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Town Council Meeting Minutes and Recordings 2020

Meeting Minutes

01-01-2020 Town Council

January 1, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Swets called the St. John Town Council Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at 12:15 p.m., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President.

Also present: Steven Flores, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Adam Decker, BZA and Plan Commission Attorney; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

A quorum was attained.

WELCOME NEW COUNCIL:

Each Councilman briefly addressed the public to introduce himself, summarize goals and/or objectives, and thank the public for their support.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Dan Dernulc, Lake County Councilman and Lake County Republican Chairman (9905 Prairie Avenue, Highland): Mr. Dernule congratulated and welcomed the 2020 Councilmen, collectively and independently, and congratulated Ms. Hernandez on her retention of office. He wished them all the best in the upcoming year.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

Town Council President:

Mr. Pondinas nominated Paul Panczuk; Mr. Blazak nominated Gerald Swets. Hearing no further nominations, Mr. Swets called for a roll-call vote indicating which nominee each Councilman selected. Mr. Blazak, Mr. Panczuk, Mr. Schilling, and Mr. Swets all voted for Mr. Swets; Mr. Pondinas voted for Mr. Panczuk. Nomination carried 4-1 (Mr. Pondinas) to elect Gerald Swets as the next Town Council President.

Town Council Vice President:

Mr. Schilling nominated Mr. Panczuk for Vice President. Hearing no further nominations, Mr. Swets called for a voice vote. Nomination carried unanimously to elect Paul Panczuk as Vice President.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Appoint New Chief of Police:
Mr. Swets gave a brief introduction of the process the council used and entertained a motion to appoint the new Chief of Police. Councilman Panczuk made a motion to appoint Steven Flores as the new Chief of Police. Councilman Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
B. Swearing in New Chief of Police:
Clerk-Treasurer Hernandez swore in Chief Steven Flores, who took his oath while his father, former Police Chief of East Chicago, Augusto “Gus” Flores, held the bible. The event was witnessed by friends, family, and the public.
C. Consider Professional Services Agreement with Haas & Associates for the Calendar Year 2020:
Mr. Swets entertained a motion to consider a Professional Services Agreement for Engineering Services by Haas & Associates for 2020 and entertained a motion for the same. Mr. Blazak made motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council President to execute the same; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
D. Consider Professional Services Agreement with Westland & Bennet for the Calendar Year 2020:
Mr. Swets entertained a motion to consider a Professional Services Agreement for Legal Services with Westland and Bennet. Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council President to execute the same; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
E. Consider Professional Services Agreement with Adam Decker for the Calendar Year 2020:
Mr. Swets entertained a motion to consider a professional services agreement for legal services with Adam Decker to be the board attorney for the Plan Commission and BZA. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the town council president to execute the same; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
F. Consider Profession Services Agreement for Financial Services with Baker Tilly for the Calendar Year 2020:
Mr. Swets entertained a motion to consider a Professional Services Agreement for Financial Services with Baker Tilly. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the agreement and authorize the Town Council President to execute the same; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
G. Ordinance No. 1699, an ordinance establishing the new Safety Board:
Mr. Swets entertained a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1699 on first reading. Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1699 on first reading; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1699 on first reading. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1699 on first reading and authorize the Town Council President to execute; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

H. Resolution No. 2020-01-01:
Mr. Swets advised the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2020-01-01 and turned the floor over to Mr. Panczuk for further comments.

Mr. Panczuk explained that this resolution is to initiate a proposal to change the zoning maps of certain real estate consisting of 111.62 acres and 40.33 acres of land which were requested to be annexed into town last year to become effective January 1, 2020. The 111.62 acres is known as The Gates East and the 40.33 acres are known as Arzumanian. Mr. Panczuk gave an overview of the Resolution.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2020-01-01 and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

I. 2020 Board and Commission Appointments:
Mr. Swets entertained motions for various boards independently.

Safety Board – Terms as Appointed: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to appoint Ray Paradiso, term expires 12-31-2020; Patrick Moran, term expires 12-31-2020; Robert Kmetz, term expires 12-31-2021; Steve DeJong, term expires 12-31-2021; and Richard Janowiak; term expires 12-31-2022 to the Safety Board. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Contractors Board – Two-year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to reappoint Jon Gill, Steve Kozel, and Richard Hoover and appoint new members John Fimbianti, and Angela Stack to the Contractors Board.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Plan Commission – Terms as Appointed: Mr. Swets accepted the resignation of Paul Panczuk from the Plan Commission as Town Council President.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to appoint Jon Gill, Donna Little, and Aaron Amptmeyer as one-year staff appointments, terms expire 12-31-2020; to reappoint Robert Birlson to his vacated seat for the balance of his term, term expires 12-31-2021; John Kennedy, term expires 12-31-2023; and to newly appoint Nancy Vucinic-Wohland, term expires 12-31-2023; and Yolanda Cardona to fill Mr. Panczuk’s vacated seat, term expires 12-31-2021; to the Plan Commission. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Board of Zoning Appeals – One-year Appointment: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to reappoint John Kennedy to fill the Town Council appointment to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Impact Advisory Committee – One-Year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to reappoint Tom Cummings and Vince Frassinone and to appoint Dennis DeVito, Doug Blocker, and John Deitzer, to the Impact Advisory Committee. Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Impact Fee Review Committee – One Year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to name the members of the Impact Advisory Committee as the Impact Review Committee. Mr. Schilling made a motion to appoint the five members of the Impact Advisory Committee to the Impact Fee Review Committee; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Park Board – Four-year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to reappoint Frank Bradtke and to appoint Mike Moffitt to the Park Board. Mr. Pondinas made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Redevelopment Commission – One-year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to appoint the Town Council body as voting members and Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Corporation, and James Sakelaris, Hanover School Corporation, as advisory members to the Redevelopment Commission. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Waterworks Board – One-year Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to reappoint Ken Gembala and to newly appoint Bill Manousopoulos and Dr. J.D. Chavez to the Waterworks Board. Mr. Pondinas made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Liaison Appointments: Mr. Swets entertained a motion to approve the following liaison appointments: Michael Schilling, Safety Board, Fire Department, and Police Department; Gerald Swets, Lake County Waste District and NIRPC, Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Paul Panczuk, Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals; Bryan Blazak, Tri-Town Safety Village and Chamber of Commerce; Wayne Pondinas, Public Works and Park Board. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the appointments as stated; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council: Mr. Swets thanked the public for coming out and commented that they will improve the town and the development and building in town. Mr. Swets stated that they are officially dissolving the Utility Board as it was never properly established in 2011, which affects the salary of the Town Council. He explained that under the current salary ordinance, a councilman is paid $22,026.66 per annum, of which $16,230.28 is paid from the General Fund and $5,796.38 from the Wastewater Utility. In order to be more transparent, they will modify the salary ordinance to reflect the actual salary paid to the Council Members, which will remain at $22,026.66 at a later Town Council meeting.

Mr. Blazak stated that he was pleased with the turnout of their first meeting.

Mr. Panczuk thanked the public for attending and summarized what the Council has accomplished thus far and what they intend to accomplish in future. Mr. Panczuk stated that Mr. Decker was appointed to the BZA and Plan Commission to help revise planning and development ordinances, utilizing his expertise and skill and asked him to introduce himself.

Mr. Adam Decker stated that he has an office in Crown Point; he is married to Becky, a schoolteacher, and they have three sons. He commented that he is looking forward to working with the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Panczuk reported that there is a posting for a new Town Manager at GovHr, which has a closing date of January 20, 2020. The Town Council will hold a meeting next week to open the bids for the Community Crossing Grant and intend to apply again in August for the next Community Crossing Grant. A position is in the process of being added to the Park Department. Mr. Panczuk further indicated that they intend to have better planning in town and will have a Town Council Study Session on March 11, 2020 with the director of NIRPC to discuss ways accomplish roadway and thoroughfare goals. He concluded by thanking and asking the public for their continued support.

Mr. Pondinas expressed the need for a human resources department, a grant writer to come in and help the Town receive grants. He noted that he would like the police investigation revisited. Further, he commented that Mr. Kil did a good job and got a bad rap, Mr. Kil came forward and helped this new Council with its transition even though he did not have to do so. Mr. Pondinas voiced concerns about the phone calls they received while conducting the interviews for boards and commissions as to why they should not hire or appoint someone. He feels it was wrong and while there is a lot of hate in the world, it does not belong in this room or on this board.

Mr. Schilling stated that he is looking forward to working with everyone; furthermore, he expressed his gratitude to Mr. Kil for his years of service to St. John, and Schererville before that.

Clerk-Treasurer: Ms. Hernandez reported that the IT Director contacted her and informed her that the live streaming is working and that we had 52 viewers. She thanked the residents for re-electing her as the Clerk-Treasurer and commented that she is excited to work with the new Council.

Ms. Hernandez requested that the board approve payment for an emergency hydrant and valve replacement invoice in the amount of $5,175 for two hydrants, one valve, and a delivery charge as requested by Public Works.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the requested invoice. Mr. Schilling made a motion to pay the invoice in the amount of $5,175 for emergency fire hydrant replacement; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Hernandez said that her office is looking forward to working with Chief Flores and all the departments in town.

Staff

Town Manager’s Office: Mr. Swets advised that Ms. Abernathy works in the Town Manager’s Office and asked if there was anything to report. Ms. Abernathy congratulated the Town Council and stated that she looks forward to working with everyone.

Town Attorney: Mr. Westland thanked the Town Council for the opportunity and commented that St. John could have great things as it is a growing town and a jewel of Northwest Indiana as well as the state in general.

Board Attorney: Mr. Decker had nothing to report but thanked the Council for the opportunity.

Fire Department: Chief Willman wished all a happy New Year. He stated that he did not bring a report to make; however, he is happy to be working side-by-side with the Police Department and the Safety Board.

Police Department: Chief Flores thanked the Town Council for appointing him the new Chief of Police and stated that it is an honor to serve St. John and its residents. He expressed thanks and recognized the residents and his family who attended the meeting on the holiday. Chief Flores noted that his job is not about him, but it is about the Officers and the residents.

Mr. Swets brought comments back to the Council one last time. Mr. Blazak expressed his thanks to everyone. Mr. Panczuk thanked Mr. Pondinas for bringing up the topic regarding calls during the boards and commissions interview process as he had been approached and received many emails also; he asserted that no outside or political influences shall affect his decisions as a Councilman. Mr. Pondinas thanked everyone for coming out, for a nice, respectful meeting, and wished all a good New Year. Mr. Schilling thanked everyone for coming out.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

01-08-2020 Joint Town Council Safety Board

January 8, 2020 Special Joint Town Council and Safety Board Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Swets called the St. John Town Council, Safety Board, Police Department, and Fire Department Joint Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 1:02 p.m., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President.

Safety Board Members present: Steve DeJong, Richard Janowiak, Robert Kmetz, Patrick Moran, and Raymond Paradiso.

Also present: Steven Flores, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: None.

A quorum was attained.

INTRODUCTIONS:

Mr. Swets directed everyone to give a quick introduction of themselves.

Ms. Hernandez is starting her second term as Clerk-treasurer and is looking forward to a collaborative relationship.

Mr. Schilling asserted that there are good men and women that work for this Town and under good leadership, all should go in a good direction.

Mr. Pondinas noted that he worked in Public Works for 15 years and is known as "The Waterman". He likened the process of the new board to rebuilding a house; walls will be taken down and new walls will be built with everyone being a part of it, which will be tremendous with everyone working together.

Mr. Blazak stated that he has been a resident of town since 1974 and became active about five years ago because he disagreed with the direction the town was going. He expressed that if everyone works together, all will be successful together.

Mr. Panczuk commented that he has lived in St. John for ten years. He is married to Heather, has two children and two stepchildren. He got involved in the Town because he wanted to see the town go in a different direction.

Mr. Swets explained that he became active because he wanted to help the residents have a little more input into what was going on and so everyone has an opportunity to express their ideas and opinions. We want to equip all the Town employees so that their voices count.

Mr. Janowiak has lived in St. John for 11 years, is a retired police officer with over 26 years of experience and wants to be a benefit and of service to the Police and Fire Departments.

Mr. Moran has lived in St. John since 2015 and has a wife, three children, and seven grandchildren. He expressed thanks to the Town Council for appointing him to the Safety Board. He has over 35 years of law enforcement experience and spoke a bit about that experience.

Mr. DeJong has lived in St. John for 12 years and is in his 20th year as a career firefighter. He expressed his desire to be part of the process to help make St. John better, fair, and equitable as it continues to grow.

Mr. Paradiso has lived in St. John for four years and was firefighter for 36 years. He expressed his desire to make things better for St. John and those who protect it.

Mr. Kmetz has lived in St. John for forty years, had a wife and two daughters, and works as a corporate controller for a large business in town and has been in the finance and HR field for over 30 years. He expressed his desire to bring his experience and the business side to the Safety Board.

Mr. Swets summarized that they put together a board with two members with firefighting experience, two with police experience, and one from the business sector for a well-rounded view of what is going on.

Mr. Swets turned the floor over to Chief Flores for his introductions.

Chief Flores thanked the Council for the opportunity to serve in such capacity. He has been a St. John Police Officer for almost 17 years and has 19 years of law enforcement experience. He expressed that this is about the Police Officers and expressed his desire to bring the department back to a place of enjoying working together. He is a resident of St. John with his wife, Gail; daughter, Alexis; and two stepdaughters. Chief Flores requested the meeting because he felt this would be a good start to have everyone meet each other and put a face with a name.

The members of the St. John Police Department introduced themselves: Brett Sidenbender, Patrol Division; Jan Kalinowski, Animal Control for four years; Amy Gross, Administrative Assistant since August 20, 2018; Roger Patz, retired Police Chief from Cedar Lake and works for St. John Police Department writing policy and maintains the training programs; Ron Olson, Corporal in Patrol; Luke Lukasik, Corporal in Patrol; Luke Zuzich, Patrolman; Tim Gardenhire, Patrol Division; Aaron Amptmeyer, came to St. John as an experience Police Officer last year; Paige Sickles, Police Officer since 2015; Jay Dahlin, Patrol Commander and has been an Officer for St. John for 22 years; Rich Fialkowski, Reserve Police Officer for 15 years and Fire Department for over 20 years; Clifford Wroe, Police Technology Director and has worked in law enforcement for 27 years with 18 in St. John; Joe O'Leary, Reserve Officer since 2001; Jeff Burke, 20 years as an Officer and started in St. John 3 months ago; Sam Jacobs, Patrol Division; Neal Olson, started in St. John about 3 months ago and has 5 years of experience; Shane Adams, has been with St. John about 13 years and is a K-9 Officer with his partner Match; Mike Moffitt, has been a volunteer Firefighter for 15 years, has been with the Police Department since 2003, and is a Corporal; Dave Demeter, Deputy Chief and started in 1987; Dave Rybicki, Corporal in Patrol and started as a Reserve Officer in 2004; Jake Patczke, Patrol Officer, started in Illinois in 2014 and started in St. John in 2016; Tim Smith, Reserve Officer for 19 years; Ronald Swets, Reserve Officer since 2011; Nick Stamate, St. John Police Officer for 19 years and currently the Student Resource Officer for Lake Central School Corporation; Dave Wortsman, Patrol Officer for 6.5 years; Arthur Sandaker, Patrol Officer in St. John for about 3 years, was with another department for a year before that, has lived in St. John his whole life, and considers it an honor to work here; and Chris Widen, 12 years law enforcement experience currently assigned to Investigations and Detective.

Chief Willman had the Firefighters introduce themselves: Jeremy Olson, Firefighter/Paramedic, started volunteering five years ago and is going on 2.5 years as a full-time; Robert VanKuiken, just started in St. John on the December 21st and came from Cedar Lake; Kevin LaDuke, has been with St. John since 2012, is a Battalion Chief Instructor and was in Chesterton for about 5 years before that.

Chief Willman stated that he is an old guy, which is an honor with this group of new people, who have fresh starts and fresh ideas; he has been associated with the St. John Fire Department for 39 years, starting as a volunteer, and has been the Chief for 24 years. He was the Fire Chief for 6 years as a volunteer and was the first full-time employee for the Fire Department, as Chief for 19 years. Chief Willman commented that it is exciting to be here in 2020. The first year he was on they ran 150 calls, last year they ran 1900. He reported that they have been successful because of the quality of the people he works with. At one time the department had 55 volunteers and now the volunteers have shrunk and we have 31 part-time employees and a number of full-time employees. He noted that the most important thing is that they are able to keep up with their demands.

Mr. Swets informed Chief Willman that the Council and Safety Board are eager to work with him to make the Fire Department greater and stronger.

NEW BUSINESS:

Department Goals and Upcoming Business: Chief Flores communicated goals and objectives that he would like to implement. Short-term plans include filling the vacancy created by the former Chief leaving and him being appointed as the next Chief, appointing a new detective to replace him in that spot, and add an additional officer for a total of 23 Officers. He noted that Dyer has approximately 18,000 residents with a force of 30 Officers; we have approximately 22,000 residents and currently have 21 Officers. In the long-term, he would like to see the force have about 30 Officers in total.

Chief Flores requested that an Employee-Assistance Program be considered, possibly for both the Police and Fire Departments. He would like to incorporate using a Domestic Violence Advocate and has been speaking with one who assists in other areas. He would like to have inhouse physical tactics training; there are several instructors on the force that are knowledgeable that could be utilized for training which would be a minimal cost, and they could partner in training with the Fire Department.

Chief Flores noted that he would like to get additional equipment. Short-term equipment requirements include a taser and an air card for each Officer.

Chief Flores is planning on cutting the hours of the Police Department Clerks Office; currently they are there 9-6 Monday through Friday and 9-1 every Saturday. Primarily, the business they do there can't be done unless the Clerk-Treasurer's Office is open. Another cost-cutting measure being considered is to cut some accreditations they belong to and put that money into the training budget.

Chief Flores would like to implement succession training to take someone under him to take over for his spot, the Deputy Chief under him should be ready to take over his spot, etc. He intends to encourage transparency and open input on how things will be done so that everyone feels they have a bit of ownership in how decisions are made. Lastly, he asserted that he wants to work on a establishing a 5-year plan with the Safety Board.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

Mr. Swets asked Chief Willman for closing remarks. Chief Willman stated that he is glad to be here and believes this will be a positive change.

Mr. DeJong inquired if there is currently no EAP. Chief Flores responded that there is; however, he would like it to be geared more specifically for Police and Fire.

Mr. Moran spoke about the Peer-Support Program that he went through in Chicago's, the one he helped form for the Evanston Police Department and offered to assist Chief Flores.

Mr. Swets invited everyone to hang around for a little bit after the meeting is adjourned to mingle and get to know each other a bit more.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 1:43 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

01-08-2020 Town Council

January 8, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Swets called the St. John Town Council Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer, and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: Steven Flores, Police Chief, and Fred Willman, Fire Chief.

A quorum was attained.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Dennis DeVito (10341 Silver Maple Drive) -- Mr. DeVito requested the Town Council update Chapter 10, Article 1, Section 10-2 to 10-7, regarding a penalty for not obtaining a business license for a business located in St. John. He referenced in incident in 2019 wherein a local business owner did not obtain a valid business license for the current year and at least three prior years where, in a subsequent meeting, the Town Manager stated that he waived the fine, saying it was fairly typical and that the purpose of the license was so first responders had knowledge of the business location and the hazards that may be present. Mr. DeVito requested the penalty for the lack of a business license to remain the same and to add a provision where the minimum fine would be to pay for all past licenses missed plus a mandatory fine equal to the missed payments; and if there is to be a waiver of any amount of the fine, it must be made at a public meeting.

Mr. Swets responded to Mr. DeVito's concerns and informed him that this Town Council will be reviewing said ordinance.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. COMMUNITY CROSSING GRANT BID OPENING:
Mr. Swets asked if we received any bids. Ms. Hernandez responded in the affirmative and passed the bids to Attorney Dave Westland to commence with the bid opening.
  1. Bid 1 is from Walsh & Kelly; Base Bid Table 1 is $1,051,288.80. Base Bid Table 2 is $735,333.65.
  2. Bid 2 is from Reith-Riley; Base Bid Table 1 is $1,135,967.45. Base Bid Table 2 is $857,055.77.
  3. Bid 3 is from Gallagher Asphalt; Base Bid Table 1 is $1,093,490.97. Base Bid Table 2 is $801,468.93.

