. Mr. Jorgensen said that he did. Before, on the earlier version of our script, there was going to be an appointment to the Sanitary Board. Somebody resigned. Mr. Jorgensen talked to Mr. Kil, and it was taken off because there were no applications. So, we did not have anybody to put forward for this Board; it only meets once a month. Mr. Jorgensen said that this Board needs to be balanced, and we have to have a Republican. He did look around and he found someone that is very interested in doing it. His name is Mr. Rob Kmetz. He is in attendance tonight. Mr. Jorgensen said that Mr. Kmetz is very qualified. He also has young children here in the area. He has been here for thirty-something years. Mr. Jorgensen added that he is a sanitary fellow. Mr. Jorgensen asked the Council to take a look at his application, and then make a motion to appoint him to the Sanitary District.

Mr. Forbes stated that would be fine. He asked if we needed to take action on the resignation first, or if it is accepted automatically. Mr. Austgen stated that he has always had this discussion with councils. He wonders what it would be like if they rejected it. He answered that it is good protocol, and that we have always done it here in St. John. Mr. Forbes stated that following protocol, he would like to entertain a motion to accept the resignation of Mickey Haluska from the Sanitary Board. “So Moved,” from Mr. Barenie. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he now makes a motion to appoint Robert Kmetz to the Sanitary District Board. Mr. Forbes asked if there was a second. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion to appoint Robert Kmetz to the Sanitary Board for the remaining term of Mickey Haluska. Mr. Forbes asked if everybody understood the motion. The Council replied, yes. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes asked the Council members if there were any further reports. Mr. Barenie said that one item we had talked about months ago, and what sparked his memory and he wanted to know if the project was completed, was they were talking about the multi- housing and The Gates. They had talked about looking at the whole community and the Town, and they were going to see what that percent was. Mr. Barenie was wondering if they had gotten through that and got those numbers. He said he may have missed it, but he would like to bring it up if we haven’t finished it yet. Mr. Volk said that Mr. Kil would address that. Mr. Kil said that he supplied those numbers to the Plan Commission. It has been done. Mr. Volk said that he did not have those numbers in front of him. Mr. Barenie asked if the numbers show that we are within our plan. Mr. Volk replied that we are. Mr. Barenie said ok great. Mr. Kil told Mr. Barenie he would send him the numbers.

CLERK-TREASURER
Mr. Forbes called on Ms. Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez shared that we are officially in our budget season. On August 16th, Ms. Hernandez and her staff met with the Department of Local Government and Finance for the approval of our current financial worksheets. She said that they plan to submit this information to Gateway tomorrow, so that we adhere to our August 31st deadline. Mr. Kil, Damon our F.A., and Ms. Hernandez will be meeting over the next several weeks to work on finalization of the 2017 budget for presentation to the Town Council. Ms. Hernandez said that we will be on the same schedule, she believes, as years prior. She is hopeful there will be a public hearing in September, and an adoption in October. We have to adopt by November 1st. Ms. Hernandez noted that all of this is probably only new to her, as the members have most likely been through it.

Ms. Hernandez also wanted to share with the attendees and the Council that last night, her neighbor’s fifteen-year-old son was riding his bike in their neighborhood, The Gates, and he was struck by a vehicle. It was a hit and run. He was able to get himself home, but he was scraped, bruised, and swollen pretty badly. She said that their community is very tight knit, and as one would imagine, they were shaken up pretty badly. Ms. Hernandez said thank God he is going to be ok. She wanted to use this opportunity to say that she knows everybody is busy in their lives, herself included, but she is urging everyone to slow down; pay a little more attention while driving so that these types of accidents can be prevented. They are very lucky he is going to be ok, but it definitely shook the neighborhood up.

STAFF
Mr. Forbes asked for any staff report. Mr. Austgen had none. Mr. Kil said that he is happy to have a Clerk-Treasurer to go through budget season with; one that is excited to do it. He shared that Ms. Hernandez is actually looking forward to it and it makes it kind of exciting because this is something new. Mr. Kil. He mentioned that Mrs. Hernandez is doing a good job.

(General Discussion Ensued.)

Chief Kveton said that he is going to play off of what Ms. Hernandez just said. Traffic safety is very important in this community. He said that although it is probably one of the most minor things law enforcement deals with, it is probably the most devastating. Chief Kveton told the Council that he just received a call from his cousin the other day. A friend of hers, they had just returned back from vacation together-the two couples, and Chief Kveton’s cousin called him and asked him if he could call their jurisdiction and find out what happened. What happened was that her friend Pam was riding her bicycle and was killed. She was hit on a side street intersection. It was pretty devastating.

Chief Kveton added that the Clerk-Treasurer’s office is helping the Police Station out with something. The Police Station was contacted by AAA motor club, and they provided us with banners, roadway yard signs, book marks, handouts, even guidelines for talking points for our teachers in our schools. The Clerk-Treasurer is going to provide some of those to our mailing company who sends out the water bills. They will be going out in the next billing cycle in all of the water bills to all of our residents. School started on Monday, so it is important we try to stay safe. Chief Kveton said that they receive complaints all the time about residential speeding on our side streets, and 90% of the time it is your neighbor that is speeding. He asked that we keep that in mind and talk to our neighbors, slow down and drive safe, and spread the word.

Chief Kveton said that he will briefly read the police report, and then go into some brief talking points he wanted to share. Chief Kveton read the following report:

From July 1st-July 31st 2016 the members of the St. John Police Department logged 15,732 miles on their squad cars, and responded to 535 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents led to 15 adult arrests with 34 charges beings filed; zero arrests of juveniles.

Chief Kveton stated that over the last month or so the Police Department has upgrading and updating their equipment. There is one officer that is detailed out to a combined jurisdiction squad team in Northwest Indiana. We were able to purchase some additional equipment for him like body armor and other gear that he wears around his body to protect him in case of an attack on him during an event.

Chief Kveton mentioned they are upgrading their evidence technician program. The Town has suffered a couple of burglaries earlier in the year; a couple to a church, a couple to residences, a couple gypsy type scams where people got into other people’s homes. The department outfitted all their evidence technicians with new equipment to locate fingerprints and identify surge logical type evidence, and also trace evidence. They had their first meeting and training with the evidence technicians last week. They went over all the equipment and practiced with it, so they could start to get experience with this new equipment. They are going to try to have those meetings once a month or every other month, so they can stay trained in that equipment.

Chief Kveton stated there are problems that the law enforcement has experienced since the inception of the 911 system. Originally, they touted that 911 was for emergencies; call 911 only in the case of an emergency. Now, 911 is for any police service. If you want a law enforcement officer to respond to you for any type of police service you want, whether it’s a rabid animal in the backyard, a parking complaint, an armed robbery, a homicide, no matter what it is, if you want a police officer to respond, you can’t call the seven-digit number. That number gets you the police department. You have to call 911.

Chief Kveton mentioned he handed out magnets to everyone in the audience, and they will use them at community events. It is something to remind residents that if you need police service, please call 911. He said to magnetize it to the refrigerator.

(General Discussion Ensued.)

Chief Kveton stated the next item was new people. He said that we were introduced tonight to three new people who would be working at the Police Department. He noted that he was very proud of his officers for showing up as a sign of unity today. He thanked the wonderful people they selected for St. John. Pride and Integrity; Chief Kveton said that they pick the best to serve St. John.

The Chief said that he received an email the other day that seemed to hit home, especially with the things that are going on around our nation right now. The email was sent to him August 25th at 11:00 a.m. It references the night before. Chief Kveton read the following email:

In a two hour time period between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. last night twelve people in Jennings County Indiana overdosed on what is believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl. One died. The other deaths were prevented by the administration of NARCAN. Last week Huntington, West Virginia experienced 26 heroin overdoses in a four hour period. In the first two weeks of August, Milwaukee had 20 overdose deaths. Twenty people died. This is something that we are experiencing more and more, especially in the Northwest Indiana.

Chief Kveton shared that over the last month all of our officers are trained in the use of NARCAN. NARCAN has been provided for our officers 24/7. Now, our officers carry NARCAN in the cars. So, if we respond to an overdose and we get there before the ambulance crew we can administer NARCAN to hopefully save that person’s life. We had a heroin overdose death the other day. They provide NARCAN for families now. If you have a family member who has a heroin addiction or opiate addiction, you can go and buy NARCAN over the counter. The problem with NARCAN is that it is an extremely short term fix. This is something that will save their life if they are dying of an overdose. It will immediately make them feel, almost, fine, and then they feel they don’t have to go to the hospital. The problem with that is that if you don’t take them to the hospital they are going to die, because NARCAN will only prevent the effects of opiates for a very short window. It will hit them again, and then it will be fatal. This has happened in Northwest Indiana, where they take NARCAN and they feel fine and don’t go to the hospital and then they die. Chief Kveton asked that if anyone knows someone who has this issue, and they have NARCAN and they experience and overdose and they use it; please get them to the hospital right away. Get them there right after the use. It is a very important message.

Chief Kveton thanked the Council, the Police Commission, and the Clerk-Treasurer’s office for the help with the swearing in, and the one that is coming up in the next couple of weeks. He said that he appreciates the help. Chief Kveton stated he will be asking for more help at the Police Department sometime soon.

Mr. Forbes asked Chief Willman for his report. Chief Willman gave the following report:

During the month of July 2016, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 104 requests for assistance: 73 of them within our incorporated limits, 23 within the unincorporated limits of St. John Township, and 8 calls which is all the destinations including mutual aid. Mutual aid this month was Lake Hills fire and EMS; an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries. Schererville fire and EMS with an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries. Crown Point fire and rescue with an engine and manpower for change of quarters detail X4. It was very active with us and Crown Point.

On July 11th, the St. John Fire Department was requested to provide mutual aid to Crown Point for a work and residential structure fire; twice in the morning at 7 o’clock and then again around 11:00. That same day the Crown Point Fire Department was in St. John in the afternoon to assist with a residential structure fire. Chief Willman noted that it works both ways.

Chief Willman stated they had an EMS in-service on Monday night that was a mandatory train and skills review dealing with new non-visualized airway adjunct that Franciscan St. Anthony now requires their providers to use. They replace the old tube that was the accepted tool of choice in the system for years and years. The change is a positive one for both the medical staff and the patients.

Chief Willman mentioned they had a fire train that was their annual EVOC. That is an emergency vehicle operations course update and review. This training is very important to their day-to-day operations. Our drivers work very hard to stay qualified to operate all of our twelve emergency response vehicles. They accept the responsibilities that go along with not only driving the trucks, but operating their components as well. The St. John Fire Department relies heavily on these members. The Town of St. John also must rely on their competence, expertise, and skill. Driving is no longer a reward for longevity on the department and no longer a reward for responding to a lot of calls. Emergency vehicle operations are demanding, at best, and require annual trainings; and in every call, awareness for which there is no substitute.

Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Willman for his report.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporations. He noted that there is a six page docket in the amount of $1,150,290.13. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on these bills. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. A motion was made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn.

Mr. Barenie stated he had one item. He noted that we had a retirement tonight and gave his best wishes for someone who has been with us a long time. He said that he was in the front row. It is our Times reporter, Mr. Phil Wieland. Mr. Barenie told Mr. Wieland that we appreciate his work and his service to the community. He wished him a great retirement. The Council members congratulated Mr. Wieland.

Mr. Forbes said that he will entertain a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

09-22-2016 Town Council

September 22, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the September 22, 2016 regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:22 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings, Christian Jorgensen and Greg Volk. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief Fred Willman and Chief James Kveton were present. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: August 25, 2016

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would move to approve the minutes. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

SWEARING-IN CEREMONY: Officer Jacob Patzsche

Ms. Hernandez began the swearing-in ceremony by stating that it is a privilege for her to swear-in St. John’s newest police officer, Jacob Patzsche. Before she served the Oath to Mr. Patzsche, Ms. Hernandez wanted to express her gratitude and that of the Town, for which he is willing to serve and protect. She said that we are blessed to have someone such as Mr. Patzsche in this position. The Town wishes Mr. Patzsche the best and thanks him. She asked Mr. Patzsche to please raise his right hand and repeat the following:

I, Jacob Patzsche, upon my oath do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana; and that I will faithfully, honestly, and impartially discharge all of my duties as police officer of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, to the best of my skill and ability so help me God.

PRESENTATION: VFW Post No. 717

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda was a presentation from the VFW Post No. 717.

The presenter from the VFW introduced himself as Gene Kijanowski from the Town of St. John. Mr. Kijanowski is the (unintelligible) State Commander for the 404 State of Indiana. He also introduced Jose Terrazas, the VFW’s Post Commander. He shared that the members of the VFW had a meeting, and decided that as veterans, they are all foreign war veterans, so at some point they have all been in harm’s way. So, the VFW decided that they wanted to do something for the Police Department, especially in this day and age. They decided they would do a fundraiser; something to support the Police Department. Most of the VFW guys right now are Vietnam Veterans. They know how it was when they came back; they didn’t have support. Mr. Kijanowski said he was watching on the TV today what was happening in North Carolina with the Police Department. So, the VFW was happy to do something for our Police Department. Mr. Kijanowski said that he has known some of the police officers in Town for years. He has been a resident since 1975. So, the VFW decided to do this event, and it took off. There were a lot of people that got involved; upwards of twenty-five (25) people in the VFW. It totaled to about 400 hours of volunteer time and community service. The total income of the event was $6,663.00. After bills paid, they raised about $4,200.00 for the Police Department. Mr. Terrazas presented the check.

Mr. Kijanowski noted that Mr. Ed Welch of Welch’s Stop and Shop was in attendance tonight. He was heavily involved in the event. He noted that there were numerous businesses in Town that were involved, so it was a great Town effort. The VFW plans on doing this yearly, not just for the Police Department, but for the Fire Department and First Responders. Mr. Kijanowski concluded the presentation by thanking everyone.

Mr. Forbes thanked the VFW and said that they did a fantastic job. Mr. Forbes also thanked Mr. Ed Welch and said that he did a fantastic job cooking the steaks; they were great. The turnout was very good. It was fantastic to see the support for our Police Department, and as Mr. Kijanowski just said, it is a time when our Police Department needs our support; first responders in general. They need the show of support; a little bit more than just saying we are there for them. The turnout of people was really impressive. The parking lot was jammed almost all the way until the time it ended, granted it is a small parking lot. People were parked in the subdivision behind the VFW because there were so many people there. Mr. Forbes once again thanked the VFW and all the workers for such a nice event and a bonus for our Police Department.

Chief Kveton said that he wanted to say a couple of words. He shared that he has been a police officer for over thirty (30) years. In that time, when people have contact with the Police Department, it is usually for a negative reason, whether it is a traffic stop, which nobody likes getting a ticket or some tragedy in somebody’s life. Chief Kveton said that when they go through training, they learn that they take the brunt of people’s anger whether they are the victim or the offender they have those in uniform to take that out on. They don’t normally get the positive return. It was just under three-hundred people that showed up to the steak fry. The food was delicious. Chief Kveton said that he was there all evening and to see the constant flow of people coming in was overwhelming.

Chief Kveton shared that about a month ago he went to lunch with Steve Kil about another project that’s being planned next month, a police recognition parade, appreciation night. They were at a restaurant called the Omelet House in Schererville. Chief Kveton got up and walked to the restroom. During his walk to the restroom and back, six different people stopped him, he was in uniform, and thanked him and policemen in general for their service. Chief Kveton said that the welcome he has felt since coming to St. John has just been wonderful. A perfect example of that would be all the police officers that are working for the Town of St. John. Chief Kveton said that it is a wonderful group of guys and girls.

Chief Kveton explained that another thing the Police Department has been doing is breakfast with the Chief the third Monday of the month at Aspen Restaurant. This past Monday, a few residents came and sat down to talk to the Chief, as they usually do. Gus, the owner, knew that they were doing the project. The project is to raise money for in-car cameras. It is going to cost about $150,000.00 to outfit all of the cars, get the servers, and all the download wiring and such that will be needed to do the project. It is a wonderful start with the $4,200.00 from the VFW. Chief Kveton said that he knows a lot of other people who are thinking about giving donations. Gus came to the Chief this past Monday, and gave him a $1,000.00 donation towards this same event from Aspen Restaurant. The outpouring they have received is just wonderful. Chief Kveton thanked the entire community; both the residential and business community has just been wonderful.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to make a motion to accept the donation from the VFW and the donation from Aspen Café. “So Moved”, from Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded that motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak addressed the gentleman of the Town Council. He noted that they are also part of the Plan Commission, of which Mr. Forbes is President, and have repeatedly stated the guideline for multi-unit building in St. John is approximately 8%. Mr. Blazak said that he has heard Mr. Kil, backed up by Mr. Volk, at previous Council meetings, say that was a good number. Mr. Blazak shared that he recently collected data from the periods of 2006 to 2016, or eleven years, for permits issued by the Town of St. John. He received the file last Friday. The year 2014 kept coming up in error, so he will request it again tomorrow. However, he has data for ten years. He did a quick analysis and found that there is a serious question as to where this 8% guideline has come from, that Mr. Blazak says the Council has repeatedly stated to the residents of St. John in a public venue. Mr. Blazak asked if anyone on the Council sitting here tonight before him, know or have any idea of what the true number is. Mr. Blazak directed his question to Mr. Kil, since the files came from his office.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Blazak if he is inquiring about the land use. Mr. Blazak clarified that he is asking about the percentage of multi-units built in the last ten years. Mr. Kil answered that he has not added them up but he could do that. Mr. Blazak asked Mr. Kil to give him a ballpark number. Mr. Kil said that he is not going to ballpark, but he can add it up if Mr. Blazak would like. Mr. Blazak replied that he has it. He is a degreed accountant, so he thinks he can handle it. Mr. Blazak said that his quick analysis shows that just for 2016 through August 15th, thirty-three percent is the number of permits issued this year. Thirty-three percent are multi-units. The real number for ten years, aside from 2014, which he doesn’t have, but he will get, the current number or average for ten years is twenty-five percent; not eight percent. Mr. Blazak said that he would be happy to break down the last ten years if the Council would like. He claimed that the gentlemen of the Council are not anywhere near an eight percent guideline. Mr. Blazak told the Council that they have a serious credibility problem that they need to address for this Town; immediately if not sooner. He said that we do not need any more multi-units approved in this Town. The citizens of this Town deserve a whole lot better.

