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Town Council Meeting Minutes 2018

Meeting Minutes

01-11-2018 Town Council

January 11, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN, President STEVE HASTINGS BETH HERNANDEZ, Clerk-Treasurer
MARK BARENIE, Vice-President CHIEF FRED WILLMAN STEVE KIL, Town Manager
MICHAEL FORBES CHIEF JAMES KVETON DAVID AUSTGEN, Town Attorney;
GREG VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 11, 2018 Special Town Council meeting to order at 6:59 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

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

AGENDA AMMENDMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would like to make a motion to modify the agenda to move Public Comment up before any nominations. Mr. Forbes said that there is a motion on the floor to move Public Comment and asked if there was a second to that motion. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Mr. Forbes: “Before we begin Public Comment, I would just like to say that, as usual, I'm disappointed in your actions, Mr. Jorgensen. You choose to take the political route on everything that you do. Again, it's very disappointing . But, the reality of it is that I do not want to be President of the Town Council this year. I am tired of all the games that Mr. Jorgensen and the members of the Homeowner's Association play. Your [Mr. Jorgensen's] association with the PAC members is despicable.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Alright, leave it alone Forbes. Like, come on. Honestly, I do not think this is a bully pulpit for you to use.”

Mr. Forbes: “No. This is my moment to talk.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Is it though? Really?”

Mr. Forbes: “Because I want to make sure that everybody understands that I do not want to be President because of you [Mr. Jorgensen] and the shenanigans of your fellow PAC members.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “You're welcome.”

PUBLIC COMMENT

Adrian Bugariu, 11747 W. 90th Avenue

Mr. Bugariu stated that the problems we have in the United States today are communists in the Democratic Party since 1945 against Trump. All of the problems that Mr. Bugariu has are also direct criminal acts of communists in this Town since 1977. He advised the Council that he will have a lawsuit against the Town of St. John and all responsible lawyers, bribed witnesses and every single party.

Mr. Bugariu said the Town lawyer gets $130,000 for six months. That is $260,000 a year. He is the lawyer for our Town. He is the lawyer for Cedar Lake. He owns his own practice. Mr. Bugariu questioned what Mr. Austgen is doing for the Town for $260,000 a year?

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street

Mr. Swets mentioned that the Council caught him by surprise by being able to speak before the decision of president and president this evening. Mr. Swets stated that we have entered into a new year, which is a time when people make resolutions on things they would like to do differently or things they would like to do better.

Mr. Swets asked the Town Council to come up with a resolution of coming together to come up with a plan for the Town. He requested they work to develop an effective plan. Mr. Swets knows that the Town has a Comprehensive Plan, but that does not always seem to get followed. The Building and Planning Commission does not always follow those guidelines.

The Town has come up with ways to pay for the roads but that has had delays that have lasted for many months now. The Town has huge traffic issues, but the Council continues to let developers build on smaller and smaller lots. Mr. Swets acknowledged that he does not blame the developers for that because the Council is allowing them to build without adequate infrastructure.

Mr. Swets mentioned that he has talked before about the problems that increased density causes. The Town needs extra fire protection, police protection, and water, sewer and road improvements. The Town has over-crowded schools. There are just a lot of problems, but we have a great Town here. Mr. Swets said that he thinks with the Town Council's help, it can get better. He said that he is looking for leadership out of the “gentlemen”.

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive

Mr. Blazak thanked Mr. Jorgensen for allowing the public to speak before the officers are elected. He said he would like to echo what Mr. Swets was saying. The Town is developing at such a rapid rate without infrastructure that now we are facing an $81 million short fall in the handling of our roads. The engineers are adding another $11 million. They are also saying that “Pheasant Moore” [inaudible] isn't going to handle the next five years of problems we are going to face as we develop. The Town needs to look at that seriously. The Town needs to look at the high concentration and high density from the addition of these subdivisions, which are loading our roads and our schools. Right now Kolling supposedly has one classroom available. They are going to take kids out of The Preserve and bus them over to Bibich because they do not have room for them at Kolling. What is going to happen at Hanover? Mr. Blazak noted that Hanover is not the Town's problem, but stated you have to feel for the people that are going to be building in Hanover. Hanover is going to be flooded with kids too. We have all of these problems facing us, and we, as Mr. Swets said, have got to get our act together as a Town and as a Council. Mr. Blazak told the Council that they have got to get to work and try and solve some of these problems for the residents because the residents cannot do it without them.

Tom Parada, 9535 Joliet Street

Mr. Parada stated that Mr. Forbes said that the Homeowner's Group and the PAC are playing games. Mr. Parada clarified they are not playing games. They were formed specifically to oppose the Council and Mr. Forbes on very, very, very irresponsible things they were about to do. The Council wanted to take down thirteen houses in the historic part of Town.

Mr. Parada: “You know, every time you giggle and laugh, it's your [Mr. Forbes's] tell.”

Mr. Forbes: “It's not my tell.”

Mr. Parada: “Yes. It's your tell, Mr. Forbes.”

Mr. Forbes: “It's me responding to your ridiculous statements.”

Mr. Parada: “It's my ridiculous statements?”

Mr. Forbes: “Yes.”

Mr. Parada: “Why do you think we formed this? And, do you know what? I'm speaking now. I don't need any comment from you.”

Mr. Forbes: “You started the conversation.”

Mr. Parada continued that Mr. Volk, Mr. Forbes and Mr. Kozel, who is not here tonight, should be looking out for the residents whether they are sitting in the Council's seat or sitting in their seat in the capacity of a Planning Commissioner. They should be looking out for the residents, and they are not. They are looking out for developers and people who want to bring business to this Town and the roads are not going to handle it.

Mr. Parada: “I do have one question I'd like an answer to. Are you going to stay President of the Plan Commission, too?”

Mr. Forbes: “It is not up to me.”

Mr. Parada: “It's not up to you? Okay. If you are offered it, are you going to keep it?

Mr. Forbes: “I haven't decided.”

Mr. Parada: “Okay. You better decide pretty soon, because it is coming up.”

Election of Officers:

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain nominees for President for the 2018 calendar year. Mr. Barenie stated that he would like to recommend Christian Jorgensen as President for 2018. He asked if there are any other nominations for President. There were none. Mr. Forbes asked for those in favor to signify by saying, “Aye”. Mr. Jorgensen, Mr. Barenie, Mr. Volk and Mr. Hastings signified by saying “Aye.” Mr. Forbes asked for those who oppose. Mr. Forbes signified by saying he is opposed.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would now entertain nominations for Vice-President. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would like to nominate Mark Barenie. Mr. Forbes asked for any other nominations. Mr. Volk stated that he would like to nominate Steve Hastings. Mr. Forbes asked for those in favor of Mr. Barenie to signify by saying, “Aye”. Mr. Jorgensen and Mr. Barenie signified by saying “Aye.” Mr. Forbes asked for those in favor of Mr. Hastings to signify by saying, “Aye”. Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk signified by saying, “Aye.” Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Hastings for his vote. Mr. Hastings voted for Mr. Barenie, bringing the total to three votes for Mr. Barenie.

Mr. Forbes congratulated the two gentlemen.

Mr. Jorgensen said thank you to everybody. He appreciates the support. He said that he will try and make this a great 2018 for all of us. He thanked Mr. Barenie for stepping up and said that he appreciates it.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: November 28, 2017

Mr. Jorgensen addressed the approval of the minutes. He asked if anybody had any questions on the meeting minutes. There were none. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would entertain a motion to approve the minutes. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

New Business:

A. Resolution No. 2018-01-11A (Civil), Transfer of Funds.
Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil and Ms. Hernandez if they could explain this one.

Mr. Kil said that Ms. Hernandez worked hard on this the last several days. He explained this is simply a cleanup for 2017, as we do every year. It simply zeroes out all of the accounts, so Ms. Hernandez can close the books. There is really nothing special to point out in the transfers. It is pretty typical.

Ms. Hernandez explained that she can move funds at any time within certain categories, but she cannot move funds from one category to another category. So, these resolutions will allow her to move monies from one category to another. Mr. Jorgensen clarified that it is one bucket to another bucket. Ms. Hernandez answered affirmatively.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if anyone had any questions. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would entertain a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-01-11A (Civil). “So moved,” from Mr. Barenie. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

B. Resolution No. 2018-01-11B (SD), Transfer of Funds.
Mr. Kil stated that this resolution is for the Sanitary District, which is obviously much smaller than the Civil-Town. Mr. Jorgensen asked if it would be the same for the Water District. He asked, again, if we are moving bucket to bucket. Mr. Kil responded that is correct. They are all the same.

Ms. Hernandez reminded the Council that when the budgets were completed, they were done so separately this year: Civil was “A,” Sanitary District was “B,” and Water District was “C.” So, she approached the transfer resolutions in the same way with an “A, B, and C”.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would now entertain a motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-01-11B (SD). “So moved,” by Mr. Forbes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

C. Resolution No. 2018-01-11C (WD), Transfer of Funds.
Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Forbes. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes- five. Nays- none.
D. Resolution No. 2018-01-11, Uncollectible Bad Debt.
Mr. Jorgensen said that, again, this occurs every year. He asked Mr. Austgen if he wanted to say anything about this.

Mr. Austgen explained that this is just the “clean-up” of accounts using the statutory method for declaring the same.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if all the items that are to be declared off the books have attempted to be collected and are either bankruptcies or foreclosures. Mr. Austgen responded that they are bankruptcies, foreclosures, and “all of that”. Mr. Jorgensen said that we are not wasting any more time on it then.

Mr. Kil told Mr. Jorgensen that there is a possibility that he would like to amend the write-off. Mr. Kil explained that the Utility-Clerk in Ms. Hernandez's office got the write­ offs for the utilities completed. Mr. Kil asked if the Council could simply append this write-off to the resolution they are currently going to pass.

Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Kil if he has another resolution. Mr. Kil said that he does not. Mr. Austgen said then the Council could append this write-off to the resolution if they wanted to get it done, so that it is year-end, bookkeeping clean. Mr. Kil said that he and Ms. Hernandez would love to get this done.

Mr. Kil also added that Ms. Hernandez's office collects millions of dollars every year in utilities and, in that, there is only a write-off request of $3,451.41. That is due to people moving and not paying their final bills as well as a couple of bankruptcies. Strack's is a big bankruptcy on the list. A couple of people also went out of business. This write-off is not bad for our utilities. Ms. Hernandez's office does a great job of collections. So, if the Council wouldn't mind appending the resolution to include $3,454.41 for utility purposes, that would be great.

Mr. Austgen and Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil what the amount was again. Mr. Kil repeated that the amount is $3,451.41. Mr. Jorgensen asked if that is the appended amount or if that is the total. Mr. Kil said that is the appended amount.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that they have an amended Resolution No. 2018-01-11 to include the original amount of $110, 866.13 and an appended amount of $3,451.41. Mr. Jorgensen asked if that was correct. Mr. Kil said that is accurate.

Mr. Jorgensen said that he would entertain a motion to adopt the amended resolution. “So moved,” from Mr. Volk. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes- five. Nays- none.

REPORTS & CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen stated that there isn't a space, but if any of the staff or the members have any comments.

Mr. Forbes said that our ambulance is reaching the end of its usable life which is actually the first ambulance ever purchased. It is fifteen years old and was purchased used at that time. There is plenty of money in the Ambulance Cum Fund to actually pay for an ambulance outright. All we need from the board is authorization to move forward to replace the agent ambulance. So, if the Council has no objections to that tonight, Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to make a motion authorizing to move forward with the purchase of a new ambulance.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if the Council has to put parameters on that, as far as what they are going to pay. Should it go out to bid? Mr. Kil said that obviously, if they are over the bidding threshold, they will go out to bid. If there is a State bid available, they will avail themselves of that. If there is not, they will create bid specs and send it out.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if this is just a motion to move forward. Mr. Kil said it is to authorize him to start the process for the acquisition of a new ambulance.

Mr. Forbes: “That is my motion.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I'll second that.”

Mr. Forbes: “You can't.”

Mr. Austgen: “Mr. President, you can't.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I can't?”

Mr. Forbes: “You can't second.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Even when you [Mr. Forbes] make it? Ah, that's too bad. Alright.”

Mr. Volk: “I'll second that.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I was just trying to be helpful.”

Mr. Austgen told Mr. Jorgensen that he needs a motion to amend the agenda to add this item. The motion will be fine but the agenda has to be amended.

Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Kil for the balance in the Ambulance account. Mr. Kil said that he did not have it in front of him. Ms. Hernandez said she might be able to locate the balance. Chief Willman noted that he thinks the balance is roughly $240,000.

Mr. Barenie asked what the anticipated cost of the ambulance will be. Chief Willman said he anticipates the cost of the ambulance itself to be approximately $175,000. Chief Willman added that he will also look for a monitor at the same time. Only one of the four monitors, which are all original, needs to be replaced. Mr. Kil said that a monitor is approximately $30,000.

Mr. Barenie said that this is probably the most prioritized item that the Fire Department needs. Chief Willman answered affirmatively. Mr. Barenie noted that this expense will kind of “wipe out” the account. Chief Willman added that they had an excellent set-up, but after sixteen years... He said that a lot of times the monitors don't really wear out, it's the technology that does.

Mr. Kil reminded Mr. Barenie that they created the Ambulance CAP Fund so when they needed new ambulances, they would have the cash to pay for it. A certain portion of every bill goes right into that CAP Fund.

Ms. Hernandez told Mr. Barenie that the balance of the account is roughly $233,000, as of the end of November.

AGENDA AMMENDMENT:

Mr. Forbes stated that he will first make a motion to amend the agenda to include the discussion on the ambulance purchase. Mr. Barenie seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would make a motion to authorize review and/or purchase of a new ambulance for the Town of St. John. Mr. Volk seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

(The meeting adjourned at 7:22 p.m.)

ATTEST:

______________________________________
Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

01-25-2018 Joint Plan Commission,Town Council,Economic Development Committee

JANUARY 25, 2018 JOINT SPECIAL MEETING OF: PLAN COMMISSION, TOWN COUNCIL & EDC Meeting Minutes

ECOMONIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

NICK GEORGIOU KELLY STOMING WILLIAM KEITH
JOHN DEYOUNG RICHARD SETLAK GINA FEZLER

ST. JOHN PLAN COMMISSION

MICHAEL FORBES RICK EBERLY JON GILL
GREG VOLK JOHN KENNEDY  
STEVE KOZEL BOB BIRLSON  

ST. JOHN TOWN COUNCIL

CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN BETH HERNANDEZ STEVE KIL
MICHAEL FORBES MARK BARENIE  
STEVE HASTINGS GREG VOLK  

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Georgiou called the January 25, 2018 Joint Plan Commission, Town Council, and Economic Development Committee study session to order at 6:01 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was said.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer, Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following Town Council members present: Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Greg Volk, Steve Hastings. The following Plan Commission members were present: John Kennedy, Bob Birlson. The following EDC members were present: Nick Georgiou, Richard Setlak, John DeYoung, Gina Fezler, and Kelly Stoming. Mr. William Keith was absent. Town Manager Steve Kil was present. Building and Planning Director Rick Eberly was present.

PRESENTATION BY MARK GIANOPULOS FROM METROSTUDY on the 2017 St. John IN OPPORTUNITY ANALYSIS STUDY:

Mr. Georgiou stated that this meeting was called at the recommendation of the Economic Development Committee. This is the follow up document and the update of the Opportunity Analysis Study that was originally in 2014. Since the evolution of the town, the demographics, etc. it was recommended that it be updated. It was recommended to be adopted by the Town Council in October 2017. It’s an 88-page document and is a companion document to the Comprehensive Master Plan. There are a lot of comparable recommendations that are complementary to the master plan. In particular it focuses on the commercial needs and residential needs. It makes recommendations in both of those areas.

Mr. Georgiou said that he was going to turn it over to Mark Gianopulos from Metrostudy. He led the matter on both of those versions. They put together an agenda of some of the key points that they wanted to cover. All members should have gotten a shortened version of the 88-page document, which has the executive summary and recommendations which make it a little easier.

A. Overview and Executive Summary
Mr. Gianopulos said that we are going to start with the executive summary. He said that we will go through the overview and then follow the executive summary. He will be flipping back and forth to different parts of the study to point out different facets of it that support the executive summary.

Mr. Gianopulos said that he was explaining to Mr. Eberly that if you lived anywhere in the Chicagoland MSA the one place you would want to live is Lake County, IN, because everything here seems to be going in the right direction comparatively. That is really what the data points too. So, it’s just a matter of how we handle it.

As of the end of the second quarter of 2017, there were 1,000 units started. It has gone up quite a bit since then. In the fourth quarter it was 1,300 starts, annually, over the previous four quarters. So, over the course of 2017 we have 1,300 housing starts; both attached and detached within Lake County. It continues to grow. As of the 2nd quarter it is up 22%, and as of the 4th quarter it is up 26%.

Mr. Gianopulos projected a chart of a yearly housing start data; historically for Lake County. From the top to bottom it’s over 2,500 housing starts; back to 2004, 2005, and 2006 before it went like the rest of the country when they pulled back. So, that’s where we are now, 1,200-1,300 housing starts.

One thing that we want to look at is median price for new homes in Lake County. It is down year over year to $290,000.00. That is the price for a new single family detached home. Attached units were down also, but only about 1% to $173,000.00 So, pricing has been relatively flat, which is good.

Next, we’ll go into the volume and the supply of the Vacant and Developed Lots (VDL), lots that are currently on the ground waiting to be built on. Within Lake County the volume and supply has been declining since 2009. For equilibrium they look at keeping between 24 and 30 months. Right now, we are at 27 months’ supply of vacant developed lots. Those existing lots that are currently on the ground in Lake County. It’s down to 25 months in the 4th quarter. For the purposes of the study it’s at 27.4 months. That is a total of 6,378 lots. So, that gives an idea of total lots, historically speaking.

Mr. Gianopulos showed a chart that goes back to the 2000’s. The month’s supply is in red and the total lots are the gray bars. We can clearly see us dropping down since coming out of the recession. What they are worried about is the supply of lots. It’s imperative that we stay between 24 and 30 months if we want to continue to grow. If we start pulling back on lot supply that is when you start to see a lot of inflation, land supply goes up significantly; a lot of costs associated with development start to balloon. So, we really want to stay between 24 and 30 months. That is where we are right now. So, they recommend staying there as long as we can.

B. Review of 2017 Opportunity Analysis Study and Changes from 2014 Study.
Mr. Gianopulos said that one of the things that they also look for is the retail; the supply and demand opportunity gap, which is the fifth point in the study. He was talking to Mr. Kil before and there are three various aspects of the study they would like to compare it to. They wanted to compare it to what was going on in 2014. There are three various aspects that they found that were a little different than the 2014 study and interesting.
C. Commercial & Retail Needs and Opportunities within a 3 and 5-mile radius.
The retail opportunity gap for a 3-mile radius around the center town is $248 million. It’s $280 million within the 5-mile radius. The retail opportunity gap is the difference between what the data forecasts what the sales are and what the actual sales are based on tax receipts that are received from the IRS. When you go through and purchase, stores typically report their earning and incomes and that’s what they pay tax on. That is how they get the demand side. The supply side is forecasted, and the demand side is through the government.

Mr. Gianopulos handed additional material that explains methodology. It gives a more specific walkthrough of how they come up with the sales data. He said that we will go to page 55 and go through the 3-mile radius retail store opportunity gap between the demand and supply in 2017. In the bottom its $248,000,000.00. In the upper half it could be 10 million and greater opportunity gap for retail gap and opportunity sales. Those are what the government says, as far as the data, are the needed or potential sales within the 3-mile radius. We have the same thing for the 5-mile radius. It is $280,000,000.00. Those are the areas where they look and say this is where we need additional sales. If they don’t get additional sales they go outside of that 5-mile radius. It gives an idea of those retail sections where the data is underserved. If we don’t have it locally they will go outside of that 5-mile radius.

Mr. Gianopulos referenced the map that was in the handouts. The map is from Costar. It shows vacancy rates for new construction. The green dots give an idea of where the corridors are for Lake County; 41 is a major corridor and 30 is a major corridor; both of those two and certainly coming out of Merrillville. That is where a majority of the retail is already. There is a larger twelve lane road feeding into that retail section. So, the two things that they found is traffic has changed a bit compared to what they did 4 years ago. It is explained on page 77. What they found is that vehicle traffic slowed in some areas and increased in some areas. It is very different than what they had thought. On Sheffield road they put in the numbers that it was in 2014. That is AADT (annual average daily traffic). That is cars passed by on an average day in an average year. In the 2014 study it was 2,400 on Sheffield road. Now, 4 years later, it is over 10,000. That is significant. All the way through the west there is a significant difference from where we were. 93rd on the west side is currently at 6,300 and it was at 4,200. 101st street was at 1,800 and now it is at 12,000. That is a significant change within that 4-year period of time. These numbers are according to INDOT. Mr. Gianopulos said that these numbers change a lot of what they were thinking. Going down on 41, numbers declined just a tad. Originally it was 32,000 and now it is closer to 28,000. So, down 41 it seems to have pulled back a bit, and on the west side it has really picked up immensely. Also, it is a little less on Cline.

  1. Impact of Shops on 96 Project

    Back in 2014 they originally identified the need for retail, but they anticipate with the Shoppes at 96th place that retail will meet the needs of the local community. Certainly, for the next 5-6 years. After that we will need to look at the rooftop count and traffic counts. So, that is one of the findings they come up with in the executive summary. They believe that the new Shops of 96th will meet the retail needs going forward. Mr. Eberly asked how we would calculate that. He asked if it would be the number of rooftops per square foot of commercial. Mr. Gianopulos said that rooftops is part of it, but it is more tax revenue based. They lean heavily on the BLS and the data from the county and the government on tax revenue, sales, and forecasting.

    The issue too is the vacancy factor and rents. They have identified the specific areas that they think on pages 65-66. Mr. Gianopulos said that over 1 million square feet of retail space has entered the market within the last 8 years in the Lake County area. That is an average of 125,000 square feet of retail each year. Most of it was going along Highways 41, in the Merrillville market, and Highway 30. In 2010 the asking rate was $13 per square foot and it is currently $12.31. It has been a slow migration a little lower. It hasn’t grown at all, but we have absorbed the square footage which is good. They have included a five-year forecast going forward, which is from Costar, so this does present the data that it will continue to grow.

    We are also looking at the vacancy rate. It was 7.4 in 2010 and 7.3 currently or in 2017. Vacancy rate is declining just a bit, but in the industry but to fully compensate for tenants coming and tenants leaving, we use 3% for full occupancy. That is considered fully occupied. We are close, but there are other areas in the Chicago market that have double digit vacancies. It’s still a growing market, but a lot of what they depend on is vacancy rates. Mr. Kil pointed out that those numbers are for Lake County. They are not for St. John. The average prices are not the average price at rt. 41 or rt. 30. That is an average square foot price for Lake County everywhere. Mr. Gianopulos said that there are different types of retail levels also. Mr. Kil said that we have rt. 41 as our primary retail corridor, and then some at 231. So, it is a little confusing when you look at this and see the low square footage pricing, but it’s not just St. John it is all of Lake County. Mr. Gianopulos said that they don’t have that kind of data just for St. John. Mr. Kil said that he knows that. Mr. Kil said that we consider ourselves important, so he can’t believe that they don’t.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that this an average for all of retail, but there are different types of retail. Lifestyle centers are going to be up there at $17 per square foot, where a regional mall, general mall, strip mall type of things will generally be $11 per square foot. So, this is again an average within Lake County.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that one thing he can tell us about St. John is that traffic declined. That was one of the concerns that they had. It is far more difficult to get more retail in if your traffic is trending lower. That is just the way the commercial market goes. The Shops at 96th has their foot in the ground, and they are great. They should build anything they can within that area there. Mr. Kil clarified that Mr. Gianopulos is saying that we can handle a couple hundred thousand square foot of retail given that the Shops of 96th is around 200,000 square feet. Mr. Kil added that we are a moving target and that we are growing quite a bit. It is hard to say that is enough for now, because as we keep growing we should add more. The demand will be there. Mr. Gianopulos said that he would give it 4 or 5 years. Then, we could see where the traffic counts are and see where the rooftop counts are.

D. Residential Needs and Opportunities
  1. Demographics impact and highest needs

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he has demographic information. He said that one of the reasons people use Metrostudy is to get a handle on demographics. For any high growth area, census is not going to do a very good job at grabbing all of the households. Mr. Gianopulos referenced page 13 in the Metrostudy. He explained that this shows that from 2010-2017 we have declined, and household count has gone down by 5,000 households. Their data has physically verified 4,900 new homes that have been built in the Lake County area since 2010. So, they have verified 4,900 new homes and census is telling us that it has declined. That means that either someone is doing mass demolition on homes, or we have thousands of vacant homes. Neither of which is true. A lot of their clients are big box stores, because they want to get rough counts to compensate for those high-volume areas, and census can’t account for those areas because the growth is beyond normality. Here within the Lake County area there is a compensating factor that totally eludes the census, because they don’t understand the concept of people coming over from the Illinois border. That is not worked into their agenda. They have no idea how to account for those numbers. Metrostudy did a migration trail, but that was part of 2014. Those aren’t current at all. You can’t get current migration numbers. Usually they are about 2 ½-3 years old. Mr. Gianopulos said that census is not keeping up and that is one of the things that he wanted to point out. So, we have 4,996 new houses that we added in Lake County since 2010. We know that the data is certainly off when it comes to census and demographic.

    Mr. Gianopulos moved onto page 7. This is the residential development. The largest single cohort were units priced from $200,000-$250,000 and comprised about 33% of all the home starts in Lake County within an 18-month supply. That is great. We have 33% of all our developments within that certain price band, but they only have an 18-month supply. That is very low. A lot of what we build in Lake County is in that price range. St. John is much higher than that. Less than 5% of all the development that is currently going on in Lake County in the last five years is age targeted; catering to the seniors.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he wanted to point out the age groups on page 12-13. The reason the box is there on page 13 is that it points out the age groups that are growing. This is telling us that any age groups below 65 years of age is declining in Lake County, Indiana. Everything above 65 is growing. The median age went from 53-54, which is significant in a 7-year period. That is telling us that the population is aging. We have people that live here now. If we don’t provide housing for them they will go somewhere else. Mr. Gianopulos and Mr. Kil talked about is the process of how much attached housing and detached housing you should have within a municipality. It really depends on where the municipality is in the life cycle and the gentrification cycle. Mr. Gianopulos said that when a municipality first starts off you will typically only see single family detached housing. As it grows and matures you will start seeing it go out 10 miles and 15 miles. No one has that room in Illinois, so you start getting higher density that starts to come in after a certain amount of time. So, it’s deciding what percentage works for what. In Lake County, St. John is the premier municipality.

E. Residential Comparative Municipalities
  1. 5 communities chosen for comparison

    Mr. Gianopulos said that he will share a comparison he did of five different municipalities. Mr. Georgiou said that he is going to interject for everyone that is not on the EDC. At the request of Mr. Barenie and the Town Council input, in the 2014 study there was no housing or demographic comparison for comparable towns. That was a specific request to include that in the 2017 study. Mr. Georgiou said that we have that in the handouts on page 17-18. We asked Metrostudy to specifically provide us with what they call a Comp-town or better household income, average median housing price, and analysis of attached, detached, etc.

    Mr. Gianopulos thanked Mr. Georgiou. He showed the charts with the top comparable municipalities. They wanted to make sure that they had a couple from Indiana even though we are in the Chicagoland MSA, so they included 3 from the Chicago MSA and two from Indiana to keep relevance. The two from Indiana were Fishers and Carmel. Mr. Gianopulos pointed out on the chart that the median age, cost of living index, and median population. He said that the difference in dates between the data is simply the databases that were available when they were looking. So, depending on the type of information we are looking for there are different age groups that come along with that. The more detailed the data the more latent it is. The median income is displayed for Barrington, Fishers, Carmel, Frankfort and Geneva. Barrington is a northwest suburb. It basically started as a horse-town and stables. It turned into Barrington, South Barrington, Barrington Hills and Barrington Lakes all around it. It is landlocked. Carmel is also landlocked, but Fishers has room to grow. Frankfort has room. Geneva is along the fox river valley. It is on the west side of Fox River. It is a western suburb. St. John has the lowest median income comparative, but the other areas have been well established for some time.

  2. Percentage of detached to attached comparison.

    Mr. Gianopulos referred to the rental data. He said that the rentals are compared to the median home price. In St. John, rental communities are at 2%. Mr. Gianopulos said that he isn’t sure if we have any attached rentals. He said that normally rentals are thought about as apartment buildings, but it’s just as much renting a single-family house. Mr. Kil told him that we don’t have anything over 4 units in the town. It is not an assisted living facility. Mr. Gianopulos said that you can get an idea of the percentage of rental compared to the rest of the housing stock. He referred to the data that shows municipal acreage, total housing units, detached vs attached housing, and multi-family units; which is at zero. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Gianopulos to expound on the zero multi-family units. Mr. Kil said that everybody in this community considers a structure a multi-family unit if it is not one house. Everybody that comes to the meetings views that as a multi-family unit. If it is a duplex they consider it a multi-family unit. Mr. Kil said that this threw him for a loop and he called Mr. Gianopulos about it. Mr. Gianopulos said that they use the census bureau’s definition of a multi-family unit. If you look at permits, whenever you are watching WGN or whatever you are watching, when they talk about multi-family housing permits it is referring to 5 units or more in a single structure. So, it could be Willis Tower, or it could be a 5 or 6-unit housing project, owner occupied. What they use as an indicator for it is 5 or more units in any single structure. Duplexes would not be a multi-family. A townhome could be depending on its built. Mr. Kil stated that we have nothing over 4 units, so we have zero multi-family units. Mr. Gianopulos said that is correct. They use the census bureau’s numbers for that data, and that is how they come to that.

    Mr. Gianopulos referred to the numbers on the right-hand side that show the amount of housing starts that they have identified for each of those municipalities between 2015 through the 2nd quarter of 2017. In Barrington, up until 5 years ago, it was a mandatory five acre lots. They don’t have a lot attached housing either, but it is also really built out. Fishers is still growing. Carmel has a lot of lots remaining, but they are still landlocked. Frankfort and Geneva are a little bit more flexible. Mr. Gianopulos asked if anyone had any questions on any of that data.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that what they are suggesting within the St. John market is age targeting. That is something we haven’t done much of, and the demographics show that is the way that its moving. Mr. Gianopulos said that he would guess that single family homes are a negative on our budget. They typically are, because they don’t generate that much in tax revenue. Mr. Kil said that they certainly require the most services. Mr. Gianopulos said that the tax revenue for a single family detached typically doesn’t cover the expense side. That is normal in most municipalities. If you start getting into a little bit higher density with age targeted, you don’t have that strain on the school system. You avoid a lot of the potential expense side, but you get the revenue side.

    One of the things that Metrostudy looked is age targeted, maintenance free. There are three different segments of it. Zero lot, which is a detached age targeted environment. They are called patio homes. They have a much smaller footprint and is a fully maintenance free type environment. So, for households who want a detached home as opposed to a duplex or a townhome. So, those are the three types of residential. The first move-up, the targets that are low in lots right now. Those are $250-$350,000. Those existing homeowners who want to move up either from outside the area or from within. Mr. Kil said that our influx from Illinois is keeping our home prices at a premium. Mr. Gianopulos said that he talks to a lot of builders and 50% of people that come into their homes are either working in Illinois or coming from. So, we are in a premium area. We are able to take advantage, because we have one of the highest revenues of values on homes and they like that. Mr. Kil pointed out that was mentioned in the study. It mentioned that it was because of what is going on in Illinois. Mr. Gianopulos said that our tax base is within 3-4%. He said that is insane when you think about 4%. He sees paying $20,000 in taxes on a $500,000 home. They don’t get anything more than we do in Indiana, so he doesn’t know where it goes.

    Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Gianopulos if they have done any studies based on the tax reform. A state like Illinois is going to be limited on tax deductions. That is going to make a huge difference, because it is going to add on to real estate properties over there, so if they can’t deduct all that real estate tax and income tax they are going to say “oh, another reason to get out of here”. Mr. Gianopulos said that he talked to a guy that said Trump just made up his mind for him. He is signing a contract tonight with one of St. John’s home builders for that exact reason. Mr. Barenie said that his point is that it is going to go nothing but up. Mr. Gianopulos said that is for sure. Our biggest stressor is going to be infrastructure. The more detached homes we have, the more that is going to work against us. We already have the lots, so we can’t do anything about that. In addition to what we have; age targeted density would alleviate at least any revenue issues we have for sure.

    Mr. Eberly asked Mr. Gianopulos if by age targeted he is talking about a development with covenants that you must be 55 and older to live there, or product that is just likely to bring empty nesters. Mr. Gianopulos said that his understanding is that Indiana doesn’t allow for discrimination based on age. So, we couldn’t say you can’t come in here unless you are 55 or older. That is his understanding of the law. If we can Mr. Gianopulos would recommend limiting it. If we can’t, he would say master down, maintenance free, etc. Mr. Georgiou said that to clarify, at many meetings there has been several commentaries on what percentage should be attached and detached. For a statistical basis Mr. Georgiou found that based on the 2015 numbers, St. John has a 16% attached vs detached through 2017 when the numbers were a little over 17.5%, as Mr. Gianopulos commented earlier about the maturing of the community. It is stated somewhere in the study that states it as 18% attached vs. detached.

  3. Recommendation for St. John detached to attached percentage.

    Mr. Gianopulos said that goes back to the life cycle that he was talking about before and the premium area that we are in. There isn’t a specific ratio that we should be at. It changes the older the municipality gets, especially if we are landlocked. If we are limited on land we don’t necessarily want our constituents to live 10 miles away. If you are not limited on land you still want to create that community. Mr. Georgiou said that another piece, which is why he thinks the Town Council asked for a comparison, is if you look at percentages the highest of those attached to detached is about 28%. That is where we talk about a maturing community and that percentage tends to go up a little. Mr. Gianopulos said that is one of the reasons they put that in there, so we can get an idea of what other municipalities are doing. Fishers and Carmel are both premium types within their area, and he would put St. John in an even higher place than that, because we are so much higher than all contiguous municipalities. No one else in Lake County has what St. John has value wise. Carmel and Fishers, they do. They are in the same area. So, that is a premium.

  4. Impact of continued growth on this percentage.

    To answer the question of what it should be you have to look at the maturation, what is contiguous, and what are our values. Mr. Kil said that he had asked Mr. Gianopulos where he came up with the numbers 82/18. Mr. Gianopulos explained that to come up with those numbers. Mr. Kil clarified that Mr. Gianopulos is saying that we should have 82% single family detached. Mr. Gianopulos said at this stage for sure. In about ten years it should probably be at a higher percentage of attached. The older we get, another ten years down the road. In order to keep the growth, we will have to out or we will have to go up. That is the gentrification cycle; older homes will get torn down to build new ones. Mr. Kil said that we do have the luxury of having vacant property around us. That affords us the availability to annex, which we do often. Mr. Gianopulos said there are the school districts too. We always fight that battle of the school districts. Mr. Kil said that he has heard that before.

    Mr. Gianopulos asked if there were any other questions. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Georgiou if Mr. Gianopulos covered all the topics he had for him.

    Mr. Georgiou referenced the 3 and 5-mile radius retail section that is in the full version of the study. He said that what he thinks is interesting is how Mr. Gianopulos said that the Shops on 96th will be filling up the need. In the full report, on page 60, it lists the Top 10 in retail; number one is general merchandise stores, followed by gasoline stations with convenience stores, health and personal care, misc. store retailers, electronics & appliance, motor vehicle dealers, clothing stores, restaurants. Those are the top 10 in the 5-mile radius, and it doesn’t change much for the 3-mile radius. He said that some things decrease, but there isn’t much change. Mr. Gianopulos said that there is just a greater amount, about $10,000,000.

F. Suggested Growth and Land Use

Mr. Kil clarified that these areas are what Mr. Gianopulos is suggesting that we focus on. Mr. Gianopulos said that a lifestyle center is what we need, because we are a premium area in a premium location. The double-edge sword that we are dealing with now is that we are not trending higher in traffic, as he thought we would be with the increase in housing. Infrastructure might be a part of that. An absolute need is a premium lifestyle center for this area. Mr. Kil said that we did our Traffic Analysis. We hired an engineering firm to study this entire area. We do have that data, and it does trend differently. Just as Mr. Gianopulos stated that he cannot rely on census data, it is hard for us to rely on all this other data unless we do it ourselves. The census data does not reflect what is happening in this area. Mr. Kil told Mr. Gianopulos that the one thing his traffic study did show is that the traffic is booming to the west. Mr. Kil said that everybody is going that way to go to Illinois, and then they are coming home. So, that doesn’t surprise him. Mr. Gianopulos said that it doesn’t make any sense that the heart of Rt. 41 and 93rd is declining. Mr. Kil said that our data is showing differently. Mr. Gianopulos said that was the one thing that didn’t make sense.

Mr. Gianopulos noted that we all hear about the need for more restaurants in town. In the 3-mile radius “food & beverage” move into the top 5 of the worst shortages.

Mr. Gianopulos said that an advantage that we have is the traffic coming from the north on Rt. 41 that won’t go out east into the Merrillville area. So, we can grab that traffic before they go out east, because it is a longer drive for them.

Mr. Gianopulos asked if there was anything else.

Questions and Answers session by Town Council, Plan Commission, and EDC

Mr. Georgiou said that he thinks we covered most of it. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Barenie if he sees anything we missed.

Mr. Gianopulos read a definition from Costar, “The definition of a Life Style center is an upscale specialty retail main street concept shopping center. An open center, typically without anchors”. Mr. Gianopulos added that it is anything right around 300,000 square feet. So, we do have room to grow.

Mr. Georgiou said that the data is growing. St. John is growing and changing significantly. This is a three-year update, and obviously the census is coming up in 2020. Mr. Georgiou asked Mr. Gianopulos if that would be a good target opportunity to look at this again. Mr. Gianopulos told him that 2021, when the census data becomes available, will be a good time to look at this again. That would be another four years.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Georgiou stated that since this is a study session there is no Public Comment. Mr. Georgiou said that he will now entertain a motion to adjourn from the EDC members. “So Moved,” from Mr. Barenie. Ms. Stoming seconded that motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---5. Nays---0.

(The meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.)

ATTEST:

____________________________________
Alyssa Gallegos
Recording Secretary

01-25-2018 Town Council

January 11, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CHRISTIAN JORGENSEN, President STEVE HASTINGS BETH HERNANDEZ, Clerk-Treasurer
MARK BARENIE, Vice-President CHIEF FRED WILLMAN STEVE KIL, Town Manager
MICHAEL FORBES CHIEF JAMES KVETON DAVID AUSTGEN, Town Attorney;
GREG VOLK    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes called the January 25, 2018 Special Town Council meeting to order at 6:59 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Greg Volk, and Steve Hastings. Town Manager, Steve Kil, was present. Chief Fred Willman and Chief James Kveton were present. Attorney David Austgen was absent. Mr. Forbes had to exit the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: December 14, 2017 and January 11, 2018

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or discussion on the sets of minutes. Mr. Jorgensen said that he would entertain a motion to approve. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes ---five. Nays ---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

PUBLIC COMMENT

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak congratulated Mr. Jorgensen on his appointment. He stated that a month or two ago, Mr. Jorgensen said Mr. Blazak should put his name in for consideration for the boards. He added, for the record, he did put his name in for consideration for the BZA and the Plan Commission. As the Town Council will be appointing people to the boards and commissions tonight, he urged them to please consider the people they appoint as they should be citizens or residents of St. John, which are the people who are concerned about St. John's well-being.

Mr. Jorgensen responded, “Here, here.”

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated he sees on the agenda the approval of Cender. He asked if the Town needed a resolution to also approve Umbaugh for the Clerk-Treasurer. He added he encourages them to add the Clerk's contract with Umbaugh for approval tonight. Mr. Hero mentioned it is important that the Clerk-Treasurer's office be independent as the auditor of what is going on in this Town.

Mr. Hero also stated the Road Impact Fee looks like it is totally inadequate and the Council should revisit that and make it real. Right now it is just pittance and he does not know if it can even pay the engineers who did the study.

Mr. Hero stated he sees Conflicts of Interest on the agenda. Mr. Hero stated he is unclear if Mr. Austgen's Conflict of Interest is on the agenda for approval. Since he is also the attorney for different towns, it should be considered if he needs a Conflict of Interest for what goes on between Schererville and wherever St. John is connected to.

Dennis DeVito, 10341 Silver Maple:

Mr. DeVito congratulated the Council on last year's work and wants to encourage them to do well again this year. Mr. DeVito stated he and his wife are new residents of the Town and they moved here because of the reputation of the Town. They see it as a wonderful place to live and appreciate the Council's efforts to keep it that way.

However, Mr. DeVito would like to encourage the Council to consider is lot size. He added that in his world, that is an important thing. In the short while he has been here, there has been a number of attempts to “leverage” the reduction of lot sizes. While that may be good for some, it is not good for all. One of the reasons they moved to St. John was the openness and the feeling of wide open spaces. He continued as he looks at the neighborhoods in Town, he finds the ones that are more attractive and will maintain their value longer are the ones on larger lots. Mr. DeVito encouraged the Council to really review any requests for smaller lot sizes. He added while there may be occasions when it is appropriate, a general reduction in lot sizes is not a good thing.

Amended Agenda

Mr. Barenie asked to amend the agenda for tonight. He made a motion to defer Items B, C, and Don the agenda until the February meeting. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

New Business:

A. Ordinance No. 1666, rezoning a portion of Greystone West from R-1 to R-3 PUD. [favorable recommendation from Plan Commission].
Mr. Jorgensen stated this is an amendment to the zoning so there is no first reading and will be a motion to adopt if one is so made. He stated it is less than five acres with four to five homes.