Attorney Westland advised that all the bid packets appear to have the required documentation and recommended that the Town Council refer the bids to staff and legal for a recommendation and, after receiving that recommendation, award the bid to the lowest, most responsive bidder and responsible bidder at the January 22, 2020 meeting.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to take the bids under advisement and upon staff and legal review to award the bid to the lowest and most responsive and responsible bidder at the January 22, 2020 meeting; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

B. St. John Police Department Emergency Hire:
Mr. Swets advised that the Police Department is requesting permission to execute an emergency hire process for an additional officer to fill a current vacancy and entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to authorize the Police Department to execute an Emergency Hire Process to hire an additional officer to fill a vacancy; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $182,369.09. Mr. Pondinas made a motion to pay the bills; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Brief discussion ensued. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Pondinas made a motion to authorize Margaret Abernathy to sign bills in the amount of $1500 to $4000 to allow day-to-day operations to proceed.

Mr. Swets asked Attorney Westland if that is in line; Attorney Westland responded in the affirmative and explained that as a fiscal body, the legislative body can appoint someone in the Town Manager's stead since the Town is currently acting without a Town Manager.

Ms. Hernandez advised that the bills will still be on the docket for Town Council approval and that this would just allow Ms. Abernathy as the Town Manager's Administrative Assistant to sign the bills so they can be added to the docket.

Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to authorize Ms. Hernandez to sign payroll for Public Works and some of the responsibilities for the Town Manager.

Discussion started to ensue wherein Attorney Westland advised that the Council should have a second before starting a discussion.

Mr. Blazak seconded the motion.

Discussion ensued wherein Ms. Hernandez responded that it would be good to have Mr. Davis sign payroll for Public Works and her sign payroll for the Town Manager's office so Ms. Abernathy isn't signing her own payroll and requested the same be implemented until we have a new Town Manager.

Attorney Westland advised the Council to have the second withdrawn, then the motion withdrawn in order to act on a new motion.

Mr. Blazak withdrew his second; Mr. Pondinas withdrew his original motion.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to appoint Robert Davis to sign Public Works payroll; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to appoint Ms. Hernandez to sign for the Town Manager's Office payroll; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carries unanimously.

Mr. Pondinas thanked the Council for dissolving the Utility Board and saving the Town $6000 per member, and saving the taxpayers $30,000; and at the end of the year, we can be transparent and add that $6000 to the Councilmen's salaries.

Mr. Schilling stated that we are in a Census year, which helps us get funding for various project that we do. Mr. Schilling requested that the IT Department and the Clerk-Treasurer's Office along with a committee to get the advertising out so folks can get counted. In 2010, we had 98% reporting and we would like to hit that number again.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to appoint Michael Gillette to the Plan Commission to fill a vacant seat; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez reported that three groups of employees came through and watched the Internal Controls video required by State Board of Accounts and there are three more sessions for Thursday. The new employee policy manual was also distributed to the employees at the same time with a QA session to be held in about two weeks giving the employees time to read the manual and note questions they may wish to ask.

Ms. Hernandez requested that the board make a motion to approve paying the 2020 AIM dues in the amount of $4871; AIM provides training to appointed and elected officials, along with staff and employees throughout the year.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve paying the 2020 AIM dues in the amount of $4871; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Hernandez asked Attorney Westland if we need a motion for Mr. Swets to sign the letter changing Steve Flores from a salary non-exempt employee to a salary, exempt employee and Chief of Police, or if he can do sign that by virtue of the appointment being made at the January 1, 2020 meeting. Attorney Westland responded that it wouldn't hurt, but it isn't legally necessary because there was January 1, 2020 appointment and this reiterates that appointment, the information in the Salary Ordinance, and Police SOP that he is entitled to receive.

Mr. Swets asked if he can sign off on these types of things as Town Council President or if he needs authorization from the Town Council. Attorney Westland responded that this letter can be signed off on because action was already taken on it. Others would depend on a position by position basis. While in the absence of a Town Manager, the Executive does have some authority; however, it isn't a bad idea to put it in the minutes that the legislative body agrees that there is a point person for expediency and running of the organization. Furthermore, the legislative body should give some leeway so people can go about their business, and it makes sense to have the President be the one to do that. If the legislative board wants everything to come in front of it for approval, it is your prerogative and you may vote to do so.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to approve the signature on the offer for Police Chief Flores. Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize Mr. Swets to sign the promotion of Steven Flores to Chief of Police wherein it states he gets his vehicle, his gun, and paid his compensatory time; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to authorize him to sign movement from department to department or within departments. Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize Mr. Swets to sign for any transfers between departments in the absence of a Town Manager; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion.

Ms. Abernathy asked if that could be extended to new hires since that is something that the Town Manager would typically sign as well.

Mr. Schilling amended the motion to authorize the Town Council President to sign for personnel moves, separations, promotions, transfers, and new hires; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion as amended. Motion carried 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.

Staff
Mr. Swets advised that Chief Flores and Chief Willman were not required to be here as this was a special meeting.
Town Manager’s Office:
Ms. Abernathy noted that Denise Sulek, Tom DeGiulio, and Bob Volkmann are part of a multi-community committee that we work with for the Census.

Ms. Hernandez read a letter into the record from Stacy Spejewski, mother of Molley Lanham, of 10172. Said letter is attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2020-01-08-TC1.

Ms. Abernathy asked if the Town Council would be appointing someone to sign off on documents as the department head in Public Works since Mr. Kil was the department head for Public Works.

Mr. Swets asked for any thoughts. Mr. Schilling stated that in Mr. Kil's absence, Mr. Davis is the next highest-ranking person, so in a sense, he is the department head. Mr. Swets concurred and asked if anyone had anything different, hearing none, Mr. Davis will sign for his department.

Mr. Blazak announced that Census Takers get paid $25 an hour, and anyone can apply for part-time or full-time work.

Mr. Swets encouraged the Town's live-stream viewers to subscribe to its YouTube channel, which will make the link more accessible to everyone.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

01-22-2020 Town Council

January 22, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Reverend Steve Miller of Village Church performed the invocation.

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at 7:08 p.m. and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Acting Chief Rybicki on behalf of Chief Steven Flores; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: Steven Flores, Police Chief, and Fred Willman, Fire Chief.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion regarding the meeting minutes of December 19, 2019; January 1, 2020; January 8, 2020, Town Council Special Meeting and Special Town Council Safety Board Joint Meeting. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the minutes; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Jerome Mikulich (9440 West 103rd Place) -- Mr. Mikulich, creator of CityByApp, spoke about the app that he created for the Town of St. John and stated that he would like to make a presentation to the Town Council at a future meeting. Mr. Swets responded that it would be scheduled at a future time.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Award the Community Crossing Grant Bid Award
Mr. Blazak made a motion to award the Community Crossing Grant Bid Award to Walsh & Kelly, the lowest and most responsive and responsible bidder; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
B. Consider Approval and Acceptance of the 2020 Fire Department Roster
Mr. Schilling made a motion to accept the 2020 Fire Department Roster as presented by Fire Chief Fred Willman; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
C. Ordinance No. 1700, An Ordinance Amending the 2020 Salary Ordinance
Mr. Swets explained the changes made in Ordinance No. 1700. Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1700 on first reading; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Mr. Swets entertained a motion to approve the said ordinance. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1700 and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
D. St. John Township Trustee Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Agreement
St. John Township Trustee Cathy Lareau gave a brief overview of the agreement. Mr. Schilling inquired about the payment for services. Ms. Lareau explained how the funds are determined, collected, and disbursed. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the agreement for 2020; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
E. Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement of Clifford Wroe
Mr. Swets explained the purpose of the Conflict Of Interest Disclosure Statement for Mr. Wroe. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the Uniform Conflict of Interest of Clifford Wroe; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
F. ITI Service Agreement
Mr. Schilling made a motion to accept the service agreement with ITI to stay compliant with new federal regulations of the DOT and the FMCSA and to authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
G. Deletion of Inactive, Obsolete, or Other Certain Utility Customer Accounts
Ms. Hernandez gave an overview of the annual system clean up. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the deletion of certain utility customer accounts as determined by the Clerk-Treasurer; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
H. Appointments to the EDC
Mr. Blazak made a motion to appoint John DeYoung, Kelly Stoming, Joey Lax-Salinas, Robert Godoy, Joseph Barry, Erica Hill, and Karl Madsen as members, and to appoint the new town manager, when hired, and himself as the liaisons; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Panczuk thanked Beth Hernandez and Margaret Abernathy for their assistance in helping with the transition. Mr. Panczuk reported that the Council has been quite busy getting things done and that there is still much work to be done. Mr. Panczuk also thanked Bryan Blazak and Wayne Pondinas for spending a lot of time at Town Hall to help fill in the gaps. Mr. Panczuk commented that would like the Tree Board to be implemented before the end of the first quarter.

Mr. Swets reported that the posting for a town manager on GovHR yielded 27 applicants and that interviews are forthcoming and they would like to fill the position as soon as possible. Mr. Swets echoed that the group in front of the public has spent many hours to ensure the Town is working as it should and thanked them for doing so. Mr. Swets advised that the census is coming up and emphasized the importance of everyone being accounted for in this census as it directly impacts funding that St. John receives from the state and federal governments for the next ten years, which equals a loss of $2700 per person, per year that is not counted in the census.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez reported that in 2019, her office billed a total of 7,667 accounts by the end of December 2019, which is an increase of 344 new accounts. Total billing was $6,789,616 for 630,725,300 total gallons of water. Ms. Hernandez further reported that she had received multiple requests for the Town Council to consider moving the town-wide garage sale to early June due to the unpredictable weather in May.
Staff:
Ms. Abernathy read Chief Willman’s report into the record: During the month of December 2019, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 156 requests for assistance. There were 128 calls in District 1, 16 calls in District 2, and 12 calls in District 3. Mutual Aid included Schererville, Fire/EMS; Lake Hills, Fire/EMS; Lake Ridge, Fire Department; and Cedar Lake, Fire/EMS. The Monday night activities for the month included the first Monday of the month was the Business Meeting of the Volunteer Division. December 9 was an EMS in-service for medical emergencies brought on by exposure to severe cold weather and audit and review of ambulance transports with the Franciscan Health Crown Point pre-hospital care system. December 16 was an in-house work night to ensure the facilities and vehicles were ready for winter-weather activity. The last two Mondays, they took a break to celebrate the holidays.

Acting Chief Rybicki reported: From December 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, the members of the St. John Police Department logged 17,563 miles and responded to 568 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 24 arrests, with 49 charges being filed. There were 117 traffic citations issued, along with 159 written warnings, for a total of 276 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0), other thefts totaled $1,032, and recovered property totaled zero ($0).

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to authorize the purchase of petroleum product from Al Warren Oil in the amount of $23,354.20 and to authorize the Town Council President to sign the associated Petroleum Product Purchase Agreement; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize payment for the request for purchase to Jerome L. Ezell, Attorney at Law, in the amount of $7,695.00 for professional services; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to authorize payment for the request for purchase to Ferguson Waterworks in the amount of $10,800.00 for the purchase of 72 water meter registers; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize payment for the request for purchase to CDW Government, Inc., in the amount of $5,540.00 for RedHat Enterprise Linux software support; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize payment for the request for purchase to Gaskill & Walton in the amount of $4,900.00 for the purchase of two butterfly valves, one to be used at the Gates Water Treatment Plant and one for stock; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize payment for the request for purchase to Sheehy Well & Pump Co in an amount not to exceed $12,000.00 to test the second well site in Gates East; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $792,686.76. Mr. Blazak made a motion to pay the bills; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

02-03-2020 Town Council

February 3, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council Vice President Paul Panczuk called the St. John Town Council Special Meeting to order on Monday, February 3, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; and Michael Schilling, Councilman.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Gerald Swets, President; Steven Flores, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

A quorum was attained.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

Community Crossing Grant Contract:

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to authorize Vice President Paul Panczuk to sign the Community Crossing Grant contract documents with Walsh and Kelly, Inc., in the amount of $1,786,622.45; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUESTS to PURCHASE:

Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the Request to Purchase from Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a public water service fee and authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to pay the same; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Panczuk adjourned the meeting at 7:04 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

02-26-2020 Town Council

February 26, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

Reverend Dan Donaldson of Suncrest Christian Church performed the invocation.

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 7:07 p.m. and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Steven Flores, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: Wayne Pondinas, Councilman.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion regarding the meeting minutes of the January 22, 2020, Regular Meeting and February 3, 2020, Special Meeting. Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the minutes; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): I would like to express a few items. In 2016, Beth Hernandez was elected Clerk-Treasurer. She and the Town Council members at that time, Mark Barenie, Forbes, and the others, have passed a resolution or a ordinance which actually prohibits only Adrian Bugariu from expressing his views. And the moment I start expressing my views, I am even tossed out of the meeting, which never happened when Sherry was Clerk-Treasurer. I also want to read something in here. He told me, and that was Wayne the Waterman, the ladies in Beth Hernandez’ office said Adrian is nice guy, always polite and respectful. For what reason, every time I go in her office requesting documents – I don’t hurt nobody. I never made threats. I never had words with her when she called the Chief of Police via Turturillo, and here comes the Chief Kveton with two police officers, and this and that. Then she sends Gardenhire to my house, making threats, with threats and any kind of – how you call it – threats to me and to my life and everything else by that lady and her gang. I don’t care for it. It’s not – I served three years in U.S. Army, honorable discharge, and I don’t need anybody with her credentials, because her credentials are not good. Why, I ask you –

(Mr. Swets asked Mr. Bugariu to be respectful.)

– why these people in here do not offer respect. Every time I go there to ask for something, I get a letter from her and from Marilyn, which works in her office. Her excuse, they – they don’t say. They say, “Well, we don’t have these records. It will be issued to you later on.” Never happens since 2016. I didn’t get one document that I requested. I didn’t commit a crime. I ask documents, which under the Freedom of Information Act – it’s a federal law – everybody should adhere to this thing. And I want this ordinance that prohibits only Adrian Bugariu from speaking to be removed. That was past Town Council and was passed only for me not to talk. Secondly, I was going to the Chief Kveton’s office to ask him to go with me to the Clerk’s Office because I was going to request some information. He says, “Adrian, I cannot go with you because, if I go, I’ll get fired.” That’s what he told me. He did not get – how you call – to retire. He was actually fired but put it in a different way. And for her to go with Rudzinski into a meeting and send things to – how you call – to the Times and make statements, she’s like an attorney in here, like a federal judge.

(Mr. Swets informed Mr. Bugariu that his three minutes were up and asked him to wrap it up.)

Okay. What are the duties both of Clerk-Treasurer of the Town of St. John? I want to hear it from you, sir. You are a lawyer. You ask the thing that any interference of her into Town politics or is she supposed to do her job? Thanks so much.

(Mr. Swets addressed Mr. Bugariu and stated that some of the comments dealt with the previous Town Council and the previous Police Department, and we have a new Town Council and a new Police Chief, so he has someone to go to. He further stated that Mr. Bugariu has a right to say what he wants to say, that the Council respects that right, and thanked him for his comments.)

Edward Conn (9227 West 91st Court): If allowed, this speech should just take a little over three minutes.

(Mr. Swets requested that Mr. Conn provide the written statement to the recording secretary to attach to the minutes.)

Rather than go through all this, I would like to attach a copy, but I’d like to give the Town Attorney my personal copy, and then I will supply a copy.

(Mr. Swets informed Mr. Conn that he may speak.)

That’s all right; I’d rather do this.

(Mr. Swets noted that if anyone has a written statement that they would like to be in the record, they can provide that for attachment to the minutes.)

Let’s put it this way, there’s a number of issues in there in this letter that I will not put out on your YouTube video, but I do believe they need to be addressed seriously by this Council, the Town Attorney, for what was done in your selection process for a number of these boards. Thank you.

Having no one further wishing to speak, Mr. Swets closed Public Comment.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. Resolution No. 2020-02-26C – Additional Appropriation
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2020-02-26C, a resolution for additional appropriation.

Attorney Westland stated that all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Ms. Hernandez summarized the additional appropriations. The first appropriation is for the Police Department out of the Forfeiture and Seized Asset Fund in the amount of $5,000 for training purposes. The next appropriation is for the potential hiring of another police officer, less a vehicle as they will attempt to use a current vehicle for this year. The cost of a new officer less a vehicle will be approximately $121,700; of that amount the additional appropriation that is being asked for is $98,700 out of the General Fund, $8,000 from the Public Safety Fund, and $15,000 from the Special Revenue Fund. All of which includes payroll, benefits, PERF, FICA, and startup costs, which include a radio, Taser, rifle, badge, gun, uniform, and vest. The final appropriation is for the Parks Department for a maintenance foreman position and five summer help employees in the total amount of $78,100, which includes payroll and all benefits-related items.

Mr. Panczuk expressed his support for hiring of an additional officer for the safety of the community and our Police Officers. He noted that it will help achieve the minimum staffing on the street that is desired and commented that this is a matter that needs to be done without delay.

Mr. Swets opened the floor for Public Hearing Comment. Having no one come forward to speak, he closed the floor and entertained a motion.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-02-26C, a resolution authorizing additional appropriations for fiscal year 2020; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Chief Flores thanked the Council.

B. Ordinance No. 1704 – Re-establishing the CCD Fund
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1704, an ordinance re-establishing the CCD Fund.

Attorney Westland stated that all items are in order for this Public Hearing to proceed.

Ms. Hernandez stated that this ordinance re-establishes the rates of the Cumulative Capital Development Fund, CCD. The maximum rate is five cents ($0.05) per $100 of the best value. Over time, the rate falls which results in less levy received by the Town. The Town is currently collecting 0.0432 cents per $100 of assessed value, so we are re-establishing the rate to receive the maximum levy. By re-establishing the fund, the Town will generate roughly $94,000 in the CCD Fund, which can be used for just about anything. She advised that it is typically used for capital projects and expenditures.

Mr. Swets opened the floor for Public Hearing Comment. Having no one come forward to speak, he closed the floor and entertained a motion.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1704 on first reading; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1704 on first reading and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Offer of Employment – New Town Manager
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider an Offer of Employment for our new Town Manager.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to hire Craig Phillips as the new Town Manager of St. John and authorize the Town Council President to execute a formal offer of employment for the same; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Phillips thanked the Town Council for selecting him as the new Town Manager and gave a brief description of his qualifications and certifications. He noted that he started as a Planner for Elkhart, Indiana, and eventually became the assistant director; he became the Director of Planning for Valparaiso; he was a consultant providing municipal services to various communities; and he was the Director of Planning and Redevelopment for Michigan City. Mr. Phillips stated that he has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Michigan State University; furthermore, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He noted that he does have other memberships and stated that he is excited for the plans on the horizon for St. John and excited to be a part of the same.

B. Ordinance No. 1701 – Town Dumpster
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1701, an ordinance establishing the town dumpster regulations.

Ms. Hernandez gave a summary of the ordinance regarding the town dumpster regulations, which specifies that the dumpster will be open for St. John residents on the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ms. Hernandez explained that residents must go to the Police Department and show an ID for proof of residence. The Police Department will go over a list of items that are not permitted to be put into the dumpster. If that is violated, it will result in a $250.00 fine.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1701 on first reading; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1701 on first reading and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

C. Ordinance No. 1702 – Community Events Special Revenue Fund
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1702, an ordinance establishing the Town of St. John Community Events Special Revenue Fund.

Ms. Hernandez gave an overview of the ordinance, which establishes a special revenue fund for various community events receipts and expenditures.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1702 on first reading, establishing the Town of St. John Community Events Special Revenue Fund; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1702 on first reading and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

D. Ordinance No. 1703 – Credit Card Use
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1703, an ordinance regarding credit card use.

Ms. Hernandez gave an overview of the ordinance, which establishes that use of the Town credit card must be preapproved and is limited to emergency purchases and travel and training.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1703, an ordinance regarding credit card use, on first reading; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1703 on first reading and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

E. Resolution No. 2020-02-26 – Transfer of Funds
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-02-26, a resolution transferring $1000 from the Escrow Clearing Fund (880) to the General Fund (101).

Ms. Hernandez explained that this allows for escrow payments that have been forfeited to be transferred into the General Fund.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-02-26; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

F. Resolution No. 2020-02-26A – Fund Number Change
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-02-26A, a resolution to change Waterworks Utility Cash Reserve Fund (609) to Waterworks Utility Cash Reserve Fund (631) and transfer any remaining fund balance to the new fund number.

Ms. Hernandez explained that this is a fund number change as per recommendation by the State Board of Accounts.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-02-26A; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

G. Resolution No. 2020-02-26B – Declaration of Uncollectible Bad Debt
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-02-26B, a resolution declaring uncollectable bad debt for St. John ambulance billing.

Chief Willman explained that these are funds that are uncollectible bills due to Medicare permitted billing allowance and some are due to patients who are deceased.