Mary Therese Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Ms. Robert began by stating that her concerns are with our Police Department. Last month, a northwest suburb broke up a luxury car theft ring because their squads were properly equipped. She finds it shameful that we have to look for money for our Police Department because we do not have it. Ms. Robert also wanted to know why we have only replaced two police officers when we are down so much more. We have pushed our boundaries out. How can we expect these men and women to properly keep us safe?

Eric Schnieder 9190 W. 106th:

Mr. Schnieder addressed the Town Council especially, Mr. Forbes. He apologized for his actions at the Plan Commission meeting and noted that he carries himself better than that. He said that he basically verbally attacked one of the members for not knowing the information, and for that, he would like to say that was completely out of character, and he is sorry.

That being said, Mr. Schnieder is here for what is on the docket as letter E tonight. It is for The Gates of St. John turning residential lots into duplex lots. Mr. Schnieder addressed Mr. Barenie. He said that he was able to find something Mr. Barenie has said once, and knowing the character and kind of person Mr. Barenie is, he is sure Mr. Barenie has said it more than once. That being, the more information the Board has, the better decisions they will be able to make. Mr. Schnieder said that his problem with the Plan Commission was that at last month’s meeting there were several people, board members, who were not in attendance. So, they were given the information from the group. That leads Mr. Schnieder to believe that they were not given the responses from all of the residents who are concerned about their property values and about what is going on in Town, etc., which then allowed the Board members to vote and give the Town Council a favorable recommendation. Mr. Schnieder believes that if they would have known all the proper information, there would not have been a consensus of the Board. Mr. Schnieder said that he is hoping that the Town Council will look at this and what is going on in Town. In The Gates of St. John, there is enough multi-family, especially with the new addition on the east side coming off of Cline Avenue where they are putting the streets and the sewer in now which is a new McFarland section that was pre-existing and already approved. Changing these forty lots is a bad idea, and we do not need it. Mr. Schnieder asked that they take this into review when voting tonight.

Julie Stessl 10350 Red Oak Drive:

Ms. Stessl stated that she was here tonight to speak on one of the agenda items, item 9E, regarding Ordinance No. 1636 about the rezoning of The Gates, pod 10 J.

She wanted to express her disagreement with the recommendation from the Plan Commission. From what she is hearing tonight from other residents, she lives in The Gates herself, and she feels personally that there are enough townhomes. Ms. Stessl also shared that having lived in The Gates for seven years, the reason why she picked The Gates and the location that she picked is because she was able to see the floor plan of what was projected for the amount of homes, single family and the townhomes. As a resident, it is frustrating for her to see that the floor plan that she is looking at, and why she picked what she picked, is going to be changing. That affects her property value, and it affects a number of other factors as well. Ms. Stessl is speaking here tonight to let the Town Council know that she disagrees with the recommendation from the Plan Commission to allow more townhomes in The Gates.

Gery Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated that he too is here this evening to talk the Town Council about the Ordinance approving the rezoning in The Gates of St. John. Mr. Swets told the Council that they have two different issues before them. One is what Mr. Blazak brought forward about too many multi-families and the need to cut those numbers down. The other argument is the one heard by the two previous speakers. That is taking something that has been approved as an R1 or an R2 and now changing it to make it a multi-family. Mr. Swets said that he knows that we are unable to keep people from building when they buy a piece of property, but you can keep them from having it rezoned and making exceptions. Especially, when it is an exception in a neighborhood where people have bought; people have established their homes and now all of a sudden down the street or across the street is going to be a multi-family duplex that affects their neighborhood. Mr. Swets said that he is asking the Town Council tonight to vote against that Ordinance and strike it down.

Janice Malchow 11913 80th Place, Dyer:

Ms. Malchow said that she is here representing the Lake Central School Board. She is the at-large representative for: Dyer, Schererville, St. John, and St. John Township. Ms. Malchow said that she knows the Town Council is aware that we have an epidemic, not just in our area, but also in the State of Indiana, in the world, and in the country. Young, productive, future leaders are getting into, basically a very dark world, and they are dying from overdoses of heroin. She can speak that when she a principal at Bibich School in Dyer for ten years, she knows of at least seven children that grew up into high school. They were not thugs, and they were not the negative people that you may be thinking. They were good, positive children that got sucked into that vortex. We have lost them to overdoses. Ms. Malchow shared that the Lake Central School Board with the combined efforts of the Schererville, Dyer, and St. John Police Departments, along with Rose Crantz which is an organization out of Illinois, are hosting an event at Lake Central High School on October 11th from 6:30-8:30. The event will be in the auditorium which seats 1,100 people. Ms. Malchow said it would be awesome if we could fill it. Ms. Malchow shared that no one is exempt from this. You can be a resident of St. John, you can be a resident of Hammond; heroin does not care. It is going to go after them. Ms. Malchow said that she hopes it is realized it’s a problem and that if we choose to do nothing about it, it is not going to change. We can unite with our Police Departments, come together as a community, and make some efforts to try to minimize the damages that it has on our families and our community members. The School Board has been going to County Council meetings, County Commissioner’s meeting, and they are reaching out to everyone, mayors in Gary. Ms. Malchow shared that when she was at the County Council meeting, she had a lady that came up to her and thanked her very much for doing this. The lady said they had lost their niece to a heroin overdose. Her father was a principal at Crown Point when Ms. Malchow was an administrator. So, what she is saying is that heroin will touch everyone and anyone; no one is exempt from it. Ms. Malchow asked the Town Council if they had received the handout, or if she should hand them out. Mr. Forbes replied that they had received it via email, and he will make sure that everyone gets copied on it. Ms. Malchow noted that participants would need to register through EventBrite.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Adrian Bugariu 11747 W. 90th Avenue:

Mr. Bugariu shared that a year and a half ago, in April, he requested something from Mr. Steve Kil, and he never got the answer. He made the request just recently, and he told Mr. Kil when they had talked after the meeting last month. Mr. Bugariu told Mr. Kil that he wants the answer. It has been a year and a half, and Mr. Bugariu wants to know who are the three police officers that came with Jeri Tiebel on his property when she made false accusations against him based on Fryzel, Frego, Mr. Kil, and others. Mr. Bugariu asked why he was not given the information in a year and a half. Mr. Kil wrote Mr. Bugariu six months later; Mr. Bugariu still has the letter saying that in August or September of last year, Mr. Kil provided the information. Mr. Bugariu said that Mr. Kil never did that.

Secondly, last year Mr. Bugariu had 13,500 gallons on his water bill. He came in and reported. They said that he must have a leak. Mr. Bugariu said maybe in his brain but not in his house; 13,500 gallons in one month. The month in between was okay, but March he had 5,000 gallons on is water bill. He checked all his leaks and for everything else, and he didn’t have any leaks from any faucets or anything. That was last year. This year, again, in the month of January, just like last year, he had 5,000 or 3,500 gallons. It seems to Mr. Bugariu that January of each year and January, February, and March of this year, his gallons are going up-13,500 gallons, two months later 5,000, and this January 3,500 gallon. That is a lot of water for one man with three cats. One died.

Mr. Kil told Mr. Bugariu that he doesn’t know what Mr, Bugariu’s habits are, but that 3,500 gallons in a month is certainly not much. Mr. Kil said that an average family uses in excess of that. Mr. Forbes said that 3,500 gallons is pretty standard. Mr. Bugariu reminded them that he lives alone. He does not water his grass. He doesn’t do anything. He takes a shower once a year. Mr. Bugariu said he knows people that live across the street that have four kids, and they used to have five people. Their water bill was less than his.

Mr. Bugariu stated he wants an answer, for what reason, for a year and a half was there that Mr. Kil did not return his request. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Bugariu that his time to speak is just about up. Mr. Bugariu said that he wants an answer.

Mark Burns 8297 Willow Haven Drive:

Mr. Burns addressed Mr. Forbes. He said that it was a very nice speech that Mr. Forbes gave about everyone looking out for each other and the community and everyone loved that.

Mr. Burns said that looking at the board, he thought he was at a Plan Commission meeting because everyone is the same; it is all the same faces. Mr. Forbes said no. Mr. Burns said for the majority. Mr. Forbes said no. Mr. Burns said that Mr. Forbes should not be on both boards.

Mr. Burns mentioned we should not have law firms that represent the builders in this Town, representing the Town. John Lotton should not be able to do anything else in this Town until he gets a new law firm. He should not be building, changing zonings or doing anything else. Mr. Lotton has not treated the residents of this Town fairly; the homeowners in The Gates of St. John in particular. He has an HOA that he runs from his house. He has no meetings, no elections, no input from any of the residents that live in that Gates of St. John. He gives nothing back to this Town, yet the Council bends over backwards for him.

Mr. Burns said that he appreciates that the woman from the school district is here today for this good cause, but he would have liked to hear her say something also about the schools and the situation that is going on there. Mr. Burns shared that every class, his son is in 4th grade, but every class is with 26 kids. They have six classes; they should have seven. He said that we just keep building multi-families. Everyone that has come here has said that we don’t want more multi-families, and the Council does not respond. They look and nod their heads, and then go and do what they want anyway. It doesn’t make any sense.

Mr. Burns stated that Lotton hasn’t proved himself to be a stand-up gentleman. He lies. He threatens, and he intimidates the residents of this Town. Mr. Burns said that, as our elected officials, the Council should be working with the residents to keep people like this from running over everything in our Town. Mr. Burns has only been here a year, and he is sorry he moved into this Town. If he would have known the interminglings. There are supposed to be checks and balances. Mr. Burns addressed Mr. Forbes and said that when he is the President of both Commissions, he is going to make the recommendation and then approve it today? Of course Mr. Forbes is going to approve it today no matter what the residents say because for whatever reason, in his own mind, he thinks it is a good idea.

Mr. Burns expressed that it is not okay what the Council is doing. He is going to keep harassing the IRS, keeping calling the FBI, and he is going to keep pushing and investigating and he is going to find stuff. He said that it is fine if the Council smirks at him. He is going to keep spending time on this. He owns his own business. He has free time when his kids are at school. He will push and push, and maybe one day the gentleman to his left will come and visit in a different manner. Mr. Burns emphasized that the Council needs to work together with the residents. The residents want to work together with the Council, but they sit and nod, and then do what they want to do anyway.

Mr. Forbes asked Attorney Mr. Dave Austgen if there are any problems with the way the Boards and Commissions are formed. Mr. Austgen replied that if Mr. Forbes is asking him if they are properly constituted under the statute, then yes they are. He added that it is a pretty straightforward responsibility and set of guidelines. Mr. Burns added that legally, yes, ethically, no. Mr. Austgen noted that the question was legal, and he answered it.

Mr. Forbes told Mr. Burns that he disagrees with his comment about bending over backwards for Mr. Lotton. He treats every developer in this Town exactly the same. He holds them to very high standards. Nobody gets anything that is not within the rights and realm of this Town.

(General Discussion Ensued)

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. Ordinance No. 1632, St. John 2017 Municipal Budget
Mr. Forbes noted that this is the initial presentation. He asked Mr. Austgen if the proofs and publications for this are in order.
1. Proofs of Publication- Town Attorney
Mr. Austgen addressed President Mr. Forbes and Council members, and said that there is a different method under the law for notifications. Clerk-Treasurer, Ms. Hernandez, has provided Mr. Austgen with a copy of verification that the notice and the budget has been transmitted to the State via Gateway, which is the portal to do so under the statute. That is present, and Ms. Hernandez will make it a part of the record; verifying that proper publication and the Gateway portal has been made. It is no longer published in the newspaper.
2. Opening Remarks- Town Manager
Mr. Forbes called on Mr. Kil for opening reports. Mr. Kil stated that as he has reported to the Council pretty consistently over the last several years, especially with regards to the Board of Finance Report that is given every year, the Town is in a very, very stable cash position. Budgets are looking very good. Mr. Kil shared some quick budget estimates: General Fund-$4,955,248.00; we have Lease/Rental accounts, local Road and Street, Cum Sewer, PD Special Revenue, Trash, Operating, River Boat. The bottom line is that when you add everything up, less utilities, is $12,694,980.00. Mr. Kil repeated that we are in a very good position regarding our cash balance. We don’t do tax anticipation warrants. We do not do any of that. This is not anything that has not been heard before. It is just a re-cap. The budget includes the addition of one public safety employee and 3% raises for staff Town-wide. Other than that, it is substantially the same.

Mr. Barenie added that he would say there is a difference. He believes we are better using different accounts, appropriate accounts, and things like that. Rather than just lumping up into miscellaneous. There is a change. We spent a little more time in detail. The staff departments, led by our Clerk, have gotten a little better handle on to where the money actually goes. So, he believes there is a difference.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions or comments.

Ms. Hernandez stated that this year we took a look at the first eight months of spending, and we based 2017’s budget on actual numbers. We annualized them out, and that is how we came up with this year’s budget; instead of just going with status quo and giving a generic lump sum. Ms. Hernandez said that she thinks this budget is a little more intact and demonstrates what we can actually expect to see, like Mr. Barenie said, out of the different line items and different accounts.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other comments. Hearing none, he opened the floor to Public Comment.

3. Open the Floor to Public Comment
Mr. Forbes asked if there was any Public Comment on the 2017 Municipal Budget. He gave a final call for any Public Comment on the Municipal Budget. Hearing none he gave the floor back to the Board.
4. Closed to the Floor
Mr. Forbes asked the Board for any closing comments.
5. Town Council Action-Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1632 on first reading only.
Hearing no further comment, Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1632 on first reading only. The motion was made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded that motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

New Business:

A. Consider contract with St. John Township trustee for the Senior Citizen Bus for 2016 in the amount not to exceed Fifteen Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00)
Mr. Forbes asked if we are late with this contract. Mr. Austgen told Mr. Forbes that this has been the same contract for the last thirty or forty years. Nothing has changed. Mr. Forbes told Mr. Austgen that he is right about that.

Mr. Kil said that it may be late, but that it just came in. Mr. Forbes noted that the contract was 4/20/2016.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the contract. Motion made by Mr. Hastings, and seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

B. Ordinance No. 1633, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1466, the Master Animal Control ordinance.
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to share highlights about this ordinance. Mr. Kil said that there is really only one highlight. He told Ms. Hernandez to join in whenever. The highlight is that we are going to establish a proper fee for the adoption of an animal, either a cat or a dog, but a standard rate. He knows that will cover our expenses, and not be too burdensome for those who will adopt an animal. It will be $200.00. Mr. Kil believes there is another form that is attached that lays out what the $200.00 is for, but that is essentially what this does. It allows us to charge that fee for adoption; covering all the shots that are needed and things of that nature. It gives Ms. Hernandez what she needs to properly receipt the money in.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1633 on first reading. “So Moved,“ from Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would now entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1633. “So Moved,” from Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

C. Ordinance No. 1634, an Ordinance establishing Rates and Charges for customers of the Municipal Sewer Utility.

Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Forbes if he may give some explanation. He said that this is before the board on recommendation from the financial advisor, Mr. Cender who is in attendance, and is based upon a totality of circumstances. Totality of Circumstances include the current proposed expansion at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Schererville for the addition of clarifiers, which will permit an increased amount of flow from this Town to that Town for treatment. Without which, we would have a no increase and no additional flow ability. It also recognizes the need for this Town to acquire an additional twenty percent of capacity from the contractual raising the amount of percentage to 30% under the contract. Mr. Austgen asked to please remember that the plant is an 8.75 MGD capacity daily average flow permitted facility. That will raise, by acquisition, the Town’s amount of volume permitted by contract 2.625 million from its current 1.75 million. Finally, it accounts for and takes into account the present Lift Station Improvement Project. We are out to bid. Mr. Austgen said that the horses are out of the barn, and they are running including the interceptor and the pertinent equipment that relates to it. It takes into account the participation and the financing for the clarifiers at Schererville in the form of a cash payment, which will be made at the time the bonds are sold by Schererville, which will be the lead financial responsible party for the debt service, but, by which, the Town of St. John will pledge its net revenues in satisfaction of its proper payment of participation amount. This part of the pie is to raise the local rate ten percent, across the board ten percent, such that we would have sufficient funds to service that, and do all the things participatory that were just explained.