Mr. Kil stated that was accurate and Jack Slager from Schilling Development is present tonight if he wishes to expound on that. Mr. Kil stated there is a drawing of this area in the Council's packet and it is a very small sliver of property. He added the reason this item is in front of the Council now is because when Schilling came in to rezone the parcel of property for this entire piece, they did not own this parcel yet. They acquired it at a later date. That is the reason forcing them to rezone this parcel at this late date. While it was always contemplated as a part of the Greystone Development, it simply could not be included because of an ownership issue.

Mr. Slager stated it automatically annexed in as R-1 so that is why it is a two part process.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any more questions or discussions on the matter. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. Mr. Forbes, “I'll make a motion that we accept Ordinance Number 1666 and the recommendation from the Plan Commission.” The motion and it was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was passed by voice vote (4/1). Ayes---four. Nays---one (Barenie)

Hastings Aye
Barenie Nay
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

B. Professional services agreement with Cender and Company, LLC.
Item deferred.
C. Professional services agreement with Haas & Associates.
Item deferred.
D. Professional services agreement with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis, P.C.
Item deferred.
E. Consider Special Exception for Amanda Bardoczi (9501 Wicker Avenue) [favorable recommendation from Board of Zoning Appeals].
Mr. Jorgensen stated this is for a day care center. Mr. Kil stated that was accurate and this particular address is located on the east side of Route 41, just south of the Dairy Queen. He continued it is the older house that just sits there that no one has really done anything with. He added Ms. Bardoczi appeared in front of the BZA and it requires a special exception. The BZA vetted it and now it is in front of the Council with a favorable recommendation. He added it is a tough piece of property on Route 41. A lot of people have come into the Plan Commission wanting to do something with it, but they really couldn't. Mr. Kil concluded that gives the Council a little bit of background.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he spoke with the members of the BZA because he was concerned that, at first glance, when you take a look at the flow of traffic on Route 41, there is no signal. He added the BZA seemed to have vetted it pretty well and their recommendation was to move forward with it and that it is a good plan for the Town and it will be safe. He stated Mr. Panczuk is a stickler for safety, especially when it comes to traffic issues and he felt this was going to be fine. Mr. Jorgensen concluded that was his investigation of the land and it is an interesting use.

Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil if there were any contingencies from the BZA. Mr. Kil answered, unfortunately, when you look at the Findings of Fact, there are none. He added while items were vetted, there is simply nothing in writing, no contingencies. Mr. Volk asked if there was any discussion of a safety wall. Mr. Kil replied while they had some general discussion, there was no requirement because there is no contingency.

Mr. Forbes stated he is a little concerned with the type of business at this location on Route 41. He added he cannot see how the traffic flow can be conducive to safety. It is a single driveway, in and out, with one access to Route 41 and no intersection. He said he is really not comfortable with it. It is located in the retail district and he feels this type of business just does not fit in the retail corridor. He added he wishes the petitioner the best, but he does feel it is the best location for this type of business.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any more discussion. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Forbes, “I'm going to make a motion that we deny this special use for Amanda Bardoczi for 9501 Wicker Avenue.” The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye - deny
Barenie Aye – deny
Volk Aye – deny
Forbes Aye – deny
Jorgensen Aye - deny

F. Consider approval and acceptance of the 2018 Fire Department Roster.
Chief Willman stated it is up-to-date and he is proud to recommend the men. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. Hearing none, he asked for a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was seconded by Mr. Forbes. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

G. Resolution No. 2018-01-25, a resolution adopting Joint lnterlocal Cooperative Agreement with Town of Schererville for building inspection services.
Mr. Jorgensen stated this is a renewal. Mr. Kil elaborated that this is standard every year and informed the Board that this is the first year Schererville utilized St. John's services. The Town was able to send Schererville a small bill. He added St. John and Schererville help each other out a lot. Mr. Kil stated he would recommend it for adoption.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Forbes, “I'll make a motion to adopt Resolution Number 2018-01-25.” Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

H. Consider Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement of Clifford Wroe.
Mr. Kil stated both of these Conflict of Interest statements were approved last year and are carry-over items. He said Clifford Wroe is St. John's Assistant IT Director, but he does have a small company on the side, and perhaps once a year, depending on what St. John ends up buying, he can get the items for a significantly better price. He said St. John utilizes his services one time a year, but in the interest of caution, it is advisable that Mr. Wroe files this every year.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any more discussion. Mr. Forbes, “I'll make a motion to approve the Uniform Conflict of Interest Statement.” Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

I. Consider Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement of Michael Muenich
Mr. Kil stated Mr. Muenich has been filing this Uniform Conflict of Interest Statement for as long as he can remember in Town. Primarily this is due to his interest in Fire Service. He does not have an interest it that business any longer, but he still wanted to file the Uniform Conflict of Interest with the Town.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. “So moved” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

J. Consider annual donation to the Safety Village in the amount of $25,000.00.
Mr. Jorgensen stated this was the annual donation to the Safety Village and asked if there was any discussion.

Mr. Barenie asked about the other communities that are taking part ownership in the Safety Village. Mr. Kil stated Schererville was equal to St. John. He said the only other community that is formally a part of it is Dyer. He continued that Dyer did increase their donation $5,000 this year, but it still falls short of Schererville and St. John.

Mr. Forbes stated the reason their donation increased is because the donations coming into the Safety Village has dropped. He added Bill Jarvis used to run the entire facility off of donations and about $2,000 from each of the Towns. The well dried up and in order to keep the facility running, it is now up to the Town's to keep it going. Mr. Barenie stated there are thousands of kids that go through the Safety Village.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil if the Village was solvent. Mr. Kil answered that the Village is solvent. They do use the Towns' donations as part of their estimated revenue.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Forbes made a motion to approve the donation. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

K. Ordidance No. 1663, an ordinance regarding Police Department Towing Fees.
Mr. Jorgensen stated this was approved on first reading at the October 26, 2017 Town Council meeting. He asked Chief Kveton to give a short synopsis.

Chief Kveton stated to stay transparent and equal across the board, they sent out an RFP last year to the towing companies in the geographical limits of St. John and asked them to comply or agree to certain fees so everyone would be paying equally. Two companies came forward and the proposals were opened at the Town Council meeting. They were accepted. He added the Town is going to do that every year.

Mr. Jorgensen said that is great and that towing fees seem to be a touchy subject here in Lake County.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were further discussion. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. Mr. Volk, “I'll make that motion to approve Ordinance Number 1663.” The motion was seconded by Mr. Hastings. The motion passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

L. Resolution No. 2018-01-25A, a resolution adopting Joint lnterlocal Cooperative Agreement with Lake County for 101st and Sheffield Avenue Improvement Project.
Mr. Jorgensen stated this was St. John's cooperative project with County for the intersection and a light which will be coordinated with the light at 101st and Calumet. That will allow traffic to move freely as it is St. John's corridor in and out of Illinois. Mr. Jorgensen stated it is a great project in his eyes.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. He stated he would have Mr. Austgen discuss it, but it was a pretty typical agreement. Mr. Forbes, “And he's not here.” Mr. Jorgensen said he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was seconded by Mr. Forbes. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

M. Consider police department General Order 7.24, Vehicle Operation and Maintenance.
Mr. Jorgensen asked Chief Kveton for his comments before moving onto Town Council comments.

Chief Kveton stated it is basically a “very small' adjustment to their current policy of operation and procedures in regards to their vehicles. He said all of the officers have take-home vehicles at this time. The purpose to expand this “slightly' is to provide a greater presence within our Town and community and the general area of St. John with marked police cars. He added there would not be any significant increase in costs to the Town. He continued a “minor” cost would be the gasoline going back and forth. He said he thinks it would be the “right thing for the right reason” to provide additional presence within our community, whether an officer is going to a location, or stopping at a location such as a bank or a grocery store or all of the different locations in Town.

Mr. Barenie stated if this were to happen, the Police department would need to better budget to see if there is an actual impact to the budget. He asked if there would be any insurance related changes to the policy. Chief Kveton stated he does not believe so but he would have to ask Mr. Kil if there would be any increase. Mr. Kil answered that he has not checked into that and he does not know at this time.

Mr. Barenie stated he would be okay with this policy “on a pilot basis” where they have it for 2018 with all of the documentation and details and review it in a year to see if there are cost issues or insurance issues or something that is not known at this time.

Mr. Barenie added these requested changes are consistent with a policy that was in place in 2008 or 2009. Mr. Barenie said the Town had a million dollar deficient and the Council had to really go through and scrape their pennies from everywhere they could. He added everyone had to share in the equity in that difficult period of time. He said removing this provision in General Order 7.24, was a “major cost cutting benefit' in 2008 or 2009. With that being said, Mr. Barenie knows the officers do a great job, so he is okay with the policy on a “trial basis”.

Mr. Barenie stated the Council just went through their financial report and it was very strong, probably their strongest in four or five years, but he feels they would be doing a disservice if the Council just looked at the Police Department. Mr. Barenie stated he would like to make a motion to include all of the Town's full time staff, “that do not have cars,” to have a bonus this year for the work they did in 2017. This would not include elected officials, obviously. Mr. Barenie recommended a $1,000 bonus, which would cost the Town about $50,000. With the Town's 1 million dollar in excess revenue this year, Mr. Barenie feels very comfortable with the long term reserves to send this appropriate message to the whole staff because they are the reason the Town is in this strong financial position. Mr. Barenie does not know if there are any other comments, but they can work out the parameters on an annual basis. He continued if the Town goes into a different financial situation next year, then the employees would not get the bonus.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he feels the same way and likes a bonus system, most times, rather than a salary increase as it's excessive. He said he thinks the people do deserve to be “bonused''. He added he thinks it is a good idea in conjunction with helping out our officers. He said he likes the idea of the Town's officers being “in marked cars in Town” and it adds an element of safety. He continued he does not think it is too much of a burden on the cars or too much of an expense. He concluded that he was in favor of that.

Mr. Forbes said just to be clear, the current policy states that “an officer who resides in the Town of St. John can drive his squad car within the Town of St. John.” He clarified that is the existing general order right now and provides police presence is in the Town.

It's already existent. He added “any officer that lives outside of Town, can drive their car to their home and back to work and anywhere in Town when they are in Town, obviously.” This again, provides police presence in our Town. He continued the new policy changes it to “all of the officers can drive their cars anywhere within Lake County.”

Chief Kveton interjected that the first part of Mr. Forbes statement was incorrect. “Officers that live outside of Town can't drive to Town and around Town”. Mr. Kil added that Mr. Forbes statement contemplates when they are “on-duty”. Mr. Forbes clarified “Off-duty police officers, out of Town, can only drive their car to and from basically work. The minute they hit the border, they are working.”

Chief Kveton said the samples he has given are if they want to do any personal off-duty business, whether it is going to work out after work, the bank, or shopping, they would have to drive to their homes and drop off their car, get their personal car and drive back. He continued the examples he had were officers who live in Cedar Lake and work out at Omni would have to drive to Cedar Lake, drop off the squad car in the driveway, get their personal car and drive back to Omni or if someone was going to the bank, they would have to go home and drop off their car and get their personal car. They would have to switch cars to go to those places.

Mr. Forbes stated, just to be clear, this change in the officers being allowed to drive vehicles around Lake County off-duty is a benefit; it's a perk. Mr. Forbes continued by Mr. Barenie suggesting “the employees who do not drive the squad cars, get a $1,000 bonus is a balance for that perk.”

Mr. Barenie clarified it could not be called a balance because they do not know the numbers yet, but it would be a merit recognition for a job well done. Mr. Forbes stated he wanted to be clear that they are thinking and saying the same thing. He is not saying it is equal or balanced, but basically an attempt to offset the perk or the benefit the officers will be receiving. Mr. Barenie stated his thought was to share in the financial success, so yes, he agreed to Mr. Forbes statement and added it will help motivate them to do a good job next year.

Ms. Hernandez acknowledged she is not the Board and is not a decision maker, but requested two points of clarification. She asked if officers that live in Town can drive their police cars anywhere they want in Town while off-duty. Chief Kveton stated that in the current policy they can.

Ms. Hernandez clarified, as a payroll item, is the Council suggesting that any full-time employee, who does not drive a police vehicle, get a $1,000 bonus. Mr. Kil stated he was going to ask that same question for a clarification and suggested the following: “For 2018, you would authorize General Order 7.24 as written and presented, and authorize a $1,000 bonus for all non-sworn, full-time civilian employees that are not issued a police car.”

Mr. Forbes asked if that was Mr. Barenie's motion. Mr. Jorgensen said they should clarify that. He asked if there was any other discussion first. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen stated he would entertain a motion. Mr. Barenie, “I would like to make a motion to, on an annual basis, a pilot program for the first year, approve General Order 7.24 and to bake into this actual motion, a $1,000 bonus for full-time, non-police officers, full-time staff members to be paid at the next reasonable pay period.” Mr. Forbes seconded the motion.

Chief Kveton interjected before the motion was finalized. He stated since it is a pilot program and they will be comparing apples to apples, what happens at the end of the year if there is no change and there was no additional benefit? Mr. Jorgensen asked to whom---the Town? Chief Kveton stated to the police officers who did not get the $1,000. He continued the purpose is to provide more police presence within the community and surrounding community for safety purposes. The proposal, at this point, is to pay all employees $1,000 except the officers who use police cars. Mr. Jorgensen stated that is the motion that is on the floor; they have a motion and a second. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

N. Consider acceptance of the Annual Report and the Comprehensive Report from the Redevelopment Commission.
Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any discussion. Mr. Forbes made a motion to accept the annual report. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

O. Board and Commission Appointments
Mr. Jorgensen said the first item is the Town Council appointment to the BZA from the Plan Commission which is John Kennedy. He said he would entertain a motion to appoint Mr. John Kennedy for BZA. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Aye
Jorgensen Aye

Board of Zoning Appeals: Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other objection or comment regarding the other appointments to the BZA. Mr. Forbes said this included Mark Lareau, Mike Aurelio, and Libby Popovic.

Mr. Barenie asked if all of these appoints would be checked at County to ensure all of the “R and D's” are correct. General discussion confirmed it has not been done yet but will be done.

Mr. Jorgensen read the following Board and Commission Appointments:

Building Corporation: Ronald Estep, Robert Meinzer, Michelle Haluska

He asked if there were any questions or comments on those. There were none.

Contractors Board: Jon Gill, Joe Gomeztagle, Steve Kozel Sr., Richard Hoover

He asked if there were any questions or comments. There was none.

Economic Development Committee: Nick Georgiou, Gina Fezler, John DeYoung, William Keith, Kelly Stoming, Stephen Kil, Mark Barenie, Richard Setlak

He asked if there was any discussion. There were none.

Ethics Committee: Dr. Eddie Lapina, Scott Burdan, David Vineyard

Mr. Forbes stated the committee member's terms are not up yet. There is only one vacancy but that appointment is to be made by the committee members. Mr. Jorgensen agreed.

Impact Advisory Committee: Julie Urbanski, Frank Buck, Tim Caballero, Vince Frassinone, Tom Cummings

Mr. Jorgesen asked for the name of the last member. Mr. Kil stated it was Tom Cummings who is a Realtor in Town. He added he has a nice, young family. He continued there is no reason the Council would not appoint him. Mr. Jorgensen said he reviewed all the applications and it would be great to have Mr. Cummings on the Committee. There was no discussion or objection.

Impact Fee Review Committee: Julie Urbanski, Frank Buck, Tim Caballero, Vince Frassinone, Tom Cummings

Mr. Jorgensen said these are the same members as the Impact Advisory Committee. There was no discussion or objection.

Park Board: John Rainwater, Melissa Stefanko, Carl Miklusak, Frank Bradtke

Mr. Jorgensen added the only one they have up is Melissa Stefanko. He asked for any comments. Mr. Forbes stated she does a great job and is a hard working lady.

Plan Commission: Paul Panczuk, Steve Kozel, Sr., Robert Birlson, Steve Flores, Greg Volk, Michael Forbes

Mr. Jorgensen said there are three members up right now. He requested to start with the staff appointments. He asked if Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk still wanted to remain on the Commission. They both did. He continued they had an application from Officer Steve Flores. He said those are the staff appointments for the Plan Commission.

He said they have two others that are up. He said he suggested Paul Panczuk and Robert Birlson. He said Paul served on the BZA for a long time and is a very knowledgeable gentleman. He continued Bob Birlson was fulfilling a term.

Mr. Jorgensen added that this is the only appointment he received comment on. He said he received it from Mr. Forbes who suggested Ms. Haluska in favor of Paul Panczuk. The only other person to comment on that was Mr. Volk who was also in favor of it. Mr. Jorgensen said he considered it and looked at their applications and decided to stick with Paul Panczuk and Robert Birlson for Plan Commission.

Mr. Forbes said he is going to again suggest they appoint Michelle Haluska. He added that Mr. Eberly attended a Fair Housing Workshop and it was suggested that the Council gets a women on the Board, amongst other things. He added he feels it is an important step for the Town. He said it adds another perspective and she has a very good knowledge of the Town's zoning ordinances. He concluded that he is going to request the Council appoint Michelle Haluska in place of Paul Panczuk.

Mr. Forbes added that Robert Birlson has been on the Plan Commission, and anytime anyone starts on a new commission, they usually start out slow and then begin to gain speed. He continued he has some confidence in Mr. Birlson. He added he contributes very well and he is okay with him on the commission. However, he would like to include Michelle Haluska on the Plan Commission. Mr. Volk said he agrees.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if anyone else wanted to comment. Mr. Barenie asked how long Mr. Panczuk has been on the BZA. Mr. Forbes answered at least two years.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he understands diversity would be great and he found Ms. Popovic for the BZA who is an excellent choice. He continued it is difficult to find people who are qualified and really want to come and do these kinds of things. He continued he had to weigh it very carefully, but he is going to stick with Paul Panczuk. He thanked the Council for all of their comments.

Mr. Forbes asked if Mr. Jorgensen was just going to appoint people to the Plan Commission. Mr. Jorgensen replied they were Executive appointments and that was the statute.

Mr. Forbes replied it has never been done, and it has always been majority vote of the Town Council. Mr. Jorgensen stated to Mr. Forbes that they often disagree on the way things have always been done. He continued when they follow “what has always been done”, they always end up leading themselves into trouble. Mr. Forbes disagreed. Mr. Jorgensen stated the Council is going to follow the statute which Cedar Lake does, which Winfield does, and it works well. Mr. Jorgensen stated he feels his decision is proper and happens to be part of the Executive's responsibility. He stated he respectfully disagrees with Mr. Forbes, and it will be Paul Panczuk.

Mr. Forbes stated he thinks that is very unfair. Mr. Jorgensen stated he can certainly petition the legislatures to change that rule, but it is there for a purpose.

Police Commission: Charles Sawyer, Rose Hejl

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any comment on those. There was none.

Redevelopment Commission: Steve Hastings, Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Greg Volk, Mike Forbes, Cindy Sues, Kelly York

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any discussion. There was none.

Redevelopment Authority: Ronald Estep, Robert Meinzer, Michelle Haluska

Mr. Jorgensen asked for clarification on the vacant position or appointment of Ms. Haluska. Mr. Kil said Mr. Belamey formerly held that position and he passed away. Mr. Jorgensen asked for any discussion. There was none.

Sanitary District: Frank Badtke

Mr. Jorgensen said the only one up was Mr. Bradtke who wanted to continue on the board. He asked if there was any discussion or objection. Mr. Barenie said he thinks Mr. Bradtke does a great job.

Waterworks Board: Mr. Forbes, Ken Gembala, Steve Hastings

Mr. Jorgensen said Mr. Volk will no longer be on this board so they are adding Mr. Hastings. Mr. Jorgensen asked for any discussion. There was none.

Utility Board: Mr. Forbes, Mr. Hastings, Mr. Volk, Mr. Barenie, and Mr. Jorgensen Mr. Jorgensen asked for any discussion. There was none.

Mr. Jorgensen stated the Liaison Assignments for this year are unchanged from last year. Mr. Hastings is Police Commission and Fire Department. Mr. Barenie is Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission. Mr. Jorgensen stated he is Lake County Solid Waste and NIRPC. Mr. Volk is Plan Commission and BZA. Mr. Forbes is Park Board and Impact Fee Review.

Ms. Hernandez asked if the Council needed to vote on the Board and Commission Appointments. Mr. Kil said they did need to vote on the ones that are appointed. Mr. Jorgensen said he would entertain a motion for the Town Council Board and Commission appointments as read. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was seconded by Mr. Volk. Mr. Kil addressed Mr. Jorgensen and added, for the record, the ones you can appoint are read and they are appointed by you. The motion was passed by voice vote (4/1). Ayes---four. Nays---one (Forbes).

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes Nay
Jorgensen Aye

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
No reports or correspondence.
CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated the 1782 notices were received on January 16th. She added they are normally not received until mid-February, so it was great the DLGF had them out one month earlier. She stated all of the budgets have been approved with the exception of CCI. That fund had a small reduction in the amount of $15,000.

Ms. Hernandez continued that she requested their General Fund tax rate be increased from 0.9205 to 0.9207 in order to meet the maximum levy. Although it was a small adjustment, the DLGF accepted it and the Town met its maximum levy.

Ms. Hernandez stated she also wanted to share a nice email she received. She stated it was from a couple who live in Weston Ridge. They wanted to recognize Wayne Pondinas who works in the Water Department. They thanked him for doing a good job and said he was friendly and helpful. They also wanted to mention that he is not only great at his job, but a great asset to the Town. Ms. Hernandez wanted to let everyone know Mr. Pondinas received a very nice compliment. Ms. Hernandez thanked Mr. Pondinas for all of his hard work for the Town.

Ms. Hernandez also thanked the Council on behalf of the full-time civilian employees for the $1,000 bonus. She added it would definitely be appreciated. Mr. Barenie stated it was a team effort.

STAFF
Fire Chief
During the month of December 2017, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 198 requests for assistance. One hundred forty-one calls were made to our incorporated limits, 31 calls to unincorporated limits in St. John Township, and 26 calls in District 3, which is all of the other destinations including Mutual Aid. It was a busy month in our Town and a busy month out of our Town. Mutual Aid responses were to Lake Hills Fire and EMS, Cedar Lake x4, Crown Point x4, Dyer x1, Schererville x7, and Schneider x1.

Monday night activities for the Fire Department for December 2017: The first week was the monthly business meeting held on December 4th which included the election of officers to fill any positions that might have been scheduled to come open at the end of the year. On December 11th there was a fire training of review of operation and required care and maintenance of the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, known as SCBA. December 18th was the final training of the year. It was a reminder refresher of procedures to follow. If it is necessary to use the thermal imaging camera or the polar gas meter, and an interior investigation is required during emergency response.

Chief Willman stated their grand total for responses for 2017 was 1,725. Last year was 1,464, so they were up by 261. He said it was split pretty well with 28% out-of-town which is Mutual Aid and unincorporated areas which then leaves the rest in Town. He stated EMS accounted for 71% for those calls. This is when they are called as an emergency and respond as such. He added they had another 80 calls which they call the EMS Citizens Assist which is where they go and help citizen in and out of a vehicle, if they have fallen, or want to be transported and call for a lift assist. He said those calls would boost the grand total for EMS to 76%.

Police Chief
From December 1 through December 31, 2017, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 14,967 miles and responded to 620 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents led to eight adult arrests with 16 charges being filed. The St. John Police Department issued 215 traffic citations with 188 written warnings for a total of 403 traffic citations being written during the month of December 2017. St. John had vehicle thefts totaling $2,640 and other thefts totaling $9,980. They had a recovery of $2,640.

Chief Kveton stated about a year ago, they started a program called Police Data Initiative. They received the information from the President's Report on 21st Century Policing. Cliff Wroe does most of the work on this project and communicates with Washington on a regular basis through conference calls and so forth. It was required they start with three categories 1.5 years ago and now they have 13 categories they are able to see on a regular basis. Except for one category, the Community Outreach category, all of them are automatically populated through the computer. Mr. Wroe has it set up so everything from arrest demographics to crime complaints, calls to service, community outreach, crime mapping, monthly reports, traffic stops, traffic accidents, citations/warnings, year-end reports---everything is listed right on the website and is easily accessible by anyone who wants to see it.

Chief Kveton said yesterday they had a very bad ice storm and ended up taking a lot of accident reports yesterday. There were a lot of slide offs. He wants to thank and praise the Public Works Department tremendously. There was a period of time when Route 41 was closed from Wall Street down to 85th because nothing could get up the bridge. Semis, cars and trucks tried and they kept sliding left and right; they couldn't make it up the bridge. They couldn't get the State or County, but the Public Works came out and they were very helpful. They just had to run one plow up one side and one plow down the other side and traffic was able to get moving again.

Mr. Kil stated St. John is not responsible for Route 41and U.S. 231,,but they frequently find themselves in a position where they utilize their manpower and salt. He added if our residents can't get up and down 41 and 231, what can the Town do? He added on a regular basis, they are forced to go out there and utilize St. John's resources to take care of it. INDOT is supposed to, but this is a perfect example. He added ice storms are a nightmare for everybody.

Chief Kveton said, for example, one would think I-65 would be better than Rt. 41, but we had two different groups of people going down to a conference in Indianapolis yesterday. One group took Rt. 41, which they were able to open, and that took three hours to reach Indianapolis. The crew that took 1-65 took seven hours to reach Indianapolis. He reiterated his thanks to Public Works for doing a great job.

Chief Kveton also wanted to add he provided the Council with their 2018 organizational chart.

Mr. Jorgensen stated one last item to consider is the Clerk-Treasurer's use of Umbaugh and Associates which is paid out of her budget. He said it may possibly require the Council's authorization. He added it is certainly a reasonable request and to finish up tonight before payment of the bills, he would entertain a motion for the Clerk-Treasurer's use of Umbaugh and Associates.

Mr. Barenie asked what the services are. Ms. Hernandez stated Umbaugh assisted her office during the duration of the completion of the 2018 budget. They have been reviewing the 941's, worked with Mr. Turturillo to make sure the Town is reconciling correctly per the requirements of State Board of Accounts. They have advised on the statutory requirements as far as transfers should be made, how additional appropriations should be made just to make sure she is doing it correctly as ultimately she would be the one written up in the State Board of Accounts audit should something not be done correctly. She added they review URT's and they have finally taken care of an issue dating back to how bond payments were made under the prior administration. Essentially, three bond payments were made in one year which was throwing off the books as far as the DLFG was concerned.

Mr. Kil stated that went back to the Sherry Sury days. It had been throwing their books off because Ms. Sury made three bond payments in one year instead of two payments. The books were off by half a million dollars. Ms. Hernandez stated it has taken an extensive amount of time to get the DLGF to recognize that.

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

Hastings Aye
Barenie Aye
Volk Aye
Forbes absent
Jorgensen Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Jorgensen stated there are General APV's totaling $2,693,987.44. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions on the bills. “I'll make that motion for the payment of the bills,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/0). Ayes --- four. Nays --- none. Hastings Aye Barenie Aye Volk Aye Forbes absent Jorgensen Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

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

No roll call was taken.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

02-22-2018 Town Council

February 22, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called the February 22, 2018 regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: February 22, 2018

Mr. Forbes wanted to bring a point to order before proceeding. He stated he assumed the Council was going to continue with roll call votes. He continued that, according to Robert's Rules of Order, the requirement for a roll call vote is that roll is called in alphabetical order except for the presiding officer. His vote is called last and his vote will only affect the results if there is a tie. Mr. Forbes said since the Council adopted Robert's Rules of Order when they approved Ordinance No.1860, he is requesting they comply with the Robert's Rules of Order as far as roll call votes are concerned. Mr. Jorgensen replied, “Okay. Duly noted. Thank you.”

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any discussion on the minutes. Mr. Forbes stated under Reports and Correspondence, the Umbaugh discussion is listed under Town Council Correspondence. Mr. Forbes stated he left the Town Council meeting early­ after Chief Kveton gave his report. He requested the minutes be amended so that the Umbaugh discussion be documented in “chronological order”.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if he was making a motion. Mr. Forbes stated, “I will make that motion with that amendment.” Mr. Jorgensen asked for a second. Mr. Volk seconded the motion.

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

Barenie Aye
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Forbes clarified that the minutes are approved with the modification.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Amanda Bardoczi of Kids & Co. Childcare. 128 Nichols Street, Crown Point:

Mr. Kil informed Ms. Bardoczi that he has the books for the Council's review and that the Council did receive an electronic copy. [The books were distributed].

Ms. Bardoczi stated she was from Kids & Co Childcare and she was here with her husband, Steve. She would like the Council to reconsider the special exception for her childcare center located at 9501 Wicker Ave. She would like to answer their questions and address any concerns they have.

Mr. Volk stated most of the concern was the location itself for a child care center. The busy 41 corridor was the main concern, but it is also not the type of business for that area.

Mr. Forbes stated his concern was not so much traffic circulation within the business, but the ingress and egress to Route 41, particularly in that area. He continued that daycare traffic is in bulk; it's in the morning and in the evening-during rush hours. He said that particular stretch of 41 is problematic for St. John. He added St. John is looking to make serious adjustments to that area to eliminate accidents. He said he feels the day care center will add to the problems in that area.

Ms. Bardoczi replied by stating it would be a very small childcare center with a maximum of 16 children. She said there would only be 16 parents coming in and out on a daily basis. She continued she could advise the parents to only make a right hand turn when exiting if necessary. Mr. Bardoczi added that all entering and exiting comes from the rear so it is not close to a busy road.

Mr. Forbes stated there is no way Ms. Bardoczi can address his concerns of traffic. He said she cannot guarantee him that every parent will make a right turn out of the place.

Ms. Bardoczi stated there would only be a max of 16 cars coming out. She said she has a center in Crown Point right now and parents come between 7:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. so it is spread out. Arrival and departure varies between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She does not feel there would be much of a back-up on the street. It is also a 2-lane intersection right there so no one would be waiting for anyone to turn in or out.

Mr. Jorgensen wanted to make sure he was correct in his understanding that there would only be 16 children. Ms. Bardoczi stated there would be a maximum of 16. Mr. Jorgensen stated he wished this information was provided to the Council beforehand. He said there are probably 160 cars with families going in and out of establishments along U.S. 41. He said he would have never denied it based upon that and he apologizes for that. He said it would take a year to come back for that. He said he certainly believes residents who have kids in the car are careful enough to traverse Route 41 in their own Town. He continued the Council certainly should not be in a position against those 16 parents. He said they were under the impression that there would be a volume with an influx of 100 kids and that would be more problematic. He said he had no idea it was merely 16. He really wishes the Council had that information at the time.

Mr. Volk asked what the action was from the BZA. Mr. Kil answered the BZA sent a favorable recommendation to the Council. They did not send any notes or set up any contingencies.

Mr. Kil asked the Bardoczi's if the traffic concerns were addressed with the BZA. Mr. Bardoczi's said it was brought up twice and they had a traffic plan. Mr. Forbes said that was to address the internal traffic flow. Ms. Bardoczi said it was for parking and how parents would come in and out. Mr. Forbes said it was not for ingress or egress throughout 41.

Mr. Forbes said it is his understanding the BZA took a good look at the internal traffic circulation to protect the kids and prevent them from being run over on their property. He said he does not care how many cars it is; it is a bad location to put this type of business for this kind of traffic.

Mr. Forbes: “I don't want to be argumentative with you, Mr. Jorgensen, but...”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Since when?”

Mr. Forbes: “If people are so...”

Mr. Jorgensen: “We don't even need to have the debate. I mean, honestly, I don't know..”

Mr. Forbes: “I was speaking. I was speaking, Mr. Jorgensen. I was speaking.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I asked Mr. Kil a question with regard to what this couple can possibly do regardless of what you believe your restrictions should be, Mr. Forbes, it's beyond that. Now, Mr. Kil, I asked what this couple could possibly now. Are they restricted from coming back before this BZA for one year?”

Mr. Kil stated the Bardoczi's are restricted from coming before the BZA for a period of one year, but what they are asking is for the Council to reverse their vote. He stated they are not asking to go before the BZA again. Mr. Kil added that when the Bardoczi's came to see him, he said he has never seen the Council reverse their vote.

Mr. Jorgensen said he cannot even fathom how many people traverse in and out of the establishments along 41. He added he goes to Pascal's Pizza at least four times a week. He cannot believe the information that it would only be 16 families was not given to the Council and he apologized again. He said he will see what can be done with Mr. Kil as far as getting it back on the Council's agenda. “We know how Mr. Forbes is going to vote. That's too bad.” Mr. Jorgensen said there might be more information they can obtain from the Bardoczi's. He said they certainly want to see business on 41, and they want to see them prosper and be successful. Again, he apologized greatly for not having that information conveyed to the Council. Mr. Jorgensen said he would see what he could do to get it back on the agenda.

Mr. Barenie asked the Bardoczi's if they had purchased the property. Mr. Bardoczi responded that they are under contract to buy. Mr. Barenie said that would make it problematic to wait a year. He asked if the business would be long term or if it would only be for one year. He asked if they had other ideas for the property. Ms. Bardoczi answered it would be long term.

Mr. Volk said they did not have any notes from the BZA. He asked if the BZA put a cap on how many kids could be at the center. Ms. Bardoczi answered that the BZA did not put a cap on them, but 16 is what her state license will allow. Mr. Jorgensen stated he asked that earlier and found out there is state licensure requirements that they were not provided from the BZA.

Mr. Volk asked how the children would be contained to keep them safe. Ms. Bardoczi answered they would have a fenced in playground area with a separate entrance straight from the building. They would also have a walk-way straight to the back door. Mr. Volk said that was his other concern with having the kids running out into the road. Ms. Bardoczi assured him there would be a fenced in area.

Mr. Barenie asked if the door in front would be used. Ms. Bardoczi answered it would not.

Mr. Forbes wanted to make one more comment. He asked if they have so many people skilled at traversing U.S. 41, why does St. John have so many accidents between the intersection of 93rd and the entrance to Dairy Queen. Mr. Jorgensen asked if he was asking the Chief of Police. Mr. Forbes replied he was asking Mr. Jorgensen, since he seems to be so well-versed about everyone driving on Route 41.

Mr. Forbes: “Why do we have so many accidents in that area?”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Because it's congested.”

Mr. Forbes: “But they're skilled drivers.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Correct, and even skilled drivers have an issue but people have to move around. And my gosh! Could you imagine if we tried to legislate and restrict people with kids in their cars to go to any of your businesses? And especially 16. I mean, it's ridiculous. I apologize. I apologize for Mr. Forbes.

Mr. Forbes: “No, you don't because I disagree with you fully.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Quiet. Quiet, Mr. Forbes.”

Mr. Forbes: “I will not be quiet.”

Mr. Jorgensen banged that gavel and asked for order. Mr. Jorgensen said he will work with Mr. Kil to get the Bardoczi's back on the agenda and see what they can do for them. He said in the meantime, if there is any other information, they will be asking them for it.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated 2017 has come and gone. Three hundred homes have been built in St. John and a good chunk of those were multi-family. He said traffic issues continue to grow and it seems the Council just had this conversation thirty seconds ago. He said he is addressing this to the President. Mr. Swets was at the Plan Commission meeting where accidents on Cline Avenue and the amount of traffic were discussed. He said, however, the Plan Commission continues to approve R-2 rezoning. There will be more density so there are more cars and more accidents. He said he would like to see some direction from the Plan Commission to be as concerned about traffic as the Council seems to be tonight.

Mr. Swets said Chapter 17 of the Zoning Ordinance states when you do a development plan approved by the Plan Commission, it is necessary, prior to that, to establish a use of a structure or a free standing building or issuance of a building permit. You have to have a plan in place. The plan requires management of traffic in a manner that creates conditions favorable to health, safety and convenience to ensure the capacity of adjacent streets and highways is sufficient to safely and efficiently accept traffic that will be generated by the new development. He added it goes on and on. He said St. John is not able to do any development that can meet those requirements. St. John needs to stop rezoning to smaller lots and multi-families until they can get a handle on this. He concluded by asking the Council to put this under consideration.

Bryan Blazak, 9299 Franklin Drive:

Mr. Blazak said he happened to be at the Plan Commission meeting last night and, as he predicted a few months back, the Town allowed Lance to come back without waiting the year, as Town Ordinance dictates. The Plan Commission rules say that if a person's development is turned down, they cannot come back for one year. Attorney Muenich agreed with this statement. Mr. Forbes then went downstate and had another attorney send up a ruling. The ruling said the Plan Commission can do anything they want.

Mr. Blazak said his first question to the Council is if Ordinances and Rules are in the books in St. John, why can Mr. Forbes and the Plan Commission say the plan is changed enough to bring it back before on year? Last night, Three Springs just came back after only five months. The Plan Commission refused to rezone it back in August and now Three Springs is back before the Commission again with a new print. Mr. Blazak said the rules were put in place for a reason and asked why they are not being followed? He proposes that the Council takes a look at this because it is just ridiculous.

Secondly, Mr. Blazak addressed Chief Willman and his emergency vehicles. He believes cul-de-sacs are not supposed to exceed 400 feet. He said there are two developments with cul-de-sacs before the Plan Commission right now. One is 600 feet and the other is at least 1,000 feet. Mr. Blazak asked the Council why they would approve any such thing. He reiterated that the rules were made to be followed and asked why they are not being followed. He told the Council to not let the Plan Commission dictate the meaning of the Town's ordinances.

Kathryn Wilson. 9621 East Oakridge:

Ms. Wilson stated, in addition to what Mr. Swets and Mr. Blazak said, she has two comments on tonight's agenda. First, regarding the new business for refuse and recycling collection bids, there was discussion on changing the collection to two days a week due to the increase of households. She said they were having a hard time completing it in one day. She would like the Council to consider that.

Secondly, Ms. Wilson wanted to discuss Item E, the professional services agreement. She sees on the accounts payable for this month, $16,607, and she knows legal fees are not cheap, but she also knows the attorney used to attend all of the Town meetings, and she does not recall seeing anyone here in quite a few months. She questioned if anyone else was available that was reasonable. She understands there is a lot of “behind the scenes” going on.

Joe Hero, 11723 South Oakridge Drive:

Mr. Hero stated he thinks they can look forward to a Council that changes the ordinance to restrict PUD's. He said the Town has legal opinions, and they are only opinions, which can differ between lawyers. The Town now has R-3 in a category based on a legal opinion. The Town needs to change the ordinance to restrict PUDs and rein that in. He said “Right now, it is the Wild West out here”. The development of the Town has taken a bad turn due to the PUD Ordinance.

Mr. Hero also wanted to address the repetitive appearance of denying a planned subdivision and coming back in a year, tweaking it a little bit, and changing the character of it. He said the Town needs to rein in legal opinions and re-codify because all the Town is doing is getting legal opinions that allow the developers to do whatever they want. St. John's ordinance has not changed in all of these years and St. John operated under that ordinance for a long time.

Under this administration, there are different interpretations based on the benefits. He says the Town just hires a different lawyer to give a different opinion so the developers can continue to run rampant through the Town. Mr. Hero stated the Town Council needs to get some backbone and change the ordinances to tighten the loopholes that any lawyer can hire another lawyer to find a loophole. He said these are just opinions and the Town cannot operate with an ordinance that every time a developer wants something changed his way, the Town gets another legal opinion. He said none of it will hold up in court. They need to tighten the ordinances and be responsible to the people of St. John.

New Business:

A. Consider Y2018 Refuse and Recycling Collection Bids
Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any discussion before moving forward. Mr. Forbes wanted to address one of the comments Ms. Wilson made. He said it is not that the trash company cannot pick up garage all in one day; they do it without an issue. The reason the Town has offered the opportunity to split up collection days was to reduce the cost to the Town. The company the Town uses now to pick up the garbage in one day is at a set cost. The bid specs provided the opportunity to split up collection dates to reduce the cost to the Town. He said it was solely for the residents and that is the only reason the Town did it.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any further discussion. He said as they can see from the agenda, the Council can consider a motion to reject all bids and authorize a six month extension of the current contract for services with Republic Waste.

Mr. Forbes asked if Republic was willing to extend the contract with the Town. Mr. Kil answered that Republic has always been willing to extend St. John's contract if necessary. He believes the thought process is that there was such a discrepancy in the bids received and perhaps it would be wise to extend the contract for six months and take a look at the bid specs and see what can be changed. Mr. Kil said the thought was

to reject all of the bids, extend the contract for six months, while knowing St. John would be out to bid again. This would allow the Town to revise the bid speculations.

Mr. Forbes said as soon as the bids were being read, experience dictated the numbers were just too spread out and inconsistent. He said the bid spec needs to be reviewed, and the Town needs to start over.

Mr. Barenie said he was confused because they have had bids all over the place and they have taken the lowest. He is not sure why they wouldn't be doing that now. Mr. Kil responded that the discrepancies in the bids went from one spectrum to the other.

Mr. Jorgensen said one bid was so low that is seemed to be unattainable. He added the bids were all over the place and he thought it seemed like a good idea to revise the bid specifications and perhaps get some other companies to bid. He stated that he and Mr. Kil have been reviewing other towns' bid specifications, and it would be a good idea to check on what St. John received.

Mr. Volk, “I'll make that motion.” Mr. Jorgensen said they have a motion on the table to reject all bids and offer an extension. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Barenie Aye
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

B. Consider Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement of Kenneth Gembala
Mr. Kil stated Mr. Gembala has been a surveyor for quite some time. He does a lot of work in Town, but he does not do work for the Town. As a precaution, Mr. Gembala would feel more comfortable if the Council would consider his Conflict of Interest Statement. Mr. Kil says he cannot say he has any conflicts of interest right now, but perhaps something in the future might arise as he is a surveyor by trade.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any discussion. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. “I'll second Mr. Barenie's motion,” by Mr. Forbes. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

No roll call was taken.