Mr. Swets explained that the total uncollectable bad debt is $104,964.19, of which $90,778.00 is the portion we cannot collect per Medicare.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-02-26B; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

H. Resolution No. 2020-02-26D – Stale Checks
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-02-26D, a resolution to void stale checks that are outstanding and unpaid for a period of two or more years.

Ms. Hernandez stated that this resolution is to allow here office to void checks dating from December 5, 2014, through December 17, 2017, totaling $12,548.54 that were issued by the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and never cashed by the recipients.

Mr. Blazak asked if the funds need to be reported to the state. Ms. Hernandez responded that the Resolution will cover the Town when we are audited by the State Board of Accounts.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-02-26D, a resolution to void stale-date checks that are outstanding and unpaid for a period of two or more years; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

I. Letters of Credit – The Gates of St. John
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the acceptance of Letters of Credit for The Gates of St. John, Unit 7E, in the amount of $215,481.80; Unit 7F, in the amount of $277,345.00; Unit 9B, in the amount of $79,671.35; and Unit 17B, in the amount of $71,573.26. He further advised that this item has received a favorable recommendation by the Plan Commission.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to accept the Letters of Credit for The Gates of St. John, Unit 7E, in the amount of $215,481.80; Unit 7F, in the amount of $277,345.00; Unit 9B, in the amount of $79,671.35; and Unit 17B, in the amount of $71,573.26; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

J. Letter of Credit – Greystone
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the acceptance of a single Letter of Credit from Peoples Bank in the amount of $74,080.60 on behalf of CWS Holdings, LLC, for Greystone, Unit 1, Block 4; Unit 2, Block 3; and Unit 2, Block 4, and release three existing Letters of Credit in the amounts of $20,515.00, $23,661.00, and $29,904.60 respectively. He further advised that this item has received a favorable recommendation by the Plan Commission.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to accept the Letter of Credit from Peoples Bank in the amount of $74,080.60 to replace and release the three original Letters of Credit; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

K. Second Amendment to the Economic Development Agreement – SJ-96, LLC
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the Second Amendment to the Economic Development Agreement between the Town of St. John and SJ-96, LLC. Mr. Swets incorporated the Redevelopment Commission meeting comments regarding this matter into these minutes.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the Second Amendment to the Economic Development Agreement between the Town of St. John and SJ-96, LLC, and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

L. Road Impact Fee Study – Arsh Group
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the Road Impact Fee Study proposal with Arsh Group.

Mr. Blazak explained that the Town had an impact study done in 2015 which cost approximately $294,000. The previous administration did not move it forward, and it languished. By law, we now have to have a new study done before we can move anything forward. The price of $165,335 is an update cost, which is much less than the $260,000 cost to do all new car counts. The Town is going to try to move forward as rapidly as possible to get this in front of the Council for consideration before the end of the year.

Mr. Schilling asked why the original study couldn’t be used. Mr. Blazak responded that some of it will be used; however, some of it is outdated by state statute and has to be updated. We are opting for the update, which is the lesser cost. Mr. Panczuk stated that he would support the alternate cost of $165,335.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the Road Impact Fee Study Proposal with Arsh Group in an amount not to exceed $165,335, and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

M. Amendment to EDC Appointments
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to amend the appointments to the Economic Development Committee.

Mr. Blazak advised that Adam Robertson was inadvertently left off of the list when the appointments were made in January.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to appoint Adam Robertson as a member of the EDC; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Swets gave an update on the Community Crossing Grant. We received the purchase orders from INDOT, which completes the bidding-award process. The Town applied for $2 million worth of roadwork, and the bids came in at about $1.8 million. The matching funds from the State are $893,000.

Mr. Panczuk noted that he and Mr. Blazak have been attending meetings with other local officials to work with the state and county to improve some of the traffic issues, including those at Parrish Avenue and U.S. 231, Cline Avenue and U.S. 231 and Joliet Street and U.S. 41, which can be done by diverting traffic through Shops 96 to a new traffic signal on U.S. 41.

Mr. Swets thanked the Town Council for stepping up and doing extra work to ensure that projects flowed and continued as smoothly as possible. He commented that he is happy to see the new Town Manager here. Accolades and thanks were also given to Ms. Hernandez, all Department Heads, Ms. Abernathy, and Public Works for all their extra efforts during the last couple of months.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez extended apologies on behalf of Mr. Pondinas for not being at the meeting due to illness. She advised that she will not be at the March Study Session because she will be attending Clerk-Treasurer training from March 8 through March 12. She noted that a Words on Wood event is being planned at Michel’s Sports Eatery. The cost is $50.00. Ms. Hernandez advised that the Town-wide Garage Sale poll is open through March 6, which offers different dates for residents to choose when they would prefer to have the garage sale. Ms. Hernandez reminded everyone that we are in a Census year and stated that in mid-March everyone will receive an invitation to participate in the Census, and encouraged everyone to do so. For each individual who is counted, the Town will receive approximately $2,710 of funding.

Mr. Swets noted that Bob Carnahan will be providing presentation materials to the Town Council to use at the March 11 meeting for a Census presentation and that the Director of NIRPC will be at that meeting to make a presentation.

Staff:
Chief Flores thanked the Council for supporting a 23rd hire and noted that the replacement hire candidate will be brought before the Safety Board this month. He commented that on April 8 the Police Department will be hosting a community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Chief Flores asked for permission to decommission a couple of old squad cars and sell them to Stan’s.

Attorney Westland advised that the VIN numbers should be brought to the Council to vote on the disposal of those cars. He further advised that he may want to get an estimate from Stan’s before he brings that request to the Council so they may address the disposal with the specific amount.

Chief Flores reported from January 1, 2020, through January 31, 2020 the members of the St. John Police Department logged 23,368 miles and responded to 574 law incidents. The investigation of these incidents led to 28 arrests, with 47 charges being filed. There were 218 traffic citations issued, along with 240 written warnings, for a total of 458 citations being issued during the month. Vehicle thefts totaled zero ($0), other thefts totaled $8,367, and recovered property totaled $50.

Chief Willman reported that during the month of January 2020, the St. John Fire Department responded to a total of 187 requests for assistance. There were 156 calls in District 1, 19 calls in District 2, and 12 calls in District 3. Mutual Aid included Lake Hills, Fire/EMS; Schererville, Fire/EMS; Crown Point, Fire/Rescue; and Cedar Lake, Fire/EMS. The Monday night activities for the month included the first Monday of the month was the Business Meeting of the Volunteer Division. January 13 was training that covered a review of policies and procedures associated with confined-space rescues or challenges. January 20 was an EMS in-service regarding mandatory OSHA requirement addressing exposures to blood borne pathogens in the workplace. January 27 was an indoor Emergency Vehicle Operation Certification class that covered a lectures session dealing with rules of the road and an overview of the skills and considerations associated with driving and positioning emergency apparatus.

Ms. Abernathy thanked the Town Council for hiring her a new boss and thanked them for their patience with the office during the transition period.

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez advised that there are two Requests to Purchase for consideration: Superior Pumping Services for a variable frequency drive repair for Lift Station No. 1 in the amount of $5,365.86 and Hawk Enterprises for the pedestrian crossing sign at W 101st Street and Garden Way in the amount of $5,431.

Mr. Panczuk noted that Mr. Pondinas has worked hard on getting the pedestrian crossing sign installed, thanked him for that hard work, and stated that he supports that crossing sign. He would like to do the same thing at Parrish Avenue by Founders Park.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to authorize payment for the requests to purchase as read by the Clerk-Treasurer and authorize her to pay the same; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $1,915,608.74. Mr. Schilling made a motion to pay the bills; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

03-11-2020 Town Council

March 11, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Special Meeting to order on March 11, 2020 at 7:11 p.m. and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Vice President; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Craig Phillips, Town Manager

Absent: Steven Flores, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Swets stated “This being a special meeting, we have a little bit of business to take care of. Otherwise this is supposed to be an informational kind of meeting so we didn’t ask the rest of the staff to be here or didn’t require the rest of the staff to be here. We really wanted this to be an informational, open session, you know, for the residents here to speak to give us opinions and ideas as well. Umm, we have no one signed up for public comment. So I’m not even going to go there at this point. I will go through a couple of items of business and then after the presentations, I will open it up to public comment. So if you have some questions or comments on some of the things that we have discussed tonight, you will have an opportunity to do that after, after the presentations.
A. Consider donation to Dollars for Scholars for Lake Central and Hanover School Corporations
Mr. Swets: Do I have a motion?

Mr. Panczuk: I would like to make a motion to donate to the Dollars for Scholars program for the Lake Central and the Hanover School Corporation in the amount of $1,000 each.

Mr. Swets: Do we have support for that?

Mr. Schilling: I will second that.

Mr. Swets: Any discussion? [No discussion]. All in favor signify by saying “Aye”. Motion passes 5-0.

B. Consider Provisional Signal Agreement with INDOT for the installation of the provisional fully actuated traffic signal on US 41 at 96th Place
Mr. Swets: I will entertain a motion.

Mr. Blazak: I will make a motion to approve the provisional signal agreement with Indiana Department of Transportation for an actuated traffic signal on US 41 and 96th Place and authorize the Town Council president to sign such document.

Mr. Swets: Do I have support for that?

Mr. Schilling: I will second that.

Mr. Swets: All in favor signify by saying “Aye”. Motion passes 5-0.

C. Regional Transportation—Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission Director Ty Warner
Mr. Swets: Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission Director Ty Warner is here to give us some information, hear some ideas. Ty, thank you very much for coming to our meeting. I know we really looked forward to this meeting when it was on our calendar so we are anxious to hear what you have to say to us.

Mr. Warner: Well, I’m keeping this very informal, but I will give an overview of NIRPS and then we can have some dialogue. But first of all, thank you for having me tonight. It’s great to be here. Mr. Swets is at our meetings, and it’s nice to turn the tables and it’s great to be here with all of you. Is this alright over here? I hate to have by back to everyone. I will be glad to go wherever you want me to go. Great, I do have some handouts, although I didn’t prepare a Powerpoint, per say. But I have enough for everyone out here. [Flyers are passed out].

First of all, maybe I should set the tone to explain what NIRPS is. I don’t want to assume people are very, very familiar with it. NIRPS has been around since 1965. A lot of regional councils across the country like NIRPS have been around about the same time period. So we just celebrated our 50th anniversary. In this part of the world, we started with Lake and Porter and La Porte was added sometime later, I think in the late 90s. So NIRPS is, I like to describe it as most fundamental, is NIRPS is the place where 41 municipalities in Lake, Porter, and La Porte all get together on a regular basis to talk about things that are bigger than any one of them. So it is the regional planning body for Northwest Indiana. So everyone gets together, just about monthly, all those communities, all those counties. As I put on this sheet, there are 53 total board members, which is a lot, I know. Somehow they manage to get it all done though. That is actually in State Law so I put the reference at the bottom of the card where in State Code NIRPS is formed. So if you want more details on the organizational structure and who is actually represented by NIRPS, there you go. Mr. Swets, as I mentioned before, is the appointee from St. John. Every municipality in Northwest Indiana has a representative that has to be an elected official that is appointed to attend NIRPS commission meetings.

The agenda item says Regional Transportation, and while that is true, and is often the subject that we talk about most at NIRPS, it is really just a part of what we do, but it is probably the biggest part and the part that most people know NIRPS for. So let me explain how that works for those that have not heard these acronyms, which there are far too many. So I will keep those to a minimum. What we usually get in the press about and what is usually the spotlight shined on NIRPS for is the transportation projects in Northwest Indiana. We have a federal designation as the MPO, Metropolitan Planning Organization and what that means in a nutshell is that, and this is nationwide, every place that has a certain population threshold, which happens to be 50,000 which is an urbanized population so it is a density calculation. Every place over 50,000 has to have an MPO designation for that part of the country. And what this means is basic, and I am probably grossly oversimplifying, but here is what it essentially is. When you fill up a tank of gas, 18 cents of that cost of gas, federal gas tax, goes to Washington, D.C. and fills up something called the Highway Trust Fund, which you probably read about and you are going to be reading about it again later this year as all of the attention that was focused on the Highway Trust Fund 5 years ago when there were lots of videos of crumbling bridges and crumbling infrastructure. There was a lot of attention then with the renewal of the FAST act, which is the Federal Transportation law that creates the Funding mechanism for the transportation projects. Congress, when they adopted the FAST act, pulled together some funds to make the 5 year Highway Trust Fund flow. But they did not actually create a sustainable funding mechanism to keep the Highway Trust Fund funded. So when that expires at the end of September, my forecast here is that you will start seeing that in the news all over again. About the dangers of our infrastructure, that we don’t have enough money to fix everything. As you know, the State did raise the gas tax to address that on the state level but it has not been done on the federal level. But that said, it is more just a little sneak preview of what I expect to see in the fall. That Highway Trust Fund, that is funded by federal gas taxes, then gets reallocated to every State Department of Transportation in the country, who in turn, allocates a portion of those funds to each MPO, and just so you know, there are about 13 MPOs in Indiana besides us—South Bend area, Fort Wayne, etcetera. What that does and the dynamic that changes with an MPO, is that those representatives that sit at the table, and again Mr. Swets is your representative for NIRPS, there is local decision making process to decide what to do with those dollars. So again, I am over simplifying, but if you are elsewhere in Indiana, not within an MPO, not within that designated area, you are basically raising your hand, trying to gain attention for the road projects and other transportation projects that you want to do amongst essentially the rest of the state. For the MPO, that decision making authority for those dollars rests in local officials to decide what to do with the federal transportation dollars that are allocated to the region, in this case, Northwest Indiana and the counties of Lake, Porter, and La Porte. So that is an overview of how the mechanism works. We have calls for projects every so often to fund that and I will start referring to this card for some major documents on how those dollars get allocated and how St. John can be most involved. Let me say also that I am just really really pleased with some of the meetings I have had recently with how St. John is really committed to the Regional Table and willing to step up their involvement. Craig Phillips is no stranger to NIRPS so with your hiring of him, you have a good resource to know how to access these funds and how to be able to make sure St. John is present. I will say this, I am going to talk a little bit more about how things get decided and how projects get planned and funded. But I will say at the NIRPS committee meetings, as much as it is important to be present for the official items on the agenda, what I see happening at those meetings is the informal communications that happen between municipalities across the region before and after the meeting and offline just by virtually being familiar with who is from those communities and how other places do things. So I see it all the time, something comes up at the meeting and there is some conversations afterwards about it. We are interested in trying to tackle this issue, how did you do it. And it doesn’t matter size because obviously there is a big range within this region. Everyone from the urbanized communities like Gary and Hammond to places like Kouts and La Crosse. Everyone is at the table and everyone is engaged in the discussion. So that informal aspect is just as valuable as the formal aspect.

So all the transportation dollars I talked about that are allocated to this region and I often have to clarify NIRPS deals with a lot of funds, but we actually do not have a lot of funds. So the way it works is we connect communities to the federal dollars, we don’t actually somehow sit on those dollars. So in a 4 year transportation program, we have about 1.5 billion dollars, billion with a “b” of projects funded within this region over the next 4 years. That is across all of Northwest Indiana, but we don’t have 1. 5 billion dollars. It is not as if NIRPS sits there and just decides who gets these funds, we help communities access those dollars, and to be able to do that for federal rules, and some of you are very, very familiar with this already, but I’m not sure if everybody is. To be able to access those dollars, you always have to have skin in the game. So almost every federal program that you receive federal transportation dollars for, is at 20 percent local match and 80 percent federal. If you get on the program, there are other criteria for that, but every community has to have skin in the game. So sometimes I know it is frustrating for folks who want to see certain projects, and want to see things funded, there is a timeline you have to get in to get those funded, but a lot of times, really great projects that are important and should be funded, can’t get funded by a community because there is no local match to match those federal dollars so sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, so to speak. And not being able to have those local matching dollars to get the other 80 percent projects. So the documents I have put on this sheet and any time, day or night, if you have insomnia or anything else, you can go to NIRPS.org and look at all the documents on there. We try to be very transparent with everything there so you can access all this information there, but I listed some key documents that you might want to take a look at if you are interested in trying to find out how this works, to look for specific projects.

So the first thing at the top of that list is NWI 2050. We are required by law to have a long range transportation plan, but starting with our 2040 plan, in 2011, NIRPS, very rightly, and this is before my time at NIRPS, took a much broader view to recognize that transportation investments don’t happen in a vacuum. You can’t just improve transportation without having an effect on economics, on housing, on environment, all these things. Though the 2040 plan in 2011 and now NWI 2050 which is our latest plan takes a broader view to look at a host of interactions to not just look at transportation but to try to cast a vision on those 3 counties a whole host of things. You can look at that plan in detail and see what those areas are. It has 16 main goals we are trying to achieve. So that is the long range framework that sets the goals that everything else falls into. So as these more detailed transportation funding decisions are made, they are all made with an eye towards how is it getting us towards that goal for 2050 for the region. I should specify that the development of that plan doesn’t just happen by a bunch of people sitting in a room. We have had workshops all over the region to get input from folks all across Northwest Indiana. We have had pop up events at festivals; we have had social meetings, and all sorts of mechanisms to get that kind of input. So when that is all said and done, we come across some shared values across Northwest Indiana to put into a long range plan and that is the guiding document for funding decisions.

The next thing down on the list is the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, a short range project list that I mentioned earlier. That gets down to the very specifics of the next 4 years, what is funded for the next 4 years, what is programmed to receive dollars over the next 4 years. We are currently programmed out to 2025 so I will throw this in right now, we are going to be having a new call for projects in Septemberish, sometime in the fall, and that will be the opportunity for communities to put more input into that pipeline. So if St. John has things they want to accomplish and can identify the local matching criteria to help with all of this. When that call goes out, that will be the time that the projects will be collected , be essentially scored, according to how they meet the goal of that long range plan, available funding, etcetera and get slotted for the next 4 years after the current TIP which is a 4 year time period. So it can be a long process and sometimes frustrating because it takes that long to line up the federal dollars.

Mr. Schilling: This won’t start until after 2025 then?

Mr. Warner: Correct. Anything new.

Mr. Schilling: Anything in September that we come to.

Mr. Warner: Anything that you identify that you want to try to get lined up for funding and put it into the stream and then we work really closely with the communities to figure out and what time frame in those four years can we obtain those dollars. And I should clarify, this is specifically for federal transportation dollars, things like community crossings that the State just approved recently, that is all State funding out of that State road tax so that does not come through us. This is just federal dollars that we are talking about. And again if you have a local match to match those federal dollars than we can line everything up and it can get scheduled. So did that answer your question?

Mr. Schilling: Yes

Mr. Warner: Great. So that is the short range four year plan. Then I put 2 more documents on here that I thought would be good to know about. We do a lot of planning that is not necessarily one of these required documents that deals with federal law, specifically the transportation funding. But, again, it works into what makes the most bang for the buck sort of thing so we can try to allocate the dollars in the best way possible.

Mr. Warner: So that third thing I put on the list is a regional corridor study we did a couple of years ago. And this looked at, if you looked at the old grid concept of how you connect the gaps in the system, so to speak, across the three counties of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte, we measured certain benefits of completing certain key corridor cross sections so we just get a handle of if we do this, this is going to make the best bang for the buck in terms of our traffic modeling. And that gives me the opportunity to say too that part of the techy stuff that we do is literally a transportation model where population projections get put into that model and trip allocations get assigned to project out certain years and it gives us a good handle on what’s the most likely to be super congested by what time period. So of you may have even received, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some folks here did, we did a household travel survey in 2018 which was last done in 2008. So randomly across this whole region, people got an invitation to participate. And if they did, they downloaded an app and voluntarily put where they were going in some course of some trips and that anonymously was data participated that let us know where people are thinking of trying to travel and they received a $20 gift card if they did participate. So some of you ended up $20 richer after that experience. But that kind of input was really, really helpful that gets fed into the model to help us best allocate and figure out where congested road segments are. And if you ever see this stuff when you are bouncing around the web or something, the congestion literally gets graded like a school grade A through F. Just looking out towards the horizon, there a lot of not very good scoring roads in this region.

Mr. Schilling: There is about 500 just west of us.

Mr. Warner: I do not know the exact grades but I would not be surprised.

Mr. Schilling: Are there any corridors you are working on in St. John?

Mr. Warner: Yeah, I didn’t bring the page with me, but there are several. So the corridor identified segments I can’t recall off the top of my head, but some of the roads, if completed, ranked in the top ten of the St. John area. One of them, I think, goes out across the Illinois line. So I could pull those up if you want before we leave here tonight.

Mr. Panczuk: While you are on that topic, if you don’t mind, I know of two. I have been involved in planning here for some time. I was on the Plan Commission, previous to being on the Council. But there are two specific corridors in Town that really scream for regional involvement. One would be Cline Ave and that involves Cedar Lake. It will involve Schererville, especially with the buyout of Luers Tree Farm and everyone is going to be coming up and down Cline Avenue. We have that missing link that is oh so critical. I know that is one I have penciled in as something to approach regional authorities for.