Mr. Austgen stated his final item. He said that it should be remembered that Schererville has concurred and agreed to participate with our Town to hold the rate increase down by agreeing to be the bank, if you will, or accept a pledge with a payment structure, for purposes of the debt service, and the acquisition that he just talked about. The plant has been valued. Mr. Cender is the expert working with the Schererville Financial Advisor, they have agreed that there is an approximate value of the plant of twenty-eight plus million dollars. They have come and made the recommendation about the amount that it would take for an acquisition of a percentage of capacity, and Schererville has agreed to embed that into a payment schedule that will permit the Town’s participation in the clarifier improvement, the acquisition of the capacity, and the activities here in Town for the Lift Station Interceptor and pertinent equipment. Mr. Austgen said he is aware it is a mouth-full, and he hopes he did not overlap it too much, but there is a totality of circumstances, and this is one piece of that pie.

Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Kil if he missed anything. Mr. Kil said that Mr. Austgen didn’t miss anything. He explained, in case anyone was wondering what that all means, depending on who you are, most families use about six to seven thousand gallons a month. Some people use five; depending on the number of people in the household, habits, and water usage, but if you use about six thousand gallons of water you can expect a $3.73 per-month rate increase; seven thousand is $4.18. If you are down in the two to three thousand gallon range, you are at $1.99-$2.38. So, that is what that all means, and it is for a ten percent capacity increase at the Water Treatment Plant. Schererville will now have seventy percent; St. John will occupy thirty percent of capacity in the plant. We send all of our sewage to Schererville to be treated. That is what it is going for. That is a big step. The Clarifier Project is a little over seven million dollars. Of that project, we’re responsible now for thirty percent of it. So, we are accomplishing all of this and Lift Station One with a ten percent rate increase. Mr. Kil noted that we have not had a rate increase in over a decade. Mr. Kil said that this is where he would really like to thank Schererville because they have been wonderful partners in this. For them to agree to conduct the financing allows St. John to keep our rate increase in check and keep it around ten percent. Mr. Kil said that is what it is in layman’s terms; what Mr. Austgen said is absolutely accurate. It was the more technical version. What it really means is that for most residents out there $3-$4 a month, give or take water usage and the time of year, we have summer sprinkling rates and things like that.

Mr. Jorgensen added that it is a huge project; it is one that is very necessary to the Town; it has been worked on by all, including Mr. Austgen, for a very long time. Friendship with Schererville has awarded St. John with an opportunity, probably unequal to very many towns, or anywhere in Lake County for that matter, and given us an opportunity to keep rates extremely low. We are all going to benefit from this, and like Mr. Kil said, there hasn’t been an increase since 2001. An infrastructure project like this is massive. Mr. Jorgensen said that everyone here has done a great job and has worked very hard to get this done on this kind of scale. Everybody should be proud of this deal.

Mr. Austgen addressed Mr. Forbes and said that it should be noted that included in Mr. Jorgensen’s comment is that the Town and Schererville have become partners. They are really partners in this, and this deal has come such a long way. For those of us who were here before 2001, or thereabouts, the bi-annual dispute and the litigation has healed itself over time to how this is working out.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Mr. Kil added that Mr. Cender, the Clerk-Treasurer, and all the people that do the numbers don’t usually get a lot of credit, but they all did a nice job on this. Mr. Kil wanted to thank them.

Mr. Austgen reminded Mr. Forbes that this is a first reading. There will be a public hearing advertised and noticed, if the Council does act on first reading.

Mr. Forbes stated that we are on Ordinance No. 1634. He said that if there are no other questions or comments he will entertain a motion, first reading only, and authorize public hearing. “So Moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

(General Discussion Ensued)

D. Ordinance No. 1635, an ordinance authorizing the re-financing of the 2007 and 2009 Water Bonds.
Mr. Forbes stated this is an ordinance authorizing the re-financing of the 2007 and 2009 Water Bonds. Mr. Forbes noted that this was discussed during the Water Board. He asked if there were any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated that he will entertain a motion to authorize Ordinance No. 1635, on first reading. “So Moved,” by Mr. Volk. Motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.
E. Ordinance No. 1636, rezone of The Gates- Pod 10 J (from R-2 PUD to R-3 PUD).
Mr. Forbes stated this comes with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes asked the Council for any questions.

Mr. Jorgensen said he is not on the Plan Commission, so he is a little bit behind. Mr. Jorgensen asked what the motivation is to change the lots to multi-family. He wanted to know if it is purely economic. Mr. Forbes answered yes, that is the reason the developer brought it forward.

Mr. Jorgensen asked why it received a favorable recommendation. Mr. Forbes said that the Plan Commission members did not seem to have any objections to it. Mr. Jorgensen said that he is assuming there was plenty of public comment and mostly objections. When this project was started it was originally all single-family, and that was the expectation. Mr. Jorgensen asked how long was it the expectation that it was to be single family. He said that he does not know the history of it. Mr. Barenie told him that these were platted eight to ten years ago. Mr. Kil agreed eight to ten years. Mr. Forbes added that 2004 was the original plat; the entire subdivision was platted at the same time. Mr. Jorgensen clarified that about eight to ten years was the original expectation that this was going to remain single-family.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there is a Homeowner’s Association there, in The Gates. Mr. Jorgensen asked if the Plan Commission asked if there was ever any involvement with the Homeowner’s Association with the decision. Mr. Forbes said that they do not involve themselves in the Homeowner’s Associations. Mr. Jorgensen said that he knows that, but did the Plan Commission ask whether or not there was any involvement, any concessions made by the developer, or any involvement at all between the developer and the Homeowner’s association in making the plans to switch to multi-family. Mr. Forbes reiterated that they do not involve themselves at all in that, so the question was not asked. Mr. Forbes shared that, as the Town, they do not enforce covenants, so they would not involve themselves in that facet of it. Mr. Jorgensen said that he is looking at it more from a planning angle. From a planning angle, for ten years people believed that this was going to be a single family. So, if you are going to change that for all the people who have lived there with that expectation, from a planning standpoint he would wonder whether or not the developer would meet with them or provide some sort of concession, some idea, or at least some input on the planning in the future of the multi-family. It just seems logical, to Mr. Jorgensen, that there would be some involvement. Mr. Jorgensen shared that if he was a resident there and his expectation was that it was going to be a single family he might be a little angry, as well, especially, if it is purely economic. He noted that he was not sitting on the Plan Commission at the time. He does not know, and he was not there for the hearing.

Mr. Forbes referenced a map of the Gates. He explained to Mr. Jorgensen that this area that has always been zoned R-3. The single- family area on the initial rezone was definitely out of place. It was felt that it would be more consistent, and this {rezone} just finished off that layout. Referencing the map, Mr. Forbes showed Mr. Jorgensen the area that is already all duplexes. So, the rezoning just finished off the consistency angle of the design. Mr. Jorgensen asked if it was planned poorly from the beginning. Mr. Forbes said to not get him started on that. Mr. Forbes added that he personally felt that when the Gates came in, there were issues that needed to be addressed, but at that time they were not addressed. Some of the changes that are being made now are consistent with what should have been done from the get-go. Mr. Forbes said that he has told many, many people that Mr. Lotton has, via the annexation agreement, a maximum number of units that he can build. So, this is a plus and minus thing. There is going to be 1,470 units. Mr. Kil corrected that number to 1,455 units. Mr. Forbes said that at the end of the day whether it’s duplexes, single-family homes, or cottage homes, there are going to be X number of houses in this subdivision by ordinance. To Mr. Forbes, this new plan is consistence and proper plan design.

Mr. Jorgensen said that he has a maximum number of units, but if those lots stayed single-family would he still have the property available to use as he saw fit? He would still have the number of units? This is not to squeeze in more units.? Mr. Forbes said no; there are X amount of units in this subdivision, and that is what it will be.

Mr. Jorgensen asked why the change now; ten years later? Mr. Forbes answered that it is probably because of the economy. For the developer, Mr. Forbes said that he is sure that it has everything to do with the economy. When the housing tanked people quit buying the big houses. Now, we are getting the empty nesters. They are flocking to St. John, and this is the product they are buying, so the developer wants to present it. Mr. Forbes said that he is not advocating for the developer. He is just sharing the logic, and that is the explanation he got as to why he wants to build these. This is what people want. People are moving into St. John. These are high-end, expensive duplexes. Mr. Volk asked what they are going for, anywhere between $300,000 and $400,000. Mr. Kil said he believes he was told somewhere around $300,000.00 a unit. Mr. Schneider, from the audience, stated this builder is $289,000 and the rest of them are $339,000 and up. Mr. Schneider said this is the problem; the third builder is building a different- looking, cheaper product next to everybody else who is already there. Mr. Jorgensen asked if it is a different builder. Mr. Kil stated is isn’t Dutch Mill and everyone is used to that name; this is Illiana.

Mr. Barenie said that he has a comment kind of related, but not specifically to The Gates. It has to do with the multiple units. Mr. Barenie’s concern goes back to Mr. Blazak’s comment and numbers. Mr. Barenie is concerned that with the math, and obviously it has not been certified. The numbers that Mr. Blazak listed of 25% for multiple housing is for the last ten years. Mr. Barenie knows that we do not have an 8% or 10% quota on an annual basis, but he believes that wherever that 8%-10% number came from was a total for the Town. So, if there were 5,000 homes, only 8% can be multi-family. With that in mind, Mr. Blazak gave the last ten years, not knowing what was here before his numbers. Mr. Barenie said that what he is getting at is that he asked for a comprehensive plan that he thought was first created in 2004 or 2005. He got that this week, but it was the current one. He thought that at that point someone asked where the 8% came from that Mr. Volk or Mr. Kil says. Mr. Barenie thinks that in the first plan that was on his first term, they came up a document that actually said a limit of what percent it could be in the Town; not on an annual basis, but that you couldn’t go over a certain percent. That is what Mr. Barenie was looking for, but he thinks that with those numbers {Mr. Blazak’s}, we ought to take a step back. He wants to take a step back not just on this project, but he wants to see where we are at.

Mr. Volk said that Mr. Kil just did those numbers six months ago. Mr. Barenie said that he did see that document, but there was not much detail behind it. Part of that is in the new Comprehensive Plan that actually was sent to Mr. Barenie. Mr. Barenie wants to see the original plan where we first talked about having a limit because, at that point, there weren’t a lot of them. He wants to make sure that there was an appropriate budget for those, that we didn’t get carried away, and just proper planning. With that in mind, if we could find that document, he would like to know what it was. If it was 8%, and we multiply that by how many houses we have, and then do the math to find out where we are at and if we are within the perimeter. Mr. Barenie said that he wants to see the numbers. He wants proof that we are at 8%. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk told Mr. Barenie that is what Mr. Kil just did six months ago. Mr. Barenie said that he had an issue with that because he looked at it and he couldn’t see the number of units. Mr. Kil stated Mr. Barenie did not have the work product. Mr. Barenie said that there was no detail behind it. Mr. Kil said that he has the detail. He did not show Mr. Barenie the map, so he has no idea how that number was arrived at.

Mr. Barenie then asked how many houses we have in St. John. Mr. Barenie asked how many water bills we send out. Ms. Hernandez responded roughly about 8,000. Mr. Barenie asked if there is anyway we could find out how many are multi-family in fashion that we can see if it is at 8%. Mr. Barenie said that he has a problem voting for this, obviously for issues that Mr. Jorgensen said, but the bigger issue is that he wants to make sure that we are not voting for these if it is over the 8%.

Mr. Volk told Mr. Barenie that the water bills would not give him an accurate number because Mr. Kil based it on the lots that have been approved; not even built on yet. So, there is no water service to those lots. Mr. Kil said that when he did the calculations, it was based upon everything that has received an approval. He took The Preserve, Greystone, any multi-family that was approved into account. Anything that was approved by the Town, he took into account when he did the calculations. Even though they are not built on yet, they will be, so if they received an approval, they received a number.

Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Kil if a structure, let us say a quad that has four homes in it, does that count as one, or does that count as four? Mr. Kil responded that he did the numbers both ways. He did the number of structures, and he did the number of units. The numbers of units would be four. The number of structures would be one. Mr. Barenie said that in his mind units are what should be 8%. Mr. Forbes said that he disagrees with that. Mr. Kil said that he doesn’t have his spreadsheet right in front of him; it is in his office.

Mr. Forbes said that he knows that is the argument being made. He wanted to reiterate that the Plan Commission deals with land use and zoning. That is what the percentage should be based on, not individual structures. Mr. Barenie said that he thinks it should be based on what is in that original document with our first plan. Mr. Forbes said that if there is a document that says flat out 8%, he has never seen it. He added that the discussion on the plan is that it is always just a guideline. He does not believe that it was ever determined to be a hard and fast number.

Mr. Barenie asked for clarification that with the new Comprehensive Plan there was an older document that was created in 2004-2005. Mr. Kil said that was correct. Mr. Barenie asked if that document has the detail that we are unsure about, that 8%. He would like to verify that. He would also like to know if everyone is in agreement, although, he has a different opinion. He thinks that it is four and not one.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Barenie if he is looking to have this deferred. Mr. Barenie said that he would like to have a confident number that we are not outside of the 8%. Also, decide on, from the Town Council, are one of these units four or are they one. He shared that he does not want to see an overflow of them either, for different reasons then Mr. Jorgensen was talking about, but he has his own issues with Mr. Lotton over the last ten years.

Mr. Jorgensen added to his final point on the issue. The reason he was asking whether or not there was any input from the homeowners, and how long it has been plotted as single-family is because if he has the expectation that it is going to be single-family that means that he is hoping that single-family structures with single families are moving in. He believes that is a perfectly legitimate expectation to have. If you are going to have a family with a dog and kids, or whomever, and people who move into multi-family are a different kind of family. Mr. Forbes said that he doesn’t believe that is a very fair statement. Mr. Jorgensen told Mr. Forbes that he doesn’t have to think it is fair, but he thinks it is kind of obvious and an expectation nonetheless. Whether it is fair or unfair, it is an expectation. So, to have it sprung on you after ten years that it is going to change that changes your expectation. He believes that is unfair. Whether we defer it, or Mr. Jorgensen votes against it, one way or another, if Mr. Barenie wants to move to have it deferred that is fine; if there is just going to be a vote on it that is fine, too. The Council knows where Mr. Jorgensen stands.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other comments. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion regarding Ordinance No. 1636. Mr. Volk made a motion to defer. There was a second from Mr. Hastings. Motion was deferred by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

F. Consider reduction of Letter of Credit for Dancing Waters from $390,346.00 to $66,121.00.
Mr. Forbes stated this has a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil for a quick explanation. Mr. Kil explained that this is a standard letter of credit. The developer has the (unintelligible) share of the infrastructure improvements in, so they no longer need to be secured by a Letter of Credit. They are allowed by our policy to ask for two reductions. This would be the first one. The Engineer recommends this. The Plan Commission reviewed it, and it comes to with a favorable recommendation. Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Kil.

Mr. Forbes asked for any other questions. He stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the reduction of the Letter of Credit. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none.

G. Resolution No. 2016-09-22, a resolution authorizing entry into the First Amendment and Re-Statement of the Joint Inter-local Cooperation Agreement, for sewage treatment between Towns’ of St. John and Schererville.
Mr. Forbes stated this is a resolution authorizing entry into the First Amendment and Re-Statement of the Joint Inter-local Cooperative Agreement, for sewage treatment between Towns’ of St. John and Schererville.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2016-09-22. “So Moved, “ from Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays --- none.

H. Ordinance No. 1637, an ordinance authorizing certain Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements, capacity acquisition, and all other matters related thereto.
Mr. Forbes said this is an ordinance authorizing certain wastewater treatment plant improvements, capacity acquisition, and all other matters related thereto.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion on this. Mr. Austgen addressed Mr. Forbes. He said that this ordinance will adopt, if approved and adopted on readings by this Council, the agreement with Schererville for the acquisition by St. John of the 10% additional capacity, for participation in the clarifier improvement project at the plant, and for the entry into a pledge agreement that relates to the responsibility commitment from St. John to Schererville for those payments related to debt service for which the pledge agreement attached will serve as part of collateral or security. So, it is a three-item document before you. The Ordinance will adopt the agreement and tended to the agreement will be the pledge agreement itself.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on that. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1637 on first reading. “So Moved,” from Mr. Hastings. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the Motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1637.Mr. Jorgensen made the Motion. Mr. Barenie seconded the Motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

I. Consider approval and acceptance of a permanent Utility Easement Agreement between the Town of St. John and Joseph & Gail Harowski
Mr. Forbes stated that the next item is to consider approval and acceptance of a permanent Utility Easement Agreement between the Town of St. John and Joseph & Gail Harowski. This is the last piece of Easement needed for our interceptor. Mr. Kil corrected Mr. Forbes and said that this is for us to correct the storm sewer for a storm water issue. Mr. Forbes said that this is over by Fair Oaks. We have been working on this for quite some time. This has been years with the engineer, and we finally have the easement and all the documents figured out. All of the homeowner’s agree, finally, on what can be done. They have already signed the easement over to the Town, all that we need to do is accept it.