C. Professional services agreement with Cender and Company, LLC.
Mr. Jorgensen said the action is to approve the agreement for 2018 between Cender and the Town. He asked for any discussion. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. “I'll make the motion,” by Mr. Forbes. “Second,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was seconded by Mr. Forbes. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Barenie Aye
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

D. Professional services agreement with Haas & Associates
Mr. Jorgensen said he reviewed the agreement. He asked if there was any discussion. Mr. Forbes said, “Like Cender, they do a fantastic job for the Town, so he would accept the contract.” Mr. Jorgensen said he had a motion on the floor and asked for a second. “Second,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Barenie Aye
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

E. Professional services agreement with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis, P.C.
Mr. Jorgensen said he is looking for a motion to approve the agreement for 2018 and he also reviewed this agreement. He asked for any discussion. There was none.

Mr. Forbes: “I'm going to make a motion that we send out a request for qualifications for legal services for the 2018 year for the Town of St. John.”

Mr. Jorgensen said they would get to that, but right now they are on the consideration of the agreement. He asked if there was a motion, one way or another, on Item Eon the agenda. He added if Mr. Forbes wanted to bring up his motion, either after this or during the “Reports and Correspondence,” that is fine. Right now it is for Item E, the agreement with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis.

Mr. Barenie: “I would like to have Dave continue on.”

Mr. Forbes: “You guys did check your emails, right?”

Mr. Jorgensen said he has a motion on the floor to accept the agreement for 2018 and asked for a second. There was no second. The motion died.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if Mr. Forbes wanted to step in now or wait for Reports and Correspondence.

Mr. Forbes: “My motion still stands that we send out for requests for qualifications for legal services for the Town of St. John.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Send out a request for qualifications. Do you propose that the Town... I am just thinking this through for you a little bit. We can send out a request for proposals with our qualifications and what it is that we are looking for in a Town attorney. Is that what you are looking to do?”

Mr. Forbes: “Sure.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I mean is it? I just want to be clear.”

Mr. Forbes: “Yeah. I'm looking for new legal service for the Town of St. John.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “I understand that. So your motion is to send out an RFP for new legal services. I just want to make sure your motion is correct. That's what you've got. Okay. Is there a second on that?”

Mr. Volk: “I'll second that.”

The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

Barenie Aye
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

Mr. Jorgensen said there is also the issue of legal services going forward. He said the Town has approximately seven court cases and an appeal that includes deadlines. While it is fine the Town sends out an RFP, they have to authorize someone to continue on in the interim process to avoid the Town lapsing in several of its deadlines. With that being said, Mr. Jorgensen would entertain a motion for an interim contract, provided it is accepted by Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis. An interim contract to transition, on a temporary basis, month to month, for legal services going forward at the same rate identified in their agreement for 2018.

Mr. Forbes: “This is only for existing cases---nothing that comes up in the future would be passed on.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “What I'm asking is someone to make this motion.”

Mr. Forbes: “I am clarifying.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Let me clarify for you because you bring up a good point in that it's all existing matters and anything that would come up before we retain new legal services. And this, what I mean is there will be matters both with regard to the litigation, the Impact Fees, and things that come before the Board that are going to require some representation for us, certainly and the Boards that we have. And, until we find new legal counsel, which in my experience can often take months, unfortunately. And of course, there is a great cost to the Town and everyone else with getting new legal counsel up to speed. Unfortunately, that's the way it has to go. But we need to be able to have legal counsel for any matters that may come up and advisement, until, in fact, we can replace Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis; if they'll accept it. Because we can't be without an attorney for existing legal matters and matters that come up in the interim. So it can't be as narrow as you originally stated, or at least in my view, it can't be that narrowly stated. Otherwise, we are going to run into problems since we only meet once a month and modify that agreement.”

Mr. Barenie: “I would support that idea of an interim offer to Austgen & Kuiper to prevent liability exposure for the Town. It could be one month. It could be two months. It might be three months. But with the spirit of it, it is a temporary, interim-type situation where we are searching for new attorneys.

Mr. Jorgensen: “Oh, we could do this each month.”

Mr. Barenie: “So it could be month-to-month like you suggested or it could be one month or three months or four months or five. But I would hardly... we are not going to be able to find someone else in the interim that would know our background. We would be paying Dave to tell this person what's going on in this particular case. So we would have Dave anyway for that three months.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Well, of course we would. Right? That only makes sense. I have to say, ladies and gentlemen, the reason I would have voted for this agreement for 2018 anyway is that there is a termination notice by 30 days anyway so it only makes sense. Again, I am an attorney. I have been through this process both myself and with other counsel. You simply can't leave a client in a lurch. The client being the Town. So we have to make sure as matters proceed, that we are represented until someone can replace. Now it doesn't guarantee that Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis are going to agree to it under the 2018 terms.”

“Now they do have an ethical obligation to get whoever we decide on up to speed. I would have hoped to have a discussion with Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis before this was taken, but it is what it is. But to avoid liability for the Town, we need an agreement, month­ to-month or otherwise. If it's on a monthly basis by us, someone can cover Town matters up until the time we have full representation for new counsel.

Mr. Forbes: “I would prefer it only be current legal issues and not any new projects or continue any non-case related issues.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Okay, who would you have to advise the Council and yourself, having no legal background, on the matters that come up? The Impact Fee matter for instance. The development with Boyer moving forward. Who would you have advise us and/or the BZA, the Plan Commission? Certainly not you. So we would need somebody. And who would that be? It is not going to be Austgen who has served the Town for 15 years and at least in my opinion, knows what he is doing. So who is that going to be?”

Mr. Forbes: “He hasn't been at the Plan Commission for almost a year.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Somebody from his firm has.”

Mr. Forbes: “Off and on.“

Mr. Jorgensen: “Whether it be off or on or not, what you are saying is not making sense Mr. Forbes.”

Mr. Forbes: “Yes it does.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “The Town and Boards need representation until we have somebody else in place. Otherwise we are being negligent. Well, that's a negligent idea. So again, gentlemen, you have to authorize somebody to represent the folks sitting here before you and those Boards in legal matters that happen to come up. It can't just be restricted to lawsuits and an appeal we have. I mean there are several more issues that come up. I mean let's not be myopic thinkers. Please. Somebody.”

Mr. Barenie: “I would definitely support this month-to-month. If something happened...you never know where we needed something right away, I would hate to be paying three attorneys, possibly. Dave for some of the stuff, a new attorney, and we are looking to transition to a third attorney. I would think this could only be three months and we could get it done. Bite the bullet. I know there is some disappointment with him, but I'm sure he will get the job done no matter what. If it is a long, big issue, the other attorney will be transitioning anyway. I would hate to fall behind on something and expose the Town because we don't want him to take over something new which might be simple. So that's my thoughts; I'm sticking with them. So, do we need a motion?”

Mr. Jorgensen: “Yeah, we need a motion.”

Mr. Barenie: “Any more discussion before I... So, my motion would be to on a month-to-month basis based on the numbers that are in his current contract plus...”

Mr. Jorgensen: “The 2018 contract is almost the same.”

Mr. Barenie: “Okay, with the 2018, probably includes travel expenses or something like that. The same thing we have always had with Dave on a month-to-month basis to be re-evaluated every 30 days.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “And this would be an offer made to them for this interim agreement because this isn't the agreement that is before us even though it is terminable in 30 days. Barring the approval of the agreement for 2018, then yes. Beth, do you understand for purposes of the minutes and all.

Ms. Hernandez: “So are you going with his [Mr. Barenie's] recommendation to your motion? Just so I can transcribe it correctly in the minutes.”

Mr. Forbes: “They are saying month-to month.” Ms. Hernandez: “An offer for month-to-month?”

Mr. Barenie: “To include all business, right.”

Mr. Jorgensen: “All business until we find a replacement attorney, full time. That is my understanding. Is there any other discussion? Is there a second?”

Mr. Volk: “I'll second that.”

The motion was passed (4/0/1). Ayes---four. Nays---none. Abstain-one (Forbes).

Barenie Aye
Forbes Abstain
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Aye

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil to communicate the offer to Austgen Kuiper & Jasaitis. Mr. Kil answered he would do that. Mr. Jorgensen wanted to make sure it was on the record that someone would do that. Mr. Kil replied he kind of assumed it was him.

F. Consider reduction of Performance Bond for Northpoint, Unit 5 down to the amount of $22,600 (favorable recommendation by Plan Commission)
Mr. Jorgensen said the Town Council action was to approve the reduction of the performance bond for Northpoint, Unit 5 to the amount of $22,600. He asked if Mr. Kil or the other gentlemen had any other comment.

“I'll make the motion,” by Mr. Forbes. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

No roll was taken.

G. Consider approval of agreement with INDOT for the installation of Emergency Vehicle Preemption Equipment at various signals on state highways.
Mr. Kil stated this is the opticom system. When the ambulance goes through, it automatically switches the lights. Since the opticom system is on all state highways and the State controls the signals, the Town enters into an agreement with them so we can utilize all of that. He added the Town pays a lot of the cost, but that is what it is for it to change the lights when the ambulance and fire trucks go through. Mr. Kil added it is now a standard agreement that every community uses. Cliff Wroe, at the police department, is actually coordinating this on behalf of St. John. He said it is a standard agreement and is ready to be approved by the Council.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any more discussion. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion.

Mr. Forbes asked if the Town would have to redo the agreement when the light is put in at 10151and Calumet. Mr. Kil said he thinks the Town will have to add that light. Mr. Jorgensen added that is also his understanding. Mr. Kil said it could just be added as another signalized intersection. He said the Town has a contract with INDOT for all of the lights, and part of that contract includes the Emergency Vehicle Preemption Equipment. He added it is covered in an alternative contract that ties to this one. Mr. Jorgensen said he thinks it will be an easier situation for the Town as an addendum and it can be put in the agenda that way.

Mr. Kil said the Town has an actual agreement with INDOT that will be before the Town Council shortly for the installation of a new signal at 96th. That agreement will cover this. Mr. Jorgensen added it would reference this.

Mr. Jorgensen said he didn't believe he got a motion. “I'll make the motion,” by Mr. Forbes. Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

No roll was taken.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Hastings stated he had a very funny thing happen in front of his house yesterday. He said a young man was out in his car and he was running around the car. He said he went to him and asked him if he broke down and he learned he was out of gas. So in the rain, the young man decided to walk all the way to the gas station to get gas. Mr. Hastings said he called Chief Kveton twice. The police department picked the young man up and brought him back to his car. The police officer had his lights on and everything. Mr. Hastings said he was baby-sitting the young man's car and that was pretty much his night.

Mr. Barenie stated he just watched college basketball last night.

Mr. Forbes said he didn't think he could top that one.

Mr. Jorgensen stated there was one issue that should be on the agenda. The Council needs to approve the $1,000 bonus for Officer Patzschke. He asked if there were any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to approve the $1,000 bonus to Officer Patzschke. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion. The motion was approved by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez just wanted to comment that she would not be present at the next Town Council meeting. She added she will be on a family vacation so Marilyn, her Chief­ Deputy, would attend in her place.
STAFF
Fire Chief
During the month of January 2018, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 175 requests for assistance. One hundred twenty-five calls were made to our incorporated limits, 27 calls to unincorporated limits in St. John Township, and 23 calls in District 3, which is all of the other destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid responses were to Lake Hills Fire and EMS, Schererville Fire and EMS, Cedar Lake Fire and EMS, and Crown Point Fire and Rescue.

Monday night activities for the Fire Department for January 2018: Week One was a scheduled holiday with no organized training for members. Week Two was the monthly business meeting for the firefighters. Week Three was the annual hazardous materials response review. Week Four was a two-evening course presented by the in-house St. John EMS director on EPC or Emergency Pediatric Care.

Police Chief

From January 1 through January 31, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 16,817 miles and responded to 576 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents led to fifteen adult arrests with 24 charges being filed. The St. John Police Department issued 313 traffic citations with 208 written warnings for a total of 521 traffic citations being written during the month. St. John had zero vehicle thefts and other thefts totaling $9,963. They had a recovery of $368.

Chief Kveton stated he placed a copy of the Police Department's Annual Report for 2017 on the dais. He stated the Council could give him a call if anyone had any questions as they went through the report.

Mr. Barenie commented that page seven was very informative because it gives the comparative data for the last five years of all types of calls.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Jorgensen stated there are General APV's totaling $1,247,013.51. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions on the bills.

“I'll make the motion for the payment of the bills,” by Mr. Volk. Mr. Hastings seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- one (Forbes).

No roll call was taken.

ADJOURNMENT:

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

No roll call was taken.

(The meeting adjourned at 7:57 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

03-22-2018 Town Council Rescheduled to 04-05-2018
04-05-2018 Town Council

April 5, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called the April 5th, 2018 regular Town Council meeting to order at 7:13 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: February 22, 2018

Mr. Jorgensen stated the first order of business was approval of minutes. He asked for any discussion or comments. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion.

Mr. Volk stated, “I'll make that motion.” Mr. Forbes seconded the motion.

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

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Nancy M. Simanek, 9005 Morse Street, Crown Point:

Ms. Simanek stated she lives in an established subdivision northeast of Cline and 93rd that is adjacent to land annexed by the Town of St. John, just beyond Tiburon subdivision. She said they have been attending Town Council and Plan Commission meetings for several years to stay apprised of the explosive growth of the Town and the remaining tracks of open land. They have witnessed the physical impact on the roads from construction vehicles, increased traffic, drainage and flooding issues, etcetera. She continued, not too long ago at a meeting, a Board member said the Town cannot stop development on these properties. She said what the Council does have is the power to deny requests for zoning changes from the standard set in their Comprehensive Plan, which is mainly R-1 zoning throughout the Town. The Town can decrease density and protect property values, infrastructure, and overall quality of life for current and future residents by insisting the developers stick to the goals set by the Town's own plan. By continually granting these zoning changes, the Council is degrading what the Town is known for and creating problems that will have to be addressed by the next generation of taxpayers, perhaps the Council's own children.

Ms. Simanek stressed that the Town does not owe anything to the developers, but they do owe something to the residents of the Town-responsible growth. As for those people adjacent to St. John, these decisions personally affect those residents as well. Water issues affect their septic systems, congested roads mean vehicles take longer to reach their homes. She concluded by respectfully asking the Council to vote “No” to the request by Olthof Homes R-2 zoning and the proposed Walden Clearing at 93rd and Cline.

Ursula Buchnat. 8841 Morse Street. Crown Point:

Ms. Buchnat stated she lives in the same subdivision as Ms. Simanek. She stated she also opposes the R-2 zoning. She said she moved to the area 33 years ago, and at that time, was told 93rd Avenue would be widened. She continued, at least eight or nine subdivisions and a school have been added to the street. She said that on the west side of 41, the Preserves and Greystone are going in with the same issues as she has living on the east side of 41. She stated that she drove down 93rd on the west side and there were at least eight cars at 2 o'clock in the afternoon waiting to access 93rd from White Oak. She said there is a builder, Lance Development, who is putting in a subdivision to the north of her and a street to another two-lane road. She mentioned that to get out of her subdivision, they have to exit at 93rd or Cline Avenue, which will be impossible when Luer's puts in their 750 homes because this is within a mile of where the Walden Clearing is going.

She stated new construction brings two to three cars and two to three children. She asked where is the traffic going to go and where are the children going to go to school. She does not even know if they are finished paying on the additions to Lake Central. She continued that Clark Middle School also causes more traffic and buses. She concluded these are the reasons she is not in favor of the R-2 zoning. She said she lives here also and needs to have some consideration. If there are round-a-bouts and issues that have to be fixed on the streets, she will also be paying for it through her taxes. It should be a responsibility of the builders gaining all of this money building these homes.

Gerald Swets, 9490 Joliet Street:

Mr. Swets stated he likes the idea of R-1 lots all over Town, as the Council is aware; however, it is also good to have a mix of other housing sizes as the Town's Comprehensive Plan lays out. He continued that on his side of Town, it has all been R-2 recently. As the head of the St. John Homeowner's Group, he tries to give a forum for residents to come and talk and find out what they would like to see. He added that this is one of those conflicted issues because there are people on the north end of the subdivision that own R-2 lots that are okay with R-2 lots as long as Olthof is going to build nice homes there. Olthof guaranteed if it stays R-2, he can build a real nice home there, but if he had to go R-1, he was going to build a cheaper house.

The residents on the south end of the subdivision that are all on R-1 size lots would like to keep R-1 size lots and see the extra 50 feet between their house and their neighbor's house. He continued this is something the Council will have to make the decision on by looking at both sides.

Mr. Swets said he would like to see R-1 stay on the south end, but with that said, it is also important to put in extra roads and extra lanes on the south end of 93rd, lengthening all of Cline Avenue including an extra lane on the north end. It would allow for the expans ion of roads without coming out of taxpayer's pockets and let the developers absorb that into the cost of their subdivision. He continued that the development plans are supposed to include the requirements for the roads to meet current needs and the future needs for the development in that area. He concluded that the Council has a tough decision to make, but traffic is not going to get better when there is increased density. For that reason, Mr. Swets stated he is going to push for R-1.

Daniel Simanek, 9005 Morse Street, Crown Point:

Mr. Simanek stated he has attended many Plan Commission and Town Council meetings. He said he has heard many St. John residents speak about the terrible quality and congestion on the roads. Everyone he talks to complains about the traffic on 41, 93rd Avenue, White Oak, Hart Street, Route 30, and many other roads. The decaying infrastructure is not acceptable. It is just like cancer that keeps growing as does the explosive growth in St. John. He continued that the Council needs to listen to the people telling them the roads are terrible. It is the Council's responsibility to the citizens of St. John to control the density and not cater to the developers. Less density on the land means less density on the roads. It is plain common sense. Developers come into St. John knowing the property is zoned R-1; that is what they should have to keep it at. When a developer buys property, they know exactly what they are buying. The number of times he has heard developers talk about hardships is ridiculous. The hardships are the ones faced by the residents who are living in St. John. There are people on the Plan Commission who never oppose development even if it is bad. Mr. Simanek concluded by asking the Council to take responsibility for keeping St. John and the surrounding communities sustainable. He is asking the Council to not approve R-2 in Walden Clearing.

Adrian Bugariu, 11747 West 90th Avenue:

Mr. Bugariu stated when he moved to St. John in 1976 he had his house built by an excellent builder. Then the builder was asked to pay $2,400 for something electrical. When the builder contacted the electrician, he was asked for $2,400 in cash. The electrician did not pay it.

He stated, to make a long story short, in 2010, he went to Mr. Kil's office and Mr. Kil had his head down as usual and said he cannot fire his boss. Mr. Bugariu said when he left the office, he was arrested and spent eleven days in jail and was told he had three hours to leave for Mississippi. Mr. Bugariu asked if he had to leave for Mississippi so that Fryzel and the whole gang can break into his house. They busted his front door, but could not get inside because he had a deadbolt lock. They managed to get inside and stole all of his evidence. After he returned from Mississippi, he went to Chief Frego's office and Chief Frego said, “Get the F out of here or I'll put your butt in jail again.” Mr. Bugariu said he asked “Again?”

Mr. Bugariu stated Mr. Kil was behind this. He continued that Mr. Kil, as the Town Manager, actually steals election signs from people's lawns. Mr. Bugariu said two days afterwards, Richard Kouder and Jay Dahlin came to his house. He said they flashed their lights and used Jerri Tiebel's accusations many times to arrest him for nothing in 2010.

Mr. Bugariu continued that when he returned from Mississippi he filed a lawsuit and gave the Town a tort notice. He said he filed suit and did not hear anything from his lawyer who wanted to take the case on contingency in Crown Point. The date was filed on time, but the date was changed and the Town falsified the records.

Mr. Bugariu showed a mailbox and stated that was the results of Fryzel and the gang in 2009.

Linda Perry, 7321 West 90th Lane, Crown Point:

Ms. Perry stated she is here tonight to oppose the R-2 zoning.

Rebecca Dykstra, 6931West 90th Ave, Crown Point:

Ms. Dykstra stated she lives just a few short blocks from the proposed Walden Clearing subdivision. Regarding Ordinance No. 1667 and the rezoning of Walden Clearing, as a local resident for the past 20 years, she would like to respectfully ask that the R-1 zoning be maintained for the proposed development. She continued there are valid concerns for unnecessary increased density causing further stress on the community, infrastructure, traffic, and etcetera. She said something that should also be noted and seriously considered in changing a zoning ordinance is that St. John has always had a higher and better standard for zoning and building. These are highly valued attributes that set St. John apart from other communities in Lake County and make it a more desirable town in which to reside. She concluded, with all of these comments in mind, she would like to respectfully ask the Council to maintain the R-1 zoning concerning the subdivision.

Al Stuckey, 6810 West 93rd Ave, Crown Point:

Mr. Stuckey stated [he agrees with] everything that has been said. He said another thing with Olthof Homes is when they were in development with Luers Christmas Tree Farm, they were going to put 2,300 homes on that property. He stated Olthof is known for not wanting to do anything for the community long term. It might be fine for Olthof to make more money to cram more homes into a given area, but it does not do anything for the community long term. He continued that he moved out here from the city to be in the country. When he moved in 1994, his half acre lot was one of the tiniest lots and now it is turning to be one of the bigger lots. He said he is right on 93rd Avenue and he listens to the traffic every day and it keeps getting busier and busier. He said he knows one cannot stop progress and homes will be built there, but at least the density of the area can be controlled a little bit.

Joe Lenehan (Oltof Homes), 8051 Wicker Avenue:

Mr. Lenahen stated he is with Olthof Homes and also a resident of the Town. He stated he was the individual who presented Walden Clearing to the Plan Commission. He wanted to note a couple of things. First, the property is not currently zoned R-1; it is zoned Open Space. He continued that when they requested R-2 zoning, they met with a lot of the residents adjacent to the property and really worked with the people. He said they were trying to find other ways to create value and they put in their zoning commitment many things that are above and beyond the R-2 zoning ordinance.

Secondly, the density on the project is really, really low. It is an 80-acre property and Olthof is proposing 90 home sites. It is 1.13 units per acre. He believes Olthof will make a really great project there. Mr. Lenehan presented the items to the Plan Commission showing it meets the Findings of Fact, and those were approved by the Plan Commission with their recommendation. He concluded that he appreciates the Council's consideration.

New Business:

A. Consider Y2018 Annual Contract with St. John Township Trustee for fire and emergency service in the amount of $58,853.00.
Mr. Kil stated it was a standard contract for the same amount that occurs every year.

Mr. Jorgensen said he would entertain a motion. Mr. Forbes, “I'll make that motion to approve the Y2018 Contract with the St. John Township Trustee.” Mr. Volk seconded the motion. The motion was carried by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

B. Consider Ordinance No. 1667, an ordinance rezoning Walden Clearing from Open Space to R-2 Single Family Residential [favorable recommendation from Plan Commission].

Mr. Jorgensen stated this received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission and the Council heard Public Comment on it. He asked if there was any discussion.

Mr. Barenie addressed a question to Mr. Lenehan. He stated he lives in the proposed area and he has some concerns that some of the Olthof Homes are lacking appeal from the back of the homes. He continued that in Section 4 of the Zoning Commitment, it addresses sunrooms and breakfast nooks. When he looked at all of the pictures of the homes, they only showed the front of the homes.

Mr. Lenehan stated this was a question Olthof received from some of the adjacent property owners, so a special consideration they made for the homes that are on the perimeter of the property is that Olthof would include, at a minimum, one of those options---a sunroom or a breakfast nook that provides a “break-up” on the back of the homes.

Mr. Barenie asked if there were pictures of those homes. Mr. Lenehan answered he doesn't have any pictures with him this evening, but he could email copies to Mr. Kil to be sent out.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any other discussion, comments, or questions. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. “I'll make a motion to grant approval and adopt Ordinance No. 1667,” by Mr. Forbes. “I'll second that,” by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (3/2). Ayes---three. Nays---two.

Barenie Nay
Forbes Aye
Hastings Aye
Volk Aye
Jorgensen Nay

C. Consider release of Letter of Credit for Mill Creek-Unit 3 in the amount of $183,354.08, and acceptance of Maintenance Bond. (Approved at March 7, 2018 Plan Commission).
Mr. Kil stated the next three items were very standard.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would entertain a motion. “I'll make the motion,” by Mr. Forbes. “Second,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

D. Consider reduction of Letter of Credit for Mill Creek-Unit 4 to the amount of $64,418.38 (favorable recommendation from Plan Commission).
Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any discussion. Hearing none, he said he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Forbes. “Second,” by Mr. Hastings. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.
E. Consider reduction of Letter of Credit for Silver Leaf-Unit 2E to the amount of $86,849.36 (favorable recommendation from Plan Commission).
Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any discussion. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Volk. “Second,” by Mr. Forbes. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.
F. Re-Consider Special Exception request from Amanda Bardoczi (9501 Wicker Avenue) [favorable recommendation from Board of Zoning Appeals].
Mr. Jorgensen stated there was some debate about this item at the last meeting. The Council did not receive any notes or any other information from the Board of Zoning Appeals with regard to the nature of the business.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any further discussion or questions tonight. Hearing none, he stated he would entertain a motion. “So moved,” by Mr. Barenie.

“I’ll second that,” by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes- four. Nays-one (Forbes).

G. Consider approval of amended Economic Development Agreement with SJ96, LLC.

Mr. Jorgensen stated this was the Boyer Agreement and asked Mr. Kil if he had any comments. Mr. Kil stated he was excited about the project and there has been a lot of work to get to this point. He said Mr. Boyer was in the audience if there were any specific questions. Mr. Kil added the development agreement was in its final form and there is an Exhibit A attached which is a proposed site plan. The development will generally be built in conformance to that plan. There is also Exhibit B which is from the Town's financial advisor that lays out the parameters and lays out the basic accruement generated from the project to pay off the debt. He said the proposal is around five million dollars of debt to construct 96th Avenue-traffic signals, work on 41 including center turn lanes, and all of the intersection projects. Mr. Kil mentioned it is in its final form tonight and ready to be signed and approved by the Town Council and counter signed by Mr. Boyer. That will formally kick-off the start of the project. He said there is a project timeline that is very tight and they are working diligently to meet those deadlines. Mr. Kil said Boyer is well aware of the timelines as well. Mr. Boyer is proceeding through the Plan Commission right now, however, it needs to be signed by both parties to move full speed ahead. He concluded by stating he would be happy to answer any specific questions or direct them to Mr. Boyer as well.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would make a motion himself, but he can't. He is happy to see it finally moving along.

Mr. Barenie commented that he appreciates all of the hard work and the patience of Mr. Boyer and Mr. Kil. Mr. Jorgensen agreed and stated that he would entertain a motion.

“I'll make the motion,” by Mr. Forbes. “Second,” by Mr. Barenie. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Kil stated he would like the Council to approve the disposal of five old Dell computers. They are approximately 15 years old. He would appreciate if they could approve them to be worthless and of no value so they can properly be placed in the recycling bin. “I’ll make a motion for that,” by Mr. Barenie. “Second,” by Mr. Volk. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

(General discussion ensued.)

Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is his understanding, in the police budget, there are sufficient funds for the hiring of an additional police officer. It is his understanding that the Council needs to authorize that. Mr. Kil stated, as the Council may recall, the Town was going to “ramp up” the police department by one officer each year until they were at three officers per shift. Mr. Jorgensen stated he would entertain a motion. “I'll make that motion,” by Mr. Forbes. “I’ll second that,” by Mr. Volk. The motion was passed by voice vote (5/0). Ayes---five. Nays---none.

CLERK-TREASURER
No report tonight.
STAFF
Fire Chief

During the month of February 2018, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 142 requests for assistance. One hundred ten calls were made to our incorporated limits, 13 calls to unincorporated limits in St. John Township, and 19 calls in District 3, which is all of the other destinations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid responses were to Lake Hills Fire and EMS for a residential medical emergency x 10, with an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, Schererville with an ALS ambulance for a residential medical emergency x 5, an ALS ambulance for a motor vehicle crash with injuries, and Cedar Lake Fire and EMS with an engine and manpower to assist with a possible rescue for an occupied vehicle stranded in high water.

Monday night activities for the Fire Department for February 2018: Week One was the monthly business meeting. Week Two was introduction orientation for the new web­ based computer training entitled Target Solutions. Week Three was the EMS in-service covering hospital transport and pediatric care equipment. Week Four was follow-up training for the Target Solutions.

Police Chief

From February 1 through February 28, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 19,900 miles and responded to 525 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents led to twenty-nine arrests with 36 charges being filed.

The St. John Police Department issued 199 traffic citations with 194 written warnings for a total of 393 traffic citations being written during the month. St. John had zero vehicle thefts and other thefts totaling $735. They had a recovery of $137 worth of property.

Chief Kveton stated a little over a year ago, they received a 100 percent grant, in addition to a bunch of donations from local businesses and charitable organizations, and residents for an in-car camera system. Patrol vehicles are now installed with both audio and visual recording devices which has helped the department a great deal to prosecute cases and protect the officers from false allegations against them.

Chief Kveton stated the Chicagoland area has suffered a great deal of fraudulent attacks to residents and some businesses through phone calls and letters telling people there is legal action being taken against them by the IRS, and other things. He said he even received a priority letter at the police department with a check for $2,250. He has also personally received a call from the IRS saying the cops were going to arrest him. He said they used the term “cops” instead of law enforcement. He has also received calls from residents stating they have received these calls. He encouraged residents to warn elderly family or neighbors because this is very prevalent. He talked to one elderly woman who lost $8,000.

Chief Kveton stated he believed everyone should have received a letter from Marathon stating they will be doing pipe testing with pressurized water. If residents notice any leakage in their backyards or on the streets, they should contact the police department. They have a protocol they must follow along with the fire department if a leak arises.

Chief Kveton wanted to thank the Town Council for passing the policy for the off-duty use of vehicles by the police department. Last month they have had off-duty officers provide service to the community on four separate occasions for a residential hold up burglar alarm for a resident, two officers calling for assistance that there was nobody to send, and an elderly disabled resident that had a vehicle needing assistance.

Chief Kveton stated they received a call from the Anderson family who had a daughter who wanted to do something for the police department. It is scheduled for May 12th for her to come out and help the department wash their police cars.

Chief Kveton stated the police department is sponsoring a Command Class at Northwestern University that will start at the police station on April 16.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Jorgensen stated there are General APV's totaling $1,305,910.31. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions on the bills.

“So moved,” by Mr. Barenie. “Second,” by Mr. Volk. The motion was carried by voice vote (4/1). Ayes --- four. Nays --- one (Forbes).

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen 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 --- five. Nays --- none.

(The meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.)

ATTEST:

Beth R. Hernandez
Clerk-Treasurer

04-26-2018 Town Council

April 26, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on April 26, 2018, at 7:26 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Christian Jorgensen, Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, and Steve Hastings. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Fred Willman; Chief James Kveton; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer. Absent: Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the April 5, 2018 meeting. Mr. Jorgensen asked for any discussion on the minutes. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Motion by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for public comment.

Jeff Bready (8521 Primrose Drive): Um, first time here. Good evening everybody. Um, I wanted to go over some issues that I have with my property. My property – it’s been back when I moved in 1990 into house. I had Rick Eberly come out and Jon Gill, and they listened to me. And they replied – sorry – they replied in a letter back to me. And basically telling me that it’s my problem. Okay. And I have a copy if you guys want to see this. He didn’t date it. I mean I’ve got the postage that said he mailed it on April 13, and it came around the 16th. But regardless of that, I have a problem because, uh, my backyard is pretty much a swamp when it rains, and it stays a swamp, you know.

I have Rick and Jon telling me that it’s supposed to drain to 85th. It doesn’t drain to 85th. I raised my boys there. They could tell you the backyard was always wet. You’d have to let it go for days on end after a little bit of rain. I’ve got a foundation next to me, a vacant house that was built that’s 32 inches higher than where mine is. And I’m 30 feet away. I’ve got a sump-pump line that he tells me to get a plumber to have him check where it goes because they don’t know where it goes. I have him telling me that they can’t find where it goes out to the sewer at. They cannot find the plans. They cannot find the permits they signed off on. And Rick Eberly is the one that signed off my move-in permit 28 years ago. So I ask you, I mean, the parliamentary procedure, what do I need to do next?

Mr. Forbes stated that there is a bit of a disadvantage because the board is unfamiliar with the property.

Well, I understand that. I fully understand that. Primrose Drive 8521, you know; it’s the thoroughfare. It’s the, uh, where they put the carburetor, you know. It’s the street that I think, uh, Rieth and Riley was out there working, and I think we’re actually going to get a final coat on that road, because there was never a final coat. There was 8 builders in that subdivision building, then patchwork. It’s, uh, you know, it is what it is.

Mr. Forbes asked him to give the Council time to speak with the Building Department and get back to him on this matter.

Well, yeah, and that’s why I’m here. I just want to get the ball rolling, in a sense, here. I mean, I want to, you know, see how the procedures go there. But, uh, you know. It’s interesting.

Mr. Jorgensen said the gentleman could talk to Steve, and the Council will take a look at it.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I remonstrate and object to the proposed resolution to approve the issuing of a TIF Bond up to the amount of $5.6 million for the project on 96th Avenue and Joliet Street because the Town will have to acquire land from a, or more than one, residents of the town, against their will, for this project using eminent domain when other solutions exist to solve this traffic problem. The road connecting 96th to Joliet can be put on the developer’s property instead of taking someone else’s. The traffic light at Joliet Street and Route 41 can solve problem – traffic problems. Industrial Drive could be pushed through.

I don’t have a problem with the Shops on 96th development, but I do have a problem with the Town giving all this money to them to – to develop it. All this development of new homes in this town will attract businesses down the road. So we’re, kind of, putting the cart before the horse. The Town will be spending far more money when you connect it with the Shops on 96th to solve a traffic problem than they really need to. This TIF Bond is being put forth under the guise of traffic. And it really is just a way to help the developer and put the expense on the Town’s citizens.

And just for public information, because the Economic Development Agreement, which was recently passed by this board, has never been openly discussed at a public meeting, to my knowledge, the Town of St. John is doing the following items for the developer for Shops on 96th: The Town is demolishing and hauling away this – the Standard Lumber building, the other buildings, and clearing the site for the developer. The Town is putting a traffic light at 41 and 96th.

Other places in town, Schilling’s, they had to put their own stoplight at Greystone. Why are we preferring one developer over another? The Town’s paying to acquire land needed to connect 96th up to Joliet Street. So that will need to be taken through eminent domain from business owners who have been in town for over 70 years. And this property has been in their family for over 170 years.

How much legal cost will the Town incur from not sitting down with them and trying to work with them instead of just flexing their muscle and paying lawyers to fight an eminent domain claim? Also, the Town is paying to connect up the roads in this development on Earl Drive north and south. The Town’s even designing and digging the developer’s detention pond. To me, that’s a little bit excessive purse for a developer. This sounds like a great deal for the developer in the expense of the residents of St. John.

And how long will it take for us to recoup that $5.6 million from this development? The abandoned Kmart’s sitting directly across the street from this development. Are they going to ask for tax breaks because there’s an empty business across the street? Also, the detention pond brings up another question. Is the Town looked into the area where they’ll be excavating? If we’re responsible for making these ponds, then that land along the railroad tracks is a low drainage swale and really swampy. Kind of the same situation as there is by Cline.

Mr. Jorgensen informed Mrs. Birlson that her time is up.

Also, last but not least, these TIF revenues might be insufficient for the purpose that the commission will have to levy that special tax upon the residents of the town, and I believe this is an undue and heavy burden on the good, hard-working citizens of this town, and it should be voted down. Thank you.

Jeffrey Schaffer: Declined to comment when called upon.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I want to remonstrate against the Resolution 2018-04-26B authorizing issuance of the TIF Bonds. I incorporate my remonstrance before the Redevelopment Commission in this speech here, by reference.

“I’d like to remonstrate against this resolution and a same res – similar resolution and sister resolution with the Town Council. One, I think that the wording in the two resolutions is conflicting where they talk about areas and districts. There’s no clear definition of area, and there’s no clear definition of district. And also, if you look at, uh, in the one resolution, they talk about if there’s not enough money to pay these bonds off, that there’s another tax, or whatever, is going to go to the district. And it implies the district is the whole town in the one resolution. I think that, uh, the wording in the two resolutions is conflicting and not clear and arbitrary and capricious. And for that reason, I remonstrate against it.

The other reason I remonstrate against this, it serves no public purpose. Uh, all we’re going to do is put a light at 95th and end up at Joliet. That’s going to push all the traffic and into a no left turn on Joliet, and we’re going to push all the traffic down 93rd and create havoc down 93rd, because nobody’s going to go do this circle jerk and then try and wait to go through a circle to go over the tracks. It’s going to create health and safety issues at the tracks with this circle. Uh, and I think that could cause an increase in fatalities, and, uh, this – this project, the way it’s described in the bond issue, um.

Also, I think all this is, is a special deal for special interests. When a developer comes to town, he pays for his own roads. Why are we paying for the road from 95th all the way to Joliet for a developer through the TIF District? This makes no sense to me. For these reasons and other reasons, uh, and there’s many of ‘em, the – there’s people that have opposed this. The way I look at it, it’s going to require eminent domain to take land.

The Town doesn’t own the land in which appropriating this money for. Uh, and I think there’s going to have to be condemnations going on and property taken. Uh, I think that’s wrong. And for all those reasons, uh, I oppose this. And I would encourage any future councilmen on future boards, if this goes through, to make that a one-way street from Joliet to 41. So that we don’t artificially benefit individual developer in – in the utilization of our TIF Districts. For these reasons, this should be voted down both here and at the Town Council Meeting. Thank you.”

Okay. But it’s basically, what the one gentleman said: If you come over those tracks, you can’t see the oncoming traffic. If you put a circle there, you can’t see the circle. You should try driving that at night coming from east to west. You can’t – to me, this goes against the health, safety, and welfare of the residents here.

And you look at all the box stores and how they’re going and appealing their assessments the – in empty malls. It – the wording in the bond issues is arbitrary and capricious and not clear on what a district is and what an area is. Because if there’s – it doesn’t say who picks up the slack if there’s not enough revenue to pay the bonds. And the other thing is, this is ta – you know, we got to provide fire services, police, all kinds of services that taxes normally would pay for from this TIF district.

This is just another shopping mall. Why are we paying for all the infrastructure? It gets us nothing. Okay. It’s something that would develop on its own without the Town doing TIF district. And then I ask a question: Why would the Council push for this because it makes no sense? Nobody’s going to turn down 95th, go down this circle road to come to Joliet to this circle to another congested area. The only benefit is to pull traffic into this guy’s mall.

I asked the question five times: Why would these councilmen – why would these councilmen – why would these councilmen approve something like this? It makes no common sense to me unless there’s some other reason that is not disclosed on why you’re pushing for this. This is not a benefit to the Town. This is a disaster for the Town. It’s a disaster for the property owners that are along there because you can exert your eminent domain and confiscate their properties. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I would like to incorporate my earlier comments to this so I don't have to repeat them.

“Gentlemen, I would like to remonstrate against the bond as well. For now, on this meeting, and the next meeting. Uh, I am – I’m concerned that it’s $5.6 million. And I’m wondering if there’s an itemized breakdown somewhere, so we can see where that $5.6 million is going to go.

My other concern is that there’s many brick-and-mortar commercial sites that are being put out of business by Internet purchases. So therefore, the tax revenue generated may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the bond repayments. That leaves us taxpayers on the hook for the balance. I know that isn’t the desired result, but you don’t control these businesses.

And as Mr. Kil said, provided the market holds, everything is going to be fine. But it also appears that the projected tax revenues are going to be earmarked to repay the TIF Bond through the year 2027. So that means it’s going to be nine years before we can appreciate any of the tax revenue to the town for its general use.

We also have a school referendum on the ballot right now. There’s already been much debate within the town. Many of those residents probably don’t know that whether any of this tax revenue, whether it will likely ever come to the schools. And I know Mr. Kil said that it won’t affect the taxpayers. But when we have to pay or have to do a bond for the schools, it is affecting the taxpayers. Uh, so I would to say, I think this could probably be rebuilt, redesigned a little bit, um, and lower that amount. Thank you.”

I do have a number of concerns about the details of this RA project. So I'd like to remonstrate against the actions affiliated with it. In addition, I also like to -- the benefits of the project.

But I question the wisdom of the two – of the development agreement. If you look at the agreement, um, they asked for that RA assistance. So if you look at Article 4.01’s demolish and removal of all the existing buildings down to the foundation, slab, utilities, and restoration area to be shovel ready at grade site. Boy that would be really nice to have for anybody who is going to build something.

Um, extension of 96th Place to Joliet including the connection and the acquisition of the property needed, the traffics involve 96th Place and 41, and the Earl Drive extension. Um, the engineering and the destruction and the construction of the detention facility, it's a lot of money. Why don’t we just build the buildings for them? Did you even try to negotiate any of these things with them? Or did we just sit back and make a list of those requests? Now, I understand size and the scope of this, but I think you could have done a better job.

My issue is, number one is making it shovel ready and, then, number two, the traffic. The light at 96, I have a petition signed by 415 people that are opposing the traffic light at 96th. And we have a light at 97th, and that should be used. I think if we had access to frontage road system properly, we wouldn’t need a traffic light at 96th. The frontage road works for Target, it works for Aldi, and the other stores down there. There's no reason it can't work here as well. And you need to investigate extending the (indiscernible) road 97th all the way to Industrial Drive.

Um, adding traffic signals all the way up and down 41 is not going to make traffic flow better. Connecting Joliet, how would you do that? By taking someone's property? If you want to take property, why don't you start by taking the Kmart properties? And why isn’t Earl Drive extended north? It's supposed to be your frontage system. The purpose of a frontage road system is to keep local traffic from having to enter and exit at every business.

Is that – is that humorous, Mr. Forbes? I hear you say that all the time at the Plan Commission meetings, that that's what the purpose of them is. And if they exit every signalized intersection, then adding a signalized intersection would be safe. So they could stay extended to the east which would also cover, then, St. John Auto, the daycare, the Dairy Queen. All those people living those places have to make a left turn on Indianapolis Boulevard, and it's not safe.