Mr. Warner: I know Cline was one of the ones in the regional corridor study. I forget the exact limits north and south.

Mr. Panczuk: 93rd to 101st.

Mr. Warner: That’s it.

Mr. Panczuk: We are actually as a Town working, and we may have to improve 93rd and Cline sooner than 5 years, but we have already enabled it for a roundabout, at least half a lane. So we are maybe hoping to put a roundabout and sub it out. The other corridor that I just have to make mention of is famous here, 231 and 109th. So that corridor is fed by Crown Point, Cedar Lake, St. John. It just happens to be at our southern border so we are the benefactor or victim of it, however you like to see it. So it certainly needs improvement and also something we have had some discussions in Town. And I see Commissioner Tippy out in the audience so I sat down at the table with him a few times and discussed that corridor so we are eager to bring those to the door.

Mr. Warner: Definitely. And I think those are the two in the Regional Corridor Study, the 109th was the one that shows completing that gap into Illinois. And that is another significant segment. So I think you named exactly those two before. And we have all sorts of connections all through the region and some of which cross the State line into Illinois in helping make that connection. So a lot of that material is in the Greenways and Blueways 2020 Plan which combines conversation issues with transportation issues with recreation issues for trail development. It also gets into, as you know, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association which has worked really hard to clean up some of our rivers. The Blueways component of that is waterways for kayaking and recreation also.

Mr. Warner: So I did bring a whole stack, and I understand you did have them here, but are down to your last one so I brought a whole new stack. If you want to grab one of these on your way out, you can put them anywhere you want. This has been a very popular item; I’ve seen them in bike shops, coffee shops all over the region, which is the visible bike and waterway map for Northwest Indiana. You can see the trail systems, how to access them, where to put a kayak in, etcetera. So we have published that, I don’t know how long now, and it is extremely popular.

Mr. Warner: So those are the four things I have put as resources that I thought would be helpful to this Council, but I’m happy to talk about whatever you like. Again, Craig is very familiar with NIRPS, as well, so he can also offer any of his perspectives or things based on what he knows.

Mr. Phillips: Can I just interject in your Greensway conversation real quick?

Mr. Warner: Yep

Mr. Phillips: So I was involved in the planning of that document as a stakeholder, obviously. I don’t remember the exact date but I was involved. I think obviously the corridor plan is one we are very interested in and the other one the Council will definitely want to become more familiar with is the Greensway and Bluesway Plan because I know several of you have mentioned to me that you are very interested in multipurpose trail and pathway connections, both within the community and two other communities to be able to access that regional network. And we are very close. I think there are some opportunities for doing that so I would just strongly suggest you, and I can help you do that as well, familiarize yourself with that plan because that is the backbone of how you will ultimately go about getting funding for pathways and multipurpose trails, funding for those projects. Which I am familiar with and several of our consultants are very very familiar with the process of how to get that funding. So I just wanted to add that to the discussion.

Mr. Warner: Great. Yeah, Craig mentioned that. The whole conclusion of a regional plan, as you mentioned, does factor into scoring into some of these things so that is very helpful. I know I did a lot of talking, but honestly, whatever else you would like to attach.

Mr. Swets: I have a couple of questions. When you look at the four year plan, going out and making sure you have the funding from our side secured, is that something we have to have the money and just hold onto it for four years while we are waiting for our programs to be approved.

Mr. Warner: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to. Our transportation project person would be able to tell you the details of exactly of when you need to show that commitment. I can’t answer that off the top of my head. The main thing is scheduling it in that pipeline and I think you just have to show, give some kind of proof that you will be able to supply those funds. I don’t think you necessarily have to. I don’t want to speak incorrectly, but I don’t think you have to put it away in a safe. I think you just have to be able to commit.

Mr. Phillips: I think I got it having just recently been through that process with projects. Essentially what you guys have to do is commit to the availability of the funds at the time that are needed and that is in the form of some sort of resolution by the Council which then translates into a letter that would accompany your application basically. But then there is a period at which, basically, right before a project is put out for bids or let, as it is put by INDOT, that the funds have to be made available, and basically paid to INDOT, basically right before that project goes to letting. You basically have to include it in your forecasting to make sure the funds are available at that time.

Mr. Swets: And then as far as the Greenway Projects, do those take and have to be planned out as far in advance?

Mr. Warner: Those are also part of the TIP, anything receiving federal funding is in the TIP. And I should say part of the reason why that 4 year project is because the TIP is up to 1.5 billion dollars. A big chunk of that is for the Shoreshore expansion so both the West Lake and the doubletracking, that is a chunk of that. So those are receiving federal dollars so those were also necessary for NIRPS to approve into the TIP in order for those projects to go forward.

Mr. Phillips: Is is true that much the same as we allocate our budgets and funding targets as a Town, there are funding targets and percentages set out through the stakeholder involvement process ultimately. And the full commission votes on how much money is available for roads, how much money is available for pathways, how much money is available for safety improvements, for all of those various categories. That is all clearly laid out what those funding targets are.

Mr. Warner: Yes, thank you for that. Yes, there are certain funding pods put out that are for part of the federal programs. And as part of that, not only is there an allocation across those funding pods, there is some flexibility on what we allocate across the funding pods, but there is a host of things in NWI2020 plan, that we try, as Craig said, to process what to allocate, how much we want to go into each one of the areas that that plan is trying to accomplish. But that is all part of the process of being at the table. That is why it is so valuable for St. John to be there and be part of that discussion.

Mr. Swets: Well we are excited to be part of that.

Mr. Warner: Glad to have you there.

Mr. Swets: Bryan, anything?

Mr. Blazak: No. It’s been quite enlightening.

Mr. Panczuk: I just want to speak about the greenways a little bit. Everyone up here knows I am pushing for sidewalks and bike trails continually in Town and, up until this point, had to fight for them because I was on the other end of things. Recently, our Shops 96 redevelopment project in the core of our Town, there was no sidewalks in it; I fought to get sidewalks, and they were removed before the end of last year. Well, they are back and we are going to do 8 foot so it is a full path width along 41, as well as back to Joliet Street. And we are hoping that is going to be the cornerstone of further development, a path down 41, future connections into our bike path system to 105th and then loop it back so folks can access it from the various subdivisions to our commercial corridor and back. So we are going to be looking for some help in that, as well as in that same project, headed east on Joliet, we have a bike path that can link it and get to Schererville. Some of that work has been done previously so we are going to continue that work and pursue it aggressively. We will link into the regional system and also begin to link the town together because obviously we grew up as a farm town so we are lucky to even have a sidewalk at this point. But we would at least like to get the subdivisions linked to the center of our Town and the center of our Town linked out east towards Erie-Lackawanna. So we have visions for that certainly and these folks have seen some of that. So we will definitely be looking for some of that. I’m sure Gerry will represent.

Mr. Warner: Great. Excellent. That’s better for everybody, the more cross connections get completed. It just reinforces the trail segments you have in Town as well.

Mr. Phillips: Any development that happens on 41 we will continue to do that, similar to what you have seen out in Valparaiso where if you put something in, you are going to put a pathway in front of it. You have to start somewhere. That is really our goal, to start putting those pieces in place.

Mr. Swets: Mike, anything?

Mr. Schilling: I had a couple of questions, but you have already answered them.

Mr. Swets: Wayne?

Mr. Pondinas: No

Mr. Swets: I will open it up to the floor if anyone has a question or comment for Ty, if you want to come forward to the microphone.

Public Comment:

Ms. Abernathy: State your name and address for the record also please.

Cecil Petro: 8541 Fairway Dr

Hi Ty. How are you doing? Hi Craig. How are you? My question is, a few years ago you had a wonderful program called Livable Cities. And I’m wondering if you still have that.

Mr. Warner: It has taken a little bit different form in how the NWI 2050 got framed, but the heart of it is still there. There is still a push in there to try to create more walkable downtown communities. So it is not quite the same funding program we had but it is still a significant scoring component of the project.

Ms. Petro: Is that something our Town could apply for?

Mr. Warner: Yeah, in the same thing as the call for projects, if there is something that help enhance and makes St. John. I should specify, thanks for the opportunity to say this, the Federal Transportation Funding that we have tries to make as wide as possible so communities can benefit from a host of projects. There does get to be a point where we can only, and this is probably the wrong terminology to use, but stretch those dollars so far towards something that doesn’t have a specific tie to transportation, but we do try our best when communities have projects that they want to accomplish that may not be as obviously transportation related. The program you are referring to, Livable Centers Program, the goal of that was, if you could make your communities more walkable, and that is the livability component, that that is less need for someone to jump in their car to go buy a gallon of milk or whatever the situation is. So it has a long term impact on the transportation system. So there is the tie in with the federal dollars. So we were successful in funding seven communities for that program—everything from Winfield to Crown Point. It just so happens that those who applied, we were able to fund. So we didn’t have to turn anybody away for that. But they were all along those lines—how do we enhance what is the center of our Town to create a more walkable environment. So the spirit of it is still there but the funding mechanism has changed a little bit instead of a separate grant program.

Ms. Petro: Is it...are these projects specific then, rather than...?

Mr. Warner: Right.

Ms. Petro: Is that what it has to be?

Mr. Warner: Exactly.

Ms. Petro: Do you provide the areas in which you could apply?

Mr. Warner: Right. We still do. The Creating a Livable Centers Program created for every community in Northwest Indiana. We sat down with all 41 municipalities and had them identify what’s the area, and we had a whole host of criteria, block lengths, mix of uses, etcetera. What’s the area you consider your core? And then that became the eligibility area for this particular program. Those areas are still in place for this funding. So parts of the points are based on do you help enhance the cores of those communities. So...

Ms. Petro: That is something that I hope we can look into. Thank you.

Mr. Warner: Certainly. Thank you.

Jack Slager: Schilling Development 8900 Wicker Ave

Mr. Slager: Ty, thanks for coming tonight. My question or for clarification, could you talk a little about some creative ways other municipalities are coming up with their 20 percent match? I believe several have passed a wheel tax and used that money for their 20 percent match. I believe also that, say for example, if the Cline Avenue extension that is missing, if a developer were to dedicate the land road right of way for that, can the value of that land or the future right of way value of the land be used as a portion of the 20 percent match? And are there other creative ways that a Town can utilize something to come up with the 20 percent match rather than just write a check?

Mr. Warner: I may actually defer to Craig on this, given his past experience with other communities in the region. I’m not aware of exactly what range of sources some communities have used for that 20 percent. So while I would love to answer that question, I’m not sure I can. Except that of what you have said; some have passed the wheel tax and they have used that for their funding. There was something else I was going to say, but I forgot what it is right now. Craig, I don’t know if you have anything to add to this, but.

Mr. Phillips: I think you are talking about some other in-kind type of contribution or something like that. I think it is limited. For example, if you… I guess the short answer is not really. It really ends up being a funding source. So it could be riverboat dollars that communities receive, it could be TIF dollars that communities receive. I think it is very common use to use TIF dollars for that. Actually every municipality that I have worked in has used TIF dollars, mostly, to meet those requirements. But, it is various funding sources. Sometimes it could be CEDIT. It just depends on what the resources are that are available in that community, you know, to make that happen. As far as any in-kind contribution, not really because the 20 percent match is really dollar for dollar for the federal dollars you receive.

Mr. Warner: We do use in-kind match for other grant programs that we have.

Mr. Phillips: That is what I was trying to get to. I guess I wasn’t saying it properly. But not for those transportation projects.

Mr. Warner: If I could insert here real quick. I really focused on transportation as that is what was on the agenda. We also have an environmental arm at NIRPS and so that program is all funded by miscellaneous grants. And that program uses in-kind a lot for it, depending on the grant funding sources. The thing I was going to mention is, even though it is not an option now, I will go ahead and say this because it is a creative possibility, it is just not legal yet. But there was a push by our counterparts around the Cincinnati area. Some time ago, and actually there has been talk to our regional association about trying to resurrect this idea because I think it has a lot of promise which was to recreate regional infrastructure improvement zones. And the idea with that was actually a proposed change in the U.S. tax code that would allow a private entity to contribute as a tax write-off towards that local share. So which seemed to make a lot of sense but hasn’t gotten the traction that they were looking for in Congress. I think there are some things happening on the National level that makes it at least viable to look at as an option, but it would require a change in the federal law. So that would allow for some of that creativity, but it doesn’t currently exist. Just hard cold cash.

Mr. Slager: Thank you.

Ed Conn: 9227 West 91st Ct.

Mr. Conn: Thank you for being here. It’s great information. Earlier you kinda dangled a carrot out there and I think more for the bad. When you talk about this funding that was created five years ago for bridges, infrastructure,

Mr. Warner: Oh, right, right. The FAST Act.

Mr. Conn: You kinda left us hanging there. And as tax payers and something that not only affects this region, but our travels to and through large cities. When you say it is going to come up again in September, was there a dollar amount placed in there five years ago and now we have ate through it? And we have to re-tax everybody again?

Mr. Warner: Yes. Thanks for asking this. It is really, really important. Yes. This is a national discussion. This isn’t just St. John. It isn’t just NIRPS. This is a federal discussion. So when Congress cobbled together the funds for that Highway Trust Fund that I talked about, what they did not do was to create a sustainable source of funding. And then most easy to fault to create that sustainable funding is, and this is why as you can tell it is unpopular and why it hasn’t happened, is to increase the federal gas tax. Not a lot of appetite for that. So while everybody recognizes that is a problem, the federal gas tax has not been raised since about 1993. So that 18 cents buys a lot less now than it did then. Plus we have good programs and policies that we are trying to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. So we are encouraging the purchase of less gasoline. So you start adding those things up, and if you can imagine that Highway Trust Fund filling in with gas tax dollars, but the gas tax buys less and less and we are trying to encourage not buying gas so less is going into that tank, so to speak. That is what is creating the problem. So it may come to the point where there is enough hurt that folks do on the federal level decide to raise the taxes as a way to fund that because there is no other way to fund that other than, like I said, the last time five years ago they just cobbled together what they could from various sources. The next best option, that has been floated, just FYI, it has not been necessarily happening yet, but out of the list of almost forty alternatives for the Highway Trust Fund, and the only one that has gained some sort of traction as a possibility is to track vehicle miles traveled. So you are literally paying based on how many miles you drive. So you can imagine, and you probably already thinking, there are privacy concerns with that. Do you want to tell the federal government where you are driving and where you are going? But there are states, Oregon is one. I want to say there are three others or so that are piloting this program, as we speak, voluntarily. And I don’t know exactly how they are getting around that, whether it is arm based or whether they are actually tacking an on-board diagnostic thing.

Mr. Schilling: Well if you have a phone in your car, they will know exactly where you are at.

Mr. Warner: Well, this is traffic projections. There are companies that, it is theoretically anonymous, but actually cell phone data to get a handle on.

Mr. Schilling: When I get in my truck it tells me I am 5 minutes away from work.

Mr. Warner: It’s uncanny what Siri knows.

Mr. Swets: But Mike if I am riding alongside you, they don’t know if it’s two vehicles or if it’s in the same car.

Mr. Warner: That’s true. So my point is there hasn’t been a good solution. That’s the next best, next to the gas tax, but if there is not an appetite to increase the gas tax, the next best thing that has been floated out there is vehicle miles traveled. My guess will be Congress will do a continuing resolution to continue with the same taxing income, but it will not solve the long term program. So it’s an issue. And it has its relevance to St. John because, in the scheme of things, it will take a while. But in the scheme of things it will affect how much is available to you to draw on federal sources because whatever is not going into the Highway Trust Fund can’t come back out to the communities.

Mr. Blazak: I was just going to add that if they do a continuing resolution which probably sounds logical, then the question becomes, at what rate? In other words, if they just reinstall what we just had, there is going to be less money available through the entire country.

Mr. Warner: Right. If they do a continuing resolution, it will just stay at the 18 cents per gallon at the same allocation that they have always done.

Mr. Swets: Anyone else?

Mr. Swets: Okay.

Mr. Warner: Can I say one more thing that I was going to mention? This is just an interesting tidbit but I thought it was worth knowing for land use planning. I mentioned this 2018 household travel data we got. We are still combing through what it means and the results of it now that we got it back. But one of the things that jumped out from that right away is that, from 2008 is the last time it was done. In 2008, about 20 percent of all the trips that were happening, where you were driving in the region, about 20 percent of those were retail trips. But already the effect of E-commerce and Amazon and all the rest, in 2018, the data is already down to 9 percent of retail trips. So that is already an 11 percent reduction in retail trips. Traffic overall is not decreasing, as you mentioned. So it is not a reduction in actual trips taken, but there are less trips being done to go to brick and mortar stores. So that kind of data is really useful. What you do with that, I’m not quite sure, but it is helpful to know what you suspect is happening, is actually happening in terms of visits and travel made to your retail establishments.

Mr. Schilling: I feel that with the Shops on 96 project.

Mr. Warner: I will close by saying this. I always have to clarify. NIRPS is a unit of government but it is not a layer of government. We do not have land use authority or anything like that. It truly exists to bring communities together at the table to talk about these issues. So NIRPS is not above municipalities or has any authority that serves municipal authority. It’s purely the funding mechanism for transportation funds and is an opportunity for communities to talk about things that affect the whole region. So again, welcome your participation. Glad you are involved. Glad you are having some involvement with NIRPS and we look forward with continuing there. And I will say too, all of the meetings are open to the public. In fact we have a YouTube channel. We live steam the main commission meetings so. Generally the third Thursday of every month is the main commission meeting and if you go to NIRPS’s YouTube channel, you can watch that Live from wherever you are.

Mr. Swets: Thank you, Ty.

Mr. Warner: You bet. A pleasure to be here. Thank you.

D. 2020 Census Presentation
Mr. Swets: I would like to move on. We just have 5D is our 2020 Census Presentation. Just a short video and a couple of comments about the 2020 census.

[Census video plays.] Is there a link to include?

Mr. Swets: Thank you for that Jason. And there has been a flyer that has been rotating across the board there and I want to highlight a couple of things there. And they are using 2016 numbers here. But the federal government relied on the Census data to provide over 17.9 billion dollars in funding from 55 was the largest federal spending programs. Indiana’s portion, of the 17.9 billion dollars, roughly equates to $2,710 per person. I would also like to thank Bob Carnahann of the Cedar Lake Councilman for really getting me some of this information and making it appealing. He also mentioned we lost, Indiana lost 2 seats, at the last Census in 2010 and how important it is for the State, and also for the local governments to make sure everyone gets counted. So I would just like to challenge everybody, to make every household, and every head count. So, any other comments, gentlemen?

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Pondinas: We have a new Park employee that transferred over from Public Works. That should work out rather well. Our employee files have been moved from all different departments and combined into one. So all our employees, their files should be safe. We started HR meetings yesterday. And all employees should go through that. They are teaching them about sexual harassment, respecting each other in the workplace. That is going real good. It will probably end up as a possible as needed HR department for us that our Town hasn’t had. We have a new Public Works director. Our general foreman stepped up and took that position. That is going to work out rather well. We have a new Town Manager since we started and everybody that is listening that is in the room and just seen the video, please fill out your Census forms. That will do a whole lot for our Town. And thank you for everything that you guys have been doing. You have been kind to us, you have been coming to the meetings. We thank you for your support. And I would like to say Public Works has done a great job this winter. We have pre-salted and you kinda guess, and the weather can be your enemy, it can be your friend. That worked out rather well. Our Police Department is doing well and so is our Fire Department. Again, I thank you as a Councilman.

Mr. Schilling: Nothing at this time.

Mr. Panczuk: I want to give a public thanks to Wayne. We talked a few times over the last 6 months and he actually sat through the HR training. And that is going to be something that I think will be done yearly and, as he said, bring them in as needed if there is a grievance or issue. We can get a professional involved. That is what they do, their expertise. And also to congratulate Bob Davis. Good man. I’ve had limited time to work with him but he’s been very helpful meeting me out in the field, trying to take care of residents’ concerns at anytime. One more thing I would like to add onto that list Wayne put in is that we appropriated, we’ve enabled the Police Department to potentially hire another person so that is something that’s going to be coming as well to bolster their force up to a point they see fit. All good things happening. I do appreciate the support. We will continue to keep working hard at the things we are working at. Thank you.

Mr. Blazak: Just fine, thanks.

Mr. Swets: I do have one bit of correspondence I received from the St. John Township. Kathy LaRue called me and let me know they were doing some updates, there was some grant money available to get ADA compliant at the Township Community Center. And that Dyer and Schererville have signed on to help pay for the ADA replacement for the doors in and out. And have asked us to do the same thing. And so we have had that discussion and I think we are going to match that number as well. So we are looking to match the $5,000 that Dyer gave for that project. So I would like a motion allocating that $5,000 to Dyer to help sponsor the ADA compliant replacement doors.