Mr. Forbes asked for any questions on this. There were none. Mr. Forbes said that he would entertain a motion to accept the permanent Utility Easement Agreement. “So Moved,” from Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the Motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Volk shared that there is a new road crack-sealing program underway in Town. He asked Mr. Kil to clarify if the equipment for the crack-sealing is on loan from the County. Mr. Kil said that we are renting it. Mr. Volk asked if it is for the whole month. Mr. Kil said yes, it is on the street every day. Mr. Volk explained that, when weather permits, they are going to be out for the month sealing cracks. Mr. Kil said that they are going to seal cracks as long as they can before branch and leaf pickup. Mr. Volk said that this is a program he and Mr. Kil have been talking about for years but did not have the money or the equipment; now the equipment is accessible. Mr. Kil said that most Towns, and now the State highway department, actually rents the crack-sealing equipment because it is such a maintenance nightmare. No one wants to deal with it. We have never done it before, so obviously we decided to rent one for a while and see how it works. Mr. Kil said for everyone to ride around and see how it looks. Mr. Volk said that he has seen some of the work done, but he has not actually seen them do it. Mr. Volk said that he just wanted to share with everyone that is underway for the whole month, weather dependent.

Mr. Barenie said that he would like to congratulate one gentleman sitting in the back who has been named Employee of the Police Department for the year, Mr. Cliff Wroe. Mr. Barenie congratulated him. Mr. Forbes added that it was given through Albert’s Jewelers.

Chief Kveton asked if could share something. He didn’t know this particular event existed. Chief Kveton was contacted by Albert’s Jewelers about a month ago, and asked about this, so he asked around the station what this was about. It was about an individual that stood out and did a real good job for the year. Of course it could be something like responding to an armed robbery, saving a baby, and all of those kind of things, but in this case the Police Department didn’t really have any big huge event over the last year, aside from the homicide that was already recognized through the valor awards. He thought about it, and Cliff is an individual who works at the Police Department, and the best way Chief Kveton can describe it is the jack of all trades. No matter what you need, no matter what needs to be fixed, and no matter what needs to be done, Cliff will do. From fixing the frame in Chief Kveton’s closet that was falling apart to installing electrical systems and radios, and all the stuff that goes into a squad car, to taking out the garbage, to plowing the parking lot, to just about anything you can think of; installing cameras, replacing a light-bulb. You name it Cliff does it, and he does it with a smile everyday, never a complaint. He is there well before the Chief, and most of the time, after the Chief leaves. Chief Kveton thanked Cliff for everything that he does and told him that it is an honor to have him working for the Department.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez said that she wanted to share with the residents that if they have not had a chance, to please take a look at her offices’ new webpage. They have been working on making the page more user-friendly and accessible for the residents. It is currently under construction, but there are some wonderful new additions. They have added Muni Code, which gives residents the ability to go directly on the webpage to search for Ordinances and Codes in our Town. Ms. Hernandez also added an event calendar where residents can easily view items like our agendas, minutes, dockets and things of that nature. Ms. Hernandez apologized to Cliff and told him that she wants to thank him again. She knows he doesn’t love the recognition, but she wants to thank him again. Ms. Hernandez explained that Cliff has been working hand-in-hand with her on the project, and that he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. She apologized to Cliff and she knows he doesn’t love the recognition, but told him that he gets another Thank You.

Ms. Hernandez said that she would also like to thank her prior co-workers from Clark Middle School, Sonya Furman and Cindy Ring. She worked with them for many years prior to taking office. They put in some hard work on the Pet Parade. Ms. Hernandez also thanked Alsip Home and Nursery’s Animal Rescue. They showed up to the event and showed their support. The money raised will be well-utilized by our Animal Control department and Officer Adam’s K-9 partner Match. She is definitely looking forward to assisting with them again next year as the event continues to grow.

Lastly, Ms. Hernandez is excited to announce that her office is heading up Christmas in the Park this year. They are looking forward to brainstorming some new ideas. It is already a well-established event, but those of you who are familiar with her office know that they can put a fun spin on it.

STAFF
Fire Chief Willman gave the following report for the St. John Fire Department:

During the month of August the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 123 requests for assistance. There were 96 within our incorporated limits of St. John. There were 20 within the unincorporated limits of St. John Township. There were 7 in District 3, which is all of the destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid did include 2 Crown Point Fire & Rescue with an engine and manpower for a change in quarters, detail with an ALS ambulance for a motor-vehicle crash with injuries. The Department was in Schererville who requested an engine with manpower for a working structure fire, however they were tied up with their own and were unable to respond. They were also there with an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, and for residential emergencies x2.

Monday night activities during August included the first Monday was the business meeting. Following the meeting, the entire group had an opportunity to look at a demonstrator unit similar to the new fire vehicle that the Town may be considering to replace one fire engine that is 34 years old.

The Department had an EMS in-service that was an introduction to an electronic chest compression system for use in place of manual chest compressions that are required to administer CPR to unconscious, unresponsive patients who are not breathing. The St. John Fire personnel expressed a very positive attitude towards the possibility and probability of adding a lucas-2 chest compression system to their ambulances. These systems are a tool that can be used in a pre-hospital setting and during treatment inside hospitals as well. St. John Fire has added a unit to one of the three ambulances for a demonstration period of sixty days, and they will also have it on demonstration at the Open House. That is the reason that they spent their EMS night with it. So that they may all become familiar with it, set-up and operation, prior to a full arrest incident. Twenty-two fire fighters participated.

The Department had a fire training that was a live tour of three skilled nursing units at Providence Health and Wellness on Park Place in the Gates of St. John; approximately a week before the arrival of new residents. There are three cottage buildings that are equipped to handle a total of forty skilled nurse and patients. St. John Fire Department is grateful to be able to have an opportunity to become familiar with new facilities like these, prior to the arrival of new residents. It is a form of establishing pre-timed and pre- planned procedures that can be very valuable and effective when an emergency response is needed. They had twenty-one participants that night.

The Department had a fire training that was basically another session to test toes and become more familiar with the fire pump operations. Finally, there was an additional EMS in-service that included a view a new monitor, a Vizio control monitor. There was an hour of in-house audit and review, and a presentation regarding monitoring and evaluating subsequent treatment of severe trauma. There five Mondays in August and the Fire Department used them all.

Police Chief Kveton gave the following report:

Chief Kveton shared an overview of activity for the last month. He shared that between August 1st to August 31st, 2016 the members of the St. John Police Department logged 15,205 miles and responded to 570 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 9 adult arrests with 14 charges being filed, and 0 juvenile arrests with 0 juvenile charges being filed.

Chief Kveton noted that within the last month the St. John Police Department was the location of and participated in the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, who stopped at the police station within the last month as they traveled south. Chief Kveton noted that if anyone remembers, within the last couple of years a State Trooper was killed when the van following the group was struck and pushed into him. The money raised through this Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation is used to assist the families, the survivors of officers who are killed in the line of duty. This year’s event stopped at the St. John Police Department, and overall raised $58,000.00 for the organization. Chief Kveton thanked them for their efforts. They see that a lot more lately; that officers are killed or severely injured in the line of duty.

From the Animal Control side, they received 15 animal control calls and 15 code enforcement calls that our animal control officer responded to. Chief Kveton shared a few new things that our residents may not be aware of.

The Department’s K-9 has been out doing many different presentations for community groups, school groups, and classrooms. Our new accreditation/training manager has also attended some of these. They recently purchased new trading cards. A lot of departments have trading cards for all of their officers. Our department started off by getting them for K-9 Match and officer Shane Adams, which they are handing out to the children as they do their talks. They talk a little bit about Match, his history, and how he grew up on the back.

Chief Kveton shared that the department also received a donation from an organization. Communications with individuals on traffic stops and crime victims has become more and more difficult as we have more immigration into the United States. So, the department was donated I Speak books. It is a booklet that officers can carry in their pocket, and it assists them. It is lamented, and very sturdy. It says things like “I Speak Czech”, or all of the different languages that are possible. This way the officer at least knows what language they speak, so they know who to call for a translator.

One thing our government is expecting a lot more lately is for the departments to be as transparent as possible. He noted that our Clerk-Treasurer talked about all of the new things that she has on her website. One of the things that Chief Kveton was asked to do when he went to Washington D.C. for the 21st Policing Briefing was to share data, so that citizens don’t necessarily have to come in and ask for it. They can find information on the website. Two things the Police Department added to their website is the monthly report, which is a document that Chief Kveton brings with him every time and is what he just read off of, but basically it gives a list of all the different crimes that they responded to for the month and then a year to date total. There are several different pages that constitute that report. He had that report added on to the webpage last week. They are back dated, so the last several months are up, and they will be updating them every month. They are available to the public if they want to see them. They are just general information of what they respond to. Also, they will be adding a Daily Bulletin on there. That will be their Daily Bulletin to show their Daily Activity of the Police Department; nothing that is crucial to an investigation. Nothing that is specifically private, but it will be their daily activity. To get to this information you go to the St. John Town website then the Police Department dropdown. Under the Police Department dropdown there will be two categories: Monthly report and Daily Bulletin.

Chief Kveton shared that he was recently contacted by an organization out of California called Ring. He noted that some people may have seen the commercials on TV. It is a doorbell that you can mount on the front of your door, and when you ring it, you will see that person on a screen on your phone or on your computer. So, if you are not home, on vacation or whatever, and somebody rings your doorbell you can talk to them through this. The organization is sending the department a free sample, and they are going to use it for departments and community presentations. It seems like, based on the videos Chief Kveton has seen, it has prevented a lot of crimes. One community, they provided them for everybody in the community for free, and it dropped the crime 53%. Thankfully, we don’t have a big crime problem, but it might be something that we institute that residents can have that can prevent crime in the future.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes stated here is a six-page docket totaling $1,037,798.78. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “I’ll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. “So Moved” by Mr. Hastings. Seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

10-27-2016 Town Council

October 27, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON ATTORNEY, DAVID AUSTGEN
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the October 27, 2016, regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Steve Hastings, Christian Jorgensen, and Greg Volk. Chief James Kveton was present. Chief Fred Willman was present. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Attorney David Austgen was present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September 22, 2016

Mr. Forbes asked the Council members if there were any questions on the meeting minutes. There were none. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. “So Moved,” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Proclamation-Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS):

Whereas, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also know as Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy (RSD), is a nerve disorder that causes chronic pain and the symptoms of CRPS are described as burning that is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury, and can cause swelling, stabbing, tingling, skin discoloration, and extreme sensitivity to touch; CRPS is the most painful chronic pain condition known to pain; and while CRPS was first identified during the Civil War, it remains a poorly understood condition, and has no known cure; and Whereas, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health conduct research related to CRPS, and Whereas members of the CRPS/RSD community will be spreading awareness through the month of November, and on November 7, 2016, will celebrate the Third Annual Color the World Orange Day; Now, therefore be it resolved that Michael Forbes, Town Council President, do hereby proclaim the month of November, 2016 as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Awareness month, and November 7, 2016 as Color the World Orange Day in the Town of St. John, and encourage all citizens to join in this observance; In witness thereof, hereunto, has set his hand and caused the great seal of the Town of St. John to be affixed, done in the Town Hall of St. John, state of Indiana, this 27th day of October in the year of Our Lord 2016, and in the 200th year of the State.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to authorize this proclamation. “So Moved,” by Mr. Volk. The motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

Public Comment:

Mr. Forbes opened the floor to public comment.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak stated that he had just given the Council a statistical summary of all of the building permits issued in St. John, since the year of 2004. Mr. Blazak had asked for the records back to 2000, and he is still waiting for Mr. Kil’s office to give him any remaining information from 2000-2003. He has also given the residents the same numbers that the Council has in front of them, so that they can understand what is being discussed.

Mr. Blazak stated that Mr. Kil has sat in this chamber and in the Plan Commission meetings and repeatedly said the Town of St. John does not have an eight percent multi-unit being built or approved any where in the Town of St. John. Mr. Blazak said that Mr. Volk has backed him up and verbally agreed. Mr. Blazak stated Mr. Kil has also been quoted in the Northwest Indiana Times several times stating the same exact thing.

Mr. Blazak asked if any of the members, Mr. Volk, Mr. Kil, Mr. Forbes, would like to point out to him and the residents siting behind him, in the last thirteen years, where do they see eight percent multi-units. The closest number to eight percent is ten years ago in 2006, and that was two times eight percent. Last year, in 2015, it was forty percent. That is five times the eight percent. Mr. Blazak asked where is this magical eight percent is coming from. In the last thirteen years, twenty-eight percent of everything built in St. John is multi. Mr. Blazak told the Council members that their eight percent number is a joke. The residents are now going to be alerted as to what the Plan Commission and the Town Council have been doing for the last thirteen years.

Mr. Blazak suggested that they vote down the re-zoning to R-3 in the Gates tonight. He would also like them to think about what they are going to say to the residents of St. John, who they have been misleading and allowing developers to build and have free reign as to whatever they want to build or do.

These multi-units are going to bring more traffic, more children to our schools. According to a Times article within the last week, we are going to experience problems with our schools. Mr. Blazak said that Mr. Forbes has sat in front of us at a meeting and told a citizen during Public Comment that he has no responsibility for the school system. Yet, he is going to hang the residents of St. John with tax bills for more schools, water, sewer treatment, roads, police services, fire services, and Town services. Mr. Blazak suggested that the Council take a breath and decide what they are going to do about all of the multi-units that they have approved for the last thirteen years.

Julie Stessl, 10350 Red Oak Drive:

Ms. Stessl stated that she is standing here before the Council tonight to express her concern over Ordinance 1636. As a resident of the Town of St. John, in the Gates of St. John subdivision for seven years, Ms. Stessl is deeply disturbed by the bait and switch being voted on tonight. At last month’s meeting, Ms. Stessl expressed her disagreement with the Planning Commission’s approval of Ordinance 1636, which allows designated single family home lots to be replaced with multi family units. Ms. Stessl explained that after almost two years of house searching her and her husband decided to build a home in the Gates of St. John because of the vision and lifestyle offered. They were given a projected layout of the community once completed. This map and/or layout was the basis of the decision to locate their home in this community. They considered all factors such as traffic, future price of homes in their surrounding lots, and amenities. Ms. Stessl noted that at last month’s meeting one of the Town Councilmen inquired about the change from single family to multi family units. The response was for economic development. Although Ms. Stessl understands that it is more economically feasible for the developers and/or builders to build two units on one lot, it is not economically feasible for the homeowners within the subdivision. As a resident who is both financially and personal invested in this community, the passing of Ordinance No. 1636 could have many detrimental effects such as, lowering the value of Ms. Stessl’s home, creating more traffic congestion, and even more overcrowding of schools. Ms. Stessl said that what is even more important to her is that after living in the Gates for seven years, she is now having to face the possibility that developers and/or builders can just change the community vision that she was promised. Ms. Stessl is not against townhomes. She is against changing what was promised. Ms. Stessl is asking that the Town Council see the residents as upholding citizens who have families, work, pay taxes, and invest in the businesses of St. John. They are not just lot numbers. Ms. Stessl stated that she implores the Town Council to object the Plan Commission’s recommendation of Ordinance No. 1636. Approving this Ordinance will set precedence for future re-zoning changes in all parts of St. John. Ms. Stessl asked the Council If this were the subdivision community where their home resides, would this even be up for consideration?

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he believes many of the attendees are here to express their discontent with Ordinance No. 1636. In order to expedite the situation, Mr. Jorgensen wanted to let them know that the Ordinance and the request for it had been withdrawn. On October 26th, the Council received a written statement from Mr. John Lotton withdrawing the petition and application for the PUD Unit 10-J that was on the agenda. It is no longer on the agenda.

Mr. Forbes corrected Mr. Jorgensen’s statement and said that it is on the agenda. Mr. Jorgensen re-stated that it is on the agenda, and they will be voting on it and making a motion to accept Mr. Lotton’s withdrawal of the petition.

An attendee asked that they do it right now. Mr. Forbes replied that we are in Public Comment.

Mr. Jorgensen said that he is just letting all know for those that are speaking out against it; that is going to happen.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Vince Casboni, 9679 White Oak:

Mr. Casboni stated that exactly one week ago he had to go up to Steger to drop off some items to the Humane Society. This was at approximately 3:20 in the afternoon. He drove out of his driveway on White Oak Avenue, went down south to 101st. From 101st and Calumet Avenue to Sheffield was solid backed up because of the traffic going east. From Sheffield to State Line Road was solid. Mr. Casboni decided when he came back at approximately 4:20 that afternoon, he’d come in off of 81st and Sheffield and from 93rd to Sheffield was solid. He has been out here for forty-six years. The roads are still the same; however, subdivisions continue to be built in the Town of St. John. Mr. Casboni asked when we are going to start taking care of these roads. As a former firefighter, 10- 50’s are accidents; he doesn’t know how we are ever going to take care of those issues.

Kathy Wilson, 9621 E Oakridge Drive:

Ms. Wilson stated that she moved to St. John about two and half years ago. When they were looking for houses in the general area what drew them to specifically to St. John was a variety of factors. Some of which were school system; the house value, the taxes, the proximity to highways and transportation, and the size of the lot they got with their house. When they were choosing their house, it was towards the end of the year.

Several times they would drive down 93rd and seeing the way it was decorated for the holidays with the big arch, the soldiers, and the train, and all the tree lights gave them that warm, fuzzy, friendly feeling that factored into why they decided to stay. There are parks, shopping, services, and other conveniences smaller towns don’t often offer.