And I think there's a whole plethora or quite a few questions that could delay this development for the Town and the developer for years to come. And then finally, I'm ashamed of you guys. Mr. Jorgensen made a motion that the last meeting to hear public comment, and you wouldn't even second the motion to let a few pub – people that came here to speak, you didn't even want to hear them. Shame on you guys. Thank you.

Rita Berg (10351 Joliet Street): I just wanted to take a different line on this. I agree with the guys ahead of me. But I got curious, and I thought, “Why are we spending so much money on a traffic light at 96th? And why is this taking so long?” So curiosity got the better of me and as a – just a person that wanted to find out, I called “IDOT” and found out some things about IDOT that I was kind of surprised about.

We are no longer doing a La Porte IDOT anymore. We’re now working with just a state IDOT. They have changed all their phone numbers. I’m hoping you guys have one. If you don’t, I have ‘em because they gave ‘em all to me today. And, um, she started picking my brain, asking me why I was calling and asking about this. And I told her, you know, “We have checked before to have a study done about our Joliet Street.” Which, you know, I’m the most concerned about because it is the end my street, because of what we had happen before.

So she went over the idea that we had school there. We have businesses on every other corner, and everything else. And she said, “They haven’t done a study there?” And I said, “No.” And I said, “I think it’s about time that they do at least the three.” Continue on the way we’re going, you know, at least if the study is done we’ve done our bit to cover the people in town. So I leave that up to you again to decide.

Uh, you know, it just – where was I? I lost my spot. I’m sorry. Um, she asked me what (mumbling). Okay. I already said that. No, no. She asked me to leave my name and my address and everything, so if you see my name involved in this whole thing, you’ll know why I did it as just a person that lives in St. John. I’m not doing it for any organization or anything else like that.

And I did ask her, “What is the normal cost to put a traffic light in?” I said, “Is this in the millions of dollars?” And she said, “Heavens, no.” I said, “Well, do you have any idea what the cost is so I can take that back to my Town?” And she said no. She said, “You need to have the study done, and once the study is done and they decide to put it in for you, then that’s the State’s cost not your Town.” I said, “Okay, that’s what I wanted to know.” That’s what my curiosity was and I just wanted to bring that to you guys.

And, you know, she said she would call me afterwards if they wanted to ask me any other questions. And I said, “Well, I don’t know how, what’s going on in the Town. And I don’t want to talk to the boys that affect the end laws.” But these are the people in the town that I have all this stuff, 14 pages, of townspeople who are grieving. So good luck, guys. And I’m hoping we’ll get this squared away and we would love to see a traffic light that way it will solve this problem, even if it’s for a few years until this all gets developed. Thank you.

Mr. Forbes requested the floor to respond. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any other folks from the public wishing to comment.

Per Ms. Hernandez the letter read at the Redevelopment Commission from Robert and James Theil will be incorporated verbatim into these minutes as well.

“We, the owners of Thiel Cabinet Shop, INC of 9520 Joliet St, Saint John, IN remonstrate and object to the proposed Resolution to approve issuing Redevelopment District Bonds up to the amount of $5,600,000 for the project on 96th Ave and Joliet Street in St. John, IN and also the current Shops on 96th Development Plan because:

-Our business would be adversely affected financially and otherwise by the forcible taking of some of our property. We have never been invited, by the Town or Shops on 96th, into the discussion about this development plan even though our property will be needed according to the current plan.

-This plan would forcibly take our property by eminent domain under the cry that ‘because of traffic’ St. John needs to connect Joliet St. up to Rt 41. We would agree that there is a traffic problem that needs to be solved because of all the development to the east. However, we would like to point out that this ‘traffic circle’ and connection through 96th Place is NOT the only option which would solve this traffic problem.

OTHER OPTIONS:

1. This traffic problem could be solved for CONSIDERABLY less than $5.6 million as this resolution requests. A traffic light a Joliet and Rt 41 would solve this traffic problem. This option has been brought to the Town’s attention back in 2016 when an overwhelming number of citizens signed a petition for a traffic light at Joliet St. and Route 41 (note: Joliet St. is an arterial road to Crown Point.) This option would only cost the Town $1 million. Why are we asking for $4.6 million more than is needed to solve the problem in a much simpler way!

2. Another traffic option, instead of forcibly taking the Thiel Cabinet Shop Property through eminent domain is to route traffic from the east end of Joliet St down Industrial Drive. Looking on an aerial map, there is only about one block of roadway that would be needed to install in order to connect up to the Strack’s parking lot and the EXISTING traffic light at 97th! This option would probably cost less than any of the other options. This alternate plan has also been brought up at a past Plan Commission meeting, but has never been publically discussed.

This “Public discussion” is another point of contention with regards to the pending resolution. At the last Plan Commission Study Session on April 18, 2018, this Shops on 96th Project was on the agenda and two days before the meeting, it was removed. Why was it removed? If this project is moving forward then in the name of HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY on the part of the Town, this project needs to be discussed with ALL parties present! We believe that the Town is NOT interested in solving traffic problems as much as it wants to give a ‘sweetheart deal’ to the DEVELOPER spending the money of the RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN to do it!

We, the owners of Thiel Cabinet Shop, INC have remonstrated several times before on this issue and we have NEVER been contacted as to our opinion on this development. We have run a reputable and profitable business at this location in St. John for over 70years! We feel this is not the way a decent town should operate and is pure negligence and disrespect on the part of the Town of St. John.”

(The above letter was typed verbatim from the original document as recorded in the Clerk-Treasurer’s office and was undersigned by “Robert J. Thiel, Owner, Thiel Cabinet Shop Inc., 4/26/18” and “James Thiel, Owner, Theil Cabinet Shop Inc & St John Resident, 4-26-18.”)

Hearing no further public comment, Mr. Jorgensen gave Mr. Forbes the floor.

Mr. Forbes stated the discussion about the traffic light at Joliet Street and US 41 continues to come up. He advised he has a letter from INDOT to Steve Kil thanking him for contacting INDOT and read a portion of said letter.

(A copy of the letter from INDOT has been attached hereto and made thereof as TC-4-26-2018 Exhibit No. 1.)

Mr. Forbes advised the letter stated the counts were done in the morning and the afternoon. They stopped counting in the afternoon because the counts were no where near the criteria required to put in a stoplight in.

Ms. Birlson asked when the study was done. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Forbes the date of the letter. Mr. Forbes stated it was done February 3, 2016. Ms. Birlson asked why would there be a need for a light a block south. Mr. Jorgensen advised that we are using experts to do the studies including traffic engineers.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil if he would like to comment.

Mr. Kil stated that there were a couple of things represented tonight about the bond issue he wished to comment on. The bond doesn’t run through 2027; it runs through 2032. However, that is the maximum length, and it is anticipated that the bond will be paid off much sooner. In response to the statement made about not generating enough revenue to pay off the bonds, the Town is not relying on the Boyer project, Shops 96 to generate revenue to pay off the bonds. The existing development businesses in the community are more than sufficient to pay off the debt.

Mr. Kil further stated that Boyer does not have to build one building, and we would have plenty of money to pay the debt off. If he does build then we will go from 150-160 percent of debt service coverage, meaning there is more money than needed, to over 400 percent. There are some statements that are made that are simply not true. If you have any specific questions, our financial advisor who ran the numbers on this project is here.

Mr. Jorgensen stated we are providing what is being asked for by the community by way of commercial development, businesses, and restaurants in St. John at no risk to the citizens.

Mr. Kil stated he would like to draw everyone’s attention to page 8 of the Resolution which is in big, bold type, in all caps:

“This bond does not constitute a corporate obligation or indebtedness of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, but is an indebtedness of the Town of St. John Redevelopment District as a special taxing district. Neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana has pledged to pay the interest or premium on the principal of this bond.”

Mr. Kil advised, once again, TIF dollars that are collected from commercial businesses are tax dollars. This relies on people paying their taxes. There will be no tax abatement in a TIF District. It flies against the general principal of a TIF Bond. You rely on them paying their taxes to pay the bonds. This is an indebtedness of the TIF District, which is basically the Route 41 corridor. We are generating plenty of tax increment revenue now; there are sufficient funds right now to pay this bond off. Again, it is in bold type right in the bond resolution.

Mr. Jorgensen advised the citizens that they would be getting additional services and commercial services available to them in their hometown.

Mr. Kil advised that in addition to the traffic signal at 96th Place, the limits of the project are going to be extended to include a dual left-center-turn lane on Route 41, so every time you go to turn left into a business, you’re not taking your life in your hand because you’re sitting in the through lane. The Town desperately needs a center turn lane on Route 41. The Town will put in a section, and INDOT is going to be picking that up and going the rest of the way.

Mr. Kil mentioned the developer of Kmart has property all through the Chicagoland area. His business is called Garden Properties, and Mr. Hoffman is the principal of that company. Mr. Hoffman comes out about twice a year and meets with us. He is aware of the condition of the Kmart building. It is a shell now.

Once the traffic signal starts going in at 96th, his intention is to come in and raze the building propose a new development for the community because they will have access to that traffic light as well.

PROCLAMATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised there is a proclamation that is a renewal for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and entertained a motion. Motion by Mr. Forbes to make May 12, 2018, Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. Consider 2018 Community Block Grant (CDBG) Project
Mr. Kil stated the first item is the proofs of publication. He advised he has a letter from Mr. Austgen, who has reviewed the proofs of publication. Beth Hernandez did make timely publication in both newspapers, and we have verification of the same. Mr. Tim Brown, Lake County Economic Development Department Director, is here should you have any questions.

We’ve been through The Community Block Grant procedure 13 or 14 times. It’s about every two years that it takes place. Mr. Brown has indicated he would like Mr. Kil to read opening remarks, and the rest of the items will be addressed and adopted by reference.

Opening Remarks read by Mr. Kil:

“Each spring, the Lake County Economic Development Department applies to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for new funding through the community Development Block Grant program. One of the application requirements is to hold public hearings in the communities where CDBG funding is allocated in order to obtain input from the local citizens on the proposed use of the new funding. For fiscal year 2018, the Town of St. John CDBG allocation is $75,456.

The most common use of CDBG funds is for infrastructure including street reconstruction, sanitary, sewers, waterline extensions, storm drainage improvements, sidewalks and projects to remove architectural barriers; i.e., handicap access such as curb cuts and wheelchair ramps. CDBG funds may also be used to eliminate slums and blight through the demolition of unsafe buildings or other clearance activities. CDBG funded infrastructure projects may only be done in areas where the neighborhood is at least 51 percent low-to-moderate income according to HUD guidelines.

In most cases, an income survey must be done to qualify the area for the funding eligibility. The income information taken by the survey is strictly confidential and used solely for the purpose of determining the area’s eligibility for CDBG funding. Handicap access projects and demolition may be done anywhere in a community without the need for area income determinations. The public hearing is just the start of the application process for Lake County. There are a series of legal advertisements, and comment periods 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 1st and needs to be expended by June 15th of the following year. After public comment tonight, three documents need to be read and adopted: The Affirmative Action Program, Section 3 Understanding, and a resolution authorizing the city/town executives to submit a project proposal for CDBG funding. Finally, project applications and supporting documentation need to be submitted no later than April 30th for review by Lake County.”

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for public hearing on this matter.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): Let me guess. My comment is any politician that votes for what the people don’t want on the Council should be voted out of office. And they should tell their friends to do that. That’s my first comment. My other comment, though, relative to this is simply this: Is since we have the county gentleman here, I would like him to conduct an audit for the last five years of how the CDBG money has been spent in St. John and to see if it met all the standards and do an audit and do it that way.

My second point is simply this: I think one of the things that should be done is blights should be used for sidewalks along Joliet, one side or the other. Right now, everybody’s got to walk on that street. And I think it’s a very congested street. It’s a lingering problem. And I think the people down that street are discriminated against because of the political action activities in this town. So I think you should look right at that. That, to me, is the number one priority is get sidewalks on that street. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil how many times the plausibility of that has been studied. Mr. Kil replied more than twelve. Mr. Jorgensen asked how much it was going to cost. Mr. Kil responded several hundred thousand. Mr. Forbes stated $800,000 is the last number he recalls. Mr. Kil stated that the people that live there do not qualify for CDBG funding.

Mr. Jorgensen told the folks of Joliet Street that due to the income levels on that street, it is impossible to use CDBG money to put in sidewalks. Perhaps they want us to enact a tax to tax the folks so we could accumulate the money and do that for your street. Maybe we could tax just the folks on Joliet Street from those people who want to have a tax to get their sidewalks. Mr. Kil advised there is a mechanism for that under state law.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that they could do that as their next petition. Get a petition and see how many folks there want to be taxed to go ahead and accumulate the money for sidewalks there at Joliet Street.

Joan McInerney (9405 West 90th Lane): I have got to tell you, I’m new to this process. And the lack of professionalism that I have just seen displayed over the last ten minutes is – is to me unbelievable. You’re – the condescending attitude towards the residents is – I’m just appalled. (Mr. Jorgensen asked if this is the first time she had been here)

No. I – I’ve been here several other times, um, over the last, say, nine months. But I’m just surprised at – at your attitude. Not only you, Christian, but others on the board. I see you, you know, not paying attention, rolling back in your chair, looking down, not paying – just being respectful to people. That – (Mr. Jorgensen interjected and stated he completely understands and is in agreement with her other than the dissatisfaction he has with the same people who come and say the same things without doing anything else.) – They have a right to do it. And you were voted in by them. You are servant leadership. And you are absolutely not displaying that. That’s my point.

Rita Berg (10351 Joliet Street): I have only one question: Why did they bring the sidewalks all the way down to Parrish and 101st, which is at the end of Joliet Street, and Parrish is right there as – adjoins. They brought them sidewalks to there and stopped. Why didn’t they just finish it and go down Joliet Street.

Mr. Kil advised Ms. Berg that is all new development there. Those are new subdivisions. When new subdivisions are developed, the right-of-way is properly dedicated to include the sidewalk. And the developer of Renaissance and The Gates actually installed the sidewalk.

When you head down towards the west past old Claremonte Drive, where it used to come in, the right-of-way starts shrinking greatly. You can’t put sidewalks on private property. They must be placed in the public right-of-way. It is an absolute necessity.

Every time someone trips on a sidewalk or something, the Town gets sued. Can you imagine if that sidewalk was on private property? That individual homeowner would then become liable for that. It is very important it’s in a public right-of-way. What happens if someone doesn’t like their neighbor? You could block the sidewalk off. It’s on your private property; then nobody else could walk on it.

Remember, the right-of-way is key, and we don’t have it as we continue to the west. We would have to acquire the right-of-way and then install the sidewalk and provide for the drainage.

Rita Berg stated, “The sidewalk that you’re talking about is in their backyards, not in the front of the house like everybody else wants their sidewalks in the front of their house.”

Mr. Kil explained when a subdivision is platted, it is completely laid out by the developer. It is a lot easier to do before everybody gets there and gets established. There are many folks on Joliet Street who do not want the sidewalk.

Mr. Jorgensen advised the Town has looked into all they possibly could to make that happen. The only solution he has is it would take an additional tax to go ahead and do that. Mr. Kil added there are folks who don’t want it and won’t give the right-of-way for it.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt the Affirmative Action Plan. Motion to adopt the Affirmative Action Plan by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Section 3 – Understanding Form. Motion by Mr. Forbes to adopt Section 3 – Understanding Form. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt the Resolution No. 2018-04-26. Motion to adopt the 2018 CDBG Project by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Resolution No. 2018-04-26A
Mr. Jorgensen advised Resolution No. 2018-04-26A needs to be considered. It is a resolution authorizing St. John to enter into an agreement with Lake County in undertaking Community Development activities.

Mr. Kil advised this is a separate and distinct resolution informing Mr. Brown that we wish to participate in the CDBG activity program and activities for the next three years.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-04-26A. Motion by Mr. Forbes to adopt Resolution No. 2018-04-26A. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Resolution No. 2018-04-26B
Mr. Jorgensen advised Resolution No. 2018-04-26B needs to be considered. It is a resolution authorizing the issuance of TIF Bonds.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-04-26B. Motion by Mr. Forbes to adopt Resolution No. 2018-04-26B. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Forbes if he has any reports or correspondence. Mr. Forbes stated a letter was received from Dollars for Scholars about a month ago. Mr. Forbes stated the Town typically makes a donation for scholarships for the school. Mr. Forbes made a motion to donate $1000 to the Lake Central Dollars for Scholars and $1000 to the Hanover Central Legacy Fund for Scholarships and have those funds come out of the Lake Hills Fund. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Forbes reported at the Plan Commission, Walden Clearing is being discussed. One of the issues that has arisen is the developer can’t put the sidewalks across Cline Avenue as the sidewalks sit right now because the sidewalks in Tiburon are not receiving sidewalks. Mr. Forbes would like to propose a project in Tiburon where we run the sidewalks out to Cline Avenue so that the Walden Clearing side can put in their sidewalks, which will give the crossflow between the two subdivisions.

Mr. Forbes states the preliminary estimate, according to the Town engineer, is about $22,641.17 to run the sidewalks. Mr. Jorgensen stated he would like some time to look the matter over and discuss it. Mr. Jorgensen stated it will be put on the agenda for next month.

Chief Kveton reported that March 1st to March 31st 2018, members of the St. John Police Department logged 20,243 miles, had 504 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 25 arrests, 36 charges. There were 487 traffic citations issued along with 362 written warnings for a total 849 citations. We had 0 vehicle thefts, $3,325 worth of additional thefts, 0 recoveries. Just one little exciting note: We had one criminal behavior going on the neighborhood off of Mallard and 93rd, some people walking through backyards during the night. We identified that person; and in the process of identifying that person, we know who it is now. We got a couple other leads on two crimes that occurred there about a year and a half ago at the church that was broken into twice. We’ve now identified those offenders, and they’ve been charged.

Chief Willman reported during the month of March 2018, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 152 requests for assistance, 114 in town, 13 in unincorporated St. John Township, and 25 all other destinations including mutual aid. For mutual aid, we went to Schererville, Lake Hills Fire, Crown Point Fire and Rescue, and Cedar Lake. Our Monday night activities were a classroom fire training that was designed to introduce our staff to some of the new and more current fire-alarm warning systems that we are now finding in use in new structures. This is a new world for us when we go in to so many new big buildings. Our EMS in-service for the month was the CPR recertification. It is an annual session that we hold for all of our members.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised there are APVs $1,339,022.76. Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 1 nay. Nay vote by Mr. Forbes.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:21 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

05-24-2018 Town Council

May 24, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Christian Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on May 24, 2018, at 7:07 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Christian Jorgensen, Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, and Steve Hastings. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the Approval of Minutes for the April 26, 2018. The approval of the April minutes are deferred until the June meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Good evening, gentlemen. Tonight, one of the agenda items is Three Springs. We’ve been down this road; and the last several months before, you voted it down. And here we are, again, going down the same road. The residents from Three Springs still have the same objections that they did several months back. They want R-1 sized lots in their development, and they’re not interested in duplexes. Now, I’ve taken these numbers and given them to you gentlemen. And I’ll keep repeating them until the point gets across. The Comprehensive Plan calls for 8 percent multi-units.

As of this year, year-to-date for the first five months, we’re already at 12 percent. It’s not 8; that’s 12 with more to come. Schilling just got their third phase, I believe, approved of Greystone, mammoth amount of duplexes. Last year, we had 19 percent. The year before, 33 percent. The year before that, 40 percent. How do we get to 8 percent when you add up 40, 33, 19, and 12? You don’t.

People want bigger lots. I have here a survey from a national home builder, Taylor Morrison. It says here more than a thousand buyers recently surveyed, 56 percent said they want less square footage in their home and more outside green space. The survey included 48 percent of millennials and 53 percent of non-millennials who believe the extra yard space is more important than siding, driveway styles, exterior paint colors, or roof finishes, women especially. Sixty-two percent surveyed said they want less square footage in the home and more square footage in their yard; 51 percent of men said they wanted bigger yards, which the reason is obvious – they don’t have to mow it.

So basically, I don’t believe that St. John should be approving anything other than R-1 size lots. People are moving to St. John because they want bigger lots, so I wish you would vote this down like you did several months back.

Mr. Jorgensen inquired if there’s a representative from Three Springs present. (A few folks in the audience indicated they were.)

Mary Jo Biscan (10201 99th Avenue): Well, I’m one of those residents of Three Springs. And I appreciate the chance to just reiterate the hope and trust I have in this board to keep the lots for the third phase proposed for Three Springs the R-1 size as deemed by our zoning laws, except for, possibly, the parcels along the railroad tracks. Also, for safety reasons, not allowing any building near the underground pipelines such as in the existing proposal where backyards would be just 10 feet away. This presents not only the safety factor for the possibility of an accidental dig, causing a severe problem, but also for the family having limitations to putting in a pool or other backyard playsets that would require some digging. These homes need to be a safe distance and not have to settle for shorter backyard and limitations due to these underground lines. All we want are R-1 size lots and homes to be safe distances from the pipeline. I believe there would be no objections if these changes were made to the existing plan. So thank you.

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): I had prepared some comments, or some relative to the Three Springs rezoning, and after hearing Mr. Blazak’s comment of, supposedly -- he stated ordinance of 8 percent. I’m sick of hearing that number. It does not exist in the Town Ordinance. It does not exist in the Comprehensive Master Plan. And, in fact, the Comprehensive Master Plan and the Opportunity Analysis Study are saying that the density of lots are going to increase as the town continues to develop.

The objective and goal in the Opportunity Analysis Study on non-single-family is 18 percent, as – as adopted by the Town Council, and is projected to grow as the town continues to develop. I’ve attended, not all of some of the Plan Commission Meetings where I’ve seen the developer present this thing. And I understand he’s been spanning two Plan Commission terms of years. I’ve seen the Plan Commission give him comments. He comes back; he changes it. He’s gone through over ten iterations.

I’m not pro development; I’m pro common sense. Considering where the – this last phase is, and some of the restrictions of the site, the R-1, R-2, R-3 proposed development’s consistent with the rest of the R-1, R-2, R-3 of Three Springs. I don’t understand this concept of the Town Ordinance or something that says you shall only have R-1 in this town. That is an – that is an incorrect statement.

Basically, I’m in support of this development, beginning this last phase consistent with the rest of the development; and I hope you consider that. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): In answer to one of your questions, as far as the neighborhood or the neighbors from the Three Springs, there are a few of them here. But some of them are afraid to get up and talk or really don’t care to talk. And when they come to the homeowners’ meeting, um, I’m try to echo what their thoughts and their – and their ideas are. So the neighborhood with Three Springs have been – they’ve been dealing with this since November 16 – no, November of 2016, as has Mr. Barrick.

And the fact that they are still here – they’re here again – should give you an indication how serious they want to protect, you know, their neighborhood and their investment. Um, you’re tasked with trying to decide what to allow, um, to develop without injury to the developer, but also to the residents around. I know that Mr. Barrick is in business to make money. And I realize that this is a challenging piece of property because of the railroad, because of the pipelines, because of power lines; but he did know that and what it was when he bought it.

If you look at the homeowners and what would smaller size lots do, well, they would lower the average selling price of homes in their neighborhood. It would increase the population density in their area and the traffic and all those other things that go with it. And what do the neighbors get back, or what does the town get back? Absolutely nothing. There aren’t – where are the parks in this – in this development? There’s none in Three Springs I, II; and there are none in this thing. Now, you can’t call a pipeline and a utility easement a park. There’s just no playgrounds there.

Um, that you guys already voted this down once, um, and I’m asking you to vote it down again. Um, the residents of Three Springs would like to see R-1 size lots. Mr. Forbes stated in one of the Plan Commission meetings that whatever gets developed here will probably, likely continue on from there. Um, the idea behind development in this town is to have a balance: a balance of development, not all multifamily, not all R-1, but to get a balance. And we want to try to keep that balance.

And finally, the danger involved. This last plan that Mr. Barrick has is dangerous because there’s a pipeline. And I believe – I – I – I – I – don’t quote me on this. I’d like you to check; but I believe there’s a pipeline 10 feet from the back of the house line, which, like Mary Jo said, you’re not going to be able to put in a deck or a pool or anything like that.

Now, after the last Plan Commission meeting where it got voted down, um, I talked to Mr. Barrick. And, and he asked if I would meet with him and the residents to see if we could come up with something that would, maybe, work and everyone would be happy with. And if you guys vote this down tonight, I would be more than happy to do that. Um, I’m just asking you to deny this request for this zoning tonight. Thank you.

Ronna Reznik (9971 Wisteria Lane): Um, pretty much everything has been said. We, kind of, hearing the same arguments over and over, Like Gerry said, since November of 2016. It’s time to just figure it out and find a happy medium between what he wants and what we want, and to find a safe answer to all of it too. So, that’s all.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is New Business.
A. Consider Ordinance No. 1668, an ordinance rezoning Three Springs – Unit 3 from R-1 to R-1, R-2, and R-3 Residential zoning.
Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any discussion or comments.

Mr. Barenie stated that since we’ve waited this long, he would encourage Mr. Swets and Mr. Barrick to get together and try to work this out.

Mr. Volk stated that this has been in front of the Plan Commission for a couple years and has come back several times. Mr. Barrick has been in front of the Plan Commission several times with this development and changed it many times based on the comments from the Plan Commission. Mr. Volk added that he believes he has done everything the Plan Commission has asked and that it is consistent with the other two phases. Mr. Volk is in agreement with it.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Barrick if he wanted to say anything.

Mr. Barrick: I think we’ve done everything we can with our layout. We changed it a total of 12 times. We’ve done everything that you guys suggested. And we’ve redone it, Doug has done all the work. I don’t know what more we could do. And one thing people keep saying that we knew what we were getting into. We didn’t know this was going to be this bad.

We have a fourth phase that was so bad we had to get rid of it. This piece, I think, the third phase is developable if you guys can help us. Help us. That’s what the Plan Commission is for. It’s supposed to help a developer get through some of the problems. And with problems there, we’ve got plenty. And Gerry Swets mentioned the big problems that we have there. I don’t think there’s been another developer in front of you with a piece of property that has this many handicaps in it all in one project.

Did we know it was there from the start? No. We took one 190-acre parcel we got from the farmers, started on the first phase, done the second phase. The fourth phase we couldn’t even get to. So somebody else coming up from the south bought the fourth phase. We couldn’t even get to it. This third phase, we just, kind of, want to finish it off, get done here.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Barrick if he has worked with anybody, if there was any representative from Three Springs collectively that he’s been able to work with regarding phase 3.

Mr. Barrick: We’ve been working with them at every meeting, every time we come to a meeting. Me and Doug, we come here; and they come here with their complaints, same complaints over and over again. We keep making changes.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Barrick who the representative is from Three Springs that he is working with.

Mr. Barenie stated he is not referring to one individual but all the residents that have offered suggestions.

Mr. Barrick: We listened from a year ago what they’re complaining about, and we’ve been making changes. And this is our twelfth – twelfth revision.

Mr. Jorgensen again asked Mr. Barrick if collectively Three Springs has had anyone or any group that has worked with him and then elected someone to meet with him to resolve the issues.

Mr. Barrick: There’s been a lot of people here that don’t even live in Three Springs.

Mr. Jorgensen stated again that he is asking if Three Springs has worked with him. He asked again, if they have a collective group and if they have elected anyone.

Mr. Barrick: Just when they’re here, we listen to them. They get up here and talk; and we listen to them, go back, make changes, and then come back.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Barrick if he agreed to work with Mr. Swets if, in fact, it was rejected today.

Mr. Barrick: He doesn’t even live there.

Mr. Jorgensen stated he is trying to verify what has been heard today and asked if he made an agreement with him.

Mr. Barrick: I didn’t make an agreement with him. He just says, “Hey, would you talk to the people?” I says, “Fine.” But nobody ever called us. That was from the last meeting. No one ever called to sit down and talk. What I’m saying is he – he’s not from there. He’s coming in and stirring all the people up. And then they come in here all fired up, and then they want to lynch me, you know.

But isn’t the representative of Three Springs the Plan Commission? Isn’t that what they’re here for? To see that ordinances are enforced. And we have done everything the Plan Commission has asked. So, in my opinion, they represent the builder – or the developer and the people. And I think Plan Commission has done a great job. They’ve been doing it for, you know, for a pretty long time here. I don’t think there’s anyone here that can say that we did not do everything that we were asked to do. I – I’ve done everything.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any other questions or comments from anyone.

Jeff Gard (10005 - 99th Avenue): I live in Three Springs. He refuses to have a homeowners’ meeting in our second phase association; so he doesn’t even want to talk to anybody. Me and my wife have repeatedly tried to talk to him about what he’s doing next door to my house. And he says, “I don’t need any friends. I don’t want any friends.” Basically, whatever. He’s never tried to talk to any of – of us.

And he hasn’t done everything that the Plan Commission said. The – the new guy on the board asked him if he could not build houses close to the pipeline. And he’s still trying to move forward with that. And Doug said that it – the lots would show that they would be cheaper, less in value because of the pipeline, and people wouldn’t be able to build in the back of the lots or do anything back there. So that’s going to lower our property value too. So I don’t believe that this is a good plan. And he hasn’t done anything to help any of us in that subdivision. And there isn’t, probably, one person in the subdivision that would like to talk to him. So thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Gard if there is an HOA in Three Springs. Mr. Gard answered that there are two or three. Mr. Jorgensen asked if they had regular meetings. Mr. Gard said, “He is the president, and he refuses to give us a meeting. We have a suit with the State’s Attorney right now trying to get a meeting out of him.”

Mr. Jorgensen asked if anyone else would like to speak on this matter.

Mr. Barenie stated he does not believe the Town has an 8 percent rule in any kind of document that’s ever been voted on. Mr. Barenie also stated he believes something official with a range for the three zoning categories is needed so these issues don’t arise every month and would like the same to be scheduled for a meeting or work session.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil if that could be arranged. Mr. Kil replied he would be happy to help arrange it.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion by Mr. Forbes to grant the rezoning per Ordinance No. 1668. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries by roll-call vote.

Mr. Barenie Nay
Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Hastings Aye
Mr. Volk Aye
Mr. Jorgensen Nay

B. Consider approval of Sidewalk Extension Project at Cline and 92nd Avenue. Approximate project cost is $23,000.
Mr. Jorgensen stated the next item is to Consider approval of Sidewalk Extension Project at Cline and 92nd Avenue. Approximate project cost is $23,000. Mr. Jorgensen invited Mr. Forbes to open the discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated he had brought it up at the last Council Meeting. With Walden Clearing crossing coming in, this will provide access into the Tiburon subdivision via a connection across Cline Avenue. The way the sidewalks are laid out in Tiburon do not allow for proper alignment for handicap accessibility. In order to guarantee that the Walden Clearing will install their sidewalks, these sidewalks need to be put in on the Tiburon side.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if they are put on the Tiburon side, the developers are contractually obligated to put them on their side. Mr. Forbes confirmed and stated that it was discussed at the last Plan Commission Meeting. Mr. Volk added it is on the drawings.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any additional consideration or comment. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Forbes made a motion to authorize the Sidewalk Extension Project at Cline and 92nd Avenue in an amount not to exceed $23,000. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Continued Review and discussion of the Fire Department Pension related matters. Presentation by the Town’s Financial Advisor, Mr. Karl Cender, Cender and Co.
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item is the Continued Review and discussion of the Fire Department Pension related matters. We have a presentation prepared by the Town’s Financial Advisor, Mr. Cender of Cender and Co.

Mr. Cender thanked the Town Council for having him here tonight. Mr. Cender stated that his company was requested to take a look at the financial analysis of the cost and of the benefits of both the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension & Disability Fund Plan as well as what’s currently in place which is what we commonly refer to as the Civilian PERF Pension Plan. The policemen are the only ones in the 1977 Pension and Disability Plan. There is a handout with detailed summary and calculations, but only some will be highlighted.

  • The firefighters have approached the Town regarding amending or changing the plan from the Civilian Plan to the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan.
  • All benefits under the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan are calculated according to the pension base calculated on the average salary of a first-class firefighter.
  • After 20 years, you are eligible to receive a monthly benefit equal to at least 50 percent of your base salary in the year that you retire.
  • If an individual accumulated more than 20 years, that person would receive an additional 1 percent of the base salary for each 6 months of active service over 20 years, up to a maximum of 12 years, which would be an extra 24 percent of that base salary.
  • Each year the PERF Board determines if there’s been a change in the Consumer Price Index and can be adjust the rate by a percentage not to exceed more than 3 percent. The analysis assumes 1.5 percent annual increase.
  • A member may designate one or more beneficiaries to receive a lump sum of the member’s contribution plus interest.
  • If the member dies while an active firefighter with no dependents, the heirs and estate are entitled to receive a one-time lump-sum death benefit of $12,000 upon the member’s death. If it is in the line of duty, that amount is $150,000.
  • A surviving spouse is entitled to monthly benefit equal to 60 percent of the member’s monthly retirement benefit payable over the spouse’s lifetime. If it is in line of duty, then it is 100 percent for the surviving spouse and will be calculated as retirement benefits at age 52 with 20 years of service. If the member has more than 20 years, the benefit does increase by the 1 percent for each 6 months of additional service. The spouse may remarry without the risk of losing benefits.
  • The surviving children are also entitled to 20 percent of the monthly benefit up to the age of 18 or 23 depending if they are enrolled in secondary school or a full-time student at an accredited college or university.
  • The 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan/Disability Plan has the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, (DROP), which is an optional benefit that allows you to continue to work and earn a salary while accumulating a DROP benefit. It is usually within the last three years pre-retirement. When you enter the Drop program, a frozen benefit is calculated equal to your monthly retirement benefit based on your accrued-service base salary as of the date you enter into the DROP program.
  • Upon retirement, one is eligible to receive a lump sum equal to the amount of the DROP frozen benefit times the number of months in the DROP program, which has a maximum of 36 months.
  • One can take an option for a lump sum or three installments. The lump sum will get taxed once versus stringing it over three years. There is a potential risk that, should the member pass away before the end of that period, the member would forfeit the remainder of that DROP benefit.
  • The cost-of-living adjustments will begin to be applied to the frozen, monthly benefit one calendar year after the year of the retirement effective date.
  • On disability, if a firefighter becomes disabled and they meet certain criteria, that firefighter is able to get up to 45 percent of the base salary. There are certain conditions and different classes of impairment: Class I impairment is 45 percent; Class II, which is more disease-related, is 22 percent; and Class III would be even less.
  • Social Security benefits, normal retirement age is between 65 and 67 years old. One could choose to elect Social Security benefits at an earlier age, which will reduce the amount that an individual and spouse are eligible for; e.g., if one is born between 1943 in 1954 with a retirement age of 66, which is a reduction of 48 months, there is a 25 percent reduction to that individual and 30 percent to the spouse.
  • The Windfall Elimination Provision is different than the normal PERF Civilian Plan. If a firefighter participates in the 1977 Plan, the Social Security benefit is going to be significantly reduced because the Town is not contributing, nor is the individual paying into Social Security. If you’re in the Civilian PERF Plan, there will not be a reduction because the Town is withholding the full amount of Social Security and Medicare.
  • Social Security benefits are based on the worker’s average monthly earnings. Typically, it’s over a long period of time, say over 30 years. If one is not subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, the first $749 monthly earnings are multiplied by 90 percent. The next amount is then multiplied by 32 percent, and the remainder by 15 percent. However, if one is subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision, it’s going to be reduced. It is a 50 percent reduction in the first $749 in monthly earnings.
  • The Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply to civilian employees who participate in the PERF Plan.
  • The Civilian Employees PERF Plan has two components: The employer pays 100 percent of the first component, presently at the rate of 11.2 percent. The second component is an Annuity Savings Account, wherein 3 percent is the mandatory contribution the employee must make. The employee may elect to make additional voluntary contributions into this annuity account of up to 10 percent of gross wages.
  • Eligibility for benefit pay is at age 65 with 10 years of service, age 60 with 15 years of service, or at age 55 with credible service total of at least the rule of 85. There are special provisions for certain elected officials. There is a disability portion for PERF which must be certified annually. One does have to be eligible for Social Security with a minimum of 5 years of service.
  • An example of the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan assumes the average salaries of firefighters at $60,180 per year, annual salary increases of 3 percent, and the employer pension contribution of 17.5 percent over 30 years: The Town would pay about $501,000. The Medicare portion on the salaries would be $41,500. Town’s total cost is $542,554 over a 30-year period. An employee under the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan is required to pay a 6 percent employee contribution, which totals approximately $172,000 over the 30-year period.
  • The benefits for the firefighter, assuming an individual retired in 2018, based on 50 percent of 20 years of earnings, working for a full 30 years, there’s an added 20 percent at 1 percent for each 6 months in excess of 20 years, so one would actually be getting an annual benefit of 70 percent of the base salary. The first year would be $42,126, assuming a 1.5 percent annual increase. That benefit, potentially, for the next 30 years would be $1,581,000. Social Security is at a reduced amount, which is based on whatever other work earnings that individual has done previously. Trying to keep the comparison somewhat similar, assuming at age 55 an individual would take another civilian job at $35,000 a year, the annual Social Security benefit of over the remaining 30 years would be $262,500. Using all these assumptions, the total estimated benefits under the 77 Plan as well as Social Security would be $1,843,000.
  • Under the Civilian Plan using the same methodology, same base annual salary, the PERF contribution for the Town is 11.2 percent. Over 30 years, that would be $320,600. The full amount of Social Security/Medicare, the Town’s portion would be $219,000. Total contributions are $539,000. The employee’s required contribution of 3 percent is almost $86,000. The annual PERF benefit, assuming someone retired in 2018, would be $18,736. The remaining 30 years would be $703,000. Social Security benefits, calculated under the same assumptions, would be $514,500. The employee’s savings amount that is in the annuity account will be paid back plus interest. Interest is not included in the calculation due to too many variables. Over 30 years, one’s money is will likely double; so instead of $85,000, it is closer to $170,000. Without the compounding of interest, benefits are about $1,303,000.
  • Comparing the Town’s total cost under the 77 Plan versus the Civilian PERF, they’re pretty close. The employee is kicking in a little bit more with the 6 percent. The benefits are significantly higher, which is because of the extra years of service that is being kicked in, resulting in $1.8 million versus $1.3 million, not including compounding interest earnings.
  • There will be a catch up if everyone is converted into the program. Another option to consider, if the Town did not want to switch everyone into the 77 Plan, is to implement it on a prospective basis going forward where any new hires would be part of the 77 Plan, but the current employee firefighters would not.
  • Another option, the Town could pay an additional 5 percent bonus each year. That 5 percent could be an additional voluntary contribution into the employee’s annuity savings account. That money could grow over time, and they could take that money out.
  • The three options are: Option 1, the Town Council could consider adopting the 1977 Plan and transfer the group of firefighters that would be eligible to participate in the plan. The Town cost, done about a year ago, is $182,500. The employee cost for those individuals is approximately $99,500. Option 2, the Town could adopt the 1977 Firefighters’ Pension Plan for any prospective new hires. Option 3, to make an adequate adjustment, if adding only the prospective, the Town could set a bonus amount for the non-qualifying firefighters, and they could use that bonus for an additional annuity savings contribution.

Mr. Kil advised looking at the Town’s cost, the actual cost is almost identical for the plans, noting employee contribution is going from 3 percent to 6 percent. He stated it is surprising how much better the 77 Plan actually is. Mr. Kil advised that for physical cost of the Town, it’s almost nothing, but the benefits are five times what a civilian would get, especially adding the DROP in. He added the Town cost of $182,500 is collectively for the firefighters, the employee cost of $92,500 is split amongst the different guys; however, some would have to catch up more and pay more than others.

Mr. Jorgensen commended Mr. Cender for a fantastic job. Mr. Cender stated if anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out to him.

Mr. Barenie inquired if Mr. Cender had information on the investment instruments that the 3 percent will go into. Mr. Cender responded not with him and stated the plan has options that the firefighters can choose from. Mr. Barenie asked if they were like target funds like S&P or if they follow an index. Mr. Cender said he will have to follow up on that as he does not have that information, but there is options in what they can invest in.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained any other questions for Mr. Cender. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Sharp if he’d like to say anything. Mr. Sharp, responded from the floor and thanked Mr. Cender for all the information and hard work.

Mr. Kil invited Mr. Parkhouse to speak.

Mr. Jon Parkhouse, a firefighter with the City of Valparaiso and Regional Trustee for the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana covering the northern part of the state, gave accolades to Mr. Cender for his presentation. He added there are a few things he would like to highlight of the 77 Plan versus the Civilian Plan.

There was recently a reduction done to the 77 Fund. The number quoted was 17.5 percent contribution on the Town’s behalf, which came down from 19.7 percent. That was a reduction given to cities and towns two years ago. The 77 Fund was at 105.9 percent fully funded by the actuary. That reduction passed on to the cities and towns brought it down to 103.7 percent, so it is still above the other pensions throughout the state. He stated that there could be a future reduction passed along to cities and towns.

There has also been talk that the Civilian PERF might see an increase because it is not doing so well. He spoke to how he had the Civilian PERF, vested after ten years, and then went to Valparaiso, and is under the 77 Plan. He added the pension of the 77 Plan is amazing. Mr. Parkhouse said, “We appreciate your time and your consideration into this.” He then closed by wishing the Town much success and good retention of employees.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Parkhouse if he noticed any inaccuracies in the presentation. Mr. Parkhouse said there were no inaccuracies. He further stated everything was there, and the numbers were spot on.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any other discussion. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion by Mr. Barenie to defer the voting on this matter until the June meeting. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carried 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
No reports or correspondence.
CLERK-TREASURER
No reports or correspondence.
STAFF
Police Chief:

Chief Kveton reported from April 1, 2018 through April 30, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 18,646 miles; responded to 532 law incidents; investigations led to 31 arrests with 51 charges being filed; there were 380 traffic citations issued, along with 300 written warnings, for a total of 680 citations being issued during the month. There were zero dollars lost in vehicle thefts; other thefts totaled $16; and recovered property was zero for the month.

Chief Kveton added that the District 1 Chiefs of Police Association recognized five of our officers on Wednesday for outstanding work in the last 12 months, and he is very proud of the group.