Mr. Schilling: Does it go to Dyer or St. John Township?

Mr. Swets: It goes to the Township. We are matching Dyer’s $5,000 number.

Mr. Blazak: I will make a motion to donate to the St. John Township ADA program for the amount of $5,000.

Mr. Swets: Is there support for that?

Mr. Schilling: I will second that.

Mr. Swets: All in favor, signify by saying Aye. Motion passes 5-0.

Mr. Swets: I would also like to just announce that the Community Crossing grant that we applied for, that we will be doing significant amount of road resurfacing in Town, that we got notification that INOT was going to deposit the check. It should be today for $893,311 which is half of the project we are going to be doing for road resurfacing. So we are just excited that we were able to get that done.

Mr. Schilling: Going on with our donation to the St. John Township, our seniors in our Town utilize the Township center daily. They have BINGO games and they pick them up in the little bus and drive them over there so residents will benefit from our $5,000 donation for the doors.

Clerk-Treasurer:
none
Staff:
Mr. Phillips: Nothing really new to add. Just glad to be aboard and getting up to speed and looking forward to serving the Town well.

Mr. Schilling: Glad to have you.

Mr. Swets: And Jason, thank you for handling the audio-visual for us this evening. Much appreciated.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 8:09 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted

Jill Ciechna

04-22-2020 Town Council

April 22, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at 7:21 p.m., which was attended onsite and virtually, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Swets asked for a moment of silence for two gentlemen who passed away recently, John Rainwater and Gus Flores. John Rainwater was a long-serving member of the Park Board. Mr. Rainwater donated Rainwater Park in St. John, including the first round of playground equipment that was installed. Former East Chicago Police Chief Gus Flores was the father of St. John Police Chief Steve Flores.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Craig Phillips, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

Mr. Swets advised that this meeting is being held for essential business only due to the ongoing public health emergency. Mr. Swets expressed thanks for special efforts of our first responders for working in difficult situations and keeping the public safe, IT Director Jason Dravet for enabling many employees to work remotely and keeping our webpage current, Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez for posting information on social media to keep residents updated, and Town Manager Craig Phillips for working with the departments for effective response and working on construction projects and other matters for the Town.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Swets read a prepared remark regarding the unique nature of this meeting: Because of the unique nature of this meeting, the Town of St John will only accept public comment submitted electronically via email to the Clerk-Treasurer or in the Town drop box prior to the meeting. If you have a comment or question on an item on the agenda, it can be emailed to bhernandez@stjohnin.com. The submissions will be shared with the elected officials of the Town and also be entered into the minutes of the meeting. Please keep your comments civil and constructive to agenda issues.

Ms. Hernandez read four comments that were submitted into the record. Those comments have been marked as exhibits and are attached to these minutes as Exhibit Nos. 2020-04-22-TC1 through 2020-04-22-TC4.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Ordinance No. 1705
Mr. Swets advised that Ordinance No. 1705 is an ordinance moving the holiday for the primary election from May 5, 2020, to June 2, 2020.

Mr. Schilling made the motion to consider Ordinance No. 1705 on first reading; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1705 and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes to 0 nays and 1 absent by roll-call vote. (Note: Mr. Blazak was absent for this vote due to connectivity issues.)

Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Resolution No. 2020-04-22
Mr. Swets advised that this is a resolution granting the Clerk-Treasurer authorization to grant waivers of late fees incurred on utility bills for late payments in response to Governor Holcomb’s Executive Order No. 20-05, Item 5A, which states, “Providers of gas and electric utilities, broadband, telecommunications, water and wastewater services are prohibited from discontinuing service to any customer in the state as these services are essential to Hoosiers and Hoosier businesses particularly during this state of public health emergency.”

Mr. Schilling asked what the timeframe covered under this resolution is. Attorney Westland advised that the resolution covers late fees incurred in the 90-day window from March 15 to June 15. Late fees that were incurred prior to the timeframe would not be considered for the waiver.

Ms. Hernandez noted that this would begin with the May billing.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-04-22, a resolution authorizing the Clerk-Treasurer to waive late fees incurred due to the state of the public health emergency, as referenced in General Holcomb’s Executive Order No. 20-05, Item 5A; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

C. Community Crossing Grant Change Order
Mr. Swets advised that the Town Council is asked to consider a Community Crossing Grant Change Order for additional Funds in an amount not to exceed $360,000, this is due to cost increases for named repairs.

Mr. Phillips explained that the change request is due to the field engineering work completed for verification, which showed that the work to be done on each segment of roadway work is significantly more extensive than initially believed. The Town must now consider a modification of the list of roads to be paved this year or of additional funds to complete the work initially suggested in the grant application.

Mr. Panczuk commented that engineering was done for the grant application last year. When our Town engineer reviewed the engineering that was done last year, they found an additional $906,000 worth of work to be done. The roads will not last if they are only milled and repaved as proposed initially. The extra work required forces some roads that would have been completed now to be moved to the next phase of road improvements. The list will continue and be followed up on as soon as possible. Mr. Panczuk noted that there would be another Community Crossing Grant application process in July. He feels we should stay within the initial spend amount of $893,000 instead of trying to find additional funds at this time so that the Town can apply for the next grant possibility with proper engineering and get the most for our tax dollars.

Mr. Pondinas asked for confirmation that we are not going to ask for the additional $360,000, we are not going to do all the streets that were on the list because of that shortfall, so some streets will not get done this year and likely will carry over to next year to do the job correctly. Mr. Panczuk confirmed the same.

Mr. Swets stated that he feels we need to be conservative in our spending at this time because our revenue streams may be greatly impacted due to the current situation. If property taxes are delayed, that means the distribution to us will also be delayed.

Mr. Swets asked if any of the Council wanted to make a motion for this change order. No motions were made on this matter.

D. Resolution No. 2020-04-22A
Mr. Swets advised that Resolution No. 2020-04-22A is a resolution adopting a Joint Interlocal Cooperative Agreement with the Town of Schererville for building inspection services.

Mr. Schilling asked if this is necessary to continue since we have more building inspectors. Mr. Phillips responded that he would advise continuing this under the uncertainty with the current pandemic.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-04-22A; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

E. Consider Farmers Market Opening
Mr. Phillips advised that Farmers Markets are considered essential businesses under Governor Holcomb’s executive orders and that Shelby Siska has ensured that all required safety measures will be followed.

Mr. Blazak stated that adults could make their own decisions on what they subject themselves to, and opening on time is acceptable to him.

Mr. Pondinas stated that we should defer it to a later date, and he doesn’t feel this area has reached its peak for the pandemic yet, and this isn’t a prudent time to do this right now.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Governor has outlined what’s allowed, and we have been following his guidelines. He feels we should follow it here as well. The Farmers Market is no different from Strack’s or Produce Depot. Produce Depot has tight quarters, and they are allowed to be open as an essential business. The Farmers Market is more open and spacious, making social distancing easier to follow.

Mr. Schilling stated that as long as social distancing is followed and proper PPE is used, he has no issues with it opening on time.

Mr. Pondinas asked Attorney Westland if there is any liability towards the Town since it is a Town-sponsored event. Attorney Westland stated that as long as safety protocols and enforcement of the social distancing, there should not be.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion regarding the opening of the Farmers Market.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to keep the Farmers Market opening date May 3, 2020; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes to 1 nay by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Nay
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Panczuk asked that the Town Council consider the use of robocalls and text alerts in conjunction with the Lake County 911 system that would not cost the Town anything. Residents can opt-in or out of this service.

Mr. Pondinas thanked all the healthcare workers and the various area hospitals. Mr. Pondinas thanked Bob Davis, Director of Public Works, for coming through with these road projects and things that have been asked of him. He thanked Bob Valois for getting bids on a SCADA system. He commented on the passing of John Rainwater, which left a void on the Park Board.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to appoint Michael Bouvat to the Park Board; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas chastised workers for getting overtime, especially when working from home. Mr. Pondinas admonished the Town Manager’s Office for not having the office manned physically regularly. He said he feels as a tax-paying resident that the office needs to be manned more than what it is. Mr. Pondinas noted that the Town Dumpster would be open this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mr. Schilling thanked all the employees who come to work, especially Police and Fire, who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. He also thanked Public Works. Their hours have been adjusted, and they get more time off. However, they work long hours, and they show up to ensure that the essential services provided by that department are done. Mr. Schilling also thanked the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office for their hard work. He thanked Mr. Panczuk, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Phillips for their hard work on the road list that had to be revised to get the Community Crossing Grant going. Mr. Schilling thanked Mr. Swets for the moment of silence at the beginning of the meeting for John Rainwater.

Mr. Schilling told the story about how Mr. Rainwater approached the Town about buying some of his property to put in a park. A couple of years went by, and the Town didn’t buy it, so Mr. Rainwater donated the property and ultimately landed up putting the equipment in the park.

Mr. Swets noted that many of those remotely attending could not hear his list of those he thanked at the beginning of the meeting and repeated his list as listed above. He also thanked Mr. Davis for implementing a rotating schedule to keep our Public Works employees working and helping social distancing to keep everyone safe and healthy. He thanked each Councilman for his work. Lastly, Mr. Swets thanked Mr. Chip Sobek, the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, for his years of service and wished him well in his upcoming retirement.

Ms. Hernandez commented that her previous Chief Deputy Marilyn Hrnjak retired. Katie Minchuk has been promoted to that position and congratulated her on that position. Ms. Hernandez reported that they have just receipted in $14,460.92 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a $30 billion nationwide distribution to be used for preventing and responding to Coronavirus. Ms. Hernandez noted that her office has been working with a limited staff of about two or three employees who are onsite Monday through Saturday of each week. The balance of the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office staff is working remotely. Ms. Hernandez thanked everyone for adjusting and working remotely as it hasn’t been easy. They have met all of their reporting deadlines.

Ms. Hernandez reminded everyone that the summer sprinkler rates are between May 15 and September 15. If anyone is doing new construction landscaping or filling their pool before May 15, please make sure to take a picture of your water meter before you start filling the pool or watering the new construction landscaping, and take another picture when you’re finished so that we can manually provide you the discount.

Ms. Hernandez stated that she would like to see the flags displayed starting at the beginning of May, from the VFW to Prairie West Park, and remain up through Veteran’s Day. Ms. Hernandez thanked the residents for their patience with everyone during this time.

Mr. Phillips thanked the first responders and our local businesses that are essential and are still open and providing for the residents during this time. He also thanked the residents for adjusting and their patience. Mr. Phillips reported that Governor Holcomb extended the stay-at-home order to May 1 at midnight. Republic Services did agree to pick up any additional garbage that is bagged and placed into another trash receptacle; however, they will not pick up anything that is not in a container. Furthermore, Republic will be providing extra dumpsters at no extra charge for use at the Town Dumpster location. Town facilities will continue to be closed to the public, but we encourage you to visit our website regularly for updates. Mr. Phillips told the public to feel free to contact the Town Manager’s Office and all other offices by phone or email. All offices remain open, as far as access to the public by technological means.

Mr. Phillips responded to an earlier comment about Facebook. He stated that he did create a temporary account to get information out. He is working with the IT Director to create an official site for the office of the Town Manager. Updates regarding the reopening of Town facilities will be posted on the website and social media. Mr. Phillips also reported that he has requested that the various departments keep track of all spending related to COVID-19 for possible grants and funds that may become available. Mr. Phillips responded to the comment about no one being in the office. The office physically has someone there at least two days a week, the phones are forwarded to a telephone that is answered by his administrative assistant the balance of the time, and any messages for him are relayed immediately. We do encourage anyone to contact us. We are in the office in person at least two days a week, or more frequently, depending on what’s going on. The building is closed to the public, so people can’t come in and talk to us. However, we can be reached by telephone and by email. Mr. Phillips advised that there is a posting for summer help for the Parks Department available on the website. He advised the residents how to access the Town Dumpster.

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez read the RTPs: Al Warren Oil for unleaded gasoline in the amount of $6,929.88; Al Warren Oil for fuel in the amount of $4,620.60; Lake County Treasurer for the 2019 St. John General Election cost in the amount of $25,875.83; Holland Asphalt for patchwork in the amount of $8,460.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the RTPs as read by the Clerk-Treasurer and authorize her to pay the same; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $1,478,513.33 for March and $1,385,668.93 for April. Mr. Panczuk made a motion to pay the bills; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets asked everyone to please stay safe and continue to support our local businesses.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made the motion; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

04-22-2020 Town Council Exhibits.pdf
05-27-2020 Town Council

May 27, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at 7:34 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Swets advised that they would defer the approval of meeting minutes for the February, March, and April, meetings.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Swets stated that because of the unique nature of this meeting, wherein a limited number of the public would be able to attend live, the Town of St John accepted public comment submitted to the Clerk-Treasurer by email or in the Town drop box prior to the meeting. He asked that everyone please keep comments civil and constructive to agenda issues.

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez read a submission by Mr. Jim Ford of Mill Creek. The same has been attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2020-05-27-TC1.

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez read a submission by Mr. Slaven. The same has been attached hereto and made a part thereof as Exhibit No. 2020-05-27-TC2.

Mr. Panczuk responded that the list that Bob Davis formulated stands and is prioritized due to a number of factors. He commented that it is a shame that the entire list cannot be completed due to the extra work that must be done. The roads that were cut from the list are now at the top of the next list. The Council intends to acquire the maximum grant again and try to get those roads, as well as others further down on the list, done. No one has lost their place in line.

Mr. Panczuk commented on Mill Creek stating that he has had residents reach out to him about that connection, which is one that should be made by the developer. Usually at a given time within the development, there are triggers set. Mr. Panczuk noted that the Council will take the correspondence under advisement and bring it to Mr. Eberly to find out what he knows about the timeline for that road. Furthermore, they could also reach out to the developer for a timeline. The light at Park Place was discussed with a meeting with INDOT. When Mill Creek began, there was a 10-year document that stated when the trap volume reached a certain amount, the developer would have to put in a traffic light, and that number may be approaching according to INDOT. We have to wait and see on that because INDOT has the oversight on that matter.

Mr. Swets stated that Mr. Ford believes the development is approximately 70 percent developed, so it should rapidly be approaching the time where that connection needs to be made to Parrish Avenue in order to keep those entering and exiting that subdivision safe.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1706
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1706, an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 1700, the 2020 Salary Ordinance. There are a few changes in there for the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. The Chief Deputy Clerk position will go from hourly to salary. There are some other changes in there as well. We are making a modification in the verbiage for the summer help.

Ms. Hernandez reviewed the changes in the salary ordinance, reiterating that the Chief Deputy is moving from an hourly to a salary position, there are a few additional classifications added. Instead of taking three steps at a time in pay increases, they are going step-by-step for merit increases. Summer help has three different classifications, which are paid from our Parks Fund as well as our Town-owned Parks Fund. Additionally, the Recording Secretary position was clarified to change from Police Commission to the new Safety Board.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1706 on first reading; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1706 on first reading; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Resolution No. 2020-05-27 – Transfer of Funds
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-05-27, a resolution transferring funds from one line item to another.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-05-27; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

C. Resolution No. 2020-05-27A – Community Development Block Grant
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-05-27A, a resolution regarding the Community Development Block Grant for funding for Prairie West Park and Founders Park.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-05-27A, in the amount of $80,456.00; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Schilling reported that he attended the Safety Board Meeting, and that the Police Department will be making their 23rd hire. He noted that the Town Council had approved the funds for that in February. Mr. Schilling thanked everyone who helped adding an extra officer come to fruition.

Mr. Swets asked if there would need to be a motion since the Safety Board made a motion pending Town Council approval. Attorney Westland advised that the Safety Board has the authority to act on their own, that Town Council already approved the appropriation, and that it is the Safety Board’s purview to approve the hire.

Mr. Panczuk reported that the Plan Commission, Attorney Adam Decker, and Mr. Rick Eberly have been working hard on updating the Subdivision Control Ordinance, which is one of two documents that govern development in St. John. Mr. Panczuk highlighted a few of the changes, including a new pipeline impact easement and changes when the second layer of asphalt will be completed in a subdivision. Mr. Schilling stated that he likes the asphalt change because it will be better for the roads in the developments.

Mr. Panczuk stated that we are accepting Tree Board applications until June 5, 2020. Mr. Panczuk commented that he is working with the County for informative text and robo-calls, provided by Lake County for free. Jason Dravet and Clifford Wroe are helping to get that going. Mr. Panczuk shared that the Town Council is working on a contract for fireworks. They were trying for July 4th fireworks; but that will not happen this year due to COVID-19, so they are trying for a fireworks display on September 4 in Heartland Park. Mr. Panczuk commented that it will be a high display that can be seen from a farther distance. Mr. Panczuk thanked Ms. Hernandez for her assistance in setting this up and for the referral.

Mr. Pondinas agreed with Mr. Panczuk regarding the Subdivision Control Ordinance that Mr. Eberly and Mr. Davis have worked a lot on that. He thanked Michael Bouvat for joining the Park Board. Mr. Bouvat has been a baseball coach, a football coach, and he is a youth minister. He also gave thanks to Gabe Hernandez and the summer workers on the improvements to the parks. In Heartland Park, some of the woods have been cut down, the sign for the entrance has been repainted, and mulch is going down. Mr. Pondinas stated that there has been confusion with the agendas and he would like to get them a day ahead of time.

Mr. Swets responded that he was out of town over the weekend, so it caused a delay in getting the agendas out. He apologized for any delay.

Mr. Swets reported that Mr. Pondinas and he have been working with the board for the Community Garden to put a community garden together for next year. There were some announcements on Facebook about it. Should anyone have any questions about it, you can reach out to the Town Manager’s Office, and he will get you in touch with the ladies in charge of that board.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez stated that she had nothing to report.
Staff:
Mr. Phillips stated that residents have been calling about when parks would be opening. He participated in a web conference with many other park directors on how to handle the reopening of parks. Unfortunately, we cannot give information on the opening of playgrounds at this time because Governor Holcomb has not issued the executive order on that yet. We will be releasing information as we get guidance. Mr. Phillips noted that he is working with Gabe Hernandez, Wayne Pondinas, and the Park Board Members on drafting a Park Opening Plan. Mr. Phillips also reported that we are back on track with the regular schedule for the Town Dumpster, so that will be open on the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mr. Phillips noted that we need approval regarding the purchase of the Parada property at this meeting and asked Attorney Westland to give the details on the same.

Attorney Westland advised that this case has been pending since July of 2018. The Court-appointed appraisers appraised the property at $72,000. Mr. Parada obtained an appraisal of a higher amount. In resolving the case, there is a proposed Settlement Agreement in the amount of $74,500 for approval, which is an additional $2500 from what was originally deposited.

Hearing no discussion, Mr. Swets entertained a motion.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the Parada Settlement Agreement in the amount of $74,500 and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried by roll-call vote 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Blazak Absent from vote due to technical difficulties
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez reviewed the Requests to Purchase: Core & Main, in the amount of $37,742.00, for stock meters; B & D Sewer, in the amount of $4,600.00, for Edgewood Inlet Installation; H & G Underground Utilities, in the amount of $4,266.26, for labor for a water main repair; Holland Asphalt, in the amount of $13,940.00, for 93rd Avenue and East U.S. 41 patch work due to a water main break; M.E. Simpson, in the amount of $17,900.00, for water loss audit service and validation services; B & D Sewer, in the amount of $18,020.00, for a curb replacement and storm sewer replacement at 9351 Northcote Drive where they removed some curbs and put in asphalt.

Ms. Hernandez asked Mr. Pondinas to explain the last RTP. Mr. Pondinas explained that they ran cement drain tile to vaults and going across the street, which is a better way to drain the water out of the yards there. It is being done now since that street is going to be ground and repaved.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay all the Requests to Purchase.

Mr. Panczuk made the motion; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $1,494,485.99; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

05-27-2020 Town Council Exhibits.pdf
06-24-2020 Town Council

June 24, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at 7:26 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion for the February minutes.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the minutes of February 26, 2020; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Swets opened the floor for Public Comment.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 W. 90th Avenue): I did not commit a crime, and I never would commit a crime, but Beth Hernandez has to go. Thank you.

(Mr. Swets asked Mr. Bugariu to leave.)

You want me to leave?

(Mr. Swets responded in the affirmative.)

I will leave. I will file a lawsuit against you, believe me. (Mr. Bugariu made additional comments that were indiscernible because he was too far from the microphone.)

Johnny Boersma (11930 W 103rd Court): Can I give you guys some papers so you can see what I’m talking about? (Mr. Swets granted him permission to do so.)