Ms. Wilson shared that she started coming to these meetings to see what was going on lately. The first meeting she attended was before the election last year and was to meet the candidates. She has since been to a couple of the planning meetings, and a couple of the Town Council meetings. From what she is seeing, everyone is not happy. Ms.

Wilson said she knows that it is not possible to make everyone happy. Utopia is a fantasy. But, when you are told one thing, and something else happens she then sees their concern. What really got to Ms. Wilson was the article in The Times on Sunday regarding school and classroom sizes. Ms. Wilson said that her grandchildren go to Kolling and Clark. Their classroom sizes have gone up three to four students every year. The article addressed Bramblewood, but with all the homes in The Preserves and that going to Kolling; if Kolling, Clark, and Lake Central are the only schools in the area they can only absorb so many students. So, we need to take that into consideration.

Ms Wilson said that the article also mentioned an impact fee on developers for schools. She had never heard of this before reading the article, but thought that it might be something to also consider. As well as the impact on public service, our house insurances based on the nearest fire station, and traffic.

Ms. Wilson addressed the fact that as far as she knows, Wicker is the only four- road highway/street in the area. With all the developing going on, and like the gentleman before her said with White Oak, Sheffield has backups, 93rd, and 231 there is a lot of traffic. These are the only roads Ms. Wilson travels, she’s not sure what other roads are involved. So, Ms. Wilson is asking that we all work together, and try to help each other come to a satisfactory conclusion. Take a step back and review before we jump to conclusions.

Judith Naillon 9904 Hickory Lane:

Ms. Naillon explained that she had moved to St. John many years ago because it was a community of single -family houses on nice size lots. It gave the town character and charm. Now builders and developers are trying to force more and more multi-family housing on the town. It creates a high-density population that increases traffic, crime, and overcrowded schools. It lowers property value. It takes away from the town that was so appealing. The only reason for multi-family housing is so greedy, self-serving developers could make more money and more profit. Multi-family housing is not beneficial to or wanted by the residents of St. John. Many years ago Nancy Reagan coined a phrase, “Just Say No”. Ms. Naillon asked Council members to please, “Just Say No, and vote down all of these zoning changes that create multi-family housing.

Say yes to what the residents of St. John want-no more multi-family housing.

Richard Janowiak, 13000 85th Avenue:

Mr. Janowiak stated that his statement is a little bit of a different topic. A couple week’s ago, Chief Kveton stated that they were going to start getting residents to dial 9-1-1 for administrative phone calls. They have a certain amount lines for emergency calls to come in, and if people start using that line and blocking and tying it up for administrative calls, that is something that shouldn’t be done. Mr. Janowiak thinks it is unacceptable that we would put someone’s life in danger over them using the 9-1-1 line to answer non-emergency calls.

Erik Schneider, 9190 W 100th Ave:

Mr. Schneider started by thanking Mr. Jorgensen for letting the attendees know that Mr. Lotton pulled back. He said that will save him some time on his comment. At the end of the day, Mr. Blazak ran some numbers, but Mr. Schneider also ran some numbers that he thinks the residents and also the Board should now. Currently, what has already been approved for development in the Town of St. John, for Olthoff, just in their Mill Creek subdivision is 132 town home units. In Schilling’s Greystone that number is 38 town home units, and 39 cottage home units. In the Gates, in Acorn Gate, there is still 60 more town home units to be built that were already pre-approved. Cyprus Gate, which was always supposed to be single-family homes; part of it was re-zoned some point within the last year, and 18 town homes are currently under construction there. In Orchard Gate, which Mr. Schneider said he believes is a great addition for the community, is a 55 and older age restricted cottage homes. There is going to be 126 of those. So, at the end of the day we are sitting on 248 town homes under construction, or pre-approved to be built, and 165 cottage homes. Mr. Schneider said that this is just something that we need to think about. He is not against town homes, and he is not against new developments. He thinks it is great that everything is co-mingling, and that we actually have affordable housing here in St. John to allow the town to grow. We just need to make sure that the stuff that we already approved stays approved the way it was already approved.

Secondly, Mr. Schneider addressed his question to Mr. Kil. Mr. Schneider said that at a previous meeting Mr. Kil mentioned that Mr. Lotton had agreed to mow the grassy areas in the Gates. As of today when Mr. Schneider left his house, Mr. Lotton still hasn’t maintained the common areas in the Cyprus Gate area, which is where Mr. Schneider lives. Mr. Schneider asked Mr. Kil if he could remind Mr. Lotton of what Mr. Lotton and Cal Atlantic said they were going to do. If they could take of that it would be great.

Mr. Kil told Mr. Schneider that the woman who was questioning that at the last meeting called Mr. Kil to thank him and that it was mowed. He said it is possible there is a different section that he didn’t get to but he would certainly be happy to help out with that.

Monica McQuillan, 10264 South Branch:

Ms. McQuillan stated that she was here for the Proclamation, and that she wanted to thank the Town Council. Ms. McQuillan introduced her daughter Isabella who is ten years old. Isabella has CRPS, which is a neurological disease. They just found out about it last year, so they were just trying to spread awareness about it.

Rita Berg, 10351 Joliet Street:

Ms. Berg said that she is not going to repeat everything that her neighbors have said because they have already informed us all about what they all think. Ms. Berg does have one additional concern and it is the traffic. The traffic on Joliet Street and every street in the Town are all still two lanes. It is becoming a nightmare for the kids walking up and down their street, and they also have a lot of seniors who have apparently had some problems. They are riding bikes up and down Joliet Street. So, Ms. Berg said that she would like to see the Council eventually get some of these streets made into four lanes and take this traffic and make it doable. She asked that the Council think of their safety, the safety of our kids, and the safety of our seniors.

Amy Izzo, 10630 Bridlewood Street:

Ms. Izzo stated that she lives in The Gates of St. John, and that she would like to give some thoughts on Ordinance 1636. She added that she appreciates that it has been withdrawn. Ms. Izzo said that she would like to share that she is a realtor and has worked with a lot of buyers, many of which are in St. John. Many of those people are inquiring about the traffic, and the schools, and a lot of the multi-unit conversations that are being had. In the realtor community, the problem that they are having is the shortage of single-family homes. One of the arguments that occurred for Ordinance No. 1636, in some of the meetings, was that they were looking at opposite, and that is simply not true. There is no data to back that up. Ms. Izzo wanted to share that there is a shortage in the realtor community of single-family homes. There is definitely a market for multi-family homes; we need to have those, but it needs to be balanced.

Mrs. Izzo stated hopefully if an ordinance like this ever comes back to the Council, they will really think hard about it and appreciate the opinions of the Town’s residents. Ms. Izzo said that she is not sure on some of the commentary that she has heard in the past, and some of the articles that they share where it appears that they don’t appreciate the resident’s opinion. She hopes that she is mistaken but that is how she really feels since the four years that she has lived here. Ms. Izzo stated she hopes that the Town can take a look at the multi-unit housing and single family housing and do what we can to continue to develop in that respect.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated that he is here tonight to remonstrate against Ordinance No. 1636. He said that what it is, is a report card of this Town Council over the last twelve years.

There are three members who Mr. Hero believes have been on the Council for about that amount of time; Mr. Barenie, Mr. Forbes, and Mr. Volk.

Mr. Hero said that Mr. Blazak outlined a number of single family homes and the ones he categorized as multi-family. What that shows is a failure of this Council. The only issue here tonight, which was removed from the agenda, was just the tip of the iceberg. What this shows is a failure of this Council of developing this Town properly by putting an excess number of which we call multi-family homes here. What was proposed the Plan Commission, which was appointed by the Town Board President and these Town Council members, was that they approved the re-zoning, and it was for the Town Council to vote on. What this shows is the mentality that has been developed in the Plan Commission. So, Mr. Hero asks that those members are removed from the Plan Commission. That is where this starts; in approving these things, and making a good number of people remonstrate against it. That was an example of spot zoning. Mr. Hero said that they have ruined the Town of St. John by making it duplex heaven, and he urges the Council to remove the Plan Commission, appoint new members who have the correct mentality, who follow the zoning ordinance and don’t approve spot zoning. That is what this 1636 was. Spot zoning is detrimental to property owners in St. John, everybody who lives in that neighborhood and all over the Town. So, Mr. Hero said that he urges the Town Council to remove those members, and put people on there who are friendly to the people and residents of St. John and who are not friendly towards developers.

Paul Panczak, 8410 Magnolia Street:

Mr. Panczak said that the Ordinance was the primary reason he is here, but there is a greater reason. Mr. Panczak was at the Plan Commission meeting where this was proposed, and he got up and said the same thing. We have plenty of multi-family zoning currently in place. Property owners have a right to build. He doesn’t have a problem with that, but to actually start changing zoning and accommodate more townhomes merely for the convenience of the developer, who has showed no financial hardship or any other for that matter. Mr. Panczak doesn’t think it is right for the Plan Commission or the Town Council to approve that. Mr. Panczak said that he is stating that because he worries about some of the other PUD’s that have been approved, especially on the south-end of Town. Multi-family units are going to be there, but let’s distribute them through Town better. The south-end of Town is getting to be a pretty scary place on the map. Multi-family can be done right. It should be spread, and should not be changed from single to multi.

The second thing Mr. Panczak said is we all worry about the number of units being built in Town, and the impact on traffic and everything else. So, there has been a ton of traffic talk, but the one thing Mr. Panczak has not heard yet is a comprehensive plan/process of dealing with it. Mr. Panczak said that he knows that in Schererville the director of Public Works, every year, has a schedule of maintenance, which is one thing, and expansion, which is another. Instead of giving line items, Mr. Panczak would like to see the Town Council come up with some sort of comprehensive plan to deal with it, and keep the public informed on the process as far as maintenance and expansion.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated he read Cliff’s posts about the activities the Chief is involved in; he doesn’t want to go all in, because he is sure the Chief is going to cover it in his report, but he just wanted to congratulate him on an impressive job.

Mr. Swets directed his next statement to the Town Council. He said that they are responsible for overseeing what goes on in this Town. When it comes to development, they’ve got a Comprehensive Plan. The Town Manager is supposed to use this and direct it as it is intended to do so.

On the issues of the re-zoning of The Gates of St. John from single family to multi- family, Mr. Swets noted that there are a lot of people here tonight. There are a lot of people who have spoken. Mr. Swets has a petition with eighty people who have signed it. It is a sore spot. It is not reasonable; it is not responsible to re-zone from single family to multi-family after people have bought an expensive home in a neighborhood. The Plan Commission has allowed that to happen and brought it to the Town Council. Mr. Swets said that he is not opposed to people that live in a multi-family units. He is not opposed to builders and developers making a fair profit, but again everything needs to be done in good order.

Mr. Swets said that we have a Plan Commission who is out of control. They approve developments without proper traffic studies, without the proper storm water studies, and lots of other things. Mr. Swets shared that he thinks they are not doing their job effectively. He thinks a lot of it comes down to its leadership of not following the guidelines; The Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Swets said that looking at the Comprehensive Plan starting at page twelve, here are some of the guidelines:

  • Number five is design residential developments to minimize traffic congestion. Mr. Swets said that has not been done very well because we have more and more traffic congestion.
  • Number six is to maintain predominantly single-family housing; having alternative housing types for young couples, empty nesters, and seniors is also a need in St. John. As a result, the current zoning of other housing types was acceptable. What this is saying is that the percentages that they had back in 2005, when this was adopted, were accurate.
  • This also said that local wetlands needed to be protected, and to Mr. Swets’ knowledge, we had to move some local wetlands at The Preserves, and Mr. Swets was concerned about that as well.
  • When you get to page thirty-three, it says that the residential zoned land is ninety-six percent for low density single-family; allowing four percent for multi- family, maybe that’s where the eight percent number is.
  • On page fifty-nine, one of the goals and highlights is to maintain the current residential zoning percentages at ninety-two percent for single-family, and eight percent for town home/duplex.

That is what is in the Master Plan, and Mr. Swets is asking the Council to keep their Town Plan Commission using these as guidelines.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street:

Mr. Parada said that he cannot say that he speaks for everyone here, but he thinks he can put a lot of this into four words; “We don’t trust you.” Mr. Parada said that the Town Council has been playing with the numbers as far as the housing, and there is no room for that anymore. This isn’t just about John Lotton anymore; this is about Town-wide.

Mr. Parada thinks it is great that is all put on hold, and that is going to go away at The Gates of St. John. He feels very sorry for those people and what they have to put up with over there. He feels sorry that the Town can’t step up and do something about those poor people about the Homeowner’s Association. He thinks that is a big crock and they should have a backbone. Period. That is all there is to it.

Mr. Parada stated he recently ran a poll on Next Door. Mr. Parada noted that the Council can discredit this all they want, but there is nothing stopping the people that are for multi-unit housing to equally post against the people that are against it. As of 6:30 this evening, the figures are as such: out of 190 votes, 19 people were for multi-unit housing and 171 were against. Mr. Parada asked what this tells us. If the Town Council were a business and they got a ninety percent negative rating, how successful would they be? Mr. Parada asked if he may bring the poll to the Council.

Mr. Parada noted that this is just a small portion, but his point is that when he talks about trust, he thinks they will find in the next election that it is going to quit being a popularity contest. It is going to start being about the people who get the job done for this Town; not who can muster up the most votes, because next year, the residents are going to work very hard to make sure that change comes through this Town. They have put up with it enough.

Mr. Parada said that he couldn’t have been more thrilled to see the number of people that are here. He thanked them all for being here.

Mr. Parada stated that hange needs to be made in this Town. He has been here for going on six decades, and he has never seen it the way that things are. He wishes that we could all get along, but the Town Council does things that make it impossible.

Public Hearing

A. Ordinance No. 1634, Establishing Rates and Charges for Customers of the Municipal Sewer Utility.

1. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if the proofs are in order for this Public Hearing. Mr. Austgen responded to Mr. Forbes and the Town Council that the records should reflect that the required legal notices have been made in the newspapers, timely published, and the ex-jurisdictional notices to the customers required to specifically be given notice have also been made.

2. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil for opening remarks. Mr. Kil shared that we have our financial advisor Mr. Cender sitting in the front row here tonight. Mr. Kil stated that he would give a brief synopsis of what they are going to be considering. This is basically the same thing as last meeting. Roughly, it’s a ten percent sewer rate increase. The last increase they were able to find was done back in 2004, so it has been about twelve years since the Town has done any kind of rate increase. Mr. Kil shared that what it means to all the residents is if you have a family that uses five thousand gallons of water a month, you are looking at a total dollar change of $3.38, 6,000 gallons- $3.73, 7,000 gallons- $4.18. So, somewhere in that neighborhood depending on specific water usage amounts to a ten percent rate increase. Mr. Kil said Mr. Cender is here to answer any further questions if there is something more in depth. Mr. Forbes asked for any question or for any comments for Mr. Cender. There were none.

3. Mr. Forbes opened the floor for Public Comment. He asked that speakers step up to the podium and state their name and address for the record.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated that he would like to remonstrate against the ten percent rate increase. He said that it would be like saying, everybody should get a ten percent pay raise.

There has got be something array for it to go up ten percent. We have managed to survive this period of time without a ten percent raise. Mr. Hero said that we can say well it’s been twelve years…its been this...its been that. The bottom line is that when you look at development coming in, you look at who is paying for the excess treatment plant in Schererville as all of these developers come in, and why are we paying ten percent more. Why isn’t it one percent, two percent, three percent? In today’s economy, when you go and put your money in the bank, how much do you get? There is something wrong with ten percent. Mr. Hero said that what he thinks is wrong is the financial management of this Town.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any other Public Comment.

4. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to Public Comment, and turned it back over to the Board. Mr. Forbes asked the Council for any comments or questions. There were none.

5. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion regarding Ordinance No. 1634. “So Moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Barenie if his motion was to adopt. Mr. Barenie responded, “Yes.” Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

New Business:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1632 – Town of St. John 2017 Municipal Budget.
Mr. Forbes stated that a correction had been made. A lease payment was made, so the dollar amount that is in the levy is reduced.

Mr. Cender shared that since the last meeting, it had been discovered that there was a lease rental payment made in June. The lease rental fund permits all the Building Corporation bonds. So the total levy can be reduced and the numbers can just flow through on the budget form. The budget amounts stay the same, but it is just about a $400,000.00 reduction in the levy amount. That is the only change we have, and everything is the same as said in the last meeting back in September.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were none. Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1632. Mr. Volk made a motion. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

B. Ordinance No. 1636, zoning change for The Gates of St. John
Mr. Forbes restated that Mr. Lotton has rescinded his request. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to accept that removal. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion to accept the removal. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.
C. Consider Performance Bond for Mill Creek-Phase 2, in the amount of $19,360.00. (Favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission).
Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now make a motion to approve the Performance Bond in the amount of $19,360.00. “So Moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

D. Consider special request for Levin Tire to allow an auto-motive repair station in a C-2 zoning district, and in the U.S 41 overlay district. (Favorable recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals).
Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion regarding the special exception for Levin Tire. Mr. Volk made a motion to approve. The motion seconded by Mr. Jorgensen. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

E. Ordinance No. 1635, authorizing the refinancing of the 2007-2011 Water Bonds. (Approved on first reading, September 22nd, 2016.)
Mr. Forbes for any questions. There were none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1635. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Barenie seconded the Motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

F. Consider Resolution No. 2016-10-27, electing to join the Public Employees Retirement Fund as administered by the Indiana Public Retirement System.
Mr. Forbes shared that this is to add the Accreditation officer, training, and community engagement officer. Mr. Forbes asked for clarification that this is one person, and that we are not adding three people.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she would like to share with the Council, for clarification, that this is two-fold. It is allowing PERF to recognize the Accreditation Officer-Training and Community Engagement Employee because it wasn’t previously a covered position for PERF. Also, in the Resolution, PERF’s fund actuary calculated the Town’s portion of the present value of Roger’s service with the Town. He started on August 11th of 2016 and taking that through December 31st of 2016, the Resolution is written so that the Town would be allowed to pay $4,957.00 recognizing his service. Ms. Hernandez stated that she wanted to clarify for the Council that the Resolution is a two-part Resolution.