Fire Chief:

Chief Willman reported that in the month of April, the St. John Fire Department responded to 136 requests for assistance, 101 in District 1, 24 in District 2, and 11 District 3. He skipped the training and read a letter that reads as follows:

“Tonight, I would also like to take a minute to recognize and publicly thank TRANSCANADA CORPORATION, LOCALLY KNOWN AS ANR PIPELINE FOR the $2000 Charitable Contribution to the St. John Volunteer Fire Department that we received during the month of March.

TransCanada has a Charitable Foundation Division that provides for Community Investment resources to ‘give back to communities where they operate.’ The initiatives are recognized by TransCanada as efforts to ‘ENERGIZE our Communities’ by being an employer of choice, a good neighbor, and a trusted community partner.

For TransCanada, Community Investment is a voluntary contribution on behalf of the company in support of a non-profit, a registered charity, association or foundation that generates clear and demonstrable value to the communities where they live and work.

Investments are made in these focus areas: safety, community, and environment.

SJVFD has always maintained the strong working relationship with TransCanada. We schedule annual visits to their facility on White Oak. We share information with each other. We want each other to stay informed of any changes in policies or procedures that could prove to be critical for TransCanada or St. John or both!

SJVFD has received support and resources from TransCanada in the past as well. They retired a pick-up truck that served the fire department for (4) more years before we found it necessary to retire it. They donated an enclosed cargo trailer that we use here at the fire station at the Training Site, and lately it has been put in service to transport infant car-seats and props when we participate at local car-seat clinics away from St. John.

This award was earmarked to support our current efforts to replace (2) cardiac monitors/defibrillators, and to install a new Power Load System, for one of the ambulances that will be here for several more years. Those purchases have already been approved by our Town Council. We have decided to make those improvements now, and wait somewhat longer before we replace the oldest ambulance with a new one. This donation can go directly toward these improvements.

We are sincerely grateful to TransCanada for their generous support and their efforts to help energize our community for our residents.”

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the APVs of $1,239,995.61 and asked for comments or questions on the same. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to pay the bills. Motion by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

06-28-2018 Town Council

June 28, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on June 28, 2018, at 7:07 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Hrnjak took roll call with the following council members present: Michael Forbes, Steve Hastings, Gregory Volk, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; Marilyn Hrnjak, Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer sitting in for Ms. Hernandez.

Absent: Mark Barenie and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

SWEARING IN CEREMONY:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item is the Swearing-in Ceremony of St. John’s new police officer, Officer Samuel Jacobs.

Ms. Hrnjak stated that she is here on behalf of Ms. Hernandez to administer the ceremonial oath.

Officer Jacobs recited the oath before the Town Council, members of the St. John Police Department, and those in attendance. He was congratulated and welcomed by all.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the April 26, 2018 and May 24, 2018 meetings and asked for any questions or comments.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of minutes. Motion to approve the minutes from the April 26, 2018 and May 24, 2018. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, I would like to thank you for giving the Chief the authority to hire an officer. I see we’ve got another one on the agenda for tonight, and I would encourage you to approve that one too, because as many guys as we can get on the – on the street to protect our town, I think, is a good thing. Thank you.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I want to make a recommendation that the cleanup process of the Frego-Fryzell and the Steve Kil gang to be removed from our Town Council. Also I want to make sure – and I agree – I believe the people behind me agree that we don’t have no family patronage.

Donna Rudzinksi got the job because her husband was constantly looking for me, waiting for me at Knickerbocker at – how you call – on Patterson arresting me, make sure they foil every single lawsuit that I filed. I, therefore, demand, also, Beth Hernandez’ resignation, Forbes’ resignation, Steve Kil – he’s got already a record to – together with Turturillo. They should be removed.

They already – when somebody commits a crime that goes and picks up your sign off of my lawn, like the Latinos that work by Diane Price who did – how you call – Cutting Edge, you know. They stole the Trump sign that I had on my lawn, you know. And I saw them, but I didn’t want to call the police because probably they are illegal aliens anyway.

So Donna Rudzinski should go. Beth Hernandez’ husband, Gabriel Hernandez should go. And clean up all this family patronage. Thank you so much.

PRESENTATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is a presentation by Republic Services.

James Metros, Municipal Manager NWI, and Doug Rosenbaum, General Manager NWI gave a presentation focused on the recycling crisis, a national emergency affecting the entire industry. After showing a video by Republic Services, they discussed the following:

  1. They will honor their contract with the Town in its entirety.
  2. Republic Services is committed to recycling and believes it is the right thing to do even though it is not profitable at this time.
  3. China is the largest importer of recycling commodities in the world.
  4. The US accounts for 40 percent of what goes to China.
  5. In 2017, China announced clean-up efforts and started reducing what they will accept.
  6. January 1, 2018, China enacted a reduction from 3 percent to 0.5 percent of acceptable contamination levels in recovered paper and plastic and stopped accepting mixed paper completely.
  7. Recycling costs 2.5 times more to pick up than trash.
  8. There isn’t a viable end market at this time causing a major slowdown.
  9. Recyclables must be cleaner.
  10. MRF facilities are not able to take and separate the volumes of acceptable recyclables from those that are unacceptable, and the storage facilities are filling up faster than the lines can possibly handle.
  11. The three top contaminants are
    1. Plastic bags
    2. Food waste, such as a pizza box, food bottles and jars that are not washed out, or labels on containers and glass bottles
    3. Disposable diapers
  12. The cost impact breaks down to roughly $1.83 per home monthly in St. John or $120,000 annually for the area collectively.
  13. To reduce cost impacts, Republic Services is:
    1. Considering moving to recycling only every other week
    2. Implementing public education programs about proper recycling procedures
    3. Moving to a new recycling business model

Mr. Rosenbaum and Mr. Metros wrapped up their presentation with a short QA session.

Q. What do we recycle?
A. There is not much of a change except that it needs to be cleaner. The items are clean paper, plastic, metal, and clean cardboard. Glossy-waxy paper is not recyclable.

Q. Would an example of clean cardboard be like a box from U-Haul?
A. There are many types of clean cardboard, such as cracker boxes; however, those with a wax coating on it or contaminated with food is not recyclable.

Q. What are the surrounding communities that recycle every week?
A. St. John, Crown Point, and Griffith are the only communities that recycle weekly.

Q. Could incinerators be used?
A. The EPA is very sensitive about what goes into the air, so an incinerator being approved and permitted is unlikely.

Mr. Jorgensen thanked the presenters.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Bond Reduction for The Gates of St. John, Unit 6D
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is item A, which is to consider a bond reduction for The Gates of St. John, Unit 6D from $594,458.80 to $102,224.71. This matter received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. The suggested action is a motion for a new bond in the amount of $102,224.71.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or discussion on the matter. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve a new bond in the amount of $102,224.71 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Consider Letter of Credit for CWS Holdings (Greystone), Unit 2, Block 1
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is item B, which is to consider a letter of credit submitted by CWS Holdings, Greystone, Unit 2, Block 1, in the amount of $53,446.80. This matter received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. The suggested action is a motion for a letter of credit in the amount of $53,446.80.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or discussion on the matter. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve the letter of credit in the amount of $53,446.80 by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Consider Fire Department Memorandum of Understanding and Contract with Imagetrend
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is item C, which is to consider the Fire Department Memorandum of Understanding and the Contract with Imagetrend. The suggested action is a motion for the MOU and the Contract with Imagetrend.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or discussion on the matter. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve the Memorandum of Understanding and the Contract with Imagetrend by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

D. Consider Resolution No. 2018-06-28, Transfer of Funds
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is item D, which is to consider Resolution No. 2018-06-28. This is a transfer of funds, which is a routine motion to adopt a resolution.

Mr. Kil advised it is all within the General Fund, moving money from Part-Time Employees to Office Equipment, from Office Equipment to Contractual Services, from PILT to Office Equipment. Mr. Kil further advised this is the first one requested this year.

Mr. Jorgensen stated it is routine and asked if there were any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-06-28 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

E. Consider Authorization to Hire a Police Officer
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is item E, which is to consider authorization to hire a police officer. This matter is contingent, and the suggested action is to make a motion for the hiring of a police officer contingent upon the PERF retirement approval of Officer Schreiber.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or discussion on the matter. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to authorize the hiring of a police officer contingent upon the PERF retirement approval of Officer Schreiber by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Kil reported an update on the Community Crossing Grant Project: 101st Avenue has been repaved. They have a few more housekeeping items on it such as striping and signage. Walsh & Kelly is doing subdivision work at this point.

Next, Walsh & Kelly will work on Parrish Avenue, which is the second phase of the Community Crossing Grant Project. The Town is in the process of acquiring the right-of-way, and every resident has been contacted. The Community Crossing Project also includes a roundabout at Joliet Street.

The problem with Parrish Avenue is the asphalt appears to have been placed right on the dirt. There was no stone or base, and it finally just let go. An emergency repair had to be done. The Parrish Avenue project will be started in approximately 2 or 3 weeks.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hrnjak reported that Ms. Hernandez could not be present due to a scheduling conflict. She is here on behalf of Ms. Hernandez and will be giving her report. First, the staff in the Clerk’s Office has been working hard at scanning documents and old records contained in the Clerk’s Office that are required to be saved. This scanning project will allow them to search, study, or research old documents that are still relevant today and eliminate a lot of paper that has been stored in multiple places.

Secondly, the efforts to proceed with the codification of The Town’s Ordinances has been delayed slightly due to a conflict with Municode, who was responsible for the codification. The Clerk’s Office cannot move forward with the new company until that is resolved. The new codification will result in a much easier way to find the desired ordinance. It is more user-friendly with better indexing.

STAFF
Chief Willman took the opportunity, before giving his report, to thank Steve and The Council members for their support of the relationship they are building with Imagetrend.

Chief Willman reported for the month of May 2018, the Fire Department responded to a total of 157 requests for assistance, 124 in town, 13 in the unincorporated limits in the township, and 20 in all other destinations that include mutual aid. Mutual aid was to Schererville for one structure fire and 8 ALS responses for EMS; Cedar Lake, 1 ALS response; Crown Point, 1 structure fire; and Lake Hills, 7 ambulance responses for EMS.

Monday night activities for the Fire Department during May included a hands-on, practical skills review addressing the challenges inherent with the appropriate placement, proper setup procedures, initial orders, and final successful operations related to the assignments with our 100-foot aerial apparatus.

The Ladder-Tower is only requested by other departments or required by our department in situations that are critical in nature and/or possibly overwhelming in size. The Tower requires accuracy and competence from the operators, both of which come from hours and years of training.

Finally, the EMS In-service for May was the annual update and review of the challenges associated with warm-weather emergencies. Heat-related emergencies are grouped under the name hyperthermia. Various stages of hyperthermia include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Most injuries caused by the heat occur in early summer season before people have acclimated themselves to the higher temperatures. Thank you.

Chief Kveton reported May 1, 2018 through May 31, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 22,323 miles and responded to 669 law incidents. The investigations of these incidents lead to 33 arrests with 55 charges being filed.

There were 410 traffic citations issued along with 324 written warnings for a total of 734 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $10,000. Vehicle recoveries were $10,000. Other thefts totaled $640.

Chief Kveton gave the following safety reminders: Keep your valuables out of your vehicles; if you are parked in the driveway, you need to keep your doors to your vehicles locked, especially in the overnight hours; do not leave your keys in your cars; close your garage doors overnight; lock your houses overnight; and lock your side doors overnight.

Chief Kveton reported three incidents he would like to celebrate. The most serious was Officer Patzschke was on his way to work on June 27th, and the vehicle in front of him, driven by a teenage driver on a permit with her mother in the passenger’s seat, went off onto the gravel a bit, overcorrected to the right, and ended up rolling over a couple times. Being right behind the vehicle, Officer Patzschke was able to be right there and assisted in the extrication of the teenage driver, the mother, and a 7-year-old girl that was in the back seat.

At an overnight surveillance on June 27th, a call came in regarding a baby deer that climbed pretty high on a rear porch and tried to jump off, and got stuck between the spindles. Commander Flores rescued “Bambi” from the spindles.

The week prior, two officers went to a call regarding baby ducklings that were stuck in a manhole. They pulled the manhole off, and Officer Hickenbottom reached down and collected all the ducklings from the manhole and returned them to their mom.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the APVs of $2,120,486.60 and asked for comments or questions on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to pay the bills. Motion to pay the bills for the month in the amount of $2,120,486.60 by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 3 ayes to 1 nay.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

07-26-2018 Town Council

July 26, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on July 26, 2018, at 7:03 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Gregory Volk, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Steve Hastings.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the June 28, 2018, meeting and asked for any questions or comments.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of minutes. Motion to approve the June 28, 2018, meeting minutes by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment.

Donna Fathke (10729 Maple Lane): I’m here to comment on the Shops 96 project. Um, I have listened to some of the proceedings that have happened in the past. And I – and I can tell that most of us in St. John are very happy to see a development like this coming into Wicker Avenue.

No doubt it will bring new revenue to the city. It will clean up blighted areas, and it will offer convenient shopping, which we don’t always have here. However, it seems to me that the planning for this project has been done quickly and without much regard to the impact that it will have on the surrounding projects now and in the future as well. This project, once it goes in, will be with us for a long time to come; so it is best to spend more effort in the planning process now to avoid cost and effort fixing projects – project problems in the future. It is also best to do this planning in collaboration with the residents of St. John, especially with the nearby property owners.

The traffic planning alone, if executed thoughtfully, could pave the way for countering future traffic issues as well as those we are currently experiencing. I took some time to read St. John’s Zoning Ordinance and to drive around in the project area. The ordinance has some very good planning tenants; however, the Shops 96 plan violates more than several of these tenants.

I see safety and liability issues with the roundabout. I see poor planning in routing the new road through an uninvestigated wetland. I see the Town left liable to unlimited costs if the project doesn’t go as planned. And I see the surrounding properties being negatively impact. This is a planned unit development. Yet I don’t sense that all the, um, requirements that are in the Zoning Ordinance have been addressed for a PUD.

As Council members, you – the – you are public servants. And, as such, you administer to the needs of the Town of St. John, providing for the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. The Zoning Ordinance is there to aid you and the Plan Commission in doing just that. I urge you to take the time now to properly review this project to ensure it is planned not just to make the developer’s burden lighter, but so that it is executed for the highest benefit of the citizens and my – might I add the voters of St. John. This is your job, and it’s your duty. Thank you.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): I’m speaking out against the rezoning of this development to a PUD, and I want to incorporate all of the remonstrances that were made against this PUD rezone from the July 11th Plan Commission meeting.

Even though this development has been in the planning stage for three years, it has not been planned in the public eye. There has been a severe lack of transparency, including Plan Commission minutes from April 1, 2015 when this development was introduced during the public comment session of a meeting that were not passed for over two years in order to hide from the – the public and, maybe, sneak it through because there were a lot of negative comments against this when it first came out.

Many other meeting minutes since, from this project, have also been delayed. I have several unanswered questions, and I have heard many other residents with the same unanswered questions regarding this rezone to a PUD. Why would this Town Council pass an Economic Development Agreement to give Boyer Development $5.6 million of the Town’s TIFF money even before there was a chance for anyone to speak at a public hearing on this development and also snub other developers, like Levin Tire giving them zero TIFF dollars?

Why the discrepancy? What’s – why is one developer better than another? Secondly, why would this Town Council vote for a PUD rezone request for this Boyer development, which would give away the Town’s power from the BZA and the Plan Commission? This developer will make decisions that are best for him and his bottom line and not necessarily what is best for the Town of St. John and its residents.

For example: He can do what he wants with the parking, too small parking spaces; not allowing other developments north of his to access the signalized intersection that our Town is paying for, over a $1 million, by not extending Earl Drive to the north; and who knows what else. Furthermore, why are you even considering this PUD when the Plan Commission has failed to address all of the thirteen required Findings of Fact clearly spelled out in Chapter 9, Section B6 of the Town Zoning Ordinance?

The first finding re – required states, and I quote, “The uses proposed will not be detrimental to property values of surrounding properties and will not impair the use and enjoyment of the surrounding properties.” The property values of the Thiel Cabinet Shop, Tom Parada, and the Jeff Shafer family will, absolutely, be diminished if the roundabout is built as planned along with severe impairment of their use of their properties and their enjoyment. The only way to eliminate this negative finding is to find another option for the roundabout, and this has not been done.

There are twelve more findings that many other residents showed problems with. I believe this is a big legal nightmare if you vote for this PUD without revising this Finding of Facts list.

Carmen Shafer (9220 96th Place): I also want to add, uh, want the – to incorporate all the remonstrances against this PUD rezone from July 11, 2018, Plan Commission. I am speaking on behalf of myself and as a spokesperson for the Thiel Cabinet Shop. I have a question for all of you: If the Town wanted to take your front yard and your driveway through eminent domain, would you be okay with that? Of course not.

It would impair the use and enjoyment of your property. It would also be a detrimental – it would also be detrimental to your property’s value. This is basically what the Town of St. John is doing to the Thiel Cabinet Shop, which has been doing business, quality business in St. John for over 75 years. The Town is trying to take half of their property which goes up to the back of their building to put in a roundabout.

The confiscation of this goes against the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 9, B6, which specifically states that for a PUD to be approved by the Plan Commission, A, the uses proposed will not be detrimental to the property’s value of surrounding properties and will not impair the use or enjoyment of surrounding properties. Not one of you can definitively say that the above statement is true. The Thiels, Paradas, and Shafers, they will lose property value.

Who wants to live that close to a roundabout or have a smaller lot? Will have their enjoyment impaired; with traffic whizzing by just few feet from the Shafer’s outdoor patio, 24 feet from Tom Parada’s home, which is less than the setback required in the Town Zoning Ordinance. Will have the use of their property impaired; especially the Thiel Cabinet Shop because not having usable delivery access will put them out of business. How do you make custom cabinets without wood?

This will be the first of thirteen findings that have not been clearly addressed and dealt with by the Plan Commission. You must vote to deny this PUD Zoning because it is not legal unless all of the thirteen findings are addressed and satisfactory. Do your job and deny this PUD Zoning, or we promise you will not have your jobs, as far as our councilmen, much longer.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I think Mr. Boyer has done some extensive work and some major investment here in this property. And – and I really don’t have complaints on how it’s laid out or designed, because the public really never had the opportunity to give any ideas or concerns at a Plan Commission meeting.

And I will address you, Mr. Chairman, because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Um, but you weren’t in charge when all this thing started. Um, so I’m not going to say anything about Mr. Boyer’s design, cause I think he’s done everything that the Town has asked him or required of him. And my problem is with the Council, with Mr. Kil, and the Plan Commission, focused on the Town Manager and the individual who ran the other two groups, Mr. Forbes.

Mister design – Mr. Boyer said his design was based on where the Town’s roads were going and that Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes, I think, overstepped their authority, in my opinion, by planning this all out in advance. Uh, I think this is what’s caused the delay in this project. Uh, you would like to blame it on a small group of individuals who are all against development. But, in fact, uh, it was a – a desire to do it well and to do it right.

Um, follow the findings of facts by our PUD, uh, in our ordinances. We have a stoplight and a roundabout whose needs are, I think, debatable. Uh, if we didn’t need a stoplight at Joliet, why would there be enough traffic now to justify it? I think that’s why the State won’t pay for it.

Um, the roundabout is also unnecessary. Um, I kind a took the time – and I’m not a designer or developer, but I – I put a little design together here with a little – little curved road that – that comes out of the 96th and comes right onto Joliet Street. Um, I think if you look at where the traffic is going to come from, 41 via 96th, so anyone going northbound on 41, uh, will access 96th and continue east. Or they should have a right of way. If you take the little curve and you put a stoplight at Joliet or stop sign at Joliet and give the right-of-way to the arrow, I think that would eliminate a lot of the issues there.

Southbound 41, they’ll come in from 96th, and, again, will only be going east, and we’ll give them the right of-way. What about westbound traffic on Joliet? If they want to go north on 41, straight through, right-of-way. If they want to go south on 41, they’re going to go to 96th, over to the light. Um, so only the people that will be adversely affected would be the people, the few residents on Joliet Street, like me. No one’s property needs to be acquired. And Mr. Boyer isn’t using that little section of his property anyway. And this will allow traffic to flow.

Other issues include building 96th over a – a swamp may – may be that we have no idea if it can even handle a – a – construction without doing some borings. And the frontage road system from Earl Drive needs to be stubbed north and south, uh, even if you need to move it a little bit further east. And the last thing I wanted to point out was this map from NIRPC, Plan Commission of Northern Indiana. In chalk, it shows a bike route – bike route. And it goes from 95th Place over to Joliet Street via School, and I think a crossing at 96th would be much better. Thank you, gentlemen. I ask you to defer this and send it back to the Plan for a week or a month.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): (Letter read into the record by Ms. Hernandez is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. TC 2018-07-06-01.)

Nick Georgiou (9412 Jack Drive): (Letter read into the record by Ms. Hernandez is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. TC 2018-07-06-02.)

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Gee, we got lots of good input tonight. Let me begin by stating I am in no way against the Boyer development of this property. I feel that, uh, by putting the stoplight in and, uh, getting the Boyer project off the ground is going to even help with disposing of our Kmart property that’s sitting nicely across the street.

I am, however, in disagreement with rezoning the Boyer project to a PUD. You’ve heard a – a whole group of reasons why we don’t want to see a PUD applied to this project, because it, uh, is going to allow the complete override of any and all ordinances in the Town’s protective catch. So I think we ought to consider, uh, the PUD as out of the question.

We have a roundabout that was included in this plan for in excess of $1 million, and it does not seem to be necessary. Um, things have been said, and you’re all aware how much time I spend around town, paying attention, getting documents and records, and keep track of things. So for me to stand here and say a lot of these things that came out are – were a surprise because of the lack of transparency.

I go to every Planning Commission meeting and listen to the discussion. And there was hardly any discussion up until recently about any of this Boyer. You had a contract signed last year – a year ago, and it’s been forwarded because it expired. So that means a year ago, you had already committed the Town to something that wasn’t even approved. How can you have a public hearing for public to give you input when you already have contracts in place? How does that work?

I believe the roundabout in excess of $1 million should, uh, not be kept because it is going to impact the residents’ property and a company who’s been in business in St. John for 75 years. That’s criminal if you were to take their property and destroy their business.

I guess, you know, as upsetting as this is at times, you’ve written a bond issue for $5.6 million, which I consider excessive, with a roundabout in excess of $1 million that is unnecessary. You have – you’re digging on a swamp, and you have no clue what it’s going to cost to get that swamp in order. I would like to remonstrate against the rezoning of the Boyer project to a PUD. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I’d like to remonstrate against the 1669. Any ordinance that rezones, uh, 96 shops, the Boyer development. I’d like to present over 400 signatures against the light at 96th. If the Chief would hand that to the Chairman.

I would encourage all voters to vote against anybody in the future that votes yes on this project. Throw ‘em out of office; that’s what I say. I’d like to incorporate all the remonstrances said here tonight against this project and incorporate by reference all the remonstrances at the Plan Commission meeting, uh, on July the 11th, 2018, as a part of my remonstrance against this rezoning.

I would also like to ask Mr. Volk to contact the Justice Department, the US Attorney, the FBI, and the IRS and determine if there’s been any problems with this, the way this thing has been handled. I know you voted against this project on the Plan Commission. I – I’ve known you over the years, and I trust your judgment. But I’d ask you to be the one that goes – contacts the Justice Department to make sure that there’s no chicanery going on in this project.

The other thing is, I think the vote of the Plan Commission should be nullified. Uh, Mr. Forbes’ vote should be disqualified because when the people on Joliet formed the political action committee, the signs that were taken by Mr. Kil in the presence of Mr. Forbes, the Town President, with no retribution for doing that. I think creates a bias, and so I think he has a conflict of interest in his vote on that Plan Commission. And so, I look at that as a no recommendation.

Um, for all those reasons, incorporating all the remonstrances against this, including my remonstrance, the findings of fact were never made properly at the Plan Commission. And for all of those reasons, uh, I would like to remonstrate against this and ask Mr. Forbes or – and, uh, be not voting on this tonight again for a conflict of interest because of the taking of the signs of that political action committee that opposed this and because no retribution was ever done by this Council to Mr. Kil for doing that. Uh, and I think that’s important to be honest with the people here. And Mr. Volk, I’d like to encourage you to contact the Justice Department. Thank you.

Marvin DeJong (8971 Hibiscus Drive): I just wanted to go on record that I am agreeing with what – a lot of what’s been said here tonight on this, uh, Boyer project. I think it’s time the board should just slow down and just reconsider some of the things that have been brought up, especially the roundabout and, uh, what it’s going to do to the Thiel family, and – and the other homeowners there. Um, I think it’s – it’s just wrong that we would do something to people that have lived in this town that long. I haven’t been here that long. But, um, I think that, uh, a lot – and I – I would agree that this development is – it would be a good development if it was done right. And right now, it looks like it’s going to be done hop shot. Thank you.

Brenda Gard (9418 Hilltop Drive): And I’m just here, again, to agree with pretty much everything that’s been said by everybody else, except for the one letter that was in agreement. Um, I think the Boyer project is something that we need. But I think we really need to be careful how we design the traffic pattern, um, and the impact that it’s going to have, whether it’s really going to make Joliet better, or whether it’s going to make it a bigger nightmare. Thank you.

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street): I’m here to speak on a – on the, um, Boyer PUD. Um, as you all know, I’m on the Plan Commission, and I voted no for it. And it wasn’t because I was against the project. I would have preferred a deferral motion, uh, because I think the project is not completely ready. Um, I do know it was developed over a couple years, but not in full Plan Commission vision. And it’s only been in our vision and really on the radar for the past few months, in reality, so.

Um, there’s a few issues that need to be worked on it. There seems to be a hurry to get it done. I know there’s an urgency. I know folks in the town want their shops. I just would like it to be done correctly and properly. Um, we do only get once chance for this, so I would ask that you defer it, um, if possible. It would probably take another month and a little cooperation to get it hammered out.

Um, in absence of a deferral, if it is the Town Council’s will tonight to pass this, I would ask that contingencies be put on the rezone to PUD for two items: One would be a contingency to, um, repair the connection to the northern property that currently connects nowhere. It is stubbed off into the Thiel property, so we are cutting off all property to the north. For any future redevelopment, they will be landlocked and have no access to a stoplight. And I think that’s critical for redevelopment to the north.

Let me just expand that and say the same residents that would like Shops 96 to go in for to fix the blight would probably like to see more of the blight fixed. So we need that connection to the north. If it’s not Earl Drive, that’s fine. We just need something that actually stubs to the St. John Pool owner’s property.

Uh, the second contingency I would hope for would be, um, a commitment to request a crosswalk from INDOT and a commitment from the Town Council to apply connecting sidewalk if that is approved. So those two contingencies would be helpful to at least, um, complete this project. It’s like – what I would have liked to have seen done at the Plan Commission. Should have been done, I think, done at the Plan Commission level. Um, but those two items are key to the connectivity of our town and – and future redevelopment surrounding that area because the crosswalk would connect to the Kmart property and so forth.

So, um, the last thing I’d like to say, and this has been brought up many times, is I would have liked this project to contain public space in some way; and, uh, unfortunately that wasn’t able to be done. But I will be knocking on your door in the future to – to make that happen so we have ideas. Have a good night.

Joan McInerney (9405 West 90th Lane): As elected officials, it is your fiduciary responsibility to ensure that all requirements for this rezoning project are – are met and that you continue to maintain – the Town continues to maintain control of this development, not turn it over to the hands of the developers.

I would love to see more commercial in – in St. John, and I think this project, you know, looks great, right. But I think there are so many things that just have not been considered. There were many open questions that were brought up against the thirteen requirements for PUD rezoning. And the July 11th meeting, I know some of you were there, were present because you’re on the Planning Commission. But the – many of you are not, and I hope that you had the opportunity to listen to the more than three-and-a-half hours of public comment and discussion at that meeting. So you’ve either listened to the transcripts, or that you’ve read them.

And there were many questions that were still unanswered among the board themselves. And they didn’t have the answers to the questions being raised. I think you need to send this back to the Planning Commission so that they have the opportunity to address those issues and ensure that all the details are – are worked out and are clearly understood and that it doesn’t make the residents or – nor the Town accountable for potential incremental costs related to this project.

I would also ask that from a – from a Town perspective that the planning commission and many of the details of this project have not been transparently communicated to the community. If you go onto the website, I think you’ll see that the Planning Commission, there are minutes up there that have not been posted for many, many meetings. And I would almost say years. And I think that is the responsibility of this Town Council to ensure that – that the Planning Commission is publishing their meeting – minutes to their meetings so that people are well-informed of what is happening in this town. Thank you for your time.

Loleta Knight (11930 West 105th Place): I’m here regarding the proposed zoning, uh, request for a PUD. I am against that for all the same reasons that many former speakers have said, and in particular, I’m very distressed by the proposal to take away property from the Thiel Cabinet company. I just think that’s unconscionable, especially when there is alternatives and the, uh, appropriate, uh, setbacks and so forth haven’t been addressed by the Planning Commission or by, uh, the Board of Zoning Appeals or whoever the body is that takes care of that.

Um, all the other findings of fact need to be addressed as other speakers have said. Um, one of my concerns would be increased traffic, as others have spoken that they’re concerned as well. I would like to have more shopping choices, as well, and dining choices. But if it’s going to create a big traffic problem, we just go right up the street on 41 to Highland. We can have all the traffic we want right there. We don’t have to bring it here.

Uh, I think a lot of people who are in favor of this development, if they’re given a choice: would you like to have ongoing, continual traffic problems or more dining and shopping choices, I think they might have a hard time deciding that they would go for the traffic problems that are, uh, anticipated to be with this plan as currently, uh, designed. So I agree the – the, uh, Earl Drive or some other way to connect to Joliet Street and 93rd street would be needed. So thank you for your time.

Dale Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): I’m pretty much in agreement to what everybody said tonight, uh, except for one thing and that, uh, nobody even mentioned. Why is the Town paying for all these lights and streets? And, you know, there’s no need for it. If a guy wants to develop something, let him pay for it. I can’t see the Town, as they did with the Meyers’ property, pay for a traffic light or improvements on the roads. Even though it was with TIFF money, this Town’s still responsible for it. Uh, I think it’s wrong.

I think the shopping center in itself, like everybody else says, it’s a great thing for the Town to have. But I think the developer should be responsible for the costs of improvements. And, uh, especially that roundabout near Joliet Street, I think it’s totally wrong to take away somebody’s property on – on a – and a, you know, when they, uh – and, uh, I can’t remember the name of it, domain, eminent domain. Why don’t they do that with Kmart? Thank you.

Mary Therese Robert (11990 Heron Lake Road): I have to agree with what I’m hearing this evening. I think we need to put a hold on a lot of things until our infrastructure’s in place. Have we looked at how many accidents we have here weekly in town? It’s a real issue. It’s not something that’s going away. And with more development, there’s more cars. And with more development in surrounding communities, we have more cars passing through. I’m against the roundabout for several reasons. Many of which are already stated.

I went to a couple of the Impact Road Fee meetings. I think it’s a real shame that they want to reduce it down to 7 percent. Is that going to be enough to pay the money for the survey every five years? I don’t think so. I still think we need more officers in town before we start putting in more development. And that includes a shopping mall, which is going to bring in more problems. And I’m also interested in knowing if the Town went after any of the $125 million in grants to improve railroad safety in town? Cause there was $125 million released on April 3rd. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else who didn’t sign that would like to speak.

Mirko Zagorac (10965 Thielen Street): I just want to know as to safety and have you guys ever considered about the safety of the turnaround? My driveway, coming out of the garage, will be completely blind – blind spot. I won’t be able to tell who’s coming, who’s going. Who’s going to be responsible if somebody gets killed or hurt? Me? You? Or what safety? Did anybody ever look at the safety aspect of the turnaround? It’s the only question I got. Did anybody look at it? You going to end up, if you put it in, God forbid, you going to pick up some dead bodies off of there. So that’s all the comment I got. Take a good look at the safety aspect of it.

Carol Webb (11604 Upper Peninsula Place): I agree with everything that I heard tonight. But I look at you guys, and I kind a wonder, do you even care? There doesn’t look like there’s concern on your faces about all the issues everybody’s brought up, especially traffic. I mean, to have – to sell us out for short-term benefit of having more shops, we got more problems. And does anybody care?

You guys – I look at you guys, and you’re, like. rolling your eyes. You look like you really don’t care, like it’s already a done deal. I ask that you be more transparent to – to the people of St. John. I mean, this is a good town, but you’re going to ruin it with all the traffic. It’s a nightmare on 41. That’s all I have to say.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else who didn’t sign that would like to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. Consider Resolution No. 2018-07-26 for Additional Appropriations:
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2018-07-26 for additional appropriations and requested that Mr. Kil give a quick overview.
1. Proofs of Publication – Town Attorney
Mr. Kil stated the Proofs of Publication are in the packets, are in order, and the Public Hearing is able to proceed tonight.
2. Opening Remarks – Town Manager
This is an Additional Appropriation Resolution. There are three specific funds in the Resolution I would like to point out. The first one, which is down at the very bottom, Local Road and Bridge Grant Fund is $670,000 that the Town received as a grant from the State; 101st Avenue is completed, and Parrish Avenue will be started in about a week, so those funds need to be appropriated.

The next fund is General Town Council, Capital Outlays at $1.5 million which is to finish paying for the road projects. Obviously, $670,000 is not enough; therefore, we need to appropriate that $1.5 million to put towards the roads.

The next fund is Local Roads and Streets and that will help pay for regular subdivision paving this year. The Town will be doing about $600,000 worth of subdivision work, and there is a little bit of extra money in Local Roads and Streets, so we are simply appropriating those funds to help pay for that subdivision work. Mr. Kil further stated almost every appropriation is for road work.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any questions or comments.

Mr. Forbes thanked Ms. Hernandez for the forms she gave them and stated they are very nice. Ms. Hernandez thanked Mr. Forbes for the compliment.

Ms. Hernandez stated she would like to make a comment; she knows there has been discussion regarding the transparency of the Additional Appropriation Public Hearing. We do have to notice it in the paper ten days prior to the public hearing, which occurred July 13th. She understands that the papers may not be the best source anymore for obtaining information; therefore, when she does notice for public hearings, she will try to do a better job with getting the information out to everybody, perhaps, by email distribution or social media. Ms. Hernandez stated that the information was noticed properly.

3. Open the Floor to Public Comment
Mr. Jorgensen asked if anyone wished to speak for Public Hearing on this topic.

Theresa Birlson (9520 Joliet Street): Beth, what Beth said that she needs to try to make it aware to everyone, I think that’s really important. And I think this is a key point that the Town Council needs to write a new ordinance so that people are informed. Cause we can’t – we get – get here and look in the packet and try to even find what – what’s being spoken about. There’s a public hearing for a reason, because public hearings are important for transparency so everyone in the town knows what’s going on.

And this needs – the – the actual documentation itself should be given out in that time so people can actually look through it. I’m – I’m no accountant. And it’s going to take me a little longer than fifteen minutes at a meeting to figure it out. So I think, as the Town Council, you guys need to write an ordinance so that this is in the public eye and so that everyone has an opportunity to look at it and make an intelligent speech about it so that it’s open for everyone. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Um, got to compliment Beth because I think it’s a terrific idea. People don’t buy newspapers like they used to. People are online or on social media. Um, a gentlemen has set up a – a Facebook page for St. John. I believe the Town has a website.

I think that the Town should put aside a few – maybe a few hours a month, or whatever, to assign somebody in the Clerk’s Office – if you so desire – to have a bulletin board on the website for the Town of St. John. And therefore, you’d input things up there, like tonight. I mean, I try and keep up with everything that’s going on in town. And when all of a sudden two days before the meeting I see “resolution” and I go what is this. And appropriation means money. Okay. Probably it’s something good. But what if it isn’t?

Nobody has a clue. There’s no way the residents of St. John have a clue as to what it’s all about. So I think that if you took time to put a bulletin board on the website and somebody took care of it, that’s the important part. If you don’t take care of it, it’s going to be useless. But I think her idea is well-taken. And I think that, in order to start being more transparent, we have to start notifying people online so that they can see what’s going on in this Town. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): My thoughts were kind a along the same line. I would really like to see the website used in town. Uh, I think the tab for the – for the Town Council, um, should include, um, agendas, minutes. And when there is an ordinance like this or if there’s something else that’s going to be acted on, I think a link to it would be great.

Beth does a great job in her website to find things like that and to post stuff before and after. Um, but I think an email earlier than yesterday morning would have been helpful, and the ability to be able to pull up this resolution online, I think, would have been great. People won’t know to – where to look for it unless they can go to the Town Council. I – I – that’s why I think might be a little confusing to go to the Clerk’s site. But I think the Town Council website or something like Bryan said, I think, would be very beneficial. Um, I thank you for putting this out there and making it available. We’d just like to be able to see it a little bit quicker. Thank you.

4. Closed to the Floor
Mr. Jorgensen asked if anyone else wished to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing.
5. Resolution No. 2018-07-26
Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for Resolution No. 2018-07-26, a resolution authorizing additional appropriations.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-07-26 by Mr. Forbes. Second by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1669, Shops 96 Zone Change
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1669, the Shops 96 Zone Change and asked for any questions or comments for the same.

Mr. Volk stated that he supports the project. He voted no to the recommendation as a member of the Plan Commission because he thinks that it needs a little more time at the Plan Commission level and that there are items that were discussed but not fully resolved. Mr. Volk further stated he feels the Town Council should defer the matter and send it back to the Plan Commission for further review, and he would make a motion for the same.

Mr. Forbes stated he disagrees with Mr. Volk. There has been lengthy discussion about the extension of Earl Drive. The Traffic Engineer has studied it. He has recommend strongly against it. We just received a letter from Mr. Boyer about the possible wetland issues that were raised. The US Army Corps of Engineers has addressed that issue, and there are no wetlands there. It is an ill-maintained, man-made detention pond. The experts have looked at this. They have commented on it. Mr. Forbes stated that he is completely ready to move forward on this matter and that there is no reason not to.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was any further discussion from the board. Hearing none, he asked for a motion. Motion to defer this matter and send it back to the Plan Commission for further review by Mr. Volk. Motion dies for lack of a second.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained any further motions. Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1669 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie.
Vote by roll call:

Mr. Forbes Aye
Mr. Barenie Aye
Mr. Volk Nay
Mr. Jorgensen Aye

Motion carries 3 ayes to 1 nay.

B. Consider Ordinance No. 1671, Park Impact Fee
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1671 for the Park Impact Fee and asked for any discussion from the board.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to Consider Ordinance No. 1671 on first reading. Motion by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1671. Motion by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Consider Revisions / Changes to the Fire Department Pension Program
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider revisions-changes to the Fire Department Pension Program. Mr. Jorgensen stated there has been a presentation on this, and we have taken a lot of time and effort to go through the numbers.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil if he had anything to add. Mr. Kil stated that there are the two options available, that our financial consultant explained everything superbly at the last meeting, and that he would be happy to answer any questions to the best of his ability.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion. Motion for future Fire Department members to automatically be enrolled in the 1977 Plan, starting January 1, 2019; to make a recommendation to pay back the Town’s portion, retroactively and have the Fire servicemen pay their share; and to include a $10,000 stipend for 2018 and 2019 to be paid into the 457B Plan for Chief Willman by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Kil advised that an actuarial analysis will need to be done and asked Ms. Hernandez to order the same.

D. Consider Approval of Annual Contract Payment to the St. John Volunteer Fire Department for Maintenance and Up-keep of the Training Site in the Amount of $15,000.00
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider approval of the Annual Contract Payment to the St. John Volunteer Department for maintenance and upkeep of the Training Site in the amount of $15,000 and asked for any questions or comments from the board.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

E. Consider Release of Performance Bond for North Point – Unit 5, and Acceptance of Maintenance Warranty (Favorable recommendation from Plan Commission)
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the release of a Performance Bond for North Point, Unit 5 and the acceptance of the Maintenance Warranty. Mr. Jorgensen further advised the matter has received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to release the Performance Bond for North Point Unit 5 and accept the Maintenance Warranty by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

F. Consider Resolution No. 2018-07-26A, a Resolution for a Transfer of Funds
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2018-07-26A, a Resolution for a Transfer of Funds and asked Mr. Kil to give a brief explanation.

Mr. Kil stated that it is a standard resolution wherein $1.5 million is being transferred from “Other Improvements” to the “Local Road and Bridge Grant Fund” which is where it should be paid from. It piggybacks on the Additional Appropriation. The money has been appropriated, and now it needs to be transferred to the appropriate account.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve Resolution No. 2018-07-26A by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

G. Consider Release of Performance Bond for Meadow Gate – Unit 11B, and Acceptance of Maintenance Warranty (Favorable recommendation from Plan Commission)
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the release of the Performance Bond for Meadow Gate, Unit 11B and the acceptance of the Maintenance Warranty. Mr. Jorgensen further advised that this matter has received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the board for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to approve the release of the Performance Bond and to accept the Maintenance Warranty for Meadow Gate, Unit 11B by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Barenie stated that the Boyer Development reminds him of a tough decision the Town Council made about ten years ago with the Strack’s-Target development. There were many who remonstrated that are present at this meeting. He further stated it was a tough decision because the Town Council didn’t know what to do. It was the first big development, and we went with it. He strongly feels that it was the right decision then, and he does feel that the Boyer Development is the right thing to do for the Town.

Mr. Forbes stated that there seems to be misinformation about the Fire Department Pension that the members of the Fire Department don’t currently have a pension, and it is not true. He further stated that Chief Willman has done an excellent job over the years taking care of the firemen, and that he agrees with the move into the 1977 Plan. Mr. Forbes thanked Chief Willman for everything he has done to take care of his men over the years.

Chief Willman stated that he takes care of his men because they take care of the Town; he has excellent people, and he would not trade one person on his staff.