So, I’m the president and founder of Mission One, a nonprofit foundation serving our veterans in need. I’m proposing the Town Council to allow us to use the land behind the Town Hall and to be able to build The St. John’s Veterans’ Memorial in the grassy section in Civic Park. This will be based on public donations. My idea is to have three granite walls etched with Indiana fallen heroes’ names under each conflict, starting with World War I to the “?” One large center, two sloping walls attached to both sides, seven 40’ flags representing all military branches, POW/MIA flags, and of course our nation’s flag, centered, higher than the rest. In the beginning of the monument that I’m proposing will be a big granite wall etched with all the sponsors’ names in it.

There will be a committee board of nine members who are dedicated to making this monument beautiful. (Indiscernible audio segment) And I believe that these memorials honor the ones that allowed us to sleep, eat, and breathe the very freedom that they have provided for us. In the future, I would also like to add a smaller wall, just to the south, honoring the retired police, firefighters, and paramedics who serve the Town of St. John, who have also provided safety and protection for this town.

At this time, I’m asking the Town Council of a $15,000 donation to get the memorial up in its first stages. Signs being made of the future site of St. John, hiring an engineer firm to design the draft, and that’s it. I thank you for your time. If you have any questions, I can answer them.

(Mr. Schilling asked how much land would be required.)

Where the Civic sign’s – Park sign is right now, that’s actually where the wall will rest, facing out at an angle.

(Mr. Schilling asked if the current sign would remain.)

That sign can stay up and move up above the wall. Yeah, that sign would not have to come down at all, in any way. A walk path all the way going up, bricks, public donations where if you want a brick, it’s $150 with your name etched in it. And some of you guys that do know me, I’m relentless, and so St. John – St. John is – I’ve been here twenty, twenty-year resident. And we need more improvements, especially honoring our veterans, so what better place to put it than Civic Park where it’s already honoring the vets? But we need memorials (indiscernible) and all that.

My cost, projected cost is $1.5 million when – over time is what my final project would be. Electricity is already there. Everything is already in place so it wouldn’t really cost the taxpayers any (indiscernible).

(Mr. Schilling asked if the Town is being asked to donate the land.)

Yes, definitely the land to be able to build it and also $15,000 to kick it off.

(Mr. Schilling asked who would have ownership of the land.)

Of course it would be the Town. All right, my Mission One would be only for the – sponsored by Mission One, and we would use our 501(c)(3) for all the donations. So any donations that come in, it will be a write-off. There will be (indiscernible) that handles all the money, so it would not go to Mission One’s bank; it would be a separate bank account, separate entity. It’s just basically me driving it to be able to build it.

(Mr. Swets asked if it will be located in the upper corner or located all the way across.)

It would be right there (indicating) across and then angle, just like the whole corner is, that’s where it will be.

(Mr. Schilling asked how far south it would go and if it would border the pavilion and park.)

It wouldn’t go that much farther south. I’m basically looking at – and I can come over here and show it to everybody. This parking lot’s here, the walkway would start here with the bricks and come like this all the way to this site, big concrete pad with an eternal flame, and then some monuments along the way, for future. So we wouldn’t have to come this far.

(Mr. Panczuk asked what the remaining money raised from donations would pay for once the project is complete and if it would be used to maintain it.)

Yes, it would go to a separate bank, separate fund where only the treasurer and secretary of the committee would have access to that. Yes, it – obviously to your question, it would definitely be still owned by the Town of St. John.

(Mr. Schilling stated that he had asked his question about the ownership of the land for clarification purposes.)

No, just the – just the lot to, to do my vision, so.

(Mr. Swets informed Mr. Boersma that the Council will take his request under advisement.)

Andy James: I am here representing my company, Mad Bomber Fireworks Productions. Some of you also know me, I’m a developer in town, developed a subdivision. And I just am a little bit frustrated that the Town is having a fireworks display and as recent as early February, I spoke with Mr. Panczuk about the fireworks display. He spoke with me about the possibility of doing a display on July 4th. And I just – we discussed the different options. I encouraged him to go on a day other than July 4th, so that I could commit the resources to the display that I wanted to, to make it a special display.

Shortly thereafter, the whole Coronavirus hit, and everything changed. My company, we had 50% of our cancel – customers canceled, and everything got put on hold. All of our Big Ten Tournaments basketball games, everything’s canceled for us. So at that point, we are still trying to make something out of this year. And I’ve – have not heard from Mr. Panczuk, and I recently learned that the Town was having a fireworks display on Labor Day weekend. So I was frustrated that I was not contacted about submitting a bid for the – or proposal for the fireworks display and thus I stopped by the office of the Town Manager to leave Mr. Panczuk my phone number to have him call me. That was last Friday. I still have not heard from Mr. Panczuk as of midday today.

I’m frustrated because, clearly, my company is a leader in this industry, my roots are in St. John. I’ve built a company starting – I started my career here selling Christmas trees on the corner of 93rd and 41 when I was 17 years old. I’ve been, more than one time, when I was, or was not, doing business with St. John, I would do pro bono fireworks shows for the high school. As early, or as late as a couple years ago, somebody – there was a young person who had lost both parents in St. John, and the – and the fire department wanted to do something to make this young man’s day, and they called my company. We put on a pro bono fireworks display for this young man. True charity is never having to – wanting to point out what you’ve done, but in this case, clearly, I feel that these things that I’ve done show that my commitment to St. John is significant. And for – to not at least receive an opportunity to put a bid for it or a proposal seems – seems unreasonable.

My company is one of the biggest companies in the United States. We do displays all throughout from everywhere from Northern Michigan to Kentucky, Iowa. We’re all – Cleveland – we’re all over the Midwest, and I’m proud of that. I mean, I would think that – and I own the company. I own the company; I have nine full-time employees. We do 600 or 700 events a year, and I would think that for my roots of St. John coming – starting selling Christmas trees here and working at the gas station, I would think St. John is proud of me. I’m proud to be part of St. John. And part of the St. John development now. And as far as my company and my displays, I mean I get references, I got towns all over the – every – hundreds of customers, hundreds of park districts that all they do is sign a contract, don’t even have me submit a proposal. And so I’m wondering why. Why is it that St. John will not allow me the opportunity to do the same? Thank you.

(Mr. Panczuk extended his apologies to Mr. James and said that the Town certainly cares about his companies. Mr. Panczuk stated that he appreciates their February call, but what drove the decision was the lack of July 4 availability along with strong recommendation for another company. He explained that originally, the Town wanted the fireworks for Independence Day, had reached an agreement for that day, and was trying to keep the fireworks show on July 4th in conjunction with Governor Holcomb’s “Back on Track” plan. Unfortunately, that was changed to Labor Day weekend on a last-minute decision, and they were simply changing the dates with that same company.)

Okay. I’ll just respond, and I never said I would not do it on July 4th. I tried to recommend the best possible scenario would be to be on a day other than the fourth because of July 4th being on a Saturday, the resources are taxed. And in that case, I would want the best, to put the best show forward including – you even acknowledged that “You’re saying that you could do it on the fourth, but it wouldn’t be your best performance,” and I acknowledged that as the case. So I never said I could not do it on July 4th; I just tried to put to you for the town’s best interest and for the Town to get the best value, to do it on a date other than the fourth. And again, after that, I was never contacted.

(Mr. Panczuk thanked Mr. James for correcting him. He asserted that it was a collective choice to go with the other company due to the availability of dates, working with the Town for the past three years, and references. Mr. Panczuk apologized and stated that he meant no disrespect.)

(Mr. Swets stated that they will make sure he gets an opportunity to put in a proposal for fireworks if they do them again the following year.)

(Mr. Panczuk stated that we will have plenty of lead time for the following year, hopefully without a pandemic, and that the fireworks would be on July 4th.)

Okay. So – so in this case, you’re not doing it on July 4th, you’re doing it in September, but you’re not – you’re not opening that up to the –

(Mr. Swets stated that Mr. James statement is correct, and that the Town would be going with a vendor that has been used for the past contracts.)

Thank you.

Daniel Reising (14902 93rd Avenue): I just want to, as a resident, support Johnny Boersma and his project. This Council and the previous Council has put a lot of effort into infrastructure and 41 and Shops on 96 and all this other stuff that’s going on. All of that is possible because of the people that Johnny supports, the people that Johnny bends over backwards for daily. Johnny is a humble servant to the veteran community, and he deserves to have something that he can pour his time and energy into that will represent everybody from the state of Indiana. And If we can shovel out road projects and everything else, I think that this can go closer to the top of the docket for the respect that it’s owed because this kind of outranks a new strip mall. Have a good night.

Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez read a public comment submissions by Nick Crnokrak, Jim Ford, and Dennis DeVito. The same has been attached hereto and made a part hereof as Exhibit Nos. 2020-06-24-TC1 through 2020-06-24-TC3.

(Mr. Swets asked Attorney Westland to respond to Mr. DeVito’s questions.)

(Attorney Westland stated that he can reply. He indicated that Mr. Lotton’s attorneys have already asked the court to certify the most recent order for appeal that has not yet been ruled on by the court, so he isn’t sure they want him to reply with the issue still pending. He advised that until the case has finality on the recent order and the court rules on the appeal, that we wouldn’t have any comment.)

(Mr. Swets asked Mr. Tippy to address Mr. Ford’s comments.)

Jerry Tippy: Yeah, there is a lot of activity going on from the County standpoint, in terms of road improvements, but before – before I talk about that, I’m going to look at one of my former partners, Mr. Panczuk, and talk about two points of ingress and egress in a subdivision. And we both know the importance of – of getting that not only approved at the Plan Commission level, but assuring that that part of the construction is completed in a timely manner so as not to cause an unsafe condition within the subdivision. Now, I’m not familiar, you know, to the reasons as to why the developer is – is fighting the second entrance. I just wanted to be clear that if it were to be said that because Parrish is a county road, at least for the moment, if it were to be said that the County had an objection, I can confirm that we do not. And one of the projects I want to talk about is Parrish and 231, and this subdivision sits right there. And the – the – the ability for these residents to access 231 safely is going to come into play as 231 is improved by – by INDOT.

Before COVID – I call it BC now, as February BC – Councilman Panczuk, Councilman Blazak, and I met with three members of INDOT at – at the County building in attempt to try to get safety improvements made at the intersection of Parrish and 231. St. John representatives brought great information from the Police Chief, from themselves, and were able to convince INDOT to approve a project for that intersection. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the funding is approved in 2025, so the ball moved forward, but not very far.

They also gave – we also – the County offered to possibly pay for an interim alternate that would create some lane – some new lanes, turning lanes, to create a safer intersection. They did provide us, for Parrish, some alternatives to look at. This just came in last week, and I have our highway department and we also have First Group looking at putting together cost estimates. So everything, of course, is pending funding issues, due to COVID, which we probably won’t know until the end of the year. We won’t know what we’ll really have to spend next year until then, but we’re going to go through with doing the cost estimates on that intersection.

The intersection of Cline and 231, we also received correspondence back and INDOT wants to stay with their plan of a roundabout -- the Parrish intersection is also, right now, proposed to be a roundabout – and that job is expected to be funded and constructed in 2024; that’s as of – as of now, so – and they did not give us any opportunity to do any additional turn lanes on Cline, which means, you know, there’s a better chance of something getting done on Parrish, I guess, so.

Now, also, moving to the west side of town, we finally completed the 101st and Sheffield project, which took about a year longer than what it should have, and Murphy’s law entered in a number of – a number of cases on that project. But we’re continuing to work in that area. Right now, we have a project. It’s a part of our – part of our current Community Crossings project, which is Sheffield, from 101st all the way up to 85th. We have – I know day one we caused some traffic issues. I don’t know if you got any of those calls, but for some reason, we routed traffic into your road construction project. But we got that fixed on day two. So today they completed what we call the binder course level and we have to test that and then, hopefully Monday or Tuesday, we’ll put the final coat on that. And that, that’ll be complete.

We also hired First Group to study 93rd and Sheffield up to and including 91st and Sheffield, and we’re trying to create a project – this is just a study right now. We want to create a project that includes paving of 93rd, the County portion up to the St. John limit and then improvement of one or both of the intersections at 93rd and 91st and Sheffield. So that’s very preliminary. I’m telling you that. I – I know sometimes you guys like to get in – you’re welcome to come and look at what we got and make comments. And I know this was something that was suggested in the meeting that we had with INDOT; Paul and Bryan suggested this project.

And lastly but not least, our next year’s Community Crossings’ project will be 101st Avenue from State line to Calumet Avenue, in between the intersections that – that are improved. It’s going to become a – I guess they call it a three-lane road, but essentially, it’s going to put all the right turn – all the proper turn lanes in so that – that through traffic in both directions can travel through without being stopped by anyone making a turn. And as part B to that project, we have been in discussions with Will County and Crete Township to improve the intersection of State Line and 101st. There’s a project going in on the southeast corner, and they’ve committed dollars to pay to participate in the intersection as well.

And tomorrow morning, we have a meeting with Crete Township and Will County, and they’re going to find out their share of the bill tomorrow. So if they can fund their share of this project, we already have an engineer on board so we’ll continue with the final designs and get it out for bid and hopefully, again pending funds, get that one done next year. So that’s kind of the highlights of what’s going on around you from a County standpoint. So if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them, comments, suggestions.

Mr. Panczuk noted for the edification of the public that INDOT has specifications of what has to be where for the roads under their jurisdiction and dictates when something can be done, so we are not allowed to simply repaint the striping.

Mr. Swets closed the floor.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Presentation by Aqua Backflow
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is a presentation by Tom Staroske of Aqua Backflow regarding a backflow prevention program.

Mr. Staroske introduced himself and explained that IDEM requires every water purveyor to have backflow or cross connection control program in place, which is also part of the Indiana Plumbing Code that backflow preventers be installed. He briefly explained the process involved with the backflow program and how it is administered. IDEM is familiar with them and when they see that Aqua Backflow is overseeing the program, they look at the software and know that the Town is compliant.

Mr. Swets asked if IDEM requires the backflow monitoring throughout the state. Mr. Staroske responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Pondinas concurred that IDEM will come out check to see if we are in compliance and asserted that this is something that is needed for the Town’s safety.

Mr. Schilling asked if they ensure that everyone gets the annual test that needs to do so. Mr. Staroske responded in the affirmative and assured that they track every water customer that the Town has. They will send multiple notices, and if the resident doesn't comply, it would fall back on the Town to follow up on that.

Ms. Hernandez asked how Aqua Backflow gets the information that someone’s system has been tested. Mr. Staroske responded that the contractors testing it upload reports to Aqua Backflow.

Mr. Swets asked Attorney Westland if he had reviewed the contract. Attorney Westland stated that he would recommend paragraph 6 be amended so that 30 days before the expiration of the term, the parties would enter into an agreement so that it is a conscious decision. Mr. Staroske agreed, and Attorney Westland amended the agreement.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider the proposal for Aqua Backflow; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Attorney Westland stated for the record that paragraph 6 reads that the contract will be renewed upon agreement of the parties thirty days prior to the end of the term.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to approve the proposal for Aqua Backflow as amended by Attorney Westland; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Ordinance No. 1707 – Revising the Subdivision Control Ordinance
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1707, an ordinance revising the Subdivision Control Ordinance.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to defer; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

C. Consider Acceptance of a Letter of Credit for Greystone Unit 2 Block 5
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider acceptance of a Letter of Credit from Peoples Bank in the amount of $28,195.20 on behalf of CWS Holdings, LLC, for Greystone Unit 2, Block 5. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to accept the Letter of Credit; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

D. Consider Acceptance of a Surety Bond for Walden Clearing, Unit 2
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider acceptance of a Surety Bond in the amount of $353,786.88 on behalf of Olthof Homes, LLC, for Walden Clearing, Unit 2. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Panczuk made to accept the Surety Bond; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

E. Consider Acceptance of a Surety Bond Reduction for Summerlin Estates
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a reduction of Surety Bond, on behalf of Olthof Homes, LLC, for Summerlin Estates from $596,046.62 to $61,629.75. This received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Panczuk made to accept the Surety Bond reduction; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

F. Consider a Contract with RKM Fireworks
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a contract with RKM Fireworks Company to provide a Fireworks Display at Heartland Park on September 4, 2020, at dusk with a rain date of September 5, 2020.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to defer action on this matter and direct the Town staff to obtain any additional proposals; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

G. Consider Settlement Agreement – Robert J. Thiel, et al
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a Settlement Agreement between the Town of St. John and Robert J. Theil, Charles J. Thiel, James W. Thiel, Thomas J. Thiel, Patrick L. Thiel, and Peter H. Thiel for the total sum of $93,800.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the Settlement Agreement between the Town of St. John and Robert J. Theil, Charles J. Thiel, James W. Thiel, Thomas J. Thiel, Patrick L. Thiel, and Peter H. Thiel for the total sum of $93,800 and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

H. Consider a Consulting Agreement with Michael W. Ripley, HR Unlimited Resources
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider an Agreement with Michael W. Ripley, President of HR Unlimited Resources, for Homan Resources Consulting.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to approve the Agreement with Michael W. Ripley for Human Resource consulting and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

I. Consider Memorandum of Understanding – Exploration of a Fire Protection Territory
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a Memorandum of Understanding for the Exploration of a Fire Protection Territory by and between Crown Point, Winfield, St. John, Cedar Lake, Center Township, Winfield Township, and Hanover Township.

Mr. Swets noted that the executives of the municipalities have had some open conversations, and this is in the beginning stages of seeing if there are any advantages for the Town of St. John to look at a fire protection territory. This would not obligate the Town financially.

Mr. Pondinas asked Attorney Westland if paragraph four has been clarified. Attorney Westland responded that paragraph four is a bit inconsistent. It states, if anything in this memorandum of understanding is ruled invalid then the rest of it stands. Attorney Westland advised that a Memorandum of Understanding is not a contract. At any point any of the municipalities could say they don’t wish to continue with the exploration.

Many of the Councilmen stated that some of the communities are too far away, and he doesn’t see any benefit for St. John due to the money we have already invested over the years in our station and equipment.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to deny the Memorandum of Understanding; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion to deny carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Schilling reported that Mr. Pondinas and he had interviewed four candidates for the Park Board position that came about as the result of Frank Bradtke’s resignation and made a motion to appoint John Boersma to the Park Board; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas stated that as part of their campaign promises, they said that they would bring back having study sessions, and he feels that they need to do so. He reported that there was an issue with the Farmers Market where a person who worked the market quit, and then we hired somebody rather quickly, and we should have advertised it. He stated that it was said to have been an emergency hire, but it wasn’t an emergency because this is only on the weekends. Mr. Pondinas commented that the previous Council spent $35,000 for a fob system. Now the exterior doors had to be rekeyed. Anyone who comes in and out of this building regardless of what time it is needs to be logged in. Having a key means there is no control over who may get extra keys and pass them out. Mr. Pondinas thanked the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works department, and anyone who helped out during the last protest.

Mr. Panczuk shared in Mr. Pondinas’ thanks and extended that thanks to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Oscar Martinez. Mr. Panczuk stated that we were having Study Sessions somewhat regularly, but then the pandemic hit. Mr. Panczuk stated that he is behind Mission One and supports the memorial and thanked Mr. Boersma for bringing it forward.

Mr. Pondinas thanked Attorney Westland for the work he does and his advice. Others concurred. Mr. Westland stated that it has been a great partnership and that he is proud to represent the Town.

Mr. Swets commented that it is good to see Mr. Pondinas and Ms. Hernandez at the meeting in person instead of by remote access and he is looking forward to when Mr. Blazak would also be able to attend in person.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez commented that if Mission One is able to get the Veteran’s Memorial up and running, that it would be nice to include former Councilman Ken Gembala in the project if he is willing as he worked diligently to get the name of Civic Park changed to Veterans Memorial Civic Park. Mr. Boersma responded that he would love to have him as a committee member.
Staff:
Mr. Phillips reported that Colleen Devries had presented a request to have a Safe Haven Baby Box in town. Mr. Schilling stated that they have to be maintained 24 hours a day. Mr. Swets requested that Mr. Phillips study it further to see if it is viable.

Mr. Phillips asked Mr. Schilling if he wanted to discuss the street sweepers. Upon hearing he did, Mr. Phillips passed information on the street sweepers.

Mr. Phillips advised that approximately $25,000 per year is spent on street sweeping services, which is only done twice a year. Mr. Phillips noted that there are some options from purchasing to leasing, and a 4-6 year lease option would likely be the most feasible. He commented that Bob Davis and Larry Bustamante form Public Works both prefer the Elgin Pelican.