Mr. Forbes asked if everybody was clear on that, and if there were any questions. Mr. Forbes asked if there needed to be a second vote. Ms. Hernandez said that it is inclusive; there are two parts to one Resolution. Mr. Forbes said that he didn’t know if they needed to authorize the payment separately from the Resolution. Mr. Austgen noted that the Resolution contains the authorization within the body of it.

Mr. Forbes stated that if there were no other questions he would entertain a motion regarding Resolution No. 2016-10-27. Mr. Volk made the motion to adopt. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays ---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Barenie stated that he had a request for the next meeting. He asked for Mr. Kil to possibly work on a reconciliation between Mr. Blazak’s numbers and the numbers that Mr. Kil has provided to the Council. Mr. Barenie said that he believes it would be worth while, and that there are probably some math differences, calculation differences, and Mr. Barenie would like to know what those differences are.

Mr. Forbes asked if we are focusing only on that specific time frame. Mr. Barenie responded, “No.” Mr. Barenie said that from what he sees, Mr. Blazak is working on an annual percent each year which is different than having eight percent of the community. Mr. Barenie told Mr. Blazak that his denominator is (different). To Mr. Barenie, he believes it is the total number of units divided by the total number of houses. Mr. Barenie clarified that he never thought that it was supposed to be eight percent on an annual basis. It was how many units divided by how many homes you have in the community. Mr. Barenie never believed it to be an annual basis. Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Barenie is one hundred percent correct. It is the entire community. It is not one specific date, its not a year, it is the entire community. That is what the Comprehensive Master Plan covers, the entire community.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Mr. Swets gave Mr. Barenie a document and told him those are the numbers he is looking at. Mr. Barenie told Mr. Swets that, on the Town’s calculation, they have a bigger denominator than what is on Mr. Swet’s calculation; same numerator basically though. Mr. Forbes asked if there was anything else. Mr. Barenie said no, he is just asking for the calculation.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernanez stated that she would give a brief report on the Tyler-New World contract. She shared that she, Mr. Kil, and Mr. Austgen have been working quite extensively on finalizing this contract. She is aware the residents are very anxious to get this online bill pay up and running, so they are closing in on a final contract. Ms. Hernandez is hopeful that it will be taken care of within the next couple of weeks. The final contract amount was $333,905.00. Mr. Austgen said that number is accurate. Ms. Hernandez noted that number is under what the Council approved back in July, so we are a little bit under budget. The contract currently includes a happy medium, recalling the discussion of how to store the data, specifically whether we used on-site storage or Cloud. Ms. Hernandez shared that this contract for $333,905.00 includes us storing our data on-site via a server, but also includes off-site storage with disaster recovery in case something should happen at the building. So, it is not Cloud; it is a middle-ground. It was a cost- effective way to accomplish both sides.

Ms. Hernandez mentioned that Mr. Barenie was in receipt of the contract in its current form. Mr. Barenie confirmed that he was. Ms. Hernandez said that if there are any questions to please let her know and that her hopes are to get this contract up and running.

STAFF
Mr. Kil explained that back in March of this year when all of these questions started arising, he took a look at the entire Town. Not just single family vs. multi-family; he looked at units, structures, land use, zoning and all things like that. He did not look at 2004 to present, and he did not just take a year at a time, but the entire community as it exists as of March of this year. In that calculation, Mr. Kil took into account all of the new developments that were approved: Mill Creek, Greystone, The Preserves, Eden’s Cove, Dancing Waters. If they were approved, or if they were being considered, they were taken into account with this calculation, so the Town Council would know where they were at.

Right now, the total housing structures, as a community, as of March was 7,319 total housing structures, physical buildings. Single- family structures are at 6,743. Those are one-unit structures. Mr. Kil noted multi-family structures could have three units, two units, or it could have four units. The first calculation was done by structures themselves. There were 576. So, as far as structures go, physical structures not units, 92% are single family and 8% are multi-family. That is structures, not units, so everybody is clear on that.

Progressing even further, you can take a look at acreage in the community. As of March there was 7,930 acres in the Town. That is what comprises our community. Multi-family acreage of that number is 450 acres or six percent. Other, single-family, commercial, public, open-space, and any other zoning designation acreage-wise comprised 7,480 acres or ninety-four percent of the community.

Mr. Kil explained that he would now move on to units. He clarified that there is a distinction between units and structures. A structure can contain two or more units. In this Town, we don’t have any more than four units to a structure. Mr. Kil stated that knowing how many structures we have in the whole community he wanted to figure how many units we have. Single-family units are 6,743, which comprises eighty-four percent of the units. Multi-family units are 1,331 or sixteen percent. So, when looking at it, you have eight percent of the actual physical structures but sixteen percent units. That makes obvious sense, since a structure may have multiple units in it; the number will be higher.

Mr. Kil moved on to a break down of the zoning in our community right now. Noting a reminder that total land area is 7,930 acres. Of that:

  • R1 zoning comprises 2,538 acres or 32% of the community.
  • R2 is another single family zoning designation that comprises 2,696 acres, or 34% of the community. So, right there you have sixty-six percent single-family.
  • R3, multi-family zoning, 555 acres or 7% of the acreage in the Town.
  • C1, neighborhood commercial, 80 acres, or 1%.
  • C2, which is what you would typically find on Rt. 41 because it is the usual highway commercial designation zoning, is 476 acres, or 6% of the acreage in Town.
  • Industrial, we are not an industrial community, so there is a mere 158 acres zoned industrial, which is 2%.
  • Open space, which is St. John’s designation for agricultural zoning is 1031 acres or 13%.
  • And, lastly, 396 acres or 5% is zoned public.

Mr. Kil stated that it is a little misleading when a number is looked at from 2004-present. It should be taken from the whole community, as it currently exists. That is what the numbers are that we have. Mr. Kil said that the numbers provided by Mr. Blazak are based on building permits, because that is what the request was. The numbers Mr. Kil has given are based on acreage, zoning, land use, and all of it together. The only place the argument was made was when you talk about structures versus units. It is true that eight percent of the structures in Town are multi-family, but sixteen percent of the units are. Again, a structure comprises of two or more units, but nowhere in Town do we have more than four.

Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Swets for clarification on some of the documents that were handed to him. He asked Mr. Swets to explain one of the differences. Mr. Swets has total households at 5,047, and Mr. Barenie wants to know if the multi-units of 848 are included in that.

Mr. Swets asked if Mr. Barenie was asking about the total permits number. Mr. Barenie said yes; total households. Mr. Swets said, then yes, it would be included. Mr. Swets said that his numbers came of building permits based on the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Swets confirmed to Mr. Barenie that the multi-units are included in that total number.

Mr. Barenie said that is the number where he sees the difference from the list that Mr. Kil has provided. Mr. Kil’s number is in the eight thousands. Mr. Barenie said that the question is then if we have 8,000 homes or if we have 5,000. Mr. Swets explained that the Comprehensive Plan says 5,000.

Mr. Forbes said those are 2005 numbers. Mr. Swets said that his calculation started with the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Barenie said then the 3,000 homes that were already here are not included then. Mr. Swets said that they are.

Mr. Kil said that as of March, the number of homes is what is listed on his calculation. Mr. Blazak said that the number he has is 7,000 homes.

(General Discussion Ensued)

Mr. Kil stated to the Town Council that he does have a finalized work product in his office if any of them would like to see it. He spent about ten hours on it. Then, he verified his work product against the Town’s GIS mapping system and against several final plats that were approved.

Mr. Forbes added that Mr. Kil said he had accounted for everything that is existing and is currently approved. Mr. Kil said that he did make that comment. It is everything that is existing, plus The Preserves, plus Greystone, plus Mill Creek. Everything that has been approved and considered to be approved must be added.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if he had any further discussion. He did not.

Mr. Forbes called on Chief Willman. Fire Chief Willman gave the following report for the St. John Fire Department:

During the month of September 2016 the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 98 requests for assistance. There were 68 within our incorporated limits of St. John. There were 17 within the unincorporated limits of St. John Township. There were 13 in District 3, which is all of the destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid was to Tri- Creek EMS, Schererville EMS, Lake Hills Fire and EMS, Dyer Fire, and Creek Township for working structure fire, fire, and EMS. Mr. Forbes called on Chief Kveton. Police Chief Kveton gave the following report:

Chief Kveton shared that there are a couple of really great things coming up. The Police Department just started a Facebook Page, which everybody could see at the St. John Police Department Facebook Page.

The Police Department also had a meet and greet today where Chief Kveton and several of his officers were there with the K-9 and met with several of the residents as they came in and out of the grocery store. Chief Kveton shared that the department is in the final stages of filing the paper work with the State of Indiana to create a non-for-profit organization called the St. John Police Association, which will help to create some charity events in Town.

As of November 1st, the department is going to start a one-month charity drive for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This charity drive is called No Shave November, and Chief Kveton is going to authorize his officers to grow facial hair for one month. They have also put out the challenge to the Town’s Public Works Department to compete with the Police Department on this effort, which will culminate in a celebration event on November 30th. Chief Kveton added that the Public Works guys did get a bit of a head start, and he heard that some them can grow a beard in just a few days. So, they are going up against quite a bit. Chief asked if anyone is good at growing facial hair to please join his team. He said that he would like to challenge the elected officials to please join his team or if they can to support one of the officers.

Chief next shared that he had some really good news. He received an email this morning from Detective Corporal Flores that a burglar he has mentioned a couple times in the early part of the year that was victimizing some of our residents here in St. John driving a silver Chrysler Pacifica has been identified and arrested. He is also wanted on a no-bond warrant with extradition out of California for the same thing. He has been doing residential burglaries throughout the country. He was identified through a fingerprint that was recovered through a Munster burglary a couple of months ago.

Chief reminded the Council and attendees that Halloween is this coming Monday. Trick- or-Treating will be from 5pm-7pm.

Chief Kveton said that he wanted to address a question that was brought up in one of the first public comments about our 9-1-1 calls. If there are administrative questions, if it is anything to do with questions about tickets, questions for the Chief of the Police Department or the Fire Department, please call the non-emergency numbers to be routed to the right person. His intent with all the magnets and everything that went out was to advise everybody that because we have a consolidated dispatch center, if you want police service, if you want fire department service, if you want someone to respond to you for any reason, whether it is a non-emergency call or an emergency call; if it is a dog at large, a squirrel in your chimney, anything where you need a police officer or fire department to respond to you, you have to call 9-1-1 because they are the dispatchers. They do not have dispatchers here in St. John. They are at the County building at the consolidated dispatch center. To be able to reach them on the phone to ask for service you have to call 9-1-1 to have somebody respond to you.

Chief Kveton shared that they had a department meeting yesterday that he would like to cover. It is very important because several officers were recognized for good jobs, very outstanding jobs actually. Officer Zuzich received the Distinguished Service award for making a traffic stop on an individual and identifying stolen property inside the vehicle.

Corporal Moffitt, Officer Adams, Officer Olsen, and Officer Wortsman all received a Distinguished Service award for responding to Dairy Queen for somebody passing a counterfeit bill, locating that vehicle, stopping them, and recovering counterfeit bills inside of the trunk of the vehicle as well as, the manufacturing materials that they were making the bills with.

Corporal Dahlin responded to assist in locating a car burglar. He located that individual, got a confession from him on the street, and was able to find where he hid the stolen change in a mailbox not to far away. Chief Kveton said to lock it or lose it. A lot of these car burglars are going through cars at night and just going in unlocked cars. So, as long as you lock your car you will prevent yourself from being a victim of that particular crime.

Chief Kveton shared that Jan Kalinowski, who is our code enforcement officer, was given a Distinguished Service award for going above and beyond the line of duty by assisting a dog named Winston. Winston was a very, very sick puppy who needed surgery that would cost in excess of one thousand dollars, and rather than the Town having to pay the thousand dollars, Jan was able to locate a vet in the area that donated their services and gave the dog the surgery it needed to survive. So, Jan was recognized for that.

Lastly, Corporal Dahlin and Officer Adams again responded to a theft of motor vehicle, and located the offender and took him into custody. So, Chief Kveton wanted to thank all those officers for the wonderful job they have done over the past months.

Chief Kveton reminded everyone to check out their Facebook Page. Monday there will be a link to their page and Next Door for No Shave November, so hopefully we can raise some money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. The 6-page docket General APV’s totals $1,704,054.14. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. A motion was made by Mr. Volk to pay the bills. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

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

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

11-17-2016 Town Council Rescheduled to 11-29-2016
11-29-2016 Town Council

November 29, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the November 29th 2016 Town Council meeting to order at 7:29 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, Steve Hastings, and Christian Jorgensen. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Attorney David Austgen was present. Chief Fred Willman and Chief James Kveton were both present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: October 27, 2016

Mr. Forbes stated that the first item on the agenda was the approval of the meeting minutes from the October 27, 2016 meeting. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the minutes. There were no questions. Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion. “So Moved,” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---all. Nays ---none.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Gerry Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated that his questions and comments from tonight come from looking at the two ordinances. The first question is on Ordinance 1639 that is in the public hearing. Mr. Swets asked the Town Council if they would give a little bit of depth when they get to that part as to what those expenses are.

The other question Mr. Swets had was on Ordinance 1638, which is a Salary Ordinance. Mr. Swets said that he knows from the last meeting that this meant to be around a three percent raise, but his question is concerned with the different breakdowns of Section A, which is the Town Council Employees, and Section B, the Clerk-Treasurer’s employees, and so on. Mr. Swets asked if there is some place where he could see what was budgeted and spent last year compared to what is proposed and supposed to be approved tonight.

Mr. Kil told Mr. Swets he would have to go through each budget town-wide, through every fund; water, sewer, general, the whole nine yards or Mr. Kil would give him an approximate number of about $58,000 total for a raise across the town total from all the different funds. Mr. Kil clarified he does not have the exact number, but he is giving Mr. Swets a number or he said Mr. Swets could go spend ten hours doing it.

Mr. Swets asked where he would go to get these numbers. Mr. Kil told him that he could go to Ms. Hernandez’s office and ask for a 2016 budget and a 2017 budget. Then, Mr. Swets would have to do a breakdown of all the numbers.

Kathy Wilson 9621 E Oakridge:

Ms. Wilson began by stating she would also like the Town Council to explain the appropriations. Ms. Wilson then said that as for the payroll, she has done payroll for close to forty years, and some of them just seem out-of-whack. It is not the percentage, and she doesn’t know the in’s and out’s of it, but some positions seem normal and some of them seem quite low.

Mary Therese Robert 11990 Heron Lake Road:

Ms. Robert said that she would like to see the Town move forward, but time and time again, she feels that people are not being heard. Our garbage is up, our water is up, our fire tax has been reenacted, Nipsco is going up, but again, we were the only Town not engaged in that conversation.

Ms. Robert said that she also questions how we are going to have (unintelligible) for another fire truck. Mr. Kil says that the tax is going to generate about $300,000.00 per year. So, where are we going to get the other million dollars from?

Ms. Robert addressed Mr. Hastings by sharing his following quote, “I am a conservative, and I am going to make sure that the Town is within budget, and I will make sure that every department has the equipment needed.” Ms. Robert shared the Town has grown 92.3% since 2000.

Ms. Robert said to Mr. Kil that an article dated 9/23/15 by Mark (unintelligible), stated that Mr. Kil is a resident now in St. John. Ms. Robert welcomed Mr. Kil back.

Ms. Robert then mentioned the article stated that we have beautiful parks, but Ms. Robert constantly sees complaints. She does not see any bike paths and walking paths in subdivisions that she is around. We are looking at another 7,000 acres of more growth. Where is the infrastructure?

Ms. Robert stated the article also mentioned that Mr. Kil hired about ten police officers. Our police department has failed to keep up with the development in Town. In Dyer, there are twenty-eight officers per 6.1 square miles for a population of 16,300.

Schererville has forty-eight officers for 14.8 square miles for a population of 29,000. St. John has nineteen officers per 11.5 square miles for a population of 18,000. Munster has forty-two officers with 7.6 square miles for a population of 23,000. Highland has thirty-eight officers per square miles of 6.9 and a 23,000 population.