Mr. Forbes stated that he appreciates the Fire Department and all that they do.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the new Boyer project has been considered for hundreds of hours; it’s been batted around back and forth between the Town Council and the Plan Commission; and we have also employed professionals to advise us as to the feasibility of a project like this: engineers, people who do this for a living. He further stated if anyone thinks that these decisions were made without having the full breadth of knowledge that we are comfortable having, they would be incorrect, and then stated, “We have.”

Mr. Jorgensen further stated that they have to take and consider all the information and advisements, be circumspect, and make a decision. The Boyer project is greatly needed, and it looks as if it is going to be a great success. The Town Council would not move forward with the project if it did not believe that to be true. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he looks forward to seeing it, and he looks forward to a big change on US 41 and with our Town.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez thanked the Town Council for approving the 1977 Pension Plan for the firefighters. Ms. Hernandez stated that she wasn’t personally aware that it has been spread around that they don’t have a pension; however, she thinks it has been discussed that they weren’t in the correct pension. She then stated that she feels the plan created for Chief Willman was an awesome idea.

Ms. Hernandez stated that Mr. Kil and she have started budget season.

STAFF
Chief Willman reported during the month of June 2019, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 145 requests for assistance. There were 112 calls within the incorporated limits, 23 within the unincorporated limits of St. John Township, and 10 for all other destinations including mutual aid. Our mutual aid included Schererville, 6; Cedar Lake, 1; Lake Hills, 2; and Crown Point, 1.

Monday night activities started with our general meeting on the first Monday of the month. June 11th was a live, hands-on skills training review operations working with different-sized hand-held hose diameters and water pressures. We are now able to finally get some quality training time with the new quint. It has become our “first-out apparatus” on all fire response that are in our Town.

June 18th was an EMS in-service designed for “skills review” along with “audit and review” for quality control awareness.

June 25th St. John Fire was able to schedule two very exceptional individuals who are full-time members of Lake County 911 Central Dispatch Center in Crown Point. As St. John Fire Department continues to grow and expand at the rate that we are, our relationship with Central Dispatch becomes more critical for our success. Our success is measured directly in the positive result from our patient care and our ability to serve our customers in other issues related to public safety. These representatives offered an excellent opportunity for us to better understand the operations in Crown Point and for us to apply that understanding to our needs. Lake Hills Fire Department was also able to share in the presentation with us.

Chief Kveton reported from June 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 16,296 miles and responded to 774 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 17 arrests with 26 charges being filed.

There were 354 traffic citations issued, along with 226 written warnings, for a total of 580 citations being issued during the month. There were $96,000 in vehicle thefts; other thefts totaled $6,978; and $80,000 worth of those thefts were recovered.

Chief Kveton also reported that there was a two-week period where there were 22 vehicles unlawfully entered and that 4 vehicles stolen, and it was a crew of 4 individuals that have been identified that have hit everywhere from the north side of Chicago all the way down to Northwest Indiana. Some of those individuals are already in custody outside of our jurisdiction.

Chief Kveton stated that they had an exciting event earlier that day when the Stanley Cup was brought to St. John. The Public Works, Fire Department, and the Police Department all got together to take some photos at this memorial event.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the APVs of $2,323,656.20 and asked for comments or questions on the same.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion. Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 1 nay.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

07-26-2018 Town Council Exhibit.pdf
08-23-2018 Town Council

August 23, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on August 23, 2018, at 7:24 p.m., and asked all to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Steve Hastings, Gregory Volk, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the July 26, 2018, meeting and asked for any questions or comments.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of minutes. Motion to approve the July 26, 2018, minutes by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

PROCLAMATION:

Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids (NICK) – Proclaim September 2018 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is a Proclamation. The Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids, NICK, are seeking a Proclamation making September 2018 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that it is a good cause and a rightful Proclamation. Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the same.

Motion to approve the Proclamation by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment and opened the floor for the same.

Kathy Wilson (9621 East Oak Ridge): I’d like to agree with the gentlemen about the comments on the Resolution. I am glad to see that the Town is taking due diligence and not just letting everything slide as we’ve seen some in the past. I do have a question, I mean, I understand the language issues.

Now, has the village attorney gone over any of this to, you know, if the wording is correct or not? Because on our paid, accounts payable, I see we still have him on there; and I thought that there was some discussion a few months ago about looking for another attorney. I mean, we haven’t seen him at the meetings. He’s getting $16,000, and I’m just curious as to what he’s doing for that. So thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): As I reviewed the agenda tonight and I saw the Resolution 2018-08-23, it – it, kind of, looked like a no-brainer, and I was going to encourage you guys to pass it. But I think you guys have already got it figured out, so I would like to thank you, uh, for your work on the Utility Board and encourage you to continue to do the same thing here.

Um, we just passed a Park Impact Fee, so I would like to encourage the Council to pursue, um, looking at purchasing some land so we can get an expanded park program and possibly a community center, uh, to benefit everybody in town. Uh, I think we can’t wait too long before all the property’s bought up and the prices go up.

Um, third point: I was at the INDOT meeting on August 6th, and after INDOT presented its plans, um, to a much needed center lane from 97th to 109th, we asked why they weren’t going to go all the way to 93rd. Uh, Mr. Kil and Mr. Forbes were both at that meeting, um, but didn’t speak to address either our questions or an answer to that.

And then afterwards when we talked to the engineers and at INDOT, they indicated that St. John was going to do that portion, um, up to 93rd. Um, so I’m just wondering why it would spend our road money on something that the state was willing to do and had in their plans, actually, when we visited INDOT over a year ago. Um, and then wondering with, like, Schoop’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are you going to eliminate traffic turns into those businesses as well?

Um, our traffic is terrible. We have an $11 million road funding deficit that we need to come up with just to get started. I know impact fees can’t go there, but the longer you wait to implement that program, um, the further behind we’re going to get, and – and – and that issue’s not going to go away all by itself. I know there are a couple of issues with building permits would get too high, um, so new home sales would suffer. But we already have some of the highest building permits in the county, and that hasn’t slowed our building up at all. Uh, when someone’s moving here from Illinois and saves $5000 a year in their real estate tax, um, they’re not going to cry about a $2500 one-time fee to build a house.

Second is the commercial and retail, uh, will not come if our fees go up that high. Well, they don’t have to go up that high. You know, we can follow the lead like others in the high-growth areas around the state who have impact fees and offer credits to commercial developers, um, to help offset some of their fees. So it may require a little more work on – on – on your part, but that’s better than raising taxes to cover those issues. I think let the people moving in pay a portion of their impact on our roads. Um, if improvements and – and new additional taxes are going to be the other alternative, so I think a 40-50 percent of the impact would be a good number to start with.

If the park is $1800, I think our roads are just as important as the park fees. So I think you need to have at least $2000 there. Um, it’s not high fees that are going to cause people to go away from here. It’s going to be traffic congestion and gridlock. That’s what’s going to be the cause of people not coming to St. John to shop or to build. Thank you.

Ron Johnson (9595 Julia Drive): On behalf of the Bramblewood Homeowner’s Association, I would like to extend our thanks to Republic Services for their hard work and dedication. We strongly recommend to this Council to continue these services with Republic. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Everybody seems to be on the same topics tonight, so I won’t belabor the issues. I, uh, also, since we’ve been pushing the Road Impact Fee for the last couple years, um, I too agree that we should be in the $2000 to $2500 per unit range at the end of the 5-year period. We’re not going to be able to tax the residents to make up an $11 million shortfall, currently, not including the $81 million that we’re in the hole from years past or what’s coming at us down the road.

So we’re going to have to address this impact fee to get the job done to get the money we need. There’s nothing else going to save us, unless you tax the taxpayers. And I can tell you that’s not going to bode well for anybody running for office if you’re going to drop this load, real estate tax increase against the public. They’re not going to buy it; they’re not going to like it.

So I already commented about the Resolution. I think it ought to be unanimously passed. You did a nice job on transparency tonight. And I think the Town needs more of that.

And the third comment was from Kathy, and she’s asked, and I’ll ask the same thing and have been asking: Where is our Town Attorney replacement? We’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Has the Town thought about hiring a full-time attorney? Has that topic come up? I’m sure it’s full of all kinds of pros and cons.

But maybe the Town should step up and see if we hire our own attorney and not only save the town some money but, you know, cut down on some of the expenditure. So I think that’s something to consider headed down the road. And being that there’s lawyers sitting on our Council, they probably know better or reasons why. But maybe the townspeople ought to be made aware of why we don’t have our own Town Attorney. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oak Ridge Drive): My first comment is that we’ve had Republic doing our waste hauling for a lot of years, and I think they’ve done an excellent job. And I don’t know of anybody that has a – a negative opinion of them. So when you see who’s the best, and all this, because the bids haven’t been opened here yet in this meeting, that you weigh the past service that they’ve given us, which I think was excellent.

Uh, the next item on my checklist is the Lake Central School Corporation where you‘re going to have this joint agreement. In the contract that the agenda shows, they don’t put a dollar amount on what we’re going to get for this. And if you – you look at the – there’s a lot of schools and churches and whatever in town. And I think that the school system should hire their own resource officers, pay their own pensions, their own liability, because in that contract, the liability goes to – to St. John. I think that you should revisit that and that those people shouldn’t be hired by the school corporation, those resource officers. They can work with the policemen, but the total liability, the total cost should be on the school corporation because the school corporation’s spread over multiple towns, not just St. John.

The other thing, we’ve talked about that Resolution. I – I’d like to see that unanimous. And I’ll bring up the Town Attorney. The Town Attorney should have been here to say what he thought of that Resolution. But I look at the bills that we paid. There’s a $16,000 bill there, there’s a $400 bill for utility. Why isn’t the Town Attorney here? He submits his bills. You pay his bills. What’s going on here? This has been going on for many months. It makes no sense to me.

The next item on my agenda is the Boyer development. I think this is like a $35 million project is what I understand this is. I think we need to know who the investors are. You’re making a deal to give $6 or $8 million bucks of TIFF money – and who knows what it’s going to be in the end – to Mr. Boyer’s LLC, 96 Shops. I think we should know who the partners are with the Town in this investment: the names, the amount of money. I think that’s important for everybody to know, not just an LLC, a shell without names. Thank you.

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia): So some of the same things that were visited on the Utility Board but different, uh, now – now you’re the Council; you’re the legislative body. So, um, I’m also going to speak, uh, on behalf of being a Plan Commission member and a BZA Chairman. Um, I believe it’s – I think it’s all been said, but I want it to be public record: It’s really important for us to guide our growth and development along our fringe. I think we need to, uh, be very careful and obviously pass this.

I – I worry that, you know, today it’s a Circle K. Next month it might be, well let’s put a thousand homes on a square mile and hook up, and “Hey, they didn’t do it; we don’t have to do it.” So it is, uh, so critical to our town and the future of it at our fringe that it doesn’t go to “hell in a handbasket” frankly. So, um, definitely need to get that passed. And, uh, and, again, revisit the verbiage, get it cleaned up. Let’s – let’s get the process tight. Um, appreciate you guys doing that, and, uh, that’s all. Thank you.

Dan Gherghe (9310 Northcote Avenue): I have a problem with the Public Works. They’re not cutting the grass on, uh, 93rd Avenue, 93rd and, uh, Northcote. They need to lower the blade two-thirds and cut the grass. They’re cutting the grass once every 24, uh, months. My – my real estate taxes are to cover that. Uh, I got the reassessment, $10,800; for that, I expect you to cut the grass along that road. You’ve been cutting it in the past, and now you haven’t Also, the code enforcement send me a letter; and she infringed on, uh, Google’s rights and looked on the map and paste it and wrote me a letter that I don’t keep the – that side of the of the area in a manicured manner.

(Mr. Kil informed everyone that Mr. Gherghe owns the corner house on 93rd Avenue and Northcote, and stated that everybody mows their own parkway grass.)

That – that’s – you deal – that – there – there’s a sewage line over there. And that land is – is too steep for me to cut it.

(Mr. Kil stated that they will look at the road edge; however, the issue is the blockage of the line of sight. Mr. Forbes explained to Mr. Gherghe that when Public Works mows 93rd Avenue, they take one sweep down both sides, and that is it.)

But you take it once every three to four months; you don’t take it every single month. Cut the grass at the beginning of the month at the end of the month. They’re not getting a paycheck? What? It’s not being covered by the –

(Mr. Kil informed Mr. Gherghe that we are not going to go off the road into the lawn and cut the grass.)

No, you don’t have to do that. You – you have to do the – the – the land, the – the – the steep land that’s next to the road. You’ve been doing it in the past. All of the sudden, there’s an exemption? Why don’t you – why don’t you extend that exemption to me when – when I got a – a $10,800 cyclical reassessment? And here you want more money. If you want more money, do more work.

(Mr. Kil explained to Mr. Gherghe that it is similar to people in subdivisions cutting the parkway. It’s the right-of-way, but it is still your property in front of your house.)

It’s not the frontage; it’s on the side. Lower the blades two-thirds as you’ve done in the past. What, too hard do that? You’ve been doing it in the past. All of a sudden, you don’t – don’t do it cause you may dull the blades.

(Mr. Jorgensen told him we’d take a look at it.)

Yeah, yeah, okay. Oh, I took a look at my reassessment, $10,800. You want more money, you’re do – doing less work. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign the list. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

BID OPENING:

A. Bid Opening for Refuse and Recycling
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the Bid Opening and turned the floor over to Mr. Kil.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Austgen reviewed the proofs of publication and sent a memorandum indicating that the proofs of publication are in order.

The Town received three (3) bids. Mr. Kil opened each bid and gave a general overview.

BID 1

The first bid is from GMI Recycling Services which provides:

  1. Contractor’s Bid for Public Work Form 96
  2. Non-collusion Affidavit
  3. Iran Anti-investment Certificate
  4. E-compliance / E-verify, which is in order
  5. Equipment List
The Bid Response Form:
  1. $15.50/month per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited yard waste – Monday Single-day Collection
  2. $15.50/month per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited yard waste – Wednesday Single-day Collection
  3. $15.50/month per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited yard waste – Wednesday/Thursday Two-day Collection
  4. $14.48/month per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited refuse pickup
  5. $375 per 30-yard dumpster
  6. $350 per 20-yard dumpster
  7. $55 per ton for street sweeping – optional service
Alternate Bid Options:
  1. $14.48/month per dwelling unit – Wednesday-Friday Three-day Collection
  2. $14.48/month per dwelling unit – Tuesday-Friday Four-day Collection
  3. $14.48/month per dwelling unit – Monday-Friday Five-day Collection

BID 2

The second bid is from Republic Services which provides:

  1. Contractor’s Bid for Public Work Form 96
  2. Equipment List
  3. Capacity Letter
  4. Annual Report
  5. Bid Bond
  6. Insurance
  7. Specs
The Bid Response Form:
  1. $20.87/month per dwelling unit – Monday Single-day Collection
  2. $20.87/month per dwelling unit – Monday Single-day Collection
  3. Two-day Collection no bid
  4. $350 per 30-yard dumpster
  5. $50 per ton 20-yard dumpster
  6. $60 per ton for street sweeping
Alternative Bids:
  1. Monthly per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited refuse, yard waste, every other week recycling collection and disposal – includes heavy household trash once per week (NOTE: Price includes a $1.30 recycling process charge with an Annual Recycling Adjustment offered)
    1. Year 1 – $18.00
    2. Year 2 – $18.50
    3. Year 3 – $19.02
    4. Year 4 – $19.55
    5. Year 5 – $20.10
    6. Year 6 – $20.66
    7. Year 7 – $21.24
    8. Year 8 – $21.84

  2. Monthly per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited refuse, yard waste, and weekly recycling collection and disposal
    1. Year 1 – $19.75
    2. Year 2 – $20.30
    3. Year 3 – $20.87
    4. Year 4 – $21.46
    5. Year 5 – $22.07
    6. Year 6 – $22.69
    7. Year 7 – $23.33
    8. Year 8 – $23.99

  3. Monthly per dwelling unit for weekly unlimited refuse – NO RECYCLING SERVICE
    1. Year 1 – $15.35
    2. Year 2 – $15.81
    3. Year 3 – $16.28
    4. Year 4 – $16.77
    5. Year 5 – $17.28
    6. Year 6 – $17.79
    7. Year 7 – $18.33
    8. Year 8 – $18.88

BID 3

The final bid is from Homewood Disposal which provides:

  1. Bid Bond Response Form
  2. Bid Specs
  3. Contractor’s Bid for Public Work Form 96
  4. Operational Narrative
  5. Municipal References
  6. Surety Letter
  7. Financial Statement

The Bid Response Form:

None offered – see alternate

Alternate Bids:

  1. Five-day collection Monday – Friday
  2. $485.00 per 30-yard dumpster
  3. $425.00 per 20-yard dumpster
  4. $285 per load transportation + $57 per ton per one (1) 15-yard roll-off designated for street sweepings as special waste – upon the Town’s request

Alternate Proposal:

  1. $22.50/monthly per residential unit for year 1 with a 3 percent per annum increase
    1. Eight-year contract
    2. Five-day per week collection
    3. Weekly recycling collection

  2. $21.25/monthly per residential unit for year 1 with a 3 percent per annum increase
    1. Eight-year contract
    2. Five-day per week collection
    3. Every other week recycling collection

Mr. Kil advised the Council to take the bids under advisement, get bid tab forms, and get them all put in a spreadsheet so we know that all responses are correct and true.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further discussion from the Council. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to take the bids under advisement by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays with a pass by Mr. Forbes.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Bond for Mill Creek – Unit 5 in the Amount of $25,447.50
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider a bond for Mill Creek Unit 5 in the amount of $25,447.50. This item did receive a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or comments from the board. Mr. Volk stated that they have a letter in their packets confirming the numbers.

Motion to accept the Letter of Credit for Mill Creek Unit 5 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Consider Request of Lake Central School Corporation for a Joint Interlocal Cooperation Agreement
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the Request of the Lake Central School Corporation for the Joint Interlocal Cooperation Agreement. The agreement is for the purpose of an additional student resource officer. Mr. Jorgensen turned the floor over to Mr. Kil.

Mr. Kil advised that he has spoken with Dr. Larry Veracco. The school corporation is requesting that each community place an additional school resource officer (SRO) in the Lake Central School Corporation. St. John already has an SRO in the school, so this would be the second SRO from St. John.

Mr. Kil stated that Dr. Veracco is working with Dyer; however, they do not have an agreement as yet. Schererville has not acted on it yet. The general idea is that it will be a 75/25 split. School is in session 75 percent of the year, 25 percent it is not, which is when we would get the officer back. They are proposing to pay 75 percent of the cost and the Town absorb 25 percent of the annual cost.

Mr. Forbes stated that the 75 percent is just for the officer and not any of the equipment. Mr. Kil stated that the deal with Dyer did not include equipment. It only included the personnel service cost of the officer: salary, pension, health insurance, etc. The officer will be allowed to fuel up the vehicle at Lake Central’s fueling pumps during the SRO period.

Mr. Barenie asked if the start-up costs; i.e., the vehicle, the outfitting of the vehicle, and all that are being paid for by Dyer for their SRO. Mr. Kil responded that Dr. Veracco informed him that Lake Central is not paying for any of the vehicle cost, gun, uniform, or anything like that. The spreadsheet provided in the packets show what the true cost is. The cost of an officer for the first year with all the start-up costs included is approximately $160,000 depending on the health-insurance package they choose.

Mr. Barenie stated that the start-up cost amount isn’t a one-time only fee due to equipment needing to be replaced periodically. Mr. Barenie further stated that if we are only going to have the officer 25 percent of the time, we should probably only pay 25 percent of those costs. Mr. Kil concurred.

Mr. Barenie stated that he is in favor of it and thinks it is a good service to get an officer for 25 percent of the year and have thousands of students protected at different levels.

Chief Kveton advised that Corporal Moffitt, the current SRO from St. John, would stay in the high school full time. Corporal Patrick, a Dyer SRO, rotates through the other nine schools, which leaves very little time for SRO presence in each of those schools.

Mr. Kil stated that Dr. Veracco said he will do his best to ensure the St. John officer would be assigned to the St. John schools. If they are needed elsewhere, they would be allowed to go wherever they are needed.

Chief Kveton advised that if something happened during the day and they were needed by the Town, they would leave the school and come to assist. Chief Kveton stated that he believes that the reason Dyer did not bring up the other expenses is because they have enough officers that they already have an officer chosen who already has all of his equipment, including a car.

Mr. Kil stated that he agrees with Mr. Barenie that if we are going to consider this, we need to look at the whole package which includes the true cost to the Town.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he does not see where it includes the discretion to call up the officer at any time and what the parameters are; and he believes that those details should be spelled out.

Mr. Kil stated that it is very rare that an officer would need to be called out of the school. Mr. Volk asked where the fifth officer comes from. Chief Kveton stated that there is currently one from Dyer and one from St. John. The Agreement asks for one from Dyer, one from St. John, and one from Schererville, which would add three more for a total of five.

Chief Kveton stated that Dr. Veracco is hoping to get a line item specifically for this, if possible. Mr. Kil stated that he wants one consistent amount that he can budget for, for five years. Mr. Barenie stated that the additional annual cost for equipment would be approximately $8846.

Mr. Kil advised that he did not see a term of the agreement, nor has he had a discussion with Dr. Veracco regarding the term of the agreement.

Mr. Jorgensen asked what the average life is of the vehicle and equipment. Mr. Kil stated approximately 7-8 years; however, the SRO doesn’t drive their car as much as a regular officer, so it will last a little longer.

Mr. Barenie stated that he would be interested in moving forward with the details.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he is unsure of what action the Council needs to take at this meeting unless there is someone who is not interested. He then asked if we need to express an interest to move forward with the negotiation. Mr. Kil stated that certain parameters could be made. Unless there is an objection to the agreement, we can look at the salary and the equipment.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he thinks we should offer 25 percent of the total cost, which could be broken down if needed. Mr. Kil stated that that gives us a starting point.

Mr. Forbes stated that Lake Central is getting their money from the Referendum that they just passed. Mr. Kil confirmed the same.

Mr. Forbes asked if the term of the Joint Interlocal Cooperation Agreement should be the same as the life of the referendum, which is 7 years and what will happen if the referendum doesn’t pass that next time the Lake Central School Corporation needs the money. Mr. Jorgensen stated that we could pass it for 7 years, but he didn’t think it would be a contract that would be for more than 5 years. Mr. Forbes stated that there should be some kind of a time limit.

Mr. Barenie asked Chief Kveton if the summer months are when most of the thefts and crimes are committed, which is when we would have the officer full-time. Chief Kveton responded that that is true, especially this year. Mr. Barenie stated that detail makes it an added bonus to have extra resources during the summer months.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that if everyone is in agreement with 25 percent of total costs over 5 years, we can break down the numbers.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if we needed a motion for this. Mr. Forbes stated that, being it is a discussion point, we are pretty clear on it. Mr. Kil advised that there really is no vote and that he would bring back a Joint Interlocal Agreement with numbers filled in next month.

C. Resolution No. 2018-08-23 a Resolution Setting Forth Certain Policies and Parameters for the Extension of Municipal Utilities Outside the Corporate Limits of St. John
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2018-08-23, which is a Resolution that sets forth certain policies and parameters for the extension of municipal utilities outside the corporate limits of St. John.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that this has already been discussed extensively and asked if anyone had any further discussion.

Mr. Forbes stated that he wishes to clarify that he is not in opposition to the policy, that he just believes that it is not clearly stated, and that it should be corrected before being approved. Mr. Forbes further stated that he did send language that he felt would clarify the instrument a couple of days before the meeting, and it was dismissed.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-08-23 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay.

D. Resolution No. 2018-08-23A, a Resolution Authorizing a Transfer of Funds
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution NO. 2018-08-23A, which is a resolution authorizing a transfer of funds. Mr. Jorgensen turned the floor over to Mr. Kil.

Mr. Kil advised that this is standard operating procedure towards the end of the year and turned the floor over the Ms. Hernandez. Ms. Hernandez stated that the transfer of funds is done so that appropriation line items do not show a negative balance. It is moving money from one line item to another for clean books.

Mr. Kil advised that before the end of the year, there will be additional resolutions for the transfer of funds. Ms. Hernandez stated that it will most likely be on a monthly basis for the balance of the year; so at the end of the year, there isn’t a great deal of them.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further discussion. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to approve Resolution No, 2018-08-23A for the Transfer of Funds by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Barenie stated that he would like to respond to a couple comments made during Public Comment about the attorney situation. He stated that a decision needs to be made, that a very lengthy and detailed interview process was had and that he received five recommendations from the Council but did not put one forth himself. He stated that he led a process of an RFP, which was approximately 8 pages long.

The Council had five interviews, which lasted several hours each, and came up with three or four really good firms that could help us. Mr. Barenie stated that we have enough information to make a decision, but that the Council has not discussed it. Mr. Barenie further stated that we need representation when we are in these meetings and that it would be very helpful. It protects the Town; it protects the Council; and it protects all the other commissions, boards, and committees of the Town of St. John.

Mr. Barenie further stated that we have done some work; but we just don’t seem to be able to get to it, and it is a priority.

Mr. Jorgensen concurred and hopes to have a resolution to this matter by the time the Council meets next month. Mr. Jorgensen explained that Mr. Austgen and his firm have continued to work on multiple ongoing legal matters; and while it isn’t on a full-time basis, we are being represented.

Mr. Kil reported that US 231 is closed for INDOT to repair the drainage underneath railroad overpassed. Both of them cannot be closed at the same time because there are residents who live between them. As soon as those are completed, INDOT will start repaving US 231.

Mr. Kil advised that we have requested that the overpasses be widened many times and strongly emphasized that INDOT will not widen those railroad overpasses.

Once INDOT is done there, they will start paving from US 41 east to Cline Avenue then jump to the square in Crown Point and pave from the square westward. Once they get to Cline Avenue, we will close Parrish Avenue and begin reconstruction of Parrish Avenue. The reason process is this way is because people need Cline Avenue to be available as an alternate route before we can close Parrish Avenue.

The roundabout is being cut at Joliet Street and Parrish Avenue. They are doing the arcs and leaving the through traffic open and installing the storm sewer. That will be closed in accordance with INDOT when they are done paving to Cline Avenue.

Mr. Kil advised that it will be inconvenient for a while, but the Community Crossing work is being done. Mr. Kil wanted to be sure that everyone is aware that there is a specific plan in place and the road closure was thought through.

Mr. Jorgensen asked what the timeframe is. Mr. Kil responded we are looking at the entire month of September. Parrish Avenue will not be closed until after Labor Day, provided Walsh & Kelly gets their paving done on US 231.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that Parrish Avenue will be fantastic.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated that she agrees that Parrish Avenue will be fantastic and that people are excited about it.

Ms. Hernandez reported that the appropriations were approved from the last meeting. The DLGF (Department of Local Government Finance) just sent her the notice, so that will be taken care of tomorrow.

STAFF
Chief Kveton reported that from July 1, 2018 through July 31, 2018 the St. John Police Department logged 21,751 miles, responded to 737 law incidents. The investigations of those incidents led to 27 arrests, with 45 charges being filed. There were 401 traffic citations issued along with 284 written warnings for a total of 685 citations. There were no vehicle thefts in July but there were $14,718 worth of thefts, which was a family-related theft of jewelry that is still being investigated.

Chief Kveton gave a heads up that September 23-29 is National Railroad Safety Week. There are several things planned. Students are back in school, so please be careful when you are driving, and do not pass a school bus when they are picking up or dropping off children.

Chief Willman reported that during the month of July 2018, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 157 requests for assistance: 128 were in our own town, 16 in unincorporated St. John Township, and 13 were in District 3, which is all other destinations including mutual aid. Mutual aid included Schererville, Fire and EMS; Lake Hills, Fire and EMS; Cedar, Lake Fire and EMS; and Dyer, Fire. Thank you.

The Monday night activities for the Fire Department in July included the monthly business meeting on July 2 for the volunteer division of the corporation. We have been able to make some very positive improvements in the Training Site in recent months. With help from the Town, we are very close to becoming debt free since our last major upgrade was done approximately 5 years ago.

There will be another Indiana Department of Homeland Security Firefighter I/II Fire Academy class starting in September and it will continue until March 29th. July 9th was the Target Solutions Hands-on Training regarding ventilation skills and techniques. This was a live training at the Training Site as well.

July 16 was the annual classroom lecture and review required to keep current and qualified to drive emergency vehicles. This is a requirement for EVOC, Emergency Vehicle Operators Course certification. July 23, they took a break from the discipline training schedule and began to work on the annual hose-testing requirements with one of the four fire-suppressions apparatus that we have now.

Finally, July 30th was the initial introduction to the new policies and procedures that are becoming the unconditional standard that will govern the use and effectiveness of our new Fire & EMS documentation. This is a massive undertaking for the St. John Fire Department. This will provide a new MO of expertise regarding response, reporting, documentation, patient care, billing, quality control, and professionalism that we feel our residents and our customers deserve.

St. John Fire & EMS would like to take this opportunity to thank our Town Administrators, the Clerk’s Office, the IT Director and Assistant Director for the cooperation and support that we have received from all of them to make this transition a reality. Thank you.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the APVs of $2,219,630.79 and asked for comments or questions on the same. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to pay the bills inn the amount of $2,219,630.79 by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays; Mr. Forbes passed.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

09-27-2018 Town Council

September 27, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on September 27, 2018, at 7:05 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez took roll call with the following council members present: Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Steve Hastings, Gregory Volk, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the August 23, 2018, meeting and asked for any questions or comments.

Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of minutes. Motion to approve the August 23, 2018, minutes by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

PRESENTATION:

St. John Youth Baseball
Joe Bonato, President of St. John Baseball, and Oscar Martinez, President of St. John Girl’s Softball and Lake County Sheriff, made a presentation to the board.

Mr. Bonato stated that St. John Baseball currently has 500 children registered in the in-house league of over 40 teams from T-Ball through Babe Ruth, 159 from other towns within Lake County; 140 children in the Tomahawk Travel league, which is comprised of 12 teams ranging from 7u through 16u.

Mr. Bonato spoke about the growth of the baseball league and some of the special events they currently do and special events they would like to bring to St. John. They are in need of more space and more fields as they are busting at the seams, and it will only get worse as St. John continues to grow.

Sheriff Martinez spoke about the growth of the softball leagues and the need for more field space for the softball leagues as well. When he first got involved in softball sixteen years earlier, they had approximately 200 girls which now has approximately 500 girls.

After their presentation, they requested help from the Town as they are at full capacity in the facilities that are currently available and have had to turn away families wishing to sign up for baseball and softball.

Mr. Bonato thanked the Town for their help with the netting and stated that the Town has always been gracious with helping them.

Mr. Blazak asked from the audience how much help they are asking for in terms of financial cost. Mr. Bonato and Sheriff Martinez both responded that they did not know the amount needed. Mr. Barenie stated that the Town could get rough information for the next meeting.

A brief discussion ensued. Mr. Jorgensen stated that the Council will take the matter under advisement and discuss the same.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment and opened the floor for the same.

Tom Prada (9535 Joliet Street): Mr. Prada stated it can wait and passed on speaking.

Mirko Zagorac (10965 Thielen Street): I’ve been after this project for awhile. (Inaudible) will verify, I was involved in Dyer, when I lived, for this. And we created quite a few silent crossings.

We need our town to get rid of the noise pollution the town has from these trains. I mean you go out on a Sunday afternoon and watch the kids play baseball right down there by me, you got to stop. You can’t even hear them for doing anything from the noise. And now that the train company has changed the pitch of their noise, it’s ten times worse than ever before.

I got ahold of the railroad administration, federal; they told me there was basically nothing they could do about it. Anything done to quiet the zone has to be done by the city and/or town. And my understanding was – I’ve been investigating a little further – there is some funds available through the State of Indiana for this noise pollution. Or what it is, is putting a barrier so you can’t go around and just a sign. That’s what we did in Dyer.

And you go down Schererville, all over – you go to Schererville behind Home Depot, nothing there; and they got a quiet zone. You got Highland, 45th Street, they got quiet zone. No matter where you go in these towns, they have quiet zones to help the people get rid of the noise and enjoy their neighborhood free of, uh, noise pollution. That’s why I wrote this letter. All you guys got a copy of it. I hope you guys take in consideration what we could do about it.

You guys need any help, I was involved in Dyer when we did it. I’d be more than glad to, you know, participate. But we need some kind of progress made to eliminate the pollution, noise pollution in – of the city of St. John, especially now with new subdivisions and that built. If we don’t help ourselves, those kids coming here, they might turn around, just leave. They might not want to listen to this noise.

Thank you. You got the letter. And I appreciate it for the time you guys give me.

(A copy of the referenced letter is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. TC 2018-09-07-1.)

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Gentlemen, as I drive past the – the Shops 96 area, I notice that the car wash, that the old car wash has a for sale sign in front of it. And I’m just wondering if Mr. Boyer actually owns that yet. Uh, I know he’s under contract with the Town for that property, um, so that’s a concern of mine.

Also, as I look at that parcel, some of the questions that came up before keep popping up. Referring to building the road over a wetland, uh, whether it’s been there forever or – or if it’s – but something that’s been created recently. It’s still questionable whether a road can be placed on that ground, um, effectively. And I’m wondering if we’ve done any soil borings or had any samples analyzed there. I mean the Town’s financially responsible for that. And for that, I would be concerned if this was my money or if it was your money that was invested, I’m sure you would have done soil bore ‘em – soil borings and had tample – samples tested, um, before you would have actually invested.

And while we’re talking about testing, I’m wondering, uh, as I read the report from INDOT, um, INDOT stated that there is a fuel tank buried on the Standard Oil property. And I’m wondering if that’s been removed yet, or if we’ve actually know where that’s at if it has to be removed before we can build there. And – and if so, have we tested the soil there to see if it’s going to need to be remediated? Because that can be expensive. What’s that going to cost? And so I’m just wondering if all these things have been done. And if not, they probably should have been done before we actually signed an agreement. Um, so I – I wonder if we’ve actually done our job very well, uh, in this process. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): Two brief topics: Number one, last month, I believe you, said you would have something for us tonight on the town attorney, what the update is on us getting a town attorney. And I think you said last month that you’d have it settled by this meeting, and we didn’t see anything.

And the second point is, uh, the Road Impact Fee. When are we going to get moving on that? It’s costing us tens of thousands of dollars a month because we’re missing out. And I see you sitting there. And that’s fine to shake your head, but when are we going to get moving? That impact has been going on for almost two years. And Steve and I went through the whole thing, and we still have got nothing. So don’t you think it’s time we kicked it in gear? Thank you.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): I live in St. John almost 42 years. I never had trouble going to the Clerk’s office or to the police station to pick up forms. We used to have when Chief Guzik was the chief, we used to go pick up a form right from the shelf outside the window. We file a complaint or things like that. Or we used to go to the Clerk’s office; and when Sherry was, I never had trouble.

When this lady became Clerk, I went and asked for a form to request some information. She sends Turturillo, which is al – already named on a lawsuit by the Town, and also Mary – Maryann or Marilyn. What’s her name, the lady in red? (Ms. Hernandez said, “Marilyn”.) Okay. Marilyn. She came out, and in a previous instance, Marilyn was big mouth with me. And when she came that day, I said, “I don’t want to talk to you,” because I try to avoid arguments.

Turturillo comes out of her office. Mary – Marilyn comes out of the office. She start mouthing to me. I say, “Ma’am, I don’t want to talk to you. I just asked for a form.” Pretty soon I see Turturillo calling up. The Chief comes with two police officers, you know. I never had that thing happen in 42 years. But she is an extension of her father, Mike Fryzel. We don’t’ need these kind of people in our town.

Afterwards, the Chief told me, he say’s “Adrian, every time you walk in there, they are afraid of you.” That’s what they make. They are afraid of me. Did I kick – killed anybody? Did I hit anybody with a brick in their head or something? No. I kept my patience despite the fact that I was put in jail time after time after time. I serve three years in US Army, sergeant E5. I went for (inaudible) that I lied, that I didn’t give him the tort notices that I paid.

And that you became also a friend of Frego, Fryzel, and Steve Kil. And when we have a Town Manager removing signs, what would have happened if would or you would have done, or whatever it is? We would have went to jail. So I demand that you go out, you go out, you, and you, and also Turturillo. That’s it. Thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): My first item on my list is who authorized the attorneys to proceed with eminent domain against the people on Joliet Street? That wasn’t done in a public meeting. I see where we have Austgen and Muenich. There’s some court dates coming up. Um, the attorney fees are mounting. Somebody who authorized them to proceed with those proceedings of condemnation to people who had their political action signs stolen that they put their PAC together back in 2015 to try and change the complex of – of this board here.

I would like Mr. Volk to contact the FBI and see if that’s a civil – Civil Rights violation of going forward now to taking the property of those people that formed the PAC over there. (Mr. Jorgensen informed Mr. Hero the Sheriff is here.) No. This is not a sheriff’s issue. This is a Federal Civil Rights issue, mister. Would you just let me finish, please? We give you an opportunity to talk.

Basically, they wanted to change the complex here. You show attorney on the list for publications. I see no attorney here. We’re paying these guys to do what? The idea was they’re supposed to close things down. This has been dragging out where you haven’t had an attorney at your Plan Commission meetings, here at the Council. And yet, we got somebody authorizing construction projects, turn-a-rounds even on Parrish.

Where were the bid openings in public? I haven’t seen those. Okay. And it’s like with the garbage bid openings, I don’t believe Mr. Kil should be the one to open those things. I think it’s the Clerk-Treasurer’s job. That’s the way it always was in the previous years.

He has no authority because he’s writing the request for proposals, or his department is. There’s no check and balance. In order to have fair bidding, we need the Clerk-Treasurer to take possession of those – take possession of those and do that. I think there’s a lot of irregularities going on here in town. And I’d like Mr. Volk to be the champion for those homeowners down there. Contact the FBI; see if there’s a Civil Rights violation in doing all this to them. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign the list. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. Ordinance No. 1672, an Ordinance for the 2019 Municipal Budget
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Ordinance No. 1672. It’s an ordinance related to the 2019 Municipal Budget.

Mr. Kil advised that the first item under Public Hearing is the Proofs of Publication, which is a misnomer and deferred to Ms. Hernandez.

Ms. Hernandez advised that we only have to upload to the Gateway within ten days, so our Notice to Taxpayers will show that we uploaded on September 14, 2018, at 11:41 a.m., well within the notice time.

Ms. Hernandez put together a brief PowerPoint Presentation for the 2019 Budget.

(A PDF copy of the PowerPoint is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. TC 2018-09-07-2.)

The first page is the Estimate of Revenue listing all the revenue sources and amounts. The grand total of estimated revenue is $10,821,353 on an 18-month cycle. The next four pages show the budget for 2018, 2019, and has a column showing any increases or decreases.

The second page has the numbers for Town Hall. There is an overall increase; however, the Town Council had a decrease. The reason is that in the past the Town Council took care of all the building maintenance, insurance, etc.; for 2019, each department will be responsible for the cost of their own costs, shifting the budget.

The next page is the Public Safety Building, which is the Police Department and Fire Department. The Police Department pulls from four funds; LECE is their training fund. They has an increase of $352,652.

The Fire Department has and increase of $208,796. Part of the Ambulance Cap increase is due to the intended purchase of a new ambulance to replace one that is 17 years old at a cost of approximately $221,000 to $245,000. Chief Willman is working on cost-saving measures.

The next page is the Parks Department. There is a slight increase of $10,340.

The next page is Public Works which pulls from MVH, Motor Vehicle Highway, and LRS, Local Roads and Streets. The MVH is now required to have restricted and unrestricted funds. The restricted amount is 50 percent of the tax draw and must be used towards construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of our roads.

The LRS dropped to $250,000, which has been typically what has been spent on salt. CCD is also listed for Public Works. Due to the unrestricted amount in the MVH, we may need to lean on CCD a bit. We are hopeful to get a plow truck, which is needed, using CCD funding at the cost of approximately $160,000.

The last page contains the bonds and leases. It shows the payments that will be paid out in 2019 and the years that the bonds or leases expire.

GO Bond is the 2010 Road Bond
Waterworks Bonds are essentially treatment plants
Sewage Works was a refinance of a previous bond
Sewage Revenue was the Schererville Clarifier and Capacity Project
Redevelopment Lease was the 20 percent paving of the roads throughout town
Fire Truck Lease was from 2017

Mr. Kil stated that these bonds and leases are annual payments. Our outstanding debt is approximately $21 million all totaled. The last sheet just shows a breakdown of the outstanding debt. The budget does include a 3 percent employee raise across the board. The budget includes the addition of a public safety employee, not specific to either public safety department.

A new plow and new route will need to be put into effect due to the addition of roads and subdivisions. We may be looking into a new leaf vacuum. Chief Kveton always needs squad cars. Chief Willman will be asking for an ambulance, which was already approved; and he has been trying to cut costs by purchasing monitors and cots ahead of time, which can add up to significant savings.

The Ambulance Cap account is a revenue estimate account. Every time someone uses an ambulance for transport, a percentage of the bill automatically goes into that Capital account; so when a new ambulance is needed, we have the funds to pay for it. The fund was established years ago.

Mr. Barenie stated he likes the comparative data and the difference between the two years showing. He asked if next year that could also include the percentage of the increase or decrease. Ms. Hernandez stated that she can include that next year. Mr. Barenie requested that the percentages be shown on the Estimate of Revenues for each category also. Ms. Hernandez agreed to do that as well.

Mr. Barenie asked if the large increase is due to the officers. Chief Kveton responded that it is for payroll. He further asked what the increase is for the Fire Department. Mr. Kil stated that it is payroll and pension. Ms. Hernandez stated that she included funds for an additional employee in both the Police Department’s and Fire Department’s budgets in the General Fund. The Public Safety Fund picks up 10 percent of all public safety officers’ and firefighters’ salaries.