Mr. Schilling asked if this should be put out for bids based on the cost. Attorney Westland responded in the affirmative. Mr. Phillips asked if bids would be required for a lease purchase. Attorney Westland responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Schilling asked if this is something the other Councilmen are interested in pursuing. Mr. Blazak stated that a lease purchase is the optimum choice to start. Mr. Swets noted that we need to ensure that it can fit in the budget.

Attorney Westland advised that you want to be able to compare the equipment pursuant to the Town’s specific needs and it is good to bid the lease to multiple banks as interest rates can fluctuate. He recommended that the Council not act on this item at this meeting. He commented that sometimes the lease option is better with the manufacturer because of sales incentives.

Mr. Swets agreed and stated that this should be considered under the next year’s budget and that the preparatory work be started.

Mr. Schilling thanked Mr. Phillips for getting the information.

Mr. Pondinas stated that we are one of the only communities around that don’t have a sweeper and that he would like to pursue it further.

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez reviewed the Requests to Purchase: B & D Sewer, in the amount of $4,600.00, for Edgewood Inlet Installation; Ferguson Waterworks, in the amount of $10,800 for water meter registers; Ferguson Waterworks, in the amount of $4,272 for the water meter to be installed at Crew Carwash; James Dodge, in the amount of $4,438.76 for Unit 12 squad car repairs; M.E. Simpson, in the amount of $63,700, which was also approved by the Waterworks Board in 2019, for water main exercising and assessment, update to the Atlas program, and the annual data subscription; and Mug-a-Bug, in the amount of $7,432.50 for mosquito abatement.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay all the Requests to Purchase.

Mr. Schilling made the motion; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $1,394,689.75; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes to 1 nay by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Nay
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

06-24-2020 Town Council Exhibits.pdf
07-22-2020 Town Council

July 22, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at 7:10 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion regarding the minutes.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to approve the minutes of March 11, 2020; April 22, 2020; and May 27, 2020. Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Swets opened the floor for Public Comment.

Adrian Bugariu (11747 West 90th Avenue): Ever since Beth Hernandez became Clerk-Treasurer, I had to go with police escort to pay my bills. I have to go with police escort to request information, which she never ever provided since 2016. Second time, last meeting, she had me escorted out, and I didn’t even have a speech. I look behind me to see who’s behind me, was Fryzel’s wife, start shouting at me without me saying a word. Then he started shouting. I turn around, I try to avoid. I said, “You see what’s going on?” I am escorted out. That was Wednesday. Thursday, I went and I talked to Chief Flores, you know, and I told him, I said, “I want her arrested, Fryzel, and his wife.” Fryzels and Beth Hernandez’ gang of political, judicial, and police gang, has to be removed from our town. In 2001, Fryzel put me in jail on June 20th for nothing, absolutely nothing. On June 28 this year, I get beaten up per her request, jailed, and charged with things I haven’t done. This has to stop. Beth Hernandez and her father and her mother have to be removed from this place. Thank you so much. And I hope all the charges I told Mike, he’s a very good friend of mine, we were very good relation ourselves. I was in good relationship with Barenie. And Forbes, I had their signs like I had your signs on my lawn when you ran for office. The moment Beth Hernandez became Clerk-Treasurer, she reorganized her gang, fired, and I know she fired (indiscernible). Thank you so much.

Kathy Balicki (10064 Olcott Avenue): I also work for the Clerk-Treasurer Beth Hernandez. I’ve been there almost four years, and I’m also the recent, newly elected, precinct committee person for my little neighborhood. The reason that I’m here tonight is I’ve been there almost 27 years in August. We have raised three children there. My grandson and their family lived with us for four and a half years, recently moving out. And I have seen St. John grow from a little town to what it is today, and our street Olcott, especially the corner of Olcott and 101st, has been a thoroughfare for all these years. Once they opened up 102nd, it did slow down a little bit. Once they opened up 231, it also slowed down a little bit, but because all the traffic that is going on Wicker and everybody cutting through, it has grown very busy. We also have a lot of young children now in my neighborhood because it’s changing over, and we also have, because of the growth of the town, a lot more younger drivers. So I’m asking if we could have more police presence at that corner to catch and warn people, please stop, you know, start stopping. We also have a Ring doorbell, and I have offered that to the police department if they would like to connect, and they can actually see that whole corner and what goes on. So I thank you for your time. You have a good evening.

Mr. Swets noted that they would refer her request to Chief Flores.

Maggie Orciuch (8422 Heron Lake): So I wrote the letter also to – this is my neighbor. I wrote the letter to Paul Panczuk and Councilmen Members of the St. John Council. And we would like to talk about our Heron Lake clean up. The pond is experiencing a significant increase in algae blooms each year during the growing season, and we respectfully ask for the Town to consider a formal remediation plan for – that may include a treatment schedule consistent with other ponds in St. John, phosphorus nutrient mitigation to reduce the source of algae blooms – and we’re talking about phosphorus from fertilizers that are going down with the rain to the pond and feeding the pond and algae. And we did have a clean lake for many years. You did a good job. But about three years back, it started to be really, really bad, and we could not really go on a paddle boat or kayak because of the high and dense and sticky algae. And we would like to solve this problem. And I know that you talked to other companies, and you’re familiar with the subject. We know that there is phosphorus in the lake in the water, and it’s causing to grow this algae. And we would like this to be neutralized with some chemicals to neutralize this phosphorus so the algae will stop growing so we can enjoy the lake and the view, also, very important, the view. And the third point is a fountain, aeration system to circulate water and promote both healthy bacteria that aid in reducing the nutrient load and a healthy environment for herons, swans, turtles, and fish, and wildlife, right? I did go to few homes. Don’t have too many signatures, but I have signatures of home owners around the lake. Should I give it to anybody?

(Mr. Swets instructed her to give it to the Town Manger.)

So this is one problem that we would like to address. And another point is that mosquito spraying. And I send also email to Paul Panczuk and all the Councilmen, and that included the landscaping of Ventura Estates, which is already taken care of. Thank you so much. I’m not sure. I didn’t even look when I was driving by if you put already bushes there. Do you know?

(Mr. Phillips responded that he did not know. Mr. Schilling responded that they didn’t receive a proposal for some. Mr. Panczuk responded that it is cleaned out.)

Yeah, it’s cleaned out. So you didn’t put anything yet there?

(Mr. Panczuk responded in the negative.)

Okay. All right. So that was the first point. And the second point was the mosquito spraying. This is huge deal for me and for my neighbors, too. We live by the lake, and it’s partially – it was wetland. And we have wildlife there. We have different insects, yes. We have beautiful insects, too. We have fireflies, and they are so beautiful and night when you look, you know. There is sunset, water, and fireflies. This is really beautiful view. And if you spray the mosquito spray, they will not be alive. So we have fireflies, we have dragonflies.

(Mr. Swets asked, “So you don’t want mosquito spray?”)

At all.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

Absolutely not because it kills the whole ecosystem.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

It kills the bees, hornets, the pollinators of our crops, pollinators for our – that we need for our fruits and vegetables. It kills dragonflies, fireflies; it kills the birds that – eating the bugs. What else do I have – caterpillars, crickets, birds. We have humming birds, and they’re all affected with chemicals that they’re spraying us. We have frogs in the lake. We have frogs; we have ducks. We have swans, deer, of course geese. Geese are everywhere, but they’re our nature from God, right, so we have to take care of them. And all the spraying is poisoning the wildlife. Although the problem is that whenever I walked with my husband for a walk, I was sprayed. The truck is coming, and it sprays the whole street, and they don’t really give a “mmm” if somebody is walking. They’re walking; they’re jogging, running, biking, and everybody’s getting sprayed. This is not right. They are sprayed with chemicals, dangerous chemicals that give cancer and this is not right to spray people. Also, the children are playing on the yard, playing basketball, biking, and they are on the yard – what else – driving cars, bikes, and they are sprayed also. I think it’s not fair to spray people with it.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

I did the research when I talked to Steve Kil before. He said, “Oh, the company says its safe for people and safe for pets and it dissipates after spraying after a few hours.” I did research, and it’s completely something else. The chemical stays on the ground, on the bushes, on the grass for 29 days. Everybody who works on the grass, every child, every pet that walks on the grass will get cancer. Okay. This is – this is dangerous stuff.

(Mr. Swets informed her that she has gone past her time limit and asked her to conclude her statement.)

Okay. So you, you know my point. Also, when they spraying, I can hear them. I run all of the time and close all the windows so, so the spray will not go to my house.

(Mr. Swets thanked her for her statement.)

I don’t want to breathe it. I don’t want to be sprayed with it. I don’t want to get cancer. I don’t want to have a health issue, so please, please don’t spray at all, if it’s possible, in St. John because you’re killing bees and the wildlife and people.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

We have a right to be healthy. We do have a right to be healthy. I know some people do not understand the issue, and they want to be sprayed because they don’t like mosquitos. But they – but they don’t get deeper, deeper to it.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

Also the spray stays for 29 days.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay.”)

So it’s a long time for children to be exposed to it and pets, also that get cancer.

(Mr. Swets said, “Okay. Thank you for your comments”)

Please do not spray.

(An unknown female speaker asked what they could do to get aeration for the pond, like a fountain like Prairie West Park has. Mr. Schilling asked her if they have a homeowners association. Both women stated that they did not. Mr. Swets asked the female to step up to the microphone and state her name and address.)

I addressed that as a third point when I talked, when I talked foundation aeration, yes.

Dawn Lencioni-Kortum (8332 Heron Lake Road): I was just checking to find out about the aeration system, if there’s anything we can do, cause all the other parks in the area do have the fountains and stuff in them, which then you don’t have the spray the chemicals as much cause it’s breaking up all the phosphates and all that stuff, so. And I know you have a pump station or some lift station or something that’s over on Heron Lake Road that would have access to power. Just wondering if that was a feasible thing here.

(Mr. Pondinas stated that it is Lift Station 12 over there, and he doesn't believe the aeration system would be forthcoming as it is expensive. He noted that Lake Hills has a homeowners association and they put in their own fountains and electric and are paying for the same. Mr. Pondinas stated that earlier in the year they had another company come out and give an evaluation of your lake, and it is very shallow at 18-20 inches deep with another 18-20 inches of muck. It is just a shallow wetlands that is called a lake. He advised that the Town is spending approximately $10,000 a year on the lake now.)

Ms. Orciuch: But I know that that – are they treating it always the same way, but if you have different chemicals in the water, like phosphorus, you need to change the way you treat the lake. You need to change the chemicals. So you can balance or – oh, I’m sorry. So you can neutralize the phosphorus.

(Mr. Pondinas responded that we rely on the pros to take care of it.)

I understand.

Ms. Lencioni-Kortum: Is the report “FOIAble” for us to get the – do you guys have FOIAs here? I’m from Illinois, so.

(Mr. Pondinas responded in the affirmative.)

Just to see what he said.

(Multiple speakers)

If we’re going to look into getting our own aeration or do something to get that information.

(Mr. Phillips advised that a FOIA request could be submitted to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office.)

Ms. Orciuch: So what I’m saying is yes, he’s – he was treating it because we talked about it on that it needs to be treated, but the question is, is he treating the old way that when the lake did not have that many problems with algae, or if he changed the chemicals to treat and balance all the phosphorus. That’s my.

(Mr. Pondinas stated that he can’t speak to what was done. He told her she can see the information in the first report when she gets it.)

Okay. But I would like you to look at it, if he changed the treatment for this lake, because the treatment for like three-four years is not working anymore. The algae is so dense and so smelly, you can’t even kayak or go there. It’s just too dense, and it’s too tall. So I would say that he needs to change the treatment to neutralize this phosphorus so it will not grow at all. And it’s possible. We talked about this with –

(Mr. Swets instructed Ms. Orciuch to put that information in writing and email to the Town Manager.)

I did. I did.

(Mr. Swets stated that the Council cannot address that as they are not the professionals on treating lakes. There is also a difference between lakes that the Town owns and lakes that the homeowners association own. He again told her to get the information to the Town Manager and submit her FOIA request.)

All right. Thank you so much. And also speaking – speaking of spraying of mosquitos, I send this request to not to spray for mosquitos in email.

(Mr. Swets responded that he has received her email.)

You got that? And two days ago, they were spraying on my street, Heron Lake, with mosquito spray. I was just very upset with this.

(Mr. Swets thanked her.)

Why did this happen?

(Mr. Swets responded that we typically spray for mosquitos in this town because people can get sick getting bit by mosquitos.)

But we asked not to.

(Mr. Swets thanked her for her comments.)

Oh, so what can I expect? Are – are you going to consider my request not to spray for mosquitos?

(Mr. Swets informed her that the Council would discuss it and see if it is an option. He noted that the recommendations are likely to be to spray for mosquitos because of West Nile Virus and other issues; however, he can’t answer for everyone.)

Yes, but it’s cancerous and dangerous to people.

(Mr. Swets thanked her for her comments.)

All right. Thank you.

Ms. Hernandez read a public comment from Mr. Bill Purcell of 8649 Fairway Drive.

Alyssa Lane (address not provided): I’m also a Heron Lake resident. There’s actually a lot of us here in the audience. So you made a comment about the guy came out and that there’s no fish in the lake. So we’ve been on the lake for eight years, and there used to be a lot of fish in the lake. And then the treatment company was changed, and three years ago, there was a huge die off. Like, we had bass that were this big that washed up. They killed off all of the wildlife in the lake. We had no birds, no deer, anything for several years after that happened. And they’re just starting to come back, and we know this because the birds are finally back this year. Like, we had no heron on the lake anymore, which was crazy. But all the changes that are happening on the lake with the algae, it wasn’t always like this. This is something that is a new problem, and so that’s why we feel very strongly that it’s because of the way that it’s being treated that we have the problem, because it was never a problem before. We had a ton of wildlife. We had a ton of fish. We had no problems with the algae. And then when the company was changed several years ago, we had the die off and then that’s when all the problems started with all of the excessive algae blooms. So that’s why we feel that it really needs to be looked into is because this is just something that can be managed better, and it’s being mismanaged, which is why we’re having the issues. So that’s it.

(Mr. Swets said that they will look into it.)

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1708 – Issuance and Sale of Bonds
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is the issuance and sale of bonds for the purpose of funding the cost of certain infrastructure improvements within the town, with an amount not to exceed $5,350,000.

Attorney Westland advised that with regards to 1708 and 1709 it is incorrectly listed as a Public Hearing on the agenda, this is just the first reading. The Public Hearing will take place on August 26, 2020 and hear public comment on these items. Tonight, you will read it on first reading and set it for the public hearing. He further advised that the motion should be to approve Ordinance Nos. 1708 and 1709 on first reading and set it for Public Hearing for August 26th for consideration on second reading on that date as well. Your bond counsel will be at the August meeting to make a presentation and answer any question there may be.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to approve the first reading and set the Public Hearing and second reading for August 26, 2020.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1708 on first reading and set the Public Hearing and second reading approval for August 26, 2020; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Consider Ordinance No. 1709 – Appropriation of General Obligation Bond Funds
Mr. Swets entertained a motion for Ordinance No. 1709.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1709 on first reading and set the Public Hearing and second reading approval for August 26, 2020; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1707 – Amending the Subdivision Control Ordinance
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1707, which is the Subdivision Control Ordinance.

Mr. Panczuk advised that the Subdivision Control Ordinance is complete. He thanked everyone who helped in the amendment process.

Mr. Swets noted that he was contacted by a resident who was hoping to see language in it regarding the spacing of fire hydrants and also flagging the fire hydrants, and they are both in there so he will be happy to hear that.

Mr. Pondinas thanked all who were involved in getting the Subdivision Control Ordinance updated. Mr. Swets entertained a motion.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1707, an ordinance revising the Subdivision Control Ordinance, on first reading; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1707 on first reading; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22B
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22B, a resolution and written statement of reasons for amendment to the Subdivision Control Ordinance of the Town of St. John as certified by the Plan Commission on June 3, 2020, and entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-07-22B; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

C. Resolution No. 2020-07-22 – Uncollectable Bad Debt
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22, a resolution declaring Uncollectible Bad Debt – St. John Ambulance Billing and entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-07-22; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

D. Consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22A – Police Appreciation Day
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22A, a resolution supporting our Police Department and Police Appreciation Day. This received a favorable recommendation from the Safety Board. Mr. Swets then read the resolution aloud and entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-07-22A; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

E. Consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22C – Waiver of Delinquent Utility Late Fees
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22C, a resolution amending Resolution No. 2020-04-22 for the waiver of delinquent utility late fees during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Ms. Hernandez noted that this is simply amending the dates of the prior resolution for clarification.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-07-22C; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

F. Consider Donation to St. John Fire Department
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the annual donation to the St. John Volunteer Fire Department for the Training Site in the amount of $15,000 and entertained a motion for the same. Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the annual $15,000 donation to the St. John Volunteer Fire Department for the Training Site; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

G. Consider Donation to Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the annual donation to Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids in the amount of $1,000 and entertained a motion for the same.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the $1,000 annual donation to NICK; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

H. Consider Donation to Tri-Town Safety Village
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is consider the annual donation to Tri-Town Safety Village in the amount of $27,500.

Mr. Blazak stated that he had audited their records and found everything to be in reasonable order and stated that it is a good cause.

Mr. Blazak mad a motion to approve the annual donation to Tri-Town Safety Village in the amount of $27,500; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas thanked Mr. Bill Jarvis for all his hard work at the Tri-Town Safety Village.

Mr. Swets turned the floor over the Mr. Jarvis.

Mr. Jarvis stated that he wished to thank the entire Council. He reported that the Tri-Town Safety Village has been growing by leaps and bounds. The community is very happy with the Safety Village, which now has a fire museum, a veteran’s museum from Tom Clark from the History Club of Lake Central. Many people visit even though children are not at this time due to the pandemic.

Mr. Panczuk stated that Mr. Blazak did a good job of vetting this cause after some concerns were raised. Mr. Jarvis willingly opened the books and went over everything with him. Everything checked out.

I. Consider Awarding of Fireworks Contract
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider proposals for the award of the fireworks contract to be performed on September 4.

Mr. Phillips advised that after the last Council meeting, both Mad Bomber and RKM Fireworks both gave us a more detailed proposal. Each proposal has a layout of the shows, and both companies have been out to visit the site to make recommendations on the deployment of the show.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to award Mad Bomber the contract in the amount of $20,000 for the Town of St. John Fireworks to be performed on September 4, 2020, or an alternate date as agreed upon; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes to 1 nay by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Nay
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

J. 2020 Police Directed Towing Services Award
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider awarding the 2020 Police-Directed Towing Services to Stan’s Towing and Kubiak Service & Towing. He stated that this had received a favorable recommendation from the Safety Board.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to award Stan’s Towing and Kubiak Service & Towing the 2020 Police-Directed Towing Services; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Schilling reported that the US 41 and 96th Place project should be wrapping up within the next week or so. The next phase will be the 96th Place and Joliet Street phase.

Mr. Pondinas reported that ME Simpson is going through the neighborhoods doing the valve exercising. He commented that he would like to get back in the habit of doing study sessions for the public. He stated that Mission One was here last month asking for $15,000 for a donation for the veterans’ memorial he wants to put up in the back of Town Hall and that he feels we should consider that. Mr. Pondinas thanked Public Works, the Police Department, and the Fire Department for all they do. Mr. Pondinas further reported that we need to look at making sure the private road behind McDonald’s and extending to 96th Place is paved. Mr. Pondinas reported that Tyler McLead has been hired as the new Superintendent of Parks and Recreation and will start on August 10, 2020. He thanked the Park Board for their work on hiring him. Mr. Pondinas stated that the summer help for the Parks are doing a great job.

Mr. Pondinas stated that he submitted a bid to them today to paint the concession stand in Civic Park in the amount of $2,250, and he would like to ask them to consider the same. He noted that the Park Board approved paying for a new Flex Court at the Civic Park basketball court, but they need the Town Council’s approval to do the work.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to authorize the Park Board to spend up to $22,000 to redo the basketball court at Civic Park; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets advised that the painting of the concession stand doesn't require action at the Town Council meeting because it is under the threshold and that can just be done.

Mr. Pondinas stated that another member of the Park Board resigned, that they have another person to interview yet, and that they will appoint a new member at the next meeting.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he agrees that the Earl Drive extension needs to be done. He concurred that the Town Council needs to have more study sessions and advised that they plan to have a study session with the financial advisor to review the 5-year budget plan. Mr. Panczuk noted that US 41 south of 96th has utility relocation happening from NIPSCO. The Town will be relocating a sewer line, and it is all in preparation for INDOT to come in next year and widen US 41.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he supports the Mission One Veterans’ Memorial project and would like to move forward with it.