Ms. Robert said that Mr. Forbes stated that last year we missed out on $15.7 million, but that he was going to look into next year. She said that if he would have read the articles that she keeps, it stated right in the article that there is no promise for another year. This is the first time it was done, and she quotes, “The decision has not been made that state matching funds for the program will be alive in future years.” Ms. Robert reminded the Council that we are not the only ones expanding. There are no new roads. She has gotten complaints from the paper, Dyer and Schererville. Everybody is moving forward with building without infrastructure.

So, to say the least, Ms. Robert is very disappointed. We are trying to make out we are something that we aren’t. According to another article, we have grown not only in size, but in prestige and amenities. Such as, great restaurants, shopping, public green spaces, and parks. Ms. Robert does not see that here, and she said that is a misconception. She looks at what Munster and Schererville have to offer, and then she looks at what we have to offer.

Presentation from Public Works Department:

Mr. Kil started by stating that most might be aware that we have recently had two employees retire. They just happened to be with us tonight. Mr. Kil agreed that he would go ahead and speak on behalf of everybody tonight, but he would like the Public Works Department to come up and take a group picture. Mr. Kil mentioned the first one of the crew to go was Joan Millis and everybody who knows her knows that she was kind of the glue around everything. She kept the Public Works Department running and everybody straight. He said that you have to keep those guys in line back there and Joan did just that. Joan was here twenty-three years. Her date of hire was August 30, 1993. Her retirement date was November 11, 2016.

The next employee was the patriarch of the Town, the longest serving Town employee as far as years go. Mr. Kil doesn’t want to say he’s the oldest, but the longest serving in terms of years. Mr.Derwin Nietzel is retiring as our Water Operator. He kept everything going. He spent a lot of time with Mr. Kil. He has educated Mr. Kil on the water system over the years. The guys lean on him all the time. Mr. Kil said that he knows he leans on him and values his opinion. Mr. Kil said you may not work with Derwin on a day-to-day basis, but he took his job serious. Both Joan and Derwin did. Derwin was here for forty- four years. His hire date was June 1, 1973, and his retirement date was November 25, 2016. Mr. Kil joked that Derwin plans on a nice nap in the afternoon and some fishing, and probably getting out of the cold weather during the winter.

Mr. Kil said that personally having worked with these guys very closely for a long time, Ms. Hernandez knows them well, and he is sure the Council has worked with them on and off jobs, so they will be greatly missed. There is no doubt about it.

Mr. Kil shared that Joan Millis was nice enough to help train her replacement for approximately seven months. Her replacement is doing well, and again in no small part to Joan training her to do so. Bob Valois is Derwin’s replacement, who is not here tonight. IDEM has already been notified that he is our new water operator. He has all the certifications. Derwin has been trying to teach that young man for about the last several years, so Mr. Kil is hoping that he does a good job. Mr. Kil said that Derwin is only a phone call away. Mr. Kil asked if the Public Works employees could all come up to present the retirees with plaques.

There was an applause and pictures taken of the retirees.

Mr. Forbes said that before moving on in the agenda, he meant to make mention of this when we did the pledge of allegiance. We recently lost two very good friends of the Town of St. John. George Bellamy has just passed away, and in the beginning of November, Ralph Keilman passed away. They were both long-term residents of the Town and heavily involved in the Town. Mr. Bellamy was a police officer and Mr. Keilman was a Public Works employees and on the Fire Department. A moment of silence was given for these two gentleman.

Public Hearing:

Mr. Forbes stated that the next item on the agenda is the Public Hearing.
A. Ordinance No. 1639, an Ordinance authorizing Additional Appropriations.
1. Proofs of Publication- Town Attorney
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Austgen if Proofs of Publications are in order. Mr. Austgen stated that they are. He said that the publications of the Public Hearing were published in each The Times and The Post Tribune on November 18th; timely and in compliance with applicable law.
2. Opening Remarks- Ms. Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Hernandez if she would like to make the opening statement. Ms. Hernandez said yes. She said that she is aware there were some questions regarding some additional information on these additional appropriations. She explained that this is a general housekeeping item. She believes it is done on a yearly basis. Ms. Hernandez said that she will go over each fund, and give a little background as far as why we are requesting additional appropriations.

Ms. Hernandez said that she is going to combine the Farmer’s Market, and on the additional page, the Christmas Events, and the Haunted House Fall Festival. These are normal operating expenses for these three events. In the past, there has never been any money appropriated for these items. Ms. Hernandez would like to start appropriating money going forward. So, they started with an additional appropriation this year. We will not be able to put it in the ‘17 budget, but it is something that we will look at going into the ’18 budget. All of the figures are in line with what has been spent in the past.

When you go onto the lease rental payment that is in the amount of $440,000; this is because there was non-payment by the prior administration in December of 2015 for the Building Corporation. Ms. Hernandez ended up making the payment in January, prior to receiving any late fees. It was required to appropriate another $440,000.00 for lack of payment in 2015.

CCI is the Cumulative Capital Improvement fund. This is basically for the Microsoft license annual renewal fee, which we have to renew every year.

In the Riverboat fund, we are asking for an additional appropriation of $100,000.00. This was for additional Road Paving that we did throughout the year.

Solid Waste Operating Fund, $62,000.00, was for the purchase of a new wood-chipper truck for Public Works.

The PD Special Revenue fund, $96,780.00. This is to accommodate the expenditures of the Police Department that exceeded appropriations in the ’15 budget.

Ms. Hernandez noted that for our General Fund, we budgeted in ’15, 4.5 million, and we are expected to meet that budget this year. Our revenue is expected to be roughly 5.1 million, which obviously means our revenue will exceed our expenses by approximately 11%, and we are hopeful during the Board of Finance meeting to give final figures at that time.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. There were none.

3. Open the Floor to Public Comment
Mr. Forbes opened the floor for public hearing. Gerald Swets 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets thanked Ms. Hernandez for her statement and the detail. Mr. Swets asked if the Farmer’s Market is $18,000.00 input on our expenses. Ms. Hernandez said that is what the expenses are, correct. Mr. Swets asked if there is an income that is not reflected in this number. Ms. Hernandez said that is correct. Mr. Swets clarified it is not something that is going to be added to expenditure. Ms. Hernandez said that is correct. Mr. Swets said that he can assume the Haunted House would be the same thing. Mr. Swets asked if Christmas is revenue grossing. Ms. Hernandez replied that it is not.

Mr. Swets then asked what the Riverboat fund is. Ms. Hernandez said that it is Casino Gaming and can be used towards infrastructure improvements or equipment purchases. Mr. Swets asked if it is correct that that is income. Mr. Forbes told him yes. It is our cut of the money from the casinos up north. Mr. Swets asked why this is then an expenditure. Mr. Forbes explained that is to spend money from the fund. Ms. Hernandez reiterated that it is for infrastructure improvements or equipment. Mr. Forbes explained that we are taking money out of the Riverboat fund to pay for some of the road improvements that we made.

Mr. Swets then asked about the lease rental. He said that he remembers when this issue came up, the $440,000.00. He asked if that is one monthly payment. Ms. Hernandez said that it is made semi-annually. It wasn’t made in December, so it needed to be made in January. Mr. Swets said at is all the questions he has.

Brian Blazak 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak said that he just wanted to ask one question. With the overage in the budget for 5.1 million against 4.5, where does the $600,000.00 end go. What is it earmarked for? What can it be spent on?

Mr. Kil said that he would answer that. Mr. Kil told Mr. Blazak that it builds our cash balance in the General Fund, and then the Town Council, at their discretion, can transfer that to the Rainy Day Fund, or it can be appropriated and spent. Mr. Kil noted that, in years past, our on the annual reports show that our revenue exceeds our expenses.

Mr. Blazak asked if he is saying that funds are building. Mr. Kil said oh yes we are.

Mr. Forbes asked if there was any other Public Comment. He took a last call for Public Comment. There

was none. Mr. Forbes closed the floor to the public.

4. Closed to the Floor
Mr. Forbes asked if there was any discussion or further questions.

Mr. Forbes stated that hearing no discussion, he would entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #1639 on first reading. Mr. Volk made a motion. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes said he would like to entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1639. “So Moved” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

New Business:

A. Consider Kilkenny Estates Unit 4 Block 1, Certificate of Amendment.
This is for address corrections for lots 12, 14, and 15. This has received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Mr. Jorgensen asked if this was just an address correction. The Council told him yes. They also shared that there are no homes there yet. This is just a correction of the Plat. It is part of the process.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he will make a motion to approve the Certificate of Amendment. Mr. Forbes asked if there was a second. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

B. Consider request to dispose of certain Personal Property that is worthless and of no value to the Town.
Mr. Forbes explained that this is a Police Vehicle and electronic equipment. Mr. Kil told Mr. Forbes that we do this periodically. We get requests like this. Jason’s office looks like a junkyard and he wants to recycle all the old electronics. Obviously those are of no value anymore. He has supplied a list. Mr. Kil stated that the Police Department partnered out parts of a squad to another squad. Mr. Kil said that to dispose of that, it would go to Stan’s and they would sell it for scrap. The old outdated electronic equipment will go in the electronic recycling bin.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if Lake Central has an auto shop program. Mr. Kil told him that they have a huge auto-shop. Mr. Forbes asked if we could see if they are interested in the vehicle. Mr. Kil asked him if he means to donate it to them. Mr. Forbes said yes, to donate it to them. Mr. Forbes said that, to him, this is perfect, with half of the front end open you can get right in there and learn. Mr. Kil said that if the Council authorizes the disposal of it, he will make sure to talk to the shop teacher. If they want it, Mr. Kil will have it taken over there. Mr. Forbes said to run it by Lake Central first, and then if not, get rid of it.

Mr. Forbes said that all of these computers, to show how old they are, say Gateway on them. They do not make Gateways anymore. Mr. Kil said that sometimes Jason asks to get rid of a computer because it simply cannot be supported anymore. Mr. Forbes said that a lot of the equipment is pretty old equipment.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this. Hearing no questions, Mr. Forbes stated that he would make a motion to authorize the Town Manager to dispose of the items of personal property, and to declare the same worthless and of no value. Motion made by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

D. Ordinance No. 1638, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1617, the 2017 Salary Ordinance.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Hearing no questions, Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to consider Ordinance #1638 on first reading. “So Moved” from Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to adopt Ordinance #1638. “So Moved” from Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

E. Consider request of special exception by Sunrise Solar for Sunrise Solar.
This request is for Sunrise Solar. The petitioner is Mr. Bill Keith. This received a favorable recommendation from the BZA. Mr. Keith had to go to the BZA to get a special exception in order to put his business in the Ravenswood Subdivision, which is just north of Alsip Nursery. Apparently, this is a requirement of our Route 41 overlay district. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on this. Mr. Jorgensen commented and said that this is great. Mr. Austgen added that this project has been fully vetted. Mr. Forbes said that he could only imagine.

Mr. Forbes asked once more if there were any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain a motion to grant the special exception, incorporate the Finding of Facts, and the contingencies from the BZA. Motion was made by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Jorgensen if he had anything to speak upon this evening. Mr. Jorgensen said that he did. He said that it may not technically be necessary, but he wanted to speak about the employment agreement that was being discussed in regards to Mr. Eberly to help Mr. Kil. It was passed around to the Council members earlier this week. Hopefully everyone has had a chance to take a look at it.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would like to make a motion tonight to execute it sometime this week. He thinks that it requires Mr. Forbes’ signature and Mr. Eberly’s signature. Mr. Jorgensen asked if everyone knew what he was talking about. Mr. Volk said that he had received it, but he had not read it yet. Mr. Forbes said that he hasn’t read it yet either; he hasn’t had time.

Mr. Jorgensen explained that it is a year of employment; employee at will agreement that had been discussed. If they hadn’t read it, then it could not be done now. Mr. Jorgensen said that he would like to get it done before the end of the year.

Mr. Forbes said that it can be added to the agenda for which he believes is December 17th. Mr. Kil made a correction that it is December 15th. Mr. Jorgensen agreed to that.

Mr. Volk had no report.

Mr. Forbes called on Mr. Hastings. Mr. Hastings said that he would like to speak. Mr. Hastings lives on Patterson, and he wanted to share that our Public Works employees went above and beyond with all those leaves. Some of those leaves were twelve feet high. Mr. Forbes said that he is not kidding; it is a good statistic. Mr. Kil said that they were still working on leaves this late in the year. Mr. Kil said that there have been requests for some drains to be replaced. Also, there is street sweeping that is going to be taking place to help get that done. Public Works is now scheduled to clear all the pipes, outlets and inlets, to make sure all of the water drains. So, if anyone gets any calls about that, we ran over on leaves this year. Mr. Forbes said that the weather was so nice; they didn’t fall off of the trees. When they did fall off of the tree they all fell off at once. Mr. Kil said that is just the way it goes. Mr. Hastings reiterated he just wanted to thank the Public Works. They did a heck of a job. Even on the park, with all of the lights and that. It is beautiful. He thanked them again.

Mr. Barenie had no report.

Mr. Forbes said that he had sent the Council a proposal from GovHR to review staffing of our Police and Fire Department. Mr. Forbes asked if they had a chance to look at that. Mr. Volk said that he did. Mr. Jorgensen and Mr. Barenie said that they have not. Mr. Jorgensen said that he does know what he is talking about, and he knows where they are going with it. He does agree, but he has not had a chance to take a look at it completely. Mr. Jorgensen asked if it is something that we have to put on the agenda. Mr. Forbes said that we could. If nobody is prepared to take action then we will. Mr. Jorgensen said then it is an agenda item for the 15th as well.

Mr. Forbes said that Mr. Kil had brought up Christmas Eve Holiday. Mr. Forbes asked if we are going to grant that as a day off. Mr. Barenie said that he would recommend that. Mr. Jorgensen asked if that is a Saturday. Mr. Forbes said that it would be a paid holiday, so they would get Friday off. Mr. Kil said that Christmas Eve, as a designated holiday, would mean Friday off. Mr. Barenie said that Monday would be the Christmas holiday.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would entertain a motion to authorize Christmas Eve as a paid holiday for the employees. Mr. Barenie made the motion. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. Motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Mr. Forbes said that he is sure Ms. Hernandez will talk about this, but he wanted to acknowledge that the Festival of Lights had their opening night and it was very nice. It was well-attended. There were a few differences there that were really nice. The Lake Central portion of the band was there. It was really-nice. The Public Works and the Clerk’s Office did a really nice job.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez thanked Mr. Forbes and said that she also wanted to thank the Council for their continued support in the event. It means a lot. Ms. Hernandez also thanked Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes for coming out on opening night.

Ms. Hernandez said that there were some things that they changed for the event. Lake Central Band and Counterpoints came out, and that was huge. Ed from Stop and Shop came out and grilled the hot dogs. That was new this year, and it was well-received. Comfort’s provided our hot chocolate; there were no complaints there. Mr. Forbes said that people were raving about the hot chocolate. Mr. Hernandez said, yes, they were raving about the hot chocolate. Mr. Kil said that was no lie; it was the best hot chocolate he has ever had. Ms. Hernandez said that the Chamber donated the candy canes. So, it was great to see the community come together. Ms. Hernandez mentioned the remaining dates of Christmas in the Park: December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.

Ms. Hernandez said that she wanted to go over with the Council the results from the proposals with the local banks. She wanted to share some of the numbers as well as the choice made, and let the public see as well. Ms. Hernandez mentioned that the Town has not gone out for proposals since 2009. Which, Ms. Hernandez stated is outlandish to go that long without checking what kind of bang you can get for your buck. So, it was one of the first things that she planned on accomplishing to when she took office.

In July, Request for Proposal packets were sent out. She decided to keep it in Town for many reasons. One, Ms. Hernandez believed that it was important to keep Town money in Town. Location was definitely key, since they conduct daily banking transactions. Every single bank in Town received a Request for Proposal. The banks that have a check mark: BMO Harris, Centier, Fifth Third, People’s Bank, and Standard are the banks that responded. Ms. Hernandez stated that in order to maintain consistency across the board, she provided each bank with the following anticipated services per month: maintenance of eleven accounts, three hundred and twenty-five checks paid, fifty deposits, etc. Obviously, it was important to provide the same numbers across the board, so you can compare apples to apples.

So, once the banks were able to take a look at the office’s anticipated service needs, they went ahead and estimated service charges. Ms. Hernandez referred to the information on the screen. She said that if you look at the net services line, they all total to zero. She thought that it was important to mention the way in which the banks arrive at zero. Some banks, like Centier, First Midwest, and Standard simply waive the fees. Then, banks like BMO Harris and People’s Bank offer what is called an Earnings Credit Rate to lower you down to zero service charge. Ms. Hernandez said that is important to factor in when making a decision because in order for an earnings credit rate, you have to have a certain amount of money held in a non-interest bearing account to get that credit back.

Ms. Hernandez then moved on to an account analysis. They gave each bank a Town balance of twenty-one million. Then, they took a look at what the bank can provide as far as interest rates are concerned. In 2015, the Town of St. John earned $15,408.00 in annual interest. Going out for Request for Proposals, BMO Harris offered a 283% increase, or an estimated $44, 844.00. They did not include a length of guarantee. Centier Bank was a 518% increase or $82,104.00 for the annual net interest earned. They provided a two year guarantee on those rates. First Midwest provided a 250% increase or $39,732.00 with a one year guarantee. People’s Bank offered a 222% increase or $35,184.00. Their rates are subject to change without notice. Standard Bank, which was our current bank in 2015, jumped up to $58,800.00 by simply asking them for a proposal. This amounted to a 371% increase. Their rates are subject to change weekly. Needless to say, the Town decided to go with Centier Bank, simply because they waived fees, and we would see the largest annual net interest earned. They’ve got two locations in Town, and they have extended business hours, which becomes periodically important throughout the year. For example, during the Haunted House, instead of holding on to deposits, we can take it to the Strack and VanTil location. The same for Christmas in the Park when we receive donations, it allows us to have different options.