Ms. Hernandez explained that in the actual Budget, the items in red are fixed amounts that were filled in for the departments, and the items in black were input from each department. She further explained briefly the methodology used to arrive at the fixed amounts.

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Um, as I look at the budget, I see the General Fund went from $5.2 to $5.7 million. Um, and then you, kind of, laid out where most of that seems like it’s in Fire and Police out of the General Fund. Um, so I guess if that’s where all that – that 10 percent is, then I guess you did a pretty good job on the budget this year. I – I do have a question, though, because I looked and I reviewed 2018. I see $495,000 in the Rainy Day Fund, and in 2019, I see nothing in there. And I’m wondering if that moved or if it’s been funded somewhere else or actually how we’re funding that Rainy Day Fund this year.

(Multiple members of the Town Council and staff explained that was for the Community Crossing Grant. The fund was set up for the matching funds.)

Okay. But it was on last year’s budget as a budgeted line item.

(Ms. Hernandez responded that we don’t have a budget next year or in 2019 for the Community Crossing Grant. Mr. Forbes explained that if we do another project, we have to put the money in that fund.)

You can’t put the money in there prior to requesting the funds from the State for the Community Crossing? I mean, typically don’t the funds have to be there in order to match them?

(Mr. Kil responded that they don’t have to be in the Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Fund, which is the Community Crossing Grant. They can be transferred from the Rainy Day, or from whichever fund, into the Local Road and Bridge account. Mr. Kil stated that the call for 2019 will likely be in February, and the Town Council will decide if we want to do a Community Crossing Grant Project.)

And the reason you used that in the past was just because you could.

(Mr. Kil explained that the funds can be moved from one fund to another fund, but ultimately it needs to be in the Local Road and Bridge Fund.)

Okay. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I just wanted to follow up on what Gerry was saying, and that is what kind of money would you anticipate, Steve, to ask for, for the State? You asked for $1 million last year. They didn’t have enough to give us a million, they gave $675,000. What do we have in your crystal ball to possibly ask for next year?

(Mr. Kil asked if what he is really asking is what will be recommended to the Town Council.)

Well, basically, what funds are out there that you could pick and choose and go, “I’ll take $500 from here and $200 from here.” Are you going to ask for, how much?

(Mr. Kil responded that it depends on what project we are going to go with. He will have a list of three projects from the engineer to present to the Town Council. As far as the money, we typically use about $600,000 a year out of various funds.)

Where you gentlemen get the money from, as long as you’re moving it around, that’s not a problem.

(Mr. Kil advised that we may need to use/spend-down cash if there is a gap between what the State will give, the matching funds, and the cost of the project.)

I guess the basic question it comes back to that people are interested in: What are you going to ask for? You don’t know yet.

(Mr. Kil stated that it isn’t quite ready yet, but Mr. Cobb is working on it.)

All right.

(Ms. Hernandez stated that the $306,000 from MVH would come right off of the top.)

Tom Prada (9535 Joliet Street): I just have a quick question. What happened to the Community Crossing funds from 2017? What were they used for?

(Mr. Kil responded that we only have the one Community Crossing Project.)

Why didn’t we get it in 2017? It was available to everybody else. Everybody else around us got.

(Mr. Kil responded that nobody did any work.)

Yeah because Mike said he was looking into it two months after the day that was the cutoff. So that’s why we didn’t get it.

(Mr. Kil stated that we didn’t have a shovel-ready project, which is why we didn’t get it.)

Yeah.

(Mr. Kil added that you have to have a shovel-ready project in order to be eligible to receive the money.)

Oh, seriously?

(Mr. Forbes stated that yes, it has to be shovel ready.)

Rit – Rita – you couldn’t get something shovel ready when Rita’s been asking for sidewalks for twenty years? That doesn’t seem like something to get a real – would take a long time to get that ready.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): I think you real proper to avoid any altercation with the Clerk’s Office or with the Police Department. Like when Guzik was a chief, we used to have a, how you call it, a tray with forms. We go pick it up. No questions asked. The same thing with the Clerk’s Office. We go to the Clerk’s Office. You should have forms. We pick them up. We fill them out. We bring them to you within the –

(Ms. Hernandez asked if he is referring to budget forms.)

Yes. That way we avoid what I went through. The Chief tells me that he was going to charge me with disorderly conduct which was your disorderly conduct.

Mr. Jorgensen intervened as Mr. Bugariu was off the topic and asked if there was anybody else wishing to speak on the matter of the 2019 Budget.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): You could look at how all the money is put in little pockets. I would like the Clerk-Treasurer to ask the State Board of Accounts to go back and audit how we spent the bond money on roads, if we had to get more competitive bids after a certain number of time. I would like her to also ask the State Board of Accounts to audit how we paid out these garbage contracts with continuous extensions over the past. My understanding is there is a certain time limit where you have to rebid things. Where we keep going back for more years, I would like you to go back and look at how those contracts were let and if they were legally extended or not, both for the garbage pickup and for the blacktopping in town with that – I think it was a $5 million bond issue before we go out for new competitive bids.

I think we – we need to have an audit on how that was done. It’s no reflection on your office. But you’re very efficient. I think you’re capable of doing that. And the third thing is ask the State Board of Accounts how the bidding should be done and if, in fact, you should be the one opening those bids. And also, have the State Board of Accounts give you what the Town Manager is authorized to spend, notwithstanding what our ordinances are and that sort of thing, and what he’s authorized to control as far as the spending without that coming to the public hearings. Because, it’s all how you spend the money. You’re pretty limited in how you get it unless you’re going for a grant. It’s how you spend the money and who’s authorized to spend it and how come it’s not done in the public light. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that there are three motions to consider for action, 1672A, 1672B, and 1672C and asked for any questions or comments on the same. Hearing none, he entertained a motion for all three on first reading.

Motion to approve Ordinance Nos. 1672A, 1672B, and 1672C on first reading by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Resolution No. 2018-09-27 – A Resolution Authorizing a Transfer of Appropriations
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution No 2018-09-27, a resolution authorizing the transfer of appropriations.

Ms. Hernandez stated that we are trying to take care of all the transfers on a monthly basis.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-09-27 by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Consider Contract Renewal with the St. John Volunteer Fire Department for the Purpose of Maintenance and Upkeep of the Training Site
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider contract renewal with the St. John Volunteer Fire Department for the purpose of maintenance and upkeep of the Training Site.

Mr. Kil stated that the contract that the Town Council entered into with the Fire Department for the Training Site has expired, and the Chief would like to know if you are interested in authorizing a new contract for $15,000 a year for the maintenance upkeep of the Training Site.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the contract by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Ordinance No. 1673 – An Ordinance Setting Forth Certain Policies and Parameters for the Extension of Municipal Utilities Outside the Corporate Limits of St. John
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Ordinance No. 1673, which is an Ordinance that sets forth certain policies and parameters for the extension of municipal utilities outside the corporate limits of St. John.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this ordinance. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1673.

Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1673 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1673.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1673 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Barenie stated that he would like Mr. Kil to speak with one of his neighbors regarding the 911 call. His neighbor called 911 and was told that his house was not on record, and he would like him to look into that. Chief Kveton asked Mr. Barenie to get him the address and he would handle it.

Mr. Jorgensen addressed the issue raised regarding a Town Attorney. He had hoped to have it resolved before the Town Council meeting; however, it is still a work in progress. By not having an attorney here and at the other meetings, the Town is actually saving money.

While there is money flowing out, there is a tremendous amount of work that is being done. The Councilmen are all cognizant of the work as they approve any and all work being done by the attorneys.

CLERK-TREASURER
None were had.
STAFF
Chief Willman reported that during the month of August 2018 the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 137 requests for assistance. There were 119 calls in District 1, 12 calls in District 2, and 6 calls in District 3. Mutual Aid included Schererville for Fire and EMS; Lake Hills for Fire and EMS; and Crete, Illinois for Fire and EMS.

August was an unusual month for our department: 97 percent, 132 of our 137 responses, were within the assigned protection area of St. John Fire and EMS. We only traveled away from our protection area for five calls; and four of them were EMS oriented.

The Monday night activities for the department started off with our regular monthly Business Meeting on August 6th. The next three Monday evenings, the 13th, 20th, and the 27th, we committed many hours of instruction and orientation to help out members become familiar with the new reporting system before we put it in place on September 1st. The full-time staff are more in touch with the new systems because they use them in a more routine manner. They are now able to help each other. The part-timers are paid-on-call members who are not available to respond as often.

We also spent what time was left working with, and reviewing proper skills, associated with patient handling. Unfortunately many first responders, fire, EMS personnel, and many times Police Officers who are out there with us, suffer serious injuries from patient handling challenges. We reviewed the power cots, the one PowerLOAD system that we are fortunate enough to have at this time, the stair chairs, the manual patient carrier, the small portable carriers that we can use when we need to perform lift-assists in an attempt to convince our staff to do whatever they can to avoid the injuries that are constantly inherent with patient handling.

Thank you; and thank you for your support with the contract. It is truly appreciated by him and his men.

Chief Kveton reported from August 1, 2018, through August 31, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 20,802 miles and responded to 656 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 25 arrests with 48 charges being filed.

There were 500 traffic citations issued, along with 374 written warnings, for a total of 874 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $41,000; other thefts totaled $6,721; and $43,421 worth of property was recovered.

Chief also reported that he and Mr. Kil have been collaborating with Schererville’s Town Manager along with the St. John and Schererville Public Works departments to establish a quiet zone corridor between Schererville and St. John covering all crossings from Joliet Street all the way up to 77th Street. It is an ongoing project with many steps involved.

The Federal Railroad Administration has been involved. A letter of intent was sent out several months ago, and they have identified a contractor that will be installing the quick curb (lane delineators) at two of the crossings. Insurance approval by the Federal Railroad Administration is pending so that the contractor can install those. They have been asked twice to redo their insurance, but once that is done and the quick curb is installed, that corridor will be quiet.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that is great news. It is something that the Town is working on.

Mr. Forbes thanked them for staying on top of the matter.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills for APVs of $2,219,630.79. Ms. Hernandez stated it is a little larger than usual as there are three payrolls on the docket along with the purchase of the property on Parrish Avenue.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays and 1 present by Mr. Forbes.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

09-27-2018 Town Council Exhibit.pdf
10-25-2018 Town Council

October 25, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on October 25, 2018, at 7:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez. The following Board Members were present: Michael Forbes, Stephen Hastings, Gregory Volk, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the September 27, 2018 meeting and asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes.

Motion to approve the October 25, 2018 Minutes by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Public Comment and opened the floor for the same.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): All I’m here for tonight, gentlemen, is to ask for an update on what the status is on our Town Attorney. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak that did not sign the list. Hearing none, he closed Public Comment.

PRESENTATION:

St. John Youth Baseball
Joe Bonato, President and Eric Valiska, Vice President of St. John Youth Baseball, and Brian Gill, Vice President of St. John Softball made a follow-up presentation to the board. They summarized the presentation of the September meeting which included a recap of the number of children playing baseball and softball as well as the special events they have and are striving to have. They are out of room and need more field space; and they are requesting help from the Town.

Mr. Bonato stated that after the last meeting, Jonathan Lotton reached out to him in regards to a potential parcel of land that they would be willing to donate for a new complex.

Mr. Lotton stated that they have land that they either own or have under contract that is located north of Barman’s farm and east of Cline Avenue, extending up to Joliet Street. The property the baseball fields are drawn on is roughly 20 acres. Mr. Lotton advised that they would donate the 20 acres of land and build the detention for the facility off site on their property in exchange for an Annexation Agreement and Zoning Commitment for R-2 and R-3 PUD from the Town for a proposed subdivision east of Cline Avenue.

Mr. Bonato discussed a concept plan for the new complex including indoor cages and pitching lanes that would be a great fund-raising opportunity for the league. The boys’ baseball would move to the new complex, and the complex at Heartland would be for the girls’ softball.

The estimated total cost of installing the new complex is $4,945,600, which includes development management fees assessed at the standard rate of 10 percent of the base construction cost. The cost estimates are for state of the art fields, best lighting, all the safety nets, et al. Many of the costs are physical quotes, but some are estimated.

Mr. Forbes asked, for clarification purposes, if a new facility is built, the boys will move to the new facility and the girls will take over the existing fields at Heartland. Mr. Bonato responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kil asked what that does for the number of fields for each league. Mr. Bonato responded that the boys would give the four fields plus the T-ball field at Heartland to the girls; they would gain six fields at the new complex, plus they still have Civic Park, Rookie, and the land Mrs. Keilman lets them use. Mr. Kil asked if that would fulfill the needs of both leagues. Mr. Bonato responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Forbes requested that the PowerPoint be sent to Mr. Kil so that it can be forwarded to the Council members. Mr. Forbes advised them to reduce their request to a proper written proposal and submit the same to the Town Council for review.

Mr. Kil asked how many parking spots there will be. Mr. Lotton responded that they are over the minimum requirement of 500 parking spaces, but he did not know the exact number of spaces.

Mr. Bonato asked what the Town Council can do for them at this time. Mr. Jorgensen advised that it should be reduced to writing and submitted for review. Mr. Forbes stated that the submission of the written proposal is the next step at this juncture.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider bid award for the Town’s Refuse and Recycling Contract
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider bid award for the Town’s Refuse and Recycling Contract.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that there were three bidders: GMI, Homewood Disposal, and Republic Services. By virtue of GMI and Homewood Disposal submitting non-conforming bids, Republic Services is the only bidder whose bid is conforming, responsive, and acceptable for consideration.

Mr. Kil gave an abstract of the multiple-option bid that Republic Services offered. The first base-bid option is $20.87 per month for refuse and recycle pick up on Mondays, which is the same as the present services with the exception that everyone gets a 96-gallon recycling bin.

An alternate bid that is offered is an escalating scale starting at $16.70 per household, per month; plus there is a recycling process charge of $1.30 per household, per month based on current market conditions. The recycling processing fee is a fluctuating fee that is subject to change on a per annum basis that can go up or down dependent upon the market cost. The alternate bid includes weekly refuse pick up and every other week recycling pick up.

Mr. Kil summarized that the cost for the next year would be the same as we are paying now. The only change would be that recycling would only be picked up every other week.

Mr. James Metros with Republic Services explained that the $1.30 fee was put into place based on recycling being negative $57.50 per ton. The month after the presentation, it went to negative $47.50 per ton. The month after that, it dropped to a negative $42.50 per ton. They do the rate on a per annum basis because the State Board of Accounts is not a fan of “moving numbers.”

Mr. Kil asked who determines the market fluctuation. Mr. Rosenbaum stated that it is done by Diversified Recycling, a third-party company, and they receive an update every month. Mr. Rosenbaum further stated that the Town would be provided a monthly market update.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there are any other companies that can provide the market information. Mr. Rosenbaum responded that, for the local market, the closest is Diversified Recycling. Otherwise, you would have to go to downtown Chicago for resources, which is more difficult.

Mr. Forbes stated that he’s been uncomfortable with the process since the new bids went out. He did not vote to accept the bids as they were opened. The bids were redone and sent out without an opportunity to review them. They were posted before he could review them, which is why he did not communicate on the matter. Mr. Forbes would like to dismiss the bids, rebid, and request Republic Services to extend their contract with us for another year, so that there can be a more open discussion on it.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he doesn’t know what impropriety Mr. Forbes is referring to or why he didn’t have an opportunity to review them. Mr. Forbes responded that Mr. Jorgensen sent the bids out without letting anybody see them. Mr. Jorgensen disagreed with Mr. Forbes and stated that it is not an accurate statement.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further comments or a motion.

Mr. Forbes asked if Republic Services would be willing to extend their contract with the Town another year. Mr. Metros responded in the affirmative and stated that they are honored to be able to serve the citizens of St. John. They would love to have a new contract tonight, but they are willing to work with the Town. However, they would have to put together a proposal to recapture the true cost of the recycling.

Mr. Kil asked what the cost per household, per month fee would be if we were to extend the current contract. Mr. Rosenbaum stated that the recycling processing fee would have to be calculated and added in.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Metros and Mr. Rosenbaum if either of them had the authority to lock Republic Services into a contract duration or amount. They responded in the negative.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further discussion or a motion.

Motion to approve Republic Services’ Alternate Bid No. 1 by Mr. Volk. Seconded Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 3 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Forbes.

B. Ordinance No. 1672 – 2019 Municipal Budget
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Ordinance No. 1672, an Ordinance setting forth the 2019 Municipal Budget.

Mr. Kil stated that this was presented with a PowerPoint by Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer, at last month’s Town Council meeting. Mr. Kil advised that nothing has changed.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1672.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1672 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Resolution No. 2018-10-25 – St. John Firefighters PERF
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the adoption of Resolution No. 2018-10-25, a resolution for St. John Firefighters PERF.

Mr. Kil stated that this is pursuant to the previous action taken by the Town Council authorizing the retroactive participation in the 1977 Plan PERF. The action the Council took in July to revise the pension program requires a bit more action, and we have to pass this Resolution for PERF to solidify the direction given previously by the Town Council.

Mr. Forbes asked Ms. Hernandez if everything is all set for this. Ms. Hernandez responded in the affirmative. She stated that we are waiting for the new actuarial study to come in, and the firefighters are currently working on their medical component. Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10-25.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10-25 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

D. Ordinance No. 1674 – An Ordinance Creating an Illiana Christian Sewer Recapture Fund No. 832
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Ordinance No. 1674, an Ordinance creating Illiana Sewer Recapture Fund No. 832.

Mr. Kil advised that it is simply an ordinance creating a fund. In the event that somebody develops in that recapture area, those monies would be collected by Building and Planning on each permit. This ordinance creates a fund for the Clerk’s Office to receive and/or disperse those monies.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1674 on first reading.

Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1674 on first reading by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1674.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1674 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

E. Resolution No. 2018-10-25A – Transfer of Appropriations
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the adoption of Resolution No. 2018-10-25A, a resolution authorizing a Transfer of Appropriations.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that this was a request of Ms. Hernandez and is a simple transfer of funds from one line item to another. Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10-25A.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-10-25A by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Kil wanted to remind everyone that the November and December meetings will not be on the fourth Thursday of the month as it normally is due to the holidays. The November meeting will be held on November 29, 2018, and the December meeting will be on December 27, 2018.

Mr. Kil reported that Parrish Avenue and Joliet Street will be open tomorrow, October 26, 2018. The barricades on US 41 will be taken down on October 26, 2018 as well. The traffic signals on Calumet Avenue at Greystone and 101st Avenue are functional. We are now officially done with our roadwork for this year.

Mr. Kil requested that the Town Council consider a 2019 Community Crossing Grant project; the call is in February. He stated that he had distributed information to them regarding potential projects based on Denny Cobb’s recommendations.

Mr. Kil advised that some employees were asking about Christmas Eve as a holiday for planning purposes and asked that the Town Council take action on the employees’ request at this meeting, if they are so inclined.

Motion authorizing Christmas Eve as a holiday for the employees by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez reported that Christmas in the Park is coming up. Opening night is Friday, November 23, 2018. She hopes everyone can make it out as it is always a good event. Ms. Hernandez advised that she would not be at the November meeting and that Katie Minchuk will be representing her at that meeting.
STAFF
Chief Kveton reported from September 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 21,697 miles and responded to 677 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 33 arrests with 66 charges being filed. There were 391 traffic citations issued, along with 250 written warnings, for a total of 641 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled zero, other thefts totaled $18,865, and recovered property totaled $401.

Chief Willman reported that during the month of September 2018 the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 137 requests for assistance. There were 101 calls in District 1, which is in town; 23 calls in District 2, which is in the unincorporated area; and 13 calls in District 3, which is all other locations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid included Schererville, Fire and EMS; Lake Hills, Fire and EMS; Crown Point, Fire and Rescue; and Griffith Fire Department, for the first time.

The Monday night activities for the department included: The first Monday was Labor Day. They took the evening off in recognition of the holiday. The second Monday was the Monthly Business meeting.

September 17, 2018 was the annual Motor-Vehicle Extrication training. For the past several years, they have been going directly to Stan’s Auto Yard with the Rescue Truck and equipment. This year, Stan’s brought a vehicle down to the Training Site for the firefighters to work with. It was easier to work later into the evening under the lights at the Training Site. The St. John Fire Department is extremely fortunate to be able to share such a strong working relationship with the staff at Stan’s; both with their trainings and at critical incidents when responding to emergencies.

September 24, 2018 was the EMS In-Service for the month. The full-time and part-time paramedics put together some scenarios to challenge their skills and ability to make decisions under pressure. It is important to be able to create incidents that develop skills during training, rather than under life-or-death situations when they respond.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills for APVs of $2,253,596.10. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Volk. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries by 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 present by Mr. Forbes.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

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

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

11-29-2018 Town Council

November 29, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton  
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called to order the Town Council Regular Meeting on November 29, 2018, at 7:24 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Hrnjak. The following Board Members were present: Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, Stephen Hastings, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Chief Kveton; and Marilyn Hrnjak, Deputy Clerk-Treasurer on behalf of Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Gregory Volk and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the October 25, 2018 meeting and asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes.

Motion to approve the October 25, 2018 Minutes by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays and 1 abstention by Mr. Barenie as he was absent from the October meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for Public Comment.

Joe Bonato (14285 West 96th Avenue): First off, I just want to introduce myself again, I’m Joe Bonato. I’m here representing St. John Baseball. Um, we’ve been here the past several months, gone over the needs of St. John Baseball and Softball in the past two meetings, um, and we have come up with a solution that I believe helps both groups. A developer is onboard and willing to donate the property in exchange for zoning. Uh, at this point, we’re at a point where direction is needed for myself and Oscar Martinez is – who is here, also, representing St. John Girls Softball.

We’re asking – basically, we need direction from, the Town Council, on how to proceed with this moving forward. Um, the need is there, as the town has grown. We’re busting at the seams as I’ve told you guys. I’m not here with a PowerPoint. I’m going to spare everybody the PowerPoint, but, uh, we’ve simply – something has to give. Um, and before I do close, I do want to thank everyone for coming out tonight in support of this from girls – from girls’, uh, softball and baseball.

I get it, you guys. It’s 7:00-7:30 at night; and, um, they’re probably tired of hearing my emails and talking to me, so I appreciate them on behalf of that and you guys, once again, listening to me. Um, but like I said, and I want to appreciate, uh, Oscar coming out; and we’re just at a point where we need direction from you guys to give us a decision and tell us how to move forward with this and how to proceed.

(Oscar Martinez asked for the floor, and Mr. Jorgensen honored his request.)

Oscar Martinez (9216 Lee Place): Excellent. Thank you. Um, so I’m getting phone calls already from new residents moving in saying, “We’re from out of town; we just moved in. We hear a lot about your softball program,” or baseball program, and I’ll direct them to Joe here. Uh, we’re getting a lot of people moving into this area, a lot of young families. Uh, we anticipate being over 400.

We start our registration in January, so we’re getting tons of phone calls already of new residents moving in here on when signups are, uh, what the rules are, what, you know, where our fields are at. And, uh, we’re – we’re growing. I mean, right next door to me, the subdivision off of 93rd and Cline, they’re already breaking ground. Uh, homes are being built like crazy here.

And like I said before, it’s our duty as – as leaders and residents to provide a – a – programs for our children. Uh, it’s great to see all the kids here. Uh, probably past their bedtime for some of them. Uh, I think that maybe some don’t even understand what – why they’re really here. Uh, they just know that this is about baseball or softball, something that they love to do. And I think it’s our duty as a – as a – as leaders of the community, as residents to make sure that we provide for our children, uh, you know, the physical, uh, needs and the mental needs of sports. Uh, we all know that, uh, it reduces juvenile delinquency.

It keeps our children busy. It teaches them, uh, sportsmanship. It brings families together. Uh, it builds self-esteem. It’s important, and we all know that, in any community that’s going to be thriving, that we need to provide that for our children. So, you know, it’s not that we have to start looking forward and coming up with the solution, we need it now.

We need to start doing something now because we are growing so fast as a community. Again, we look at being over 400 in signups. At fall, it’s going to be over 500. It’s very, very difficult – I don’t want to have to turn away some of these kids here when they sign up and say we – we just can’t take you. So I think it’s our duty to make sure that we provide a – a – programs and – and opportunities for our kids here, and, uh, it starts right here. So thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Bonato if he was finished.

Joe Bonato: No, like I said, all we’re here, again, guys, representing both leagues. Our – our league is going to be in the same spot. We’ll be over, well over 500-550 kids within our in-house, travel, all kids from St. John; and we need an – I mean, we need direction, so that’s what we’re here for. I appreciate your guys’ time. Thank you so much.

Mr. Forbes asked for the floor to address this, which he had intended to address under Town Council. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council has been getting numerous emails about this, and he would like to see the information sent to the Council by Mr. Lotton be reduced to an agreement that the Council can take action on at the December Town Council Meeting.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he believes this needs to go through Public Hearing first and doesn’t know if it can be done in time.

Mr. Kil advised that there is really no need for a Public Hearing. The Council needs to decide how to proceed. Some of the property needs to be annexed into the community, which we can’t do in 2019 due to the State law that prevents annexation in the year before a decennial census year. The Town Council can authorize a commencement of project development agreement by motion. The agreement of the parties could be reduced to a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, which would be drafted by our legal counsel.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that it would be a significant process; and if a motion were to be entertained tonight, it would be to authorize present or future legal counsel to begin the process of moving forward.

Mr. Forbes asked if the property the ballfield is to be located is in town already. Mr. Jorgensen responded that a part of the property is in town, but not all of it; so we have an annexation issue. Mr. Jorgensen stated that a motion to proceed and authorize counsel to move forward would be what we can do as a good-faith showing to the ball clubs.

Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to move forward with a Memorandum of Understanding and made a motion for the same.

Mr. Barenie asked if the ball fields are going to be ready for opening day 2019. Mr. Bonato replied potentially opening day 2020; the longer it is delayed, the more kids that get turned away.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that a Memorandum of Understanding is a letter of intent to move forward with working towards something. Anything done at this point is non-binding and doesn’t materialize a project from a legal standpoint.

Mr. Bonato asked what the timeframe is if a Memorandum of Understanding were to be done now. Mr. Jorgensen responded that it would be next year just to get the Memorandum of Understanding done; there is an annexation that can’t be done until 2020 because of the census; so it will be a significant period of time to get the project done.

Sheriff Martinez responded that the girls’ softball is good with that. Mr. Bonato stated that he would appreciate the wheels moving forward as well.

Mr. Barenie stated that he understands there is a developer interested in this project and supporting it; however, that is only about 10 percent of the overall project, which can be done with or without the developer. Mr. Barenie further stated that we shouldn’t limit ourselves.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he would entertain a motion at this time instead of waiting until Reports & Correspondence.

Motion to begin drafting a Memorandum of Understanding for the baseball fields consistent with the email we received that was provided here last month by Mr. Forbes.

Mr. Jorgensen suggested that we authorize the Town Attorney to begin drafting a development agreement consistent with what we’ve received and to enter into negotiations with the proposed developer and anyone else interested to move the program forward. Mr. Barenie stated that he would suggest adding a second option that this project can move forward without a developer. Mr. Forbes replied that it could add $2 million to the cost.

Discussion ensued regarding the verbiage of the motion.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to authorize the Town Attorney to begin moving forward with all necessary documentation and due diligence necessary to move the project forward. Motion by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Steven Rudzinski (9010 West 133rd Avenue, Cedar Lake): I am the pension board secretary for the St. John Police Department. (The following was read from a letter:) To the members of the St. John Town Council, we, the members of the Metropolitan Police Department are writing to inform you of our complete lack of trust in the leadership and integrity of Police Chief James Kveton. This represents the majority of the patrol officers on the department. Our names do not appear because of the fear of retaliation from administration.

Should the Town Council choose to speak to officers privately, with the assurance and promise that no personal – personnel changes, change of assignment, or other punitive actions shall result from Chief Kveton or the Police Commission, we would be willing to answer any questions. We are requesting that Chief Kveton be placed on leave during this period to avoid officers being intimidated by him and maintain the integrity of investigation. Officers are in total fear that their livelihoods will be attacked as the result of coming forward, and we trust in you that no malfeasance shall result for telling the truth.

We lack any confidence in James Kveton’s ability to lead the police department in his position as Chief of Police. We believe that, in his current role, he puts the reputation, operation, and the effectiveness of the police department in jeopardy. As you have been aware, Chief Kveton has been accused of, very least, conduct unbecoming the Chief of Police and potential battery on a law-enforcement officer with his battery of a St. John police officer this past year. This incident was properly reported; and months later, nothing has come of it. The supervisor who initiated the – initially took the report was forced to resign as a supervisor by Chief Kveton.

Officers have been intimidated by Chief Kveton to not come forward with this case or any other incidents. The police department has become a culture of fear of retaliation from Chief Kveton. If any officer speaks out or gives an opinion that is contrary to that of the Chief, punishment is expected. An officer either remains silent, becomes a follower, or speaks up and suffers the consequences. This has led to a hostile work environment within the police department with veteran officers considering early retirement.

(Mr. Jorgensen gave a 30-second warning to which Mr. Rudzinski replied, “Okay.”)

Traffic safety is no longer an issue. What he wants us to do is write tickets to cover his shortfall for his misspending of money, and he’s threatened people, don’t write town tickets. They can’t work secondary jobs. He’s threatened the people that they will be suspended.

Mr. Jorgensen informed Mr. Rudzinski that his allotted time is up.

Mr. Rudzinski asked for permission to approach the board and pass out copies to the Town Council. Mr. Jorgensen gave him permission to hand them to the Deputy Clerk-Treasurer to pass around.

David Delgado (9425 Grasselli Avenue): I really don’t know what to say after that. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Um, Mr. Rudzinski said a lot of what I was going to say; but I will say this: I wanted to thank you all for allowing me to speak. Uh, I will make a couple of points, though, that I think, maybe, he didn’t cover; and, possibly, uh, I may reiterate what he said; but I apologize if I do.

One, um, as to this allegation that the Chief of Police struck one of his officers in the line of duty, one, we can be fairly certain that this happened because the Chief allegedly admitted it to Investigator Pestikas in his investigation. (Folks in the audience stated that they could not hear.) Sorry. Can you hear me now?

Two, we know Town Council members and Council members elect present here today were not kept – were kept in the dark as to these issues. I know this because I spoke with them personally. Three, we know that changes to SOPs were not – I’m sorry. We know that changes to SOPs that were not known or approved by all Councilmen, which took oversight of investigations about the Chief of Police away from the Town Council and gave it to a subservient commission during the course of an investigation.

Four, it is clear that an invest – that investigatory information was regularly passed from Attorney Austgen, Mr. Jorgensen, Police Commission Investigator – I’m sorry – Police Commissioners, Investigator Pestikas, and Chief Kveton. This is obviously improper because the subject of an investigation should never be given information about the investigation. Two days ago, the Chief openly mocked – mocked this situation by joking and minimizing the issue with other police officers in the police station.

Finally, I’d like to ask once again, as I did in my video if you didn’t see it, that Chief Kveton resign from his position immediately, but if he does not have the integrity to do so, I would ask that you, as the Council suspend him, with pay, pending an – a proper investigation, preferably by the Indiana State Police. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): Um, after those two speeches, I – I hesitate to change the subject because – and I guess all I can say is I hope that these charges are taken seriously. Um, anytime there’s charges like that should be taken seriously; and I trust that you that you gentleman, um, are going to do your due diligence to investigate it properly. Uh, I – I did have another topic that I needed to bring up; and it – and – and it seems like this is one I’ve practiced because I did the same one, two years ago.

I read the Hammond Times in November 8 about the Community Crossing Grants, and it’s got Lake County for $1 million, Lowell for $1 million, Schererville for $1 million, Valparaiso $1 million, Winfield almost $1 million, and St. John has none. And I’m disappointed in that. You guys missed this again.

(Mr. Barenie asked what we missed.)

This is – this was Community Crossings money that was just granted, just granted for projects that should have been done this past year, and – and it’s obvious that – that you guys aren’t familiar with this project, but your Town Manager should be. This is not a new project.

(Mr. Kil stated that we did $2.4 million worth of Community Crossing Grant projects in 2018. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Swets where he is getting his information from.)

Right, and that was 2017 money; that was the 2017 awards.

(Mr. Kil stated that he has just sent the reporting to INDOT today.)

Yes, that’s for – you mean for your new project for 2019.

(Mr. Kil advised that new Community Crossing Grants cannot be applied for until the preceding project is closed out. There is a call in February of 2019.)

They – they have changed the rules. They’ve changed the rules in 2019. There will be two different bid processes, but you can only do one. You can do the January one, or you can do the August one. You can’t do both.

(Mr. Jorgensen responded that we haven’t missed anything.)

You have.

(Mr. Jorgensen said, “No, we haven’t.”)

This is the third time, and we’ve gotten money once. We got money one year, and this is the third year that this program – I mean, I’ve got it right here from the Times. I’ve got it right here from Community Crossings, from INDOT’s website. This is the third year. In fact, I asked you this the last time, and you said that we didn’t have a shovel ready project. And – and I thought that was a good reason. But when I’m looking at the report from INDOT – I’m sorry, the – the instructions from INDOT, it says the projects, this will be the last call. But the projects can be pre – procured, completed, or under construction while you apply for that past money. Now going 19 – 2019, it’s a different story; but we missed it again guys.

(Multiple Councilmen disagreed. Mr. Jorgensen stated that we didn’t miss it, that Mr. Swets is wrong, and that he hopes before Mr. Swets takes his seat, that he does a little bit more research.)

Okay. I will.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): I request the immediate resignation of Beth Hernandez, Marilyn, Forbes – (Mr. Jorgensen asked who “Merlin” is.) The person that is in Beth’s office that she sent out with Turturillo. Did I say it wrong? My accent, sorry about it – and also Steve Kil.

I never had trouble going to the – Sherry’s office when she was a Clerk. I went and I ask some information. Beth sends out Turturillo, which is no longer with us, I understand, and sends her (pointing to Marilyn Hrnjak) out. She gets sarcastically in the discussion with me. And I said, ma’am, I don’t want to talk to you because in a previous discussion, you acted the same way.

Turturillo calls the police. The Chief came with two police officers, you know, and then they told me – he told me – the Chief told me, says every time you walk in there, they are afraid of you. Afraid of what, an honest man? I never committed a crime in this town, but I’m the most arrested and terrorized person in 42 years that I live in this town. And I’ll no stop until something is done.

Secondly, Forbes denied the fact when he, before he became president, he denied the fact that he received tort notices, which were not presented to the Town Council when Fryzel and his, how he call it, whatever Jerri “Teibels” and, you know, whatever happened between them, you know. And they – she, Jerri “Teibels” took the tort notices and never presented to the Town Council. That’s a violation of federal laws. And you denied the fact that I gave you tort notices before you even became a president. Okay. You denied it that I gave it to you, and they were given to you.

And for you, when I went to your office after I went from Sherry’s office before Beth became a clerk, I went to you and I told you to fire who? You told me, putting your head like this, you go like this (demonstrating) and talk to the Town Councils. Remember, you go, I can’t fire him, he’s my boss. I didn’t make it to the end of the building. I’m arrested. The cop even puts his hands in my pocket, takes the keys. Eleven days in jail without seeing a judge and then sent to Mississippi so Mr. Fryzel, and who knows what, to break into my house.

Then when I came back, I file a legitimate lawsuit. I file a legitimate lawsuit, which Austgen with Philip Simon, the Judge in third superior court falsified the date. My lawsuit was filed on time, the last date. They falsified the date from August to October to drop the charges against Fryzel and these guys. They broke into my house and stole evidence that I had, pictures with him going into Bob Teibel’s. I just want these people out.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): It was sad to hear these police people say that, but I think they’re all familiar with due process; and I think the appropriate thing is what I heard is they – on that little, I’ll call it video or whatever that audio thing was that they were accusing Mr. Jorgensen, the Town Attorney, and the Chairman of the Police Commission of covering something up. I think the – the right way to do this is they should produce a probable cause affidavit – they’re familiar with doing that – and sign their name on it with penalty of perjury. And – and because there’s a lot of innuendo here, and you can’t prove anything, it’s just people speaking. So if they have the evidence, they should bring the evidence forward, put in a probable cause affidavit, and – and see what happens. Otherwise, they’re just – it doesn’t mean anything coming here and embarrassing the Chief.

The next item I have is we have the Boyer Development where you’re opening bids to proceed with that. And I don’t mean to offend you, Mr. Jorgensen, but I’d asked this question at the BZA meeting of any relatives of yours that are related to Thomas, who’s involved in Shops 96. I know there’s a Thomas that has a mortgage on your house, or had within the last year. I – I believe your wife’s maiden name was Thomas.

(Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is unrelated.)

They’re not related?

(Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Hero to move on.)

Well, they – I’m just asking.

(Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is fine.)

Because when I brought it up –

(Mr. Jorgensen reiterated it is fine.)

When I brought it up at the BZA, you shouted me down instead of just responding. That was a simple question I was asking.

(Mr. Jorgensen stated that it was not a problem and that he would let him know.)

Okay. All right. Those are all my comments, but I think we owe the Chief a due process thing instead of just slamming him here in public. Um, I think as civility requires that.

(Mr. Jorgensen informed Mr. Hero that he had thirty seconds left.)

That’s okay. Can you just quit interrupting me, and I’ll finish. You like to interrupt. So and basically, you should set up a procedure, require all these people bringing the charges, sign their name to the charge. You can’t do it in the vacuum of they said, he said, and it’s all there, but they don’t want to sign. Every one of them should sign a probable cause affidavit under penalty for perjury stating the facts like you do at policemen making arrest. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he rarely finds himself agreeing with a lot of what Mr. Hero says, but there were several allegations made against the Chief. The folks who made the allegations need to come forward, that is what defamation laws are all about.

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. Resolution No. 2018-11-29, a Resolution for Additional Appropriation
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution 2018-11-29, a Resolution for Additional Appropriation.

Ms. Hrnjak stated that she has all the documents that require signatures for the additional appropriations under Resolution No. 2018-11-29. Mr. Hrnjak reported that all of the Proofs of Publication are in order.

Mr. Kil stated that this is standard procedure, transfers are done, and we wait until the end of the year to do the appropriations. The $1.5 million for the Local Road & Bridge Grant matching fund is the Community Crossing Grant project.

Mr. Kil further stated that Ms. Hrnjak is correct that all the proofs of publication are in order and the Public Hearing can proceed.

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I think these monies should be earmarked by resolution, um, as – as they transfer and are – are used, or if they’re used to get other grants, that the end money be earmarked by resolution not to be used for the 96th, Avenue – Place extension to Joliet Street. I don’t’ think we should use any public monies for that even, uh, to get a grant to do that because I object to that whole project. So I’d like to ask this Council to pass a resolution to earmark any of the monies transferred or used for getting a grant not be used for that project. Thank you.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone else wishing to speak. Hearing none, he closed Public Hearing.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any comments or questions from the Council. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-11-29.

Motion by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

BID OPENING:

A. Bid Opening for New Emergency Medical Care Vehicle
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Bid Opening for a new emergency medical care vehicle, ambulance.

Mr. Kil advised that all bids are subject to review and verification and summarized the bids.

  1. Fire Service Inc., St. John, Indiana.
    1. Total base bid in the amount of $217,259.
  2. Robert Borgh – Horton Emergency Vehicles, Mishawaka, Indiana
    1. Total base bid in the amount of $224,249
    2. Alternate Vehicle bid in the amount of $210,249
  3. North Central Emergency Vehicles – Osage, Elkhart, Indiana.
    1. Total base bid in the amount of $228,380
    2. Discount of $1000 is offered for ground inspection and drive away by customer

Mr. Kil recommended that the Town Council take the bids under advisement so that they may be properly reviewed.

Motion to take the bids under advisement by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Special Exception Request for Crew Car Wash at 9301 Wicker Avenue
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider a Special Exception request for Crew Car Wash at 9301 Wicker Avenue. Mr. Jorgensen further advised that this was withdrawn by Mr. Boyer; however, the Town Council must take action on all Special Exception requests, even when they are withdrawn.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments from the Council. Hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to deny the Special Exception Request, incorporating the Findings of Fact from the BZA, by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Discussion, Consideration, and Appointment of the Town Attorney
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is discussion, consideration, and appointment of the Town Attorney.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the Town Council has done interviews with many attorneys which included: Mr. Sobkowski from Hodges & Davis, who has represented the mayor of Portage; Mr. Svetanoff from Kopka Pinkus Dolin, who previously represented the Town with Austgen and represented our Clerk-Treasurer; Mr. Corinth Bishop, who has not represented a town; Mr. Reed with Abrahamson, Reed & Bilse, who has represented some towns in the past; and Mr. Bushemi from Burke Costanza amp;& Carberry, whose firm represents Mr. Boyer which could cause issues with representation of the Town.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he feels Attorney Joe Svetanoff with Kopka Pinkus Dolin makes the most sense and asked the Council for any discussion.

Mr. Barenie stated that Mr. Austgen’s team has done a great job representing the Town. It is nice to know that there will be some continuity with that.

Mr. Barenie commented that, as the interviews took place, the attorneys who were interviewed were very forthcoming with any potential conflicts of interest that may exist or could arise and that Mr. Svetanoff’s firm represents Mr. Lotton.

Mr. Svetanoff responded that his firm represents Mr. Lotton and Mr. Phillippe on two matters that do not involve the Town, and it has been guaranteed to the Town that, if selected, they would not take on any new matters for Mr. Lotton or Mr. Phillippe and close out the existing two matters with them; hence, there will be no conflict.

Mr. Barenie stated that Kopka Pinkus Dolin had more experience than the other firms, has a great diversity of attorneys, and Mr. Svetanoff has been at every meeting since the interviews trying to get our business. Mr. Barenie commented that he supports choosing Kopka Pinkus Dolin and Mr. Svetanoff.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to hire Kopka Pinkus Dolin as legal counsel for the Town by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen congratulated Mr. Svetanoff.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Svetanoff could come up to the dais and take a seat now, if he would like. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Svetanoff if he is prepared. Mr. Svetanoff responded in the affirmative and joined the Council.