Mr. Swets stated that his concern is with the construction of that project and the engineering behind it as well as the property and asked Attorney Westland if there are any concerns with that property.

Attorney Westland stated that he doesn't have any issues with the donation of money tonight if that is the Council’s pleasure. He commented that he spoke with Mr. Boersma about how we would work the donation and if he has his 501(c)(3) and stated that he would be happy to review all that. He has not heard from him since that last meeting, so he is hesitant to approve the donation of the land without a formal document stating what everybody’s doing.

Mr. Swets stated that he personally would like to have all those details resolved before taking action and that he would like to instruct Mr. Boersma to work with Attorney Westland and Mr. Phillips to establish who is doing what as far as the design, engineering, and the build so it is all together in one proposal. We are willing to earmark the money, but it has to be part of a comprehensive proposal.

Mr. Phillips agreed to reach out to Mr. Boersma.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez stated that her office needs direction from the Council on continued waivers for delinquent billing. The resolution that was just adopted only encompasses April, May, and June, so we need, at the very least, a motion for the July billing and what the Council’s pleasure is going forward.

Mr. Swets stated that he would be comfortable waving fees a month or two at a time.

Mr. Pondinas referenced that last month we were $30,000 behind in revenues for the water and asked Ms. Hernandez if that number is still increasing. Ms. Hernandez responded in the affirmative.

Ms. Hernandez advised that her office had sent letters out, which normally would have been disconnect letters that have been altered and are more delinquency letters. The letters clearly note that delinquent shutoffs will not be conducted at this time. It lets the customers know what their balances are. There are some that are well over $1,000, which is a bit concerning on how they will catch up on those payments. The letters request that they call the office to set up payment arrangements. Typically we carry around $6,000 in delinquency, and currently that number is close to $40,000.

Mr. Swets asked Ms. Hernandez if she had a recommendation. Ms. Hernandez recommended doing something for July, August, and September and re-evaluate as we get a little bit closer.

Attorney Westland stated that he would prepare a resolution for the August regular meeting.

Staff:

Mr. Phillips reported that the Community Crossing Grant paving should be coming to an end by the end of the week. He noted that a request has been put on the website and social media asking residents with odd numbered houses water on odd days and those with even numbered houses water on even days to help conserve water during the drought. There will be a slip being sent with the next water bill as well. He commented that Lake County Solid Waste Management District sent a note that based on a spike in Coronavirus cases, it is cancelling its hazardous waste collection scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2020. Mr. Phillips advised that there is a vacancy on the Sanitary District that needs filled.

Mr. Panczuk requested confirmation that we are still looking for candidates for the Tree Board. Mr. Phillips responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Swets stated that the Community Crossing Grant applications for the second half should be next month. Mr. Phillips advised that we received notification that the next grant round is delayed. They may offer it again later in the fall.

Mr. Swets noted that the Census would be wrapping up in the next few weeks and encouraged everyone to be sure and respond if they had not already done so. It will impact the money the Town receives.

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez reviewed the Requests to Purchase: Thomas Dodge, $31,000 (Net $6,404.50 after as we received a check from the insurance company in the amount of $24,595.50) for replacement vehicle of a squad that was totaled due to an accident; Chicago Parts & Sound, for Police vehicle equipment up-fitting for the new vehicle; Ferguson Waterworks, $8,064 for 24 Water Meter Allegro Registers; Holland Asphalt, $3,600 for street patching on 96th Avenue; Co-Alliance, $11,226 for gasoline; Co-Alliance, $1,654 for diesel; Esri, Inc., $4,200 for ArcGIS usage and maintenance; Fire Service, Inc., $16,650 for a new custom skid unit; B & D Sewer, $4,000 for an inlet installation between Hart Street and Allison Lane; Stryker, $36,061.96 for multiple items related to and including a LIFEPAK 15 V4 Monitor/Defibrillator; NSEW Construction & Engineering, $11,632 for sidewalk and driveway repairs due to a water main break; Great Lakes Recreation, $5,285 for a new aquatic pad controller for Heron Lake Splash Pad; and Fence Masters, $6,130 for fencing at Heartland Park. Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay all the Requests to Purchase.

Mr. Pondinas made the motion; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $2,122,925.13; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas stated that something is needed on that turn to Joliet Street off of US 41 from the south. There is no curb. When the barricades are gone, truck drivers want to take more of the turn than they need, and they will wipe out a sign. Mr. Panczuk recommended using delineators.

Mr. Panczuk stated that multiple emails have been exchanged regarding Heron Lake. We do spend money on some of the lakes that the public uses and enjoys. The private lakes are owned and maintained by the homeowners associations. He commented that we spend the most money on Heron Lake, and it isn’t even a public access lake. Mr. Panczuk stated that the lake behind his home in Kilkenny has never been treated, and it is deteriorated in the same way as Heron Lake. The report says that the lakes are dying because they are too shallow, and the sediment continues to build up and the phosphorus goes in. There is very little that can be done to reverse that cycle short of spending a ton of money annually. Heron Lake is already getting something that other lakes are not. The fish kills will continue to happen as the lakes continue to get shallower.

Mr. Panczuk stated that he would be open to discussion regarding mosquito spray at some point. Mr. Phillips noted that the spraying is done at night. Mr. Schilling stated that some of the neighbors around them want that spray. Mr. Pondinas stated that it is a hard call. Spraying is usually done from 7-10 p.m. He asked Mr. Blazak if all the bees are in the hives when it gets dark. Mr. Blazak responded in the affirmative.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

08-04-2020 Town Council

August 4, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Steve Flores, Chief of Police; Rick Eberly, Director of Building and Planning; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Craig Phillips, Town Manager.

Absent: David Westland, Town Attorney.

PRESENTATION:

Mr. Swets introduced Eric Walsh with Baker Tilly and turned the floor over to him to review the Town's five-year financial plan.

Mr. Walsh reviewed the booklet and explained cash flow, revenues, and expenditures while referencing the various graphs, charts, and tables in the book. He cautioned that there may be a decline in the Cable TV fund revenue source due to streaming television.

Mr. Walsh advised that that the Town can reestablish the Cumulative Capital Development fund annually and that deciding to reestablish the rate is driven by how fast the assessed value grows. If the growth is 5 percent or greater, he recommended reestablishing it, which can only be done in January.

Mr. Walsh noted that the matching funds for the Community Crossing Municipal Grant, if awarded, should be funded from the General Fund, Motor Vehicle Highway, Cable TV, CCD, and the General Obligation Bond the Town is procuring. Mr. Walsh explained the advantages of having a general obligation bond and briefly reviewed the GOB that the Town is obtaining.

Mr. Swets stated that with this five-year plan it looks like we won't have to raise taxes at all in order to pay what will be needed to continue to grow and build. Mr. Walsh stated that the only caveat he would add is that the way a taxpayer could see a potential tax increase would not be because of a decision the Town has made. If the assessed value starts growing slower than the state growth quotient, the taxpayer's tax rate goes up. It is based on levy divided by assessed value equals the tax rate.

Mr. Walsh reviewed the water and sewer utilities financial budgets and needs for the next five years, including the new SCADA system as well as water main replacements and a new well house, which totals almost $2.5 million. He stated that as the 2009 bonds are paid off and the 2017 bonds start to see the principal payments reduce, the Town could issue a water bond around the reduction in payment and level out the debt-service payments, which could spread the costs of those needs over a 20-year period instead of a 5-year period. He explained that if the $2.5 million were to be funded out of cashflow for the next five years is $500,000 a year. By rolling it into a bond that is structured around the other debt rolling off, rate-impact-wise, it only costs about $50,000 a year. He advised that the last water rate adjustment was done in 2006, which is a long time without a rate adjustment.

Mr. Walsh discussed the loan from the Waterworks Board to the Sanitary District and advised that the loan be paid back and reestablished by ordinance, updating the original ordinance and paying that back by a certain amount each year to make the two utilities whole, and set the rates for what it really costs to run the utilities. He discussed options for implementing the new water rates, which is only about $5 to $6 a month per customer with an average usage of 4,000 gallons. He noted that commercial rates and larger families will pay a bit more. The sewer rate for the average customer would go up approximately $4.10 per month.

Mr. Walsh noted that this would start to build the water cash balances over the five-year period. With water, you have a minimum cash generation of 125% you must have when you have an outstanding debt. It is the revenues minus the operating expenditures divided by the annual debt-service payment.

Mr. Swets asked what the impact would be of doing the rate increase over two years. Mr. Walsh stated that the Town would be about $500,000 low every year going forward on water. Both utilities would be about a $10 increase per month for the average user.

Mr. Pondinas asked if there is a higher increase for those with water meters larger than a 5/8-inch meter. Mr. Walsh stated that increase would be the same percentage rate across the board.

Ms. Hernandez asked if the potential rate adjustments factor in PILT payments. Mr. Walsh responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Panczuk asked if the utilities are currently losing money. Mr. Walsh responded in the affirmative, noting that rate increases are needed to get the cash reserves back to where they should be. Mr. Panczuk stated that the utilities need to be self-sustaining.

Mr. Swets asked if the pilot program is $73,000 per year. Mr. Walsh responded in the affirmative. Mr. Swets asked if that is what the water utility would be paying the General Fund based on the tax rate. Mr. Walsh confirmed the same and explained that it is based on the depreciated assets of the water utility times your tax rate.

Mr. Walsh advised revisiting the fines and fees structure every three to four years to ensure that the costs are being covered and that the rates are competitive. By doing so, the increases are small-incremental adjustments instead of big adjustments.

Mr. Swets thanked Mr. Walsh for his presentation and all the work he has done on putting together the five-year plan.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Ms. Hernandez read a comment from Bill Purcell into the record. The same has been attached hereto as Exhibit No. 2020-08-04-TC1.

Mr. Panczuk responded to Mr. Purcell's questions stating that the bond was between $5 million and $6 million and was utilized for infrastructure to install a road connection to Joliet Street to eliminate the old Joliet Street connection at US 41, improve US 41 between 93rd Avenue and 96th Place, and to build a detention basin. The Town agreed to that infrastructure in exchange, for the land that was granted to the Town to install the road by way of an Economic Development Agreement and an amended Economic Development Agreement.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the only control the Town has over what goes into Shops 96 is a list of prohibited uses. The car wash and the other lots are completely under the ownership and guidance of the developer.

Mr. Panczuk advised that two projects remain, soil improvements to support a roadway and the construction of the road segment connecting to Joliet Street.

Mr. Panczuk stated that copies of the Economic Development Agreement and the amended Economic Development Agreement would be posted to the website. He commented that the fund reports and payment of the bills is available from the Clerk-Treasurer's Office.

Mr. Swets asked if Mr. Panczuk has an idea of where we are going to be in the next 30-45 days. Mr. Panczuk responded in the affirmative and noted that the one remaining project to be let out for bids is the building of the road, which should be let at the end of August or beginning of September and opened at the RDC meeting in September.

Mr. Swets asked if we know what other businesses might be going into Shops 96. Mr. Panczuk stated that Centier Bank is going in on the corner by Crew Car Wash. He added that further questions should be directed to Bruce Boyer, the developer of Shops 96.

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to appoint Patrick Connelly to the Park Board; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Pondinas thanked all the department heads for their input on the five-year plan and Ms. Hernandez for recommending Baker Tilly.

Mr. Swets stated that there is a spot on the Sanitary District that requires a Democrat and asked for applicants for that position. He reminded and encouraged everyone to participate in the Census, which will be wrapping up in the near future.

Mr. Blazak commented that there is an individual who is going door-to-door and following up on folks who have not responded as yet. Mr. Phillips gave the website address to visit for the 2020 Census.

Mr. Phillips reported that traffic patterns on US 41 should resume to normal in the next day or so.

Mr. Eberly reported that 96th Place between Keilman Street and US 41 should be opening soon and that building permits, despite COVID-19 are running 17% ahead of last year. Mr. Blazak asked how many permits have been issued. Mr. Eberly stated that 195 residential permits have been issued, compared to 167 last year at this time.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 8:19 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

08-04-2020 Town Council Exhibit.pdf
11-24-2020 Town Council

November 24, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 7:08 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Swets opened the floor for Public Comment.

Mike Bouvat (9291 West 103rd Place): I’m the Park Board President. I just wanted to take this opportunity to represent my fellow Park Board members. We’re so appreciative that in 2020 we’ve had the opportunity to represent the families and the residents of St. John for the Park Board. Thank you for that. As you know, this has been a little bit of a different year, 2020, and there’s been a lot of transition. We have a new Park Board. And we feel like we’ve had a certain level of measured success in what we’ve been trying to do with upgrades, maintenance within the parks, and just want to let you all know that one of the one of the linchpins of our efforts has been Wayne Pondinas as the Park Board Liaison from the Town Council, and we greatly appreciate that. His insight, his cooperation, and availability has been strategic in our efforts, and we, as a Park Board, are asking the Town Council, as we move into 2021, if you could please keep Wayne as the Park Board Liaison. He has just been phenomenal for us to work with, and we’ve built a good rapport. Mike coming in and helping out has been outstanding. And as we move forward, I just want to comment – and I’m sure that you guys all know – speaking of Wayne, is about his character. One of his characters, one of his attributes is commitment, and he has a passion for the parks, for the Park Board, for the town, and – and it – we feel that. We pick up on that, and it reminds me of this sermon my pastor preached, talking about commitment. And he told a story: He was at the breakfast table and his daughter said, “Dad, what is commitment?” And he thought about that, and he looked down. He says, “Well, sweetie, if you look at your plate, what do you have there for breakfast?” She says, “Well, I got eggs and I got bacon?” And he says, “Well, that’s a good example of commitment. Cause, you see, the chicken gave you the eggs, and he was involved, but the pig gave you the bacon. He was committed cause he gave you all he had.” And that’s kind of just an example I like to say about Wayne that, that is the kind of attribute that we really pick up on from Wayne as being as a Park Board Liaison. So with that, I’m just saying as we move forward – he’s helped us out with the study sessions for 2021. We feel like we have some very outstanding and achievable goals to reach next year. And beings that we are a new Park Board, haven’t been together that long, and with the rapport we’ve built with Wayne, we just feel like it would really be essential to have him as a part for 2021. And we really appreciate and thank you for your support in what you’ve done with us. And we just want to acknowledge that. And with that, we’re going to just ask from Park Board, from Mike Moffitt, Johnny Boersma, and Patrick Connelly that you guys have a blessed Thanksgiving also. Thank you for your time.

(The Council expressed their thanks individually, and Mr. Pondinas reviewed some of the board’s accomplishments this past year.)

Chris O’Hara (10980 West 93rd Avenue): What I’m coming to you today, before, is regarding a drainage issue on my property. One of which that Paul and Craig know about. But I wanted to bring it to the board just so it was on record that it’s been brought to the board. Back in the end of April, I had sent an email to Paul regarding an issue -- an issue with drainage. It’s a 10-inch drain that – that drains onto my property. And I’d like to make improvements to my property, but with a 10-inch drain, it drains a lot of this – this street water and the trash from the – the streets onto my property. So unfortunately, I can’t make improvements to my property, so back in April I mentioned it. And Paul gave me guidance as to – to which way to go. And we – we involved the – the Town engineers and – and – and got things going. But it’s kind of stalled out since then. We tried to go – it was suggested that I go to the sewer board meeting, and I went to the sewer board meeting or the sanitary meeting. My apologies. And that was the wrong place to go, so I followed up with – with Craig and mentioned that, you know, back in April – or August – that – what to do. And I’ve been following up ever since. So here I am, and I’m trying to find out and put it in record that, you know, there’s a drainage issue in my back yard where, like I said, a 10-inch drain is draining this, the sew – sorry, the drainage from the street onto my property. And I’d just like to – to know what – what can be pursued or what has been the status of it. Yeah, I, again, I’ve reached out several times. Craig, you know, the issue. But I wanted to put this on record to see where we were, if you could give any input, Craig, as to where we are so far.

(Mr. Panczuk updated Mr. O’Hara, noting that the Town is looking into who is responsible for the water. Mr. Swets advised Mr. O’Hara to follow up with Mr. Phillips.)

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Ordinance No. 1720 – The 2021 Salary Ordinance
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1720, the 2021 Salary Ordinance.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1720 on first reading; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 1720 on first reading; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Consider Resolution No. 2020-11-24 – Transfer of Appropriations
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-07-22B, a resolution for the transfer of appropriations.

Mr. Pondinas made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-11-24; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

C. Consider Acceptance of a Letter of Credit for Mill Creek, Unit 6
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider acceptance of a Letter of Credit from Mill Creek, Unit 6, in the amount of $52,030, which received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to accept the Letter of Credit for Mill Creek, Unit 6, in the amount of $52,030; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

D. Consider Acceptance of a Letter of Credit for Summerlin Estates, Phase 2
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider acceptance of a Letter of Credit from Summerlin Estates, Phase 2, in the amount of $262,171.38, which received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to accept the Letter of Credit for Summerlin Estates, Phase 2, in the amount of $262,171.38; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

E. Consider Revised Lease Agreement with American Tower
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider The Third Amendment to Communications Site Lease Agreement with American Tower Asset Sub, LLC.

Mr. Phillips reviewed the amendment’s revisions and advised that the revisions are the result of two of the largest cellphone companies using the cell tower merged and do not need the same number of facilities as a result.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to approve the lease and authorize the Town Manager to execute the same.

Mr. Blazak made the motion; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

F. Consider Reduction in the 2020-2021 School Year Invoice for the School Resource Officer
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Dr. Larry Veracco’s request for a 20% reduction to the 2020-2021 school year for the invoice for the school resource officer services due to the early release last school year due to COVID-19.

Mr. Pondinas noted the Ms. Hernandez reviewed the documentation and was able to save $10,110.06. Mr. Pondinas strongly encouraged questioning bills and asking questions that may result in savings for the Town.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the request for a reduction in the amount of $19,600.74, with a breakdown of $4000 for Officer Moffitt and $15,600.74 for Officer Stamate; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Schilling wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Mr. Pondinas advised that Well 3 and Well 5 are at 80 feet deep, and we want to lower them to 100 feet deep as part of a rebuild system at a cost of $90,020. He noted that the Request to Purchase hasn’t been submitted as yet but it will be forthcoming. Mr. Pondinas advised that it needs to be done during winter months since they are in use over the summer months. He commented that Sanitary District and Waterworks Board approved purchasing a valve purchase for The Gates tower at the cost of $42,550, which will send water from the Gates Tower to the Hack Street tower. The RTPs will be forthcoming. Mr. Pondinas wished everyone a good Thanksgiving.

Mr. Panczuk stated that the Plan Commission will be revising the Master Zoning Ordinance starting in January, and they are working on the Road Impact Fee, which will come to the Town Council again. The Road Impact Fee is currently in the public viewing period. The Impact Fee plan will be adopted into the Comprehensive Plan. There will be a few extra meetings in December. Mr. Panczuk advised that there will be two PUD ordinances for consideration at the December meeting for Greystone and The Preserve. Mr. Panczuk also wished all a happy Thanksgiving.

Mr. Blazak wished everyone a “Happy Turkey Day”.

Mr. Swets announced the openings on the boards and commissions for 2021. The appointments will be made at the December 30, 2020, meeting. Applications will be accepted until December 11, 2020, which will allow time for the applications to be gone through.

Mr. Blazak noted that the Impact Fee Review Committee will need a CPA as one of its members. He added that there are no meetings unless a review is requested. Mr. Blazak reported that Chief Flores informed him that the Toys for Tots squad car event was hugely successful. He thanked all for their contributions in that success.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez wished a happy Thanksgiving to everybody. She noted that there will be a parade at noon on Black Friday. Santa will arrive at Lake Central by helicopter around 11:45, and then a parade will commence from Lake Central down U.S. 41 and end at Lincoln Elementary School and advised that there will be a flyer outlining some of the other activities that will take place in the utility bill that will be going out. Ms. Hernandez thanked Chief Flores and the Police Department and Chief Willman and the Fire Department. Public Works and the Parks Department have been helping with some of the floats.
Staff:
Mr. Phillips reported that the NIRPC grants that we applied for are still ongoing and that there is a special Town Council meeting following the Plan Commission meeting on December 2, 2020. He asked the Town Council if he should go ahead and advertise for the second meeting on December 16, 2020. Mr. Swets requested that he hold off on that until he has a confirmation that everyone is available to attend. Mr. Phillips closed his report with wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez reviewed the Requests to Purchase, and Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the same. Line-X of Schererville for a snow plow in the amount of $5,950.00; Stryker Medical for cots and a power load in the amount of $9,147.00; Fire Services for a UL Certification in the amount $9,841.00; Stryker Medical for chest compression systems, batteries, and other accessories, in the amount of $17,329.06; R&R Sewer for