Ms. Hernandez said that she wanted to share a couple of things that we will be adding to safeguard our money. She said these are things that we might think, “Geeze, didn’t you already have this”. We didn’t. The first thing is called remote deposit. We are adding this feature to be able to scan checks and transmit the images to Centier for posting and clearing. Some benefits of this will be reduced transportation and simplified deposit preparation. Also, the elimination of endorsed checks which is huge in our office, since we don’t have online bill pay. Ms. Hernandez said that her office sees about 6,720 utility bills a month and every single one has to be stamped for deposit as it stands now. So, we will no longer have to do that. We will have increased security which reduces the liability of lost or stolen checks in transit. There will be faster access to our funds because we will have same day processing. We will be able to provide better customer service because we will have the ability to respond quickly to customer payment inquiries. There will be a reduction in errors now that this will be automated balancing. Simplified processing and reconciling of checks will be more efficient, and with 24-hour deposits, it will be convenient.

Ms. Hernandez shared that we are adding two fraud prevention features. The first is Positive Pay. This is where we will be able to provide Centier with the check numbers, dates, and amounts of all checks issued after a docket is approved. When a check is presented, Centier will then compare the information we provided them with the information on the check. If something appears to be potentially fraudulent, it is sent back to the Clerk-Treasurer’s office for examination.

The last thing that we are adding is Debit Block and Filter. This feature will automatically block out or filter unauthorized ACH transactions. We provided Centier with a designated list of authorized debits and credits. If an ACH originator is not on our authorized list, Centier will contact the office the next morning to decision the transaction. So, basically that means nobody can put money into or out of the accounts without them being an approved authorized user.

Ms. Hernandez said that we expect to be up and running with Centier in December. However, we are going to keep our Standard Bank accounts open until all checks have cleared. We also have to pay special attention to the EMS billing with Medicaid and Medicare. Ms. Hernandez has been working with Rachel on that. She said that generally it takes about sixty days to get those accounts up and running. Other than that, it has been a pretty smooth transition thus far. Lisa Bossi and Rhonda from Centier Bank are in attendance tonight. Ms. Hernandez stated they are excited to partner with them. Mr. Forbes said that he is excited too. He said that he felt the 21st Century swoop right in.

Ms. Hernandez said that is all she had. She asked for any questions. Mr. Barenie said that he was going to say congratulations, but Mr. Forbes summed it up. The Council thanked Ms. Hernandez.

STAFF
Mr. Forbes called on Mr. Austgen. He had no report. Mr. Forbes called on Mr. Kil. Mr. Kil said that he did not have reports.

Fire Department Chief, Chief Willman gave the following report:

During the month of October 2016, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 140 request for assistance. There were 102 within our incorporated limits of Town. There were twenty-four within the unincorporated limits of St. John Township, and fourteen in District Three which is all destinations including mutual aid. They had an extremely busy month. There has only been two months where we have had more calls than that in the last six years, and it only amounted to about five more than that.

The Fire Department received a total of 14 requests to provide mutual aid. This was to Lake Hills, Schererville, Crown Point, Munster, and to Cedar Lake. The Fire Department responded to nine incidents on the scene, five requests were canceled in route, requests for an ALS ambulance, requests for working structure fires and change of corridors details.

EMS Service on a Monday night provided review of proper assessment, treatment, and pre-hospital care of patients that have found to be the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cold weather causes homes to be closed up and furnaces to run more hours in a day. The training also included time for medics to practice hands-on skills. Skills that covered patient handling. Proper lifting procedures were also on the agenda for that evening.

One fire training marked the end of fire hose testing for 2016. This was an ongoing project that went very well. Each month the fire department was able to allow a few hours to finish the job. Some departments pay outside agencies to complete this testing. We have always chosen to find the time to do it ourselves. One fire training covered the new poor gas detector that we purchased for testing air quality inside of structures. We also use these instruments for CO and flammable gas investigations.

Finally, the last Monday of October was Halloween night. The department had 13 Fire Department personnel on the road and ambulances, smaller staffed vehicles, and even the gator to assist with Trick–or–Treat patrol throughout our Town. The annual open house on October 2nd and our Halloween patrol gave them an opportunity to accomplish some community outreach during the month.

Police Chief Kveton gave the following report:

In the month of October, the members of the St. John Police Department logged approximately 18,000 miles. They responded to 568 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents led to fifteen adult arrests with twenty-six charges being filed; zero charges regarding juveniles.

Recently, the Police Department has seen an uptick or a spike in car crashes that we have investigated. Usually that doesn’t happen until the snow flies, but for some reason it has happened in the last three of four weeks. There have been quite a few including a couple of school bus collisions where really no students were injured. There was a single car collision recently that was a fatal collision in a residential area.

Earlier today there was a call of a gypsy type, traveling type crime, where an individual distracted a homeowner and another individual went into the house and rummaged through the house. Please be careful. If anybody comes to the door that you don’t know, make sure you keep an eye on them, so they don’t have somebody else come in through the back door. If they try and get you to come out to look at a fence or a wire or something to distract you, make sure that is a warning sign for you.

Chief Kveton said that they will finish up their charity even tomorrow night. When he left the office this evening, St. Jude’s website was showing our donations to this point; which are mostly from family members of the Police Department and the Public Works Department, totaling $14,065.00. So, it was very successful. Chief Kveton thanked everyone for their support on that.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes moved on to payment of the bills for the corporation. The four -page docket General APV’s in the total amount of 1,076,369.74. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills. Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. A motion was made by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Mr. Jorgensen. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes --- all. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

12-15-2016 Town Council

December 15, 2016 Town Council Meeting Minutes

MICHAEL FORBES GREGORY VOLK CLERK-TREASURER, BETH HERNANDEZ
MARK BARENIE CHIEF FRED WILLMAN TOWN MANAGER, STEVE KIL
STEVE HASTINGS CHIEF JAMES KVETON  
CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the December 15, 2016 regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Steve Hastings, Christian Jorgensen and Greg Volk. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief Fred William was present. Deputy Chief Dave Demeter was present. Attorney David Austgen was present. Council member Mark Barenie was absent. Chief James Kveton was absent.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Rita Berg, 10351 Joliet St:

Ms. Berg stated she wanted to make a comment about Circle K although she did not see the item on the agenda. Ms. Berg stated many people in the Town objected to it because of lack of room and problems with the street. She continued to state that she would really like to postpone this type of thing because we [public who oppose it] do not want to see this become a nightmare.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet St:

Mr. Swets wanted to make a few comments to the Town Council. He stated that although he knew they were not the Building and Planning Commission, they are still in charge of running the Town. Mr. Swets stated he wanted them to be aware of some of the zoning and planning proposals. He stated there is a proposal of building family homes with lots 60 feet wide. He mentioned the Town is pretty specific about zoning and has lots 100 feet by 200 feet or 100 feet by 150 feet. He said a lot size of 60 feet by 150 feet is 9000 square feet and some houses are about that size. He wanted the Council to know what was happening in the Building and Planning Commission and stated that this has to stop. He said otherwise we are going to have little houses and end up like Salk Village or some of the other areas, and he does not want to see that happen to St. John.

Mr. Swets wanted to add that although he complains and brings a lot of things forward, he wants to thank the Council for their work this year and their service. He wished all of the members a Merry Christmas.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Bid Opening-New Fire Truck
Mr. Austgen stated the proofs of publication to notice of bidders have been properly advertised and noticed. He added it has been almost excessively advertised due to the nature of the purchase. Mr. Kil mentioned it has been out for bid for quite some time.

Mr. Austgen opened the envelopes for the two bids and read the bid amounts.

  1. Fire Service, Inc.
    1. The bid amount is $799,998.
    2. The bid is executed and contains:
      • Non-collusion affidavit
      • Bid bond for 10% of the amount bid
      • Supporting documents

  2. Mid America Fire and Safety, LLC (Evansville, IN)
    1. The amount bid is $867,974
    2. The bid is executed and contains:
      • Non-collusion affidavit
      • Bid bond for 10% of the amount bid
      • Supporting documents

Mr. Kil asked if there was only two bids and not three. Mr. Austgen confirmed that there were only two bids. Ms. Hernandez confirmed that four people picked up packets and two bids were received.

Mr. Forbes asked to entertain a motion to take the bids under advisement. “So moved” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - all. Nays - none.

B. Resolution No. 2016-12-15, a resolution authorizing Forgiveness of Interfund Loan Repayment of Funds
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to elaborate on this proposed resolution. Mr. Kil stated that several years ago in 2004 or 2005, there was a loan made from the Expansion Fund to the Project Fund. The Project Fund loan was to complete the Town Hall, Public Safety Building and Public Works Facility in the amount of $581,151.42. The Sanitary Department, at that time, loaned the money.

Mr. Kil added the second loan was the initial cash funding of the Self-Funded Employee Health Insurance Program. This loan is a total of $700,000. He stated that the program is working very well. Mr. Kil mentioned that, in the past, the Town was experiencing 20% rate increases on a fully insured plan. Now, the Town has remained static for the last three years.

Mr. Kil concluded that these loans are inter-Town loans and asked if the Town Council could take action and forgive payment of these loans since it is our money and not an outside financial institution. This resolution will be used to clean our books up.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the resolution. “So moved” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes-all. Nays -none.

C. Resolution 2016-12-15A, a resolution approving the Transfer of Certain Real Property to the St. John Volunteer Fire Department (1945 Mack Fire Engine, Model No. 85)
Mr. Forbes asked Chief Willman for comments concerning this resolution. Chief Willman stated the Fire Department has been working with Mr. Kil and the Town Council for quite a while regarding the fire truck. He stated they have had the 1945 Mack Fire Truck for a very long time, and it has a lot of tradition for the Department. He added they cannot make any decisions regarding repairs and housing because it falls back on ownership. Now the Fire Department can put the truck on honorary status like they do with the volunteers who retire, and this resolution will help us a lot. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions for the Chief; there were none.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adopt the resolution. “So moved” by Mr. Jorgensen. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - four. Nays - none.

D. Consider employment agreement with Mr. Rick Eberly for Building and Planning Director
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to comment on this item. Mr. Kil stated the agreement would be for a period of one year from the date of hire, whatever that date is determined to be. The agreement would terminate annually, or it could be extended if the Council chooses. The salary for the position is $75,000 per year. Mr. Kil added the position is to run the Building and Planning Department and to work directly with him. He stated they have a lot of building and planning and Mr. Eberly would be able to devote his full attention to all of the BZA matters which takes a tremendous amount of time. He concluded that they are probably the fastest growing Town around. Mr. Forbes asked for questions on the agreement.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if Mr. Eberly would be under Mr. Kil's control. Mr. Kil answered affirmatively. Mr. Jorgensen questioned further that even though it was a year contract, Mr. Eberly would still be considered an employee at will. Mr. Kil answered that is correct.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to approve the employment agreement. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion and it was seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes -four. Nays - none.

E. Consider Road Paving Contract Extension with Walsh & Kelly, Inc.
Mr. Kil stated the year 2016 was an actual extension of the contract with Walsh & Kelly. He stated the contract was originally bid in 2014 for the 2015 road project of Joliet St., Patterson, and approximately 20 miles of roadway in Town. He added the Town was not able to finish all of the projects. In 2015, the Council agreed to extend the contract for the same prices and Walsh & Kelly offered that extension once again. He added these are actually 2014 bid numbers that Walsh & Kelly offered to extend, and they have done a good job for us. Mr. Kil mentioned that we have not run out of roads for them to work on. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the agreement; there were none.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to authorize the contract extension for 2017 with Walsh & Kelly. “So moved” by Mr. Hastings. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - four. Nays - none.

F. Consider Consulting Agreement with GovHR
Mr. Forbes stated the Council touched base briefly on this agreement at the last meeting. He said GovHR is a consulting firm that is going to look at the staffing levels of the Police and Fire Departments and make an analysis of the needs of those departments based on call volume. From the information obtained, the Council can move forward with hires as necessary. Mr. Forbes added that the document they will receive is not going to state to hire “x” number of officers/employees, and the Town will not go out immediately and hire these people. He further stated that the document will give the Town direction on the number of people we should be looking to have on staff in the future. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any other thoughts on the agreement. Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is a good starting point and that the Town will need it especially based on our population growth.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to accept the Consulting Agreement with GovHR in the amount of $12,720. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion, and it was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - four. Nays - none.

G. Consider release of Subdivision Bond for Mill Creek - Phase 1, Bond No. 1121735 in the amount of $560,410.50 (favorable recommendation from Plan Commission)
Mr. Forbes stated they need to consider the release of the Subdivision Bond for Mill Creek - Phase 1, Bond 1121735 in the amount of $560,410.50. He added they received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission based upon a review by the Town Engineer. Mr. Forbes asked if there was anything to add or any questions; there were none.

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to release the bond. Mr. Volk made the motion, and it was seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - four. Nays - none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Hastings stated they had power outages from 3:30 PM until about 5:00 PM in St. John, Schererville and Cedar Lake. Mr. Forbes added there was a huge area that was out because he noticed the same thing when he was returning home from work last night. Mr. Forbes mentioned the outage was out of the Town's control but felt NIPSCO handled the outages in a timely manner.

(General Discussion Ensued.)

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated she did not have any reports but wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and that she hopes everyone enjoys the Holiday season with their families.
STAFF
Mr. Kil stated they are going to observe the same meeting schedule for 2017 with the exception of the January meeting, which was necessary to move forward slightly. Mr. Kil stated that he is working on the schedule with Ms. Hernandez, and he will have it available shortly, prior to the end of the year. He said it would set all of the Board and Commission meetings for dates and times.

Mr. Jorgensen acknowledged Mr. Kil's statement but said that he is looking at some scheduling changes. Mr. Kil stated, “That's why it's not going out yet.” Mr. Kil wished everyone a great holiday.

Deputy Chief Demeter stated for the month of November 2016, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 15,965 miles and responded to 509 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 21 adult and three juvenile arrests with 47 charges being filed. There were 117 traffic citations issued along with 126 written warnings for a total of 303 citations being issued for the month.

Chief Willman stated during the month of November 2016, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 123 requests for assistance. There were 100 within our Town and 16 in un-incorporated limits of St. John Township. There were seven in other destinations, including Mutual Aid. There were a couple calls where they were cancelled in route, one to Munster and one to Lowell. We had an engine and manpower to assist with Crown Point Fire and Rescue. They were there for just short of four hours assisting with a fire. That was a huge event. Schererville Fire and EMS were also there with two motor vehicle crashes.

Chief William further stated the money and training activities for the month of November included an EMS in-service for our annual review of SIDS and blood borne pathogens. They had additional review of protocol and considerations of associations with administering nasal Narcan for a victim of a drug overdose. Finally, they had some hands-on skills for proper patient handling when lifting and moving patients for both lift assists and for transport.

They had fire training that turned out to be a bumper-to-bumper seminar regarding a SCBA, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, which all firefighters nc::ed to wear in all situations when the quality of breathing air is compromised in any way. Each member also received a refresher course in the operation, safety devices, care and handling, maintenance, and proper storage inside vehicles. This was all completed before the end of the evening.

Finally, the last part of the training was the semi-annual assignment to get the training facility and public safety facility ready for a change of season, namely winter. The firefighters retired the brush truck for winter. They checked and started the garage heaters. They brought the snow blowers and other winter needs back, including the snowplow and pick-up. They inspected their gear-turn-off gear, boots, gloves, flashlights, hoods, portable radios -- all of the tools of their trade.

Chief Williams ended by thanking the Council again for the transfer of the firetruck to their Department. He stated how beneficial it was to them.

Mr. Austgen asked Deputy Chief Demeter to share the outcome of the No-Shave November Fundraiser. Deputy Chief Demeter was happy to report that they have raised almost $15,000. He stated Officer Olson originated the fundraiser and reported, this morning, that St. Jude's contacted him and said the funds raised would provide a minimum of eight chemo treatments for each child that is in the hospital now.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Forbes stated here is a four-page docket totaling $940,936.81. Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions on the bills; there were none.

Mr. Forbes stated he would entertain a motion. “I'll make that motion,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Jorgensen seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

Mr. Forbes stated there was one additional item of business. There is a Request to Purchase from the Public Works Department for a 2017 Transit Van. The vehicle will be used as our customer service van for our Water Department. The total cost of the vehicle is $24, 682. Mr. Kil stated the previous vehicle is starting to develop holes around the body, and it is time to replace it.

Mr. Forbes asked for a motion to approve the purchase of the Transit Van. “So moved” by Mr. Hastings and Mr. Volk seconded. The motion was passed by a voice vote (4/0). Ayes - four. Nays - none.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. “So Moved” by Mr. Jorgensen. Seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 7:34 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

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