C. Ordinance No. 1675 – An Ordinance Establishing Salaries and Wages for Employees and Officials of the Town (2019 Salary Ordinance)
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Ordinance No. 1675, an Ordinance establishing salaries and wages for employees and officials of the Town, 2019 Salary Ordinance.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil if he had anything to say on the matter and that it is a 3 percent increase across the board. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative and stated that he had nothing further to add.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1675 on first reading.

Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1675 on first reading by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1675.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1675 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

D. Resolution No. 2018-11-29A – Transfer of Appropriation
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the adoption of Resolution No. 2018-11-29A, a resolution authorizing a Transfer of Appropriation.

Ms. Hrnjak stated that the proofs of publication are in place and that this is basic housekeeping, a transfer of funds from one pocket to another.

Mr. Kil noted that Ms. Hernandez has done a good job keeping up with these throughout the year, so there are only a few at this time; and it is standard procedure to transfer funds from one line item to another.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-11-29A by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

E. Consider Acceptance of Surety Bond for Walden Clearing – Phase 1
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is consider acceptance of a Surety Bond for Walden Clearing, Phase 1, in the amount of $2,481,612.90. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, He entertained a motion.

Motion to accept the Surety Bond for Walden Clearing, Phase 1, in the amount of $2,481,612.90 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

F. Consider Acceptance of Surety Bond for Morning Crest Subdivision
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider acceptance of a Surety Bond for Morning Crest subdivision in the amount of $14,170. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, He entertained a motion.

Motion to accept the Surety Bond for Morning Crest Subdivision, in the amount of $14.170 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes asked what we are doing with the tower lease. Mr. Jorgensen responded that he believes that will be on the December agenda.

Mr. Forbes asked if we are moving forward with the $60,000 payout. Mr. Jorgensen responded that the Town Attorney has reviewed it.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that it looks good to him and that it appears to be lucrative. Mr. Jorgensen further stated that Attorney Joe Svetanoff could look at it if he would like to.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that they are usually formed contracts.

Mr. Forbes asked if Attorney Austgen is already looking at the contract. Mr. Jorgensen responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Forbes is correct and that negotiations have been ongoing with American Tower. Mr. Kil stated that it is a nice addition to our Miscellaneous Revenue.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that Attorney Austgen did not contact him with a formal statement until after the November meeting agenda was already set.

Mr. Forbes stated he knew that it was outstanding and wanted to ensure that it is up for consideration. Mr. Kil advised that there will be a final document ready for consideration in December.

Mr. Forbes noted for clarification that we are discussing a Community Crossing Grant right now. Mr. Jorgensen concurred and stated that he expects it to be on the December agenda.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the plans look great, but he didn’t want to “let the cat out of the bag.” Mr. Forbes stated that he already did as the intersection of 93rd Avenue and US 41 was discussed at the Plan Commission meeting.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if he discussed the TIF. Mr. Forbes responded in the negative and stated that he just spoke about the project itself.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that there will be more details about that in December.

Mr. Svetanoff thanked the Town Council for investing their trust in him and stated that he looks forward to serving the Town and handling any and all legal issues which come forward.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hrnjak stated that she has letters to give the Town Council on behalf of Ms. Hernandez and passed out the same.

Ms. Hrnjak wished everyone happy holidays on behalf of Ms. Hernandez, herself and the entire staff of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office.

STAFF
Mr. Kil extended his congratulations to Mr. Svetanoff.

Mr. Kil stated that Dave Austgen and his firm have done a fantastic job for the Town. He has had the pleasure of working with them for decades, and part of that time was working with Joe Svetanoff as well. They have done a fantastic job and were always attentive to the Town’s needs.

Mr. Kil welcomed Mr. Svetanoff aboard and apprised him that there is a lot to do.

Mr. Kil advised that the last Town Council meeting of the year will be on Thursday, December 27, 2018 and that there will be a goodly amount of end-of-year business on the agenda.

Mr. Kil wished everyone a Merry Christmas early as the next meeting will fall after the holiday.

Chief Willman reported that during the month of October 2018 the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 144 requests for assistance. There were 108 calls in District 1, which is in town; 27 calls in District 2, which is in the unincorporated area; and 9 calls in District 3, which is all other locations including Mutual Aid. Mutual Aid included Lake Hills, Fire and EMS; Schererville, Fire and EMS; and Crown Point, Fire and Rescue.

The Monday night activities for the fire department during October 2018 included: The first Monday was the Monthly Business meeting in the volunteer division. The second Monday was fire training that covered the duties assigned to the first arriving engine crew if incident command has not been established. This training concentrated on an initial size-up, which is transmitted to Central Dispatch and monitored by the next arriving apparatus or support vehicles. As more people arrive, proper and strategic placement of apparatus is critical to the success of the rest of the incident.

The third Monday, EMS training was provided by three St. John Paramedics. The session concentrated on environmental dangers and emergencies that can cause critical and long-lasting, if not fatal, injuries to firefighters. Extreme cold, super-heated environments, exposure to highly toxic conditions and materials, poisons, and many more unknown/hidden dangers are out there when firefighters and medics arrive at an incident.

The second fire training was a review of the safe and proper ways to handle, climb, take care of, and work safely from ground ladders. This is an annual requirement that must be addressed. Ground ladders are great tools for rescues and fire suppression, but they can be extremely dangerous if they are not handled properly.

Chief Willman thanked the Town Council for the consideration of the new ambulance.

Chief Kveton reported from October 1, 2018 through October 31, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 20,267 miles and responded to 580 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 17 arrests with 28 charges being filed. There were 221 traffic citations issued, along with 186 written warnings, for a total of 407 citations being issued during the month.

Vehicle thefts totaled $8,000, other thefts totaled $10,811, and recovered property totaled, $8,050.

Chief Kveton advised the Town Council that Marilyn Hrnjak swore in a new officer, Aaron Amptmeyer, to replace Officer Schreiber. Officer Amptmeyer is a corporal, SWAT member, and certified instructor from Dyer.

Chief Kveton shared that the entire Norfolk-Southern corridor has been established as a quiet zone from 77th Avenue to Joliet Street which shall go into effect at midnight on January 1, 2019.

Mr. Forbes asked if we have to make any improvements in the crossings like those done on 85th Avenue. Chief Kveton stated that he created a corridor instead of addressing each crossing on its own. Quick curb delineators were installed at 77th Avenue and 85th Avenue that lowered the risk factor for the entire corridor within the standards expected by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Chief Kveton stated that the initial cost estimate of $5 million has been mitigated because the railroad installed new gates on their own at 93rd Avenue, Joliet Street, and Thielen Street.

Mr. Kil advised that this is only the Norfolk-Southern line but CSX needs to be addressed. Chief Kveton stated that the other one will be a bit more difficult due to the proximity of Hack Street to the crossing.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills for APVs of $1,245,026.31. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Hastings. Motion carries by 3 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 present by Mr. Forbes.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

12-27-2018 Town Council

December 27, 2018 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Christian Jorgensen, President Steve Hastings Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Mark Barenie, Vice-President Chief Fred Willman Steve Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Secretary Chief James Kveton Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Gregory Volk    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Jorgensen called the Town Council Regular Meeting to order on December 27, 2018, at 7:04 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez. The following Board Members were present: Mark Barenie, Michael Forbes, and Christian Jorgensen. Staff present: Steve Kil, Town Manager; Chief Willman; Deputy Chief Dave Demeter on behalf of Chief Kveton; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer, and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: Stephen Hastings, Gregory Volk, and Chief Kveton.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the November 29, 2018 meeting and asked for any questions or comments. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion for the approval of the minutes.

Motion to approve the November 29, 2018 Minutes by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Barenie stated he would like to make an adjustment to tonight’s agenda and made a motion for the same.

Motion to remove item “9. F. 2019 Board and Commission Appointments” from the Agenda by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen declared that item 9-F is removed.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen opened the floor for Public Comment.

Edward Conn (9227 West 91st Court): Good evening, and thank you, Council Members, for the opportunity to speak this evening. I’ve been a resident of this town for 16 years. I’m here to voice my concerns for our first responders in St. John. Across the country, first responders encounter, on a daily basis, 24/7 365 days a year, the uncertainty of whether they will be able to come home to their loved ones, loved ones who have chosen to support them and be proud of their spouses, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, etc.

These first responders of St. John have taken a sworn oath the serve and protect, an oath many of us have taken in the past. This oath is something that forever stays with you, current or retired. It’s the oath to protect those in need or in harm’s way, an oath to be forever proud of fulfilling. That is why I’m here to speak up for our men and women in blue.

To date, there have been 147 line of duty deaths, what range in many forms with the exception of 51 of those being killed by gunfire. We’ve entered an era over the past couple of years to no longer stand for discrimination in the workforce and/or threats and intimidation of harm. These events no longer represent just the “me too” type rallies and movements, but in other circles of life and business as well.

With that being said, the men and women sworn to protect us have unseen acts and threats towards them daily and should not have to face these threats within their own workplace. They should not be placed in a manner of distrust, threats, bullying, as well as a hostile work environment, by their supposed leader, their chief of police. One complaint of formal reporting with our Town is bad, but when five law enforcement officers file the same claims of harassment, threats of performance, criminal complaints of battery are completely outrageous and should be handled in a timely and proper manner.

Ever since these complaints have been filed, it appears to be Town Council and the Police and Fire Commissions’ inabilities to properly follow through with said charges toward the Chief, and most importantly, to our officers and residents. A cover up appears to be happening, especially when public hearings are closed-door sessions and attorneys are hired.

In closing, as a long-time resident of St. John and a life-long supporter of first responders, I ask this Town Council to follow through and resolve this matter publicly and to ask for the resignation or removal of Police Chief James Kveton and, hopefully, criminal charges to follow by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and/or the Indiana State Police, if warranted. Thank you.

Gary Longoria (12945 Red Lily Way): I’m in here in – in regards to the waste contract that was awarded to Republic Services on October 25th. I have paperwork showing that they were in violation of legal conflict of interest between the Town of St. John’s legal counsel and Republic Services. And I am requesting you guys rebid or withdraw the bid from Republic Services, and I have copies if you guys would like them.

(Mr. Jorgensen gave him permission to approach the dais.)

That will be all.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that these documents have to do with former legal counsel and not current legal counsel.

Mr. Jorgensen responded that he would agree with that. Mr. Longoria concurred apologized from the audience.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): December 31st this year, I’ll have 42 years that I live in St. John, Indiana; and nonstop for 42 years, politician, lawyer, judges, and cops in the Town of St. John has terrorized me and my family. Today I am single because of that. When my lawsuit was filed, when Mike Fryzel and the gang --

Mr. Svetanoff stopped Mr. Bugariu and informed Mr. Bugariu that he is the new legal counsel for the Town of St. John. Mr. Svetanoff advised that from now on, in these meetings, we handle ourselves with decorum, civility, and we stick on topic as to the agenda items presented. Mr. Svetanoff stated that what Mr. Bugariu is talking about is not an agenda item, first of all. Second of all, the statements that Mr. Bugariu is making could be considered slanderous or libelous.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that under the ordinance adopted by the Town, Ordinance 1623, those statements are not allowed. He added that if Mr. Bugariu had something to speak about that is on the agenda, he is invited so to do; otherwise, please sit down.

This is the freedom of speech, and please be advised that a $42 million lawsuit will be filed against the Town of St. John. Bunch of criminals, that’s what you are.

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive): I’d like to thank the city of St. John and all who participated in the various tree-lighting events, decorations, and lighted festival, the contest, including the magnificent activity and angels around town. I only hope our HOA in the Gates of St. John would follow their lead and bring some holiday directions to our entrances.

The agenda item about the ballfield, this item 2, the agenda item about the ballfield, most likely, is a worthy project. I wait discussion on this agenda item and wonder, based on the last meeting, what the urgency is for an action on the piece of ground not in the town, nor will be in the town for over 12 months. To further complicate the subject, the Town has a Plan Commission and a park district. Both, by their charter, should have a say in this project. Yet any action by the final authority of the Town Council will tend to put an undue influence on these two subsidiary boards.

It would seem best if the Town Council allowed both town groups to perform their due diligence on this project. Perhaps a letter of understanding on the agenda will address the nature of the land in question; how and exactly where it fits in the community; it’s anticipated cost for construction and operation; it would clarify if this proposal would become a part of the city through annexation; if the plot would be recommended by the Plan Commission and the location consistent with park district plans and forecast and within a reasonable budget.

Repeating, yet again, I support baseball and encourage reasonable public support of baseball and all sports. I most likely would support this proposal if more is known about it. That said, it’s painful to prepare such a letter, and it must be made clear that this letter critiques the St. John Town Council for its motion to spend funds on this project now without a public hearing and does not criticize nor critique this project.

Number three, I appreciate the opportunity to speak directly to the Town Council during its meetings. The opportunity to speak occurs early in the agenda before any old or new business is discussed or conducted, and oftentimes the agenda does not clearly or totally summarize the agenda topic, making it virtually impossible for citizen comment on that item during the meeting where that action will be taken.

It seems there should be a process mechanism for attendees to react or respond to the night’s activities. Current policy makes Council action less responsive to community input on the agenda item. I do request that the Council create a mechanism for additional citizen feedback, perhaps as simple as allowing discussion after an agenda item is better defined at the meeting or even the opportunity for a 3-minute comment session at the end of the meeting. Thank you.

Gerald Swets (9490 Joliet Street): I – I would like to, for the record, start off by thanking Mr. Volk for his years of service to this town. Um, I know we haven’t always been on the same side of all of the issues, but he has served us very well, and – and I appreciate that. And, Mr. Jorgensen, your term is – is – is to an end. I know it was short. I – I think some of the things that you have done and some of the people that you’ve appointed to – to the – to, uh, serve on the different boards have been very, very beneficial to the Town.

I’m somewhat new to politics and soon to be joining the Town Council. I have goals of making an impact on the Town and – and some improvements, um, some visions for the town. Um, I – I was disappointed that – that myself and Ms. Popovic weren’t (indiscernible) weren’t invited to the, um – to the executive session this evening. Cause I think the more information we have, um, more information we gather, uh, the wiser our decision-making process will be.

Uh, I’m sure you’ve all had goals and – and objectives that you would like to accomplish; and I’m hoping that with two new Council members, uh, we can work forward to moving some of the goals, uh, some of the voters in this town have. Uh, I’d like to see some regular planning meetings, um, to be scheduled and look forward to sharing some ideas and objectives with each of you, um, so I’m not going to go into that right now.

But one issue I have on tonight’s agenda is 9-G; it’s the Memorandum of Understanding for the park property and the ballfields. Um, this is a brand-new issue, um, and I don’t think there’s any, really, reason to rush into this, um, since this land cannot be annexed into – until 2020. There may be a better location. There may be a better deal for the Town. Um, maybe someone’s willing to dedicate some land, um, without us having to, um, have something tied with PUD strings attached to it. Uh, I just don’t think that that’s a direction that we need to go at this time; so I’m going to ask if you would just check around for some other offers, uh, before you would lock us into this prematurely.

Um, in fact, I think that most of the decisions that you would make that would be effective in 2019, um, should be decided by the next Town Council. With two members coming in, that’s 40 percent of the Town Council, and I think a lot of this agenda could be deferred until January. Um, agreements and hirings should be approved, I think, by the new Town Council. We can schedule a meeting early next week or early sometime in January to address some of those issues. And thank you, gentlemen.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): The first item, you have Republic Services reconsidering a bid. I don’t know what – what this means. I think that should be exposed to the public and not just a line item. And if there’s some impropriety or something wrong, that should be put out first, be – and the whole thing rebid if that’s what the case is. I don’t know what it is, but I think you should do that.

The other thing you took off the agenda was appointments for next year, which I think would have been illegal because you have two leaving Councilmen, and only two people here, and it’s inappropriate for somebody to make commission appointments beyond their term.

The other item I have is where you’re hiring a special attorney for the Police Chief. Now, I have no position on this; but I remember reading something in the Times where there’s a letter attacking the Clerk-Treasurer related to the Police Chief. We’re going into the election season, and I think that’s inappropriate that they should target somebody who’s probably running again in the public media. And if this attorney that you propose hiring had any part in preparing that document, I think you shouldn’t hire him. If he’s already done work to try and diminish the integrity of the Clerk-Treasurer, that’s not appropriate to hire somebody like that and create some weaponry between public officials.

The other thing is, where you’re going to hire Attorney Reed as special counsel, I think you should review arrest records, you should – plea agreements, stuff like that, as part of the character analysis of who you’re hiring. The next item is the Shops 96, I’d like to ask that you review how you came up with that number and what it entails, and that should be disclosed. It’s not just to have this one line here, means nothing for the public to respond.

The other item I have, these are attorney bills related to the police department for maybe the last two years; I think this Council should analyze all these bills and – and look at the, probably, hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent here. And so to – to move ahead here with hiring these attorneys, I disagree that that should be done at this time. I think we need an investigation, all these bills, and what the – what was done here. Thank you.

Bryan Blazak (9299 Franklin Drive): I guess, basically, everything’s been pretty well touched on or covered tonight as far as the agenda. Um, Mr. Swets not being invited to the closed-door session seems to – to be a little problem that maybe people ought to think about. You gentlemen were all in a meeting this evening, early at six o’clock or thereabouts when the, uh, Facebook page kind of blew up on the Town of St. John, and the topic at hand was how can the Town approach this Lotton deal and move on some kind of legal document.

Regardless of what it says, how can the Town move on it when nobody in the town has a clue as to what it means, what’s involved, what kind of money’s involved, what’s the tax impact, what’s the school impact, what’s the traffic impact. Absolutely none of that has been looked at. And people do not want to participate in something the Town has not properly vetted. Thank you.

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia Street): Good evening, everyone; and, uh, I’d like to repeat the thank you for Mr. Greg Volk; and unfortunately he’s not here to hear it, but hopefully he’ll read the notes.

Uh, two issues that are on the agenda that I’d like to touch on: First is the hot-mess Police Department and, uh, all I ask is that a thorough investigation and a full release of whatever the investigation results with made – be made public. It – it would be nice for the whole town – I’m sure yourselves, as well as the Police Department – to put this behind them, so, uh, I’m asking for full resolution of that matter.

Um, the second topic, um, is the baseball proposal – I’ll shorten if for that. Um, I feel that proposal is circumventing so much of the process in town. Obviously, I’m involved in the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, and, um, normally we annex in at R-1 and we wheel and deal as boards and commissions, with public input, a full process until we reach a amicable solution. In this case, the whole deal is being bundled. We’re trying to build baseball fields, uh, but we’re not trying to maintain property values. So I’d like to see both.

I’d like to see support for our youth baseball and – and sports; and I’d like to see the Town Council make decisions that primarily maintain our property values; that’s job number 1. The way I see it, maintaining property values, keeping taxes low, and, uh, that proposal, 444 lots, 189 duplexes, um, we could do better getting six fields. There’s other ways to achieve that, and at the very least, we should look at, um, multiple alternatives, weigh them out, take them through the process, and pick the best one that works for the Town and baseball. Um, thank you.

Rose Hejl (11910 West 90th Avenue): I have one item, and it is some correspondence. Um, it’s in regard to the Town of St. John Metropolitan Police Commission.

(Ms. Hejl read the following into the record.):

“Dear, President Jorgensen, as you know, I recently accepted an engagement to represent the Town of St. John Metropolitan Police Commission. I have requisitioned all the documents from the former legal counsel and am in the process of reviewing all additional documents that have been provided to me.

The Commission and I will prepare a summary of the entire investigation, including the investigative process, and then provide a recommendation to the Town Council. The Town Council may, then, choose to act upon the recommendation, or not, in their absolute discretion.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns regarding this matter. Very truly yours, John Reed.”

(Mr. Jorgensen asked Ms. Hejl if this is with regard to the one alleged incident involving Chief Kveton.) Correct.

(Mr. Jorgensen asked Ms. Hejl if there have been any other complaints brought forward to the Police Commission since that time.)

None.

(Mr. Jorgensen responded, “Okay.”)

Thank you.

Having no one further requesting to speak, Mr. Jorgensen closed Public Comment.

PUBLIC HEARING:

A. Resolution No. 2018-12-27, a Resolution for Additional Appropriation
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution 2018-12-27, a Resolution for Additional Appropriation.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that the proofs of publication seem to be timely and in order, so this Public Hearing may proceed.

Mr. Jorgensen asked the Council for any comments; hearing none, he opened the floor for Public Hearing.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there was anyone wishing to speak. Having no one come forward to speak, he closed Public Hearing.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any comments or questions from the Council. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-12-27.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-12-27 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

PRESENTATION:

A. Robinson Engineering, Intersection Improvement at Sheffield and 101st Avenue

Mr. Jorgensen advised that the next item on the agenda is a presentation by Robinson Engineering. Mr. Jorgensen stated that he and Commissioner Tippy have worked two years to get a plan for the intersection of Sheffield and 101st Avenue, which the Town Council has already approved.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is a problematic intersection that is a route in and out of Chicago via I-394. The project will be underway some time during the spring.

Mr. Duane Alverson with the Lake County Highway Department stated that he is present with Ron Wiedeman of Robinson Engineering. Mr. Alverson further stated that the County is under contract with Robinson Engineering for the design of the intersection improvements of 101st Avenue and Sheffield.

Mr. Wiedeman passed out drawings of the preliminary plans to the Council and displayed an enlarged copy on an easel for the public to view.

Mr. Wiedeman stated that they collected field data, traffic counts, and performed traffic analysis and turning movements for the intersection in November. They identified the existing utilities that are there.

Mr. Wiedeman stated that in order to help traffic flow through that intersection, they are proposing left-hand turn legs for all three legs, maintaining the existing right-hand turn lane; will install new traffic signals, which will be interconnected with the signals at Calumet Avenue. They are moving forward on the drainage and the rights-of-way acquisitions. They will be getting appraisals in January for the land that needs to be acquired.

Mr. Wiedeman advised that they anticipate to have plans bid ready by April 1, 2019. The timing of construction is dependent upon the acquisition of the property and utilities. At this point, they are tentatively scheduling for spring-summer 2019.

Mr. Forbes asked if the exit coming out of the “Always Open” was shifted a little bit more with the thought that there was already a right-in/right-out to the west. Mr. Wiedeman stated that they shifted it about 3-4 feet to line up the intersection a bit better and also, there is a concrete apron that wraps around there. Currently there is an approximate 4-foot offset between the two center lines, and they wanted to line those up a bit better.

Mr. Forbes asked if there will be some movement. Mr. Wiedeman responded in the affirmative and clarified that there will be a little movement. The island will be reconfigured a little bit. They ran box trucks and busses through there to make sure they weren’t encroaching on other lanes.

Mr. Kil asked if the project budget is the same or if the project budget has changed at all.

Mr. Alverson stated that they are working on the preliminary estimate at this time.

Mr. Weideman added that the goal is to have something by the end of January.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Alverson if he will be sending an email asking for more money. Mr. Alverson responded that he hopes that he does not have to.

Mr. Kil asked if they are going to mirror the decorative signalization that the Town has put in. Mr. Wiedeman stated that they can; however, at this time they were only going with standard mast arms. Mr. Wiedeman further stated that he can have his designer contact Mr. Kil and get the details for that.

Mr. Kil stated that he thought those were sent to Mr. Alverson previously. He further stated that in the community, we’re putting up traffic signals that have a nice mast-arm standard of the decorative poles. It looks nice and would be nice to carry the same theme.

Mr. Forbes asked if there is also work on Calumet Avenue and 109th Avenue going on. Mr. Wiedeman stated that the intersection design there is almost complete and they are in the process of acquiring right-of-way. Two parcels of land need to be acquired there. One of them is secure, and the owner wanted to sign off after the first of the year; and they are in negotiations with the other property owner.

Mr. Kil asked Mr. Alverson what was going to be done at the intersection of Calumet and 109th. Mr. Alverson responded that it will be a signalized intersection.

Mr. Jorgensen thanked Mr. Alverson and Mr. Wiedeman for coming out and making their presentation.

(A copy of the drawing is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2018-12-27 TC.)

BID AWARD:

A. Bid Award for New Emergency Medical Care Vehicle
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Bid Award for a new emergency medical care vehicle, ambulance.

Motion to award the bid to the lowest-most responsive and responsible bidder, that being Fire Service, Inc., in the amount of $217,259 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Chief Willman thanked the Town Council.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1676, an Ordinance Amending the Town’s Ordinance Establishing Certain Internal Controls (materiality/irregular variances)
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1676, an ordinance amending the Town’s ordinance establishing certain internal controls (materiality/irregular variances).

Mr. Kil advised that when the Internal Control Ordinance was passed, there was a materiality section that was left out of the ordinance. Mr. Kil explained that materiality is the threshold value based on the fund; e.g., General Fund is anything over $14,000, Water is anything over $7000, and Sanitary is anything over $10,000.

Mr. Kil asked Ms. Hernandez if there is anything she would like to add to the explanation. Ms. Hernandez responded that it is basically saying that when we reconcile our banks, if we notice any discrepancies, we will notify the State Board of Accounts and, if necessary, the prosecutor’s office, which would be if we feel that public funds or assets have been misappropriated or shouldn’t have been touched by an employee.

Ms. Hernandez stated that the amounts Mr. Kil provided are accurate. She further stated that this is setting protocol in case certain activities, potentially, arise.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there are any questions or comments on the matter. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1676 on first reading.

Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1676 on first reading by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance 1676.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1676 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Consider Lease Extension Agreement with American Tower
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the lease extension agreement with American Tower.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that this has been gone over for a couple of months now. He further advised that he has read the lease, and it is favorable to the Town. Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Kil or Mr. Svetanoff for any discussion on the lease extension.

Mr. Kil advised that the tower lease that is being discussed is the one by the Public Works Salt Storage facility. The tower sits behind the building between where the tracks intersect; which is almost unusable property. The tower being on that property derives income for the community.

Mr. Kil further advised that the contract includes a $40,000 lump-sum signing bonus. The Town proposed a 30-year term with an additional two 5-year renewals, and they countered with six 5-year terms. It includes a rent increase to $3,068.66 monthly with a 10 percent escalator for each renewal. A revenue share has also been negotiated in the lease agreement, which means that we will get an additional $200 per month for each sublease that American Tower has on the tower; and there are notification provisions in the agreement for that as well.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further discussion; hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the lease extension and authorize the Town Council President to sign the Agreement by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

C. Consider Authorization of the 2019 Community Crossing Grant Project and Submittal of the Project Application to INDOT
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider authorization of the 2019 Community Crossing Grant project and submittal of the project application to INDOT.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that these projects include an intersection improvement at 93rd Avenue and U.S. 41 and the intersection at 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue.

Mr. Kil stated that this is an exciting time. Mr. Cobb, Engineer with First Group Engineering, our traffic engineer, recommended four projects, and the top two are listed on the agenda. One is the west approach at 93rd Avenue and US 41, and we are proposing to put dual left-turn lanes, a designated right-turn lane, and a designated through lane. It will help traffic immensely and requires the least amount of property acquisition, primarily to the south on 93rd Avenue.

Mr. Kil stated that the other project is at 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue. A traffic circle is proposed, similar to the one that has been built at Joliet Street and Parrish Avenue, which seems to be working well.

The cost estimate for 93rd Avenue and Cline Avenue is approximately $750,000; and the cost estimate for 93rd Avenue and US 41 is approximately $700,000. The two projects are being packaged as one proposal and will be submitted to INDOT for a Community Crossing Grant. We will have approximately $1.5 million, and we will request 50 percent of that for a matching grant. INDOT will award up to a 50 percent matching grant.

Mr. Kil stated that those are the projects we would like to move forward with as a Community Crossing Grant request and asked for approval to proceed with the same.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that they are both great projects and entertained a motion for the same if there is no further discussion.

Motion to authorize the submittal of the two projects to INDOT and begin preliminary engineering and land acquisition by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

D. Resolution No. 2018-12-27A – Transfer of Appropriation
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider the adoption of Resolution No. 2018-12-27A, a resolution authorizing a Transfer of Appropriation.

Ms. Hernandez advised that this transfer will close out our books for the year and includes all outstanding appropriations that need to be transferred.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2018-12-27A by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

E. Consider Revision to Bid Award for Refuse and Recycling Collection with Republic Services
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider revision to the bid award for refuse and recycling collection with Republic Services.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that the bid has already been awarded to Republic Services for every-other week recycling pickup. He further advised that a survey was done to see if the residents wished to pay a bit more to continue every-week recycling pickup; wherein, the majority of the respondents voted for every-week recycling pickup.

Ms. Hernandez stated that 619 residents requested pickup of the recycling weekly, and 258 residents voted for biweekly pickup.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the survey shows that, more or less, everyone wishes to continue with the weekly pickup. Mr. Forbes stated that it is pretty clear.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments on this matter. Hearing none, He entertained a motion.

Motion to alter the bid award and approve the option at $20.87 per month for Monday weekly pickup of refuse and recycling, known as Alternate Option No. 1 on the survey, by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

F. 2019 Board and Commission Appointments

This agenda item was removed previously during the meeting by unanimous vote.

G. Review and Consideration of a Draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St. John, LBL, LLC Regarding a Development Plan, Dedication of Park Land, and Construction of a New Ball Field Facility
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is review and consideration of a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with St. John, LBL, LLC, regarding a development plan, dedication of park land, and construction of a new ball field facility.

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Svetanoff to clarify what the Memorandum of Understanding is for the edification of all those who don’t understand what it means.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that he has circulated to the Town Manager and Town Council a working copy of an MOU which lays out certain agreements as between a certain developer and the Town concerning an annexation development within the town as a tradeoff for certain land acquisition, and so on. It is a draft, and he has received some commentary on it. The Memorandum of Understanding itself, as a physical document, is nothing more than an agreement to agree. He further advised that he will leave it to the discretion of the Town Council to determine how to proceed with this as it is still a working document.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that is akin to a letter of intent, an expression of an understanding that we want to proceed with gathering additional information in regards to the project. There is nothing legally binding in the agreement, so he isn’t sure what we would approve or not approve other than putting it into a final form. However, a final form would still not be a legally binding document.

Motion to take the MOU under advisement and continue discussion of the agreement into 2019 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

H. Consider Authorization of Bid Extension with Walsh and Kelly for 2019 Roadwork
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider authorization of bid extension with Walsh and Kelly for 2019 roadwork.

Mr. Jorgensen advised that we have done this in the past and Walsh and Kelly does a great job.

Mr. Forbes stated that this was reviewed by the Town Engineer, who did comparison with the surrounding communities. Overall, to have Walsh and Kelly on call at this cost is a benefit to the Town; however, this doesn’t circumvent the bidding process for large projects.

Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil to clarify what is entailed. Mr. Kil responded that it is the same bid price that has been in place for three years without any increase; by extending the contract, we will use the same bid prices for the approximate $600,000 in routine roadwork to be completed in town for patching in subdivisions, sidewalks, curbs, and routine maintenance.

Mr. Kil advised the large projects will still have to be bid on, such as the bid that just took place for the bond issue for the Redevelopment Commission project. Specialty road projects or a large project, such as the bond issue project, are typically bid projects.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Kraus, upon his review of pricing and work done in surrounding communities, recommends that we continue with Walsh and Kelly and award the contract extension for 2019.

Motion to authorize the Bid Extension with Walsh and Kelly for 2019 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

I. Consideration of an Agreement with Attorney William Enslen, as Special Counsel to the St. John Chief of Police
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is consideration of an agreement with Attorney William Enslen, as special counsel to the St. John Chief of Police.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that the St. John Chief of Police requested this counsel, and we respect that our department heads and folks who need counsel and come to us have their choice of counsel. Mr. Jorgensen further stated that the rates provided in this agreement are very fair.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further comments or questions on this matter; hearing none, he entertained a motion for the same.

Motion to approve the agreement with Attorney William Enslen by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

J. Consideration of an Agreement with Attorney John Reed, as Special Counsel to the St. John Police Commission
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is consideration of an agreement with Attorney John Reed as special counsel to the St. John Police Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that in light of the issues that have come before us, the Police Commission has also requested counsel so they can understand their roles and make sure that we serve all the people and all of our departments fairly and accurately. They have chosen Attorney John Reed.

Ms. Hernandez asked if Mr. Reed has been hired or if he is doing that now. Mr. Jorgensen responded that no one has been hired as yet.

Ms. Hernandez asked if he is, essentially, for the Police Commission. Mr. Jorgensen stated that we are approving it.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she is confused because Police Commission Chairperson Rose Hejl said Attorney Reed has all the documentation; so how does he have that before you hired him. Mr. Jorgensen responded that he doesn’t believe Attorney Reed has any of the documentation yet and believes that he has requested all the documentation.

Police Commissioner Rose Hejl stated from her chair in the audience that she had said that Attorney Reed has requisitioned the documentation.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she just wanted to clarify that point.

Mr. Jorgensen asked for any further discussion on the matter; hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the agreement with Attorney John Reed by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

K. Consider Reduction of Letter of Credit for Castle Rock – Phase 1 to $5,500
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider reduction of Letter of Credit for Castle Rock, Phase 1, to $5500. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there is any discussion on this matter; hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to accept reduction of Letter of Credit by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

L. Consider Reduction of Letter of Credit for Greystone of St. John – Unit 2 Block 2 – Phase 1 to $24,277.50
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider reduction of Letter of Credit for Greystone of St. John, Unit 2, Block 2, Phase 1, to $24,277.50. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there is any discussion on this matter; hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to accept reduction of Letter of Credit by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

M. Consideration Letter of Credit for Shops 96 in the Amount of $121,055 or Surety Bond in the Amount of $143,065.
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is consider Letter of Credit for Shops 96 in the amount of $121,055 or a Surety Bond in the amount of $143,065. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Jorgensen asked if there is any discussion on this matter; hearing none, he entertained a motion.

Motion to accept a Letter of Credit or Surety Bond for Shops 96 in the specified amount by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

N. Consider Ordinance No. 1677, an Ordinance Establishing a Series of Cash Drawers as Determined by the Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1677, an ordinance establishing a series of cash drawers as determined by the Clerk-Treasurer.

Mr. Jorgensen turned the floor over the Ms. Hernandez to expound on the matter.

Ms. Hernandez stated that it is just the cash drawers. She further stated that Attorney Dave Austgen used our Petty Cash Ordinance as a cash-drawer ordinance, and they are two different things. This ordinance is repealing any ordinances currently in place of Petty Cash – no departments have petty cash – and instead it replaces it with a Cash Drawer Ordinance. The Clerk-Treasurer’s Office holds four cash drawers at $100 each; Public Works holds one cash drawer at $100; and this allows us to do so.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he thinks it sounds fantastic and asked for any discussion on the same.

Mr. Forbes asked if we are going to go back to where we can give a cash drawer to the Police Department. Ms. Hernandez responded in the negative.

Mr. Forbes stated that he still thinks it’s a problem watching residents have to walk between the two buildings during (inaudible) –

Ms. Hernandez spoke over Mr. Forbes and stated that we don’t pay tickets anymore, so it’s lessened drastically.

Mr. Forbes stated that he still sees it happening and that he doesn’t agree with it. Ms. Hernandez stated that she appreciates Mr. Forbes’ opinion.

Motion to consider Ordinance No. 1677 on first reading by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1677.

Motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1677 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

O. Consideration of Employment Agreement with Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director for Calendar Year 2019
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is consideration of Employment Agreement with Rick Eberly, Building and Planning Director for calendar year 2019.

Mr. Forbes stated the Mr. Eberly is doing a great job for us.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he is doing a fantastic job and entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the employment agreement with Rick Eberly for 2019 by Mr. Barenie. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

P. Resolution No. 2018-12-27B, a Resolution Authorizing a Transfer of Funds
Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2018-12-27B, a resolution authorizing a transfer of funds. This is General Fund to General Rainy Day Fund and then to Park Board.

Mr. Kil advised that it is $600 to clean the books up. We retired our Park Bond this year, so we have no more park bonds.

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Motion to adopt Resolution No 2018-12-27B by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
TOWN COUNCIL
Mr. Forbes stated that he wished to address the comment made during Public Comment regarding the Letters of Credit or Surety Bonds. Those amounts are calculated by our Town Engineer based on each development; it is not a number that is picked out of the air.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that it is a good point and that it is evaluated by the Plan Commission. Mr. Forbes concurred.

Mr. Barenie stated that Mr. Volk has been on at the Council for 16 years, and he would like to reiterate the statement made earlier about his contributions to the Town and note his sense of humor as well. He is not here today; however, we do have an award for him to be presented at his convenience.

Mr. Barenie also wanted to show appreciation for Mr. Jorgensen’s contributions, dedication to the Town, and his sense of humor; he stated that Mr. Jorgensen is going to Lake County and that he is looking forward to partnering with him in that capacity to make St. John even better. Mr. Barenie then presented Mr. Jorgensen with two awards, one being a plaque in appreciation and recognition of Mr. Jorgensen’s leadership, commitment, and three years of dedicated service to the Town of St. John.

Mr. Jorgensen said thank you for the awards and stated that this town is a better place. We have done some great things, and he doesn’t believe anybody could come up to the podium and say the town has not improved and the infrastructure hasn’t improved. It is a collaborative effort. I appreciate everybody, and I appreciate being able to serve you all as a Councilman and as President this year. Thank you very much.

CLERK-TREASURER
Ms. Hernandez stated that she wanted to wish Mr. Jorgensen well on his new venture at the county level.

Ms. Hernandez further stated that she wanted to take the opportunity to also thank Mr. Volk for his many years of service to our town. He has been a leader that has served us with nothing but integrity, and she wishes him nothing but the best in his years to come.

Ms. Hernandez addressed the remaining and incoming Council Members saying, “I would like to address the current situation in our Police Department. I did nothing but our – my due diligence in reporting to the Council what was reported to me by our officers. The Council and the Police Commission, by way of Chief Kveton, decided to make this a political issue. They decided to allow Chief Kveton to slander me and the accusing officers in the newspaper. That’s fine. I, quite frankly, expected nothing less; and the response did not surprise me.

It is my sincerest request that you, as the Council, resolve to do three very important jobs: First, have the decency and the dignity to realize that the Police Department issue of a potential battery on an officer needs to be referred to the Indiana State Police. Enough of an investigation already occurred that was paid for by the Town Attorney that the Chief and the Police Commission Chairperson participated in. Let the Indiana State Police come in and do their jobs. If you don’t, the question will always be there about the integrity of the investigation.

Second, please afford the officers an opportunity to directly express to you, the Council, the same concerns that they expressed to me. Third, over the last three years, the employees from every single department – Fire, Police, Public Works – every single department have designated me as the de facto HR rep because their concerns continue to be discounted elsewhere. This must change. The employees deserve an HR rep who is consistent and objective in applying the rules and policies of our Town.

What I believe to be the most significant concern here is the inability of certain elected and certain appointed officials to maintain a level of respect and avoid personal attacks. It is important that we discuss and sometimes disagree on issues confronting our Town; however, upon conclusion of our disagreements, we should be able to treat each other as human beings. As we approach 2019, I would like to share what I believe to be an appropriate quote, ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used to create them.’ The elected officials need to come together to resolve this matter and other issues we face in our community in a spirit of equality, fairness, and unity. Only when we begin to do this, can we truly move forward in making our town the best it can possibly be. Thank you.”

Mr. Jorgensen asked Mr. Svetanoff if he has anything.

Mr. Svetanoff stated that he just wanted to clarify that neither he nor his law firm has paid for any type of investigation; Ms. Hernandez may be referring to former counsel, not current counsel.

Ms. Hernandez stated that Mr. Svetanoff is correct and that she is referring to former counsel.

Mr. Jorgensen stated that he looks forward to this matter being resolved.

STAFF
Deputy-Chief Demeter reported on behalf of Chief Kveton that from November 1, 2018 through November 30, 2018, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 16,859 miles and responded to 534 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 24 arrests with 35 charges being filed. There were 253 traffic citations issued, along with 168 written warnings, for a total of 421 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled $0 (zero), other thefts totaled $4,418, and recovered property totaled $208.

Chief Willman reported that during the month of November 2018 the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 159 requests for assistance. There were 122 calls in District 1, 31 calls in District 2, and 6 calls in District 3. Mutual Aid included Schererville, Fire and EMS; Lake Hills, Fire and EMS; Cedar Lake, Fire and EMS; and Crown Point, Fire and Rescue.

The Monday night activities during the month of November 2018 included: The first Monday was the Monthly Business meeting for the Volunteer Division of the Fire Department.

The second Monday was EMS training that was a continuation of the November EMS presentation regarding the dangers of environmental emergencies that are taken for granted too often. The night was spent evaluating pre-arrival challenges and initial investigation procedures that must be taken seriously before advising additional manpower to commit to hidden/unknown dangers when they arrive.

The final training for 2018 was an assignment on the computer-generated sessions dealing with personal safety; both personal protective equipment and physical and mental awareness, under stress.

Chief Willman again thanked the Town Council for approving the new ambulance.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS FOR THE CORPORATION:

Mr. Jorgensen advised the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills for APVs of $2,785,888.48. Mr. Jorgensen asked if there were any questions or comments from the board. Hearing none, Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion.

Mr. Forbes commented that he completely disagrees with the second financial advisor, which is why he has not voted in favor of all the bills throughout the year, but he is now forced into a position where if he doesn’t vote for them, the bills don’t get paid. Mr. Forbes stated that based on that need, he will vote in favor of the bills this month and that he would make a motion for the same.

Mr. Jorgensen stated to Mr. Forbes that he appreciates and understands Mr. Forbes’ position.

Motion to pay the bills by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion carries by 3 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Jorgensen entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded Mr. Barenie. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Jorgensen wished everyone a “Happy New Year” and adjourned the meeting.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.)

Respectfully Submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

12-27-2018 Town Council Exhibit.pdf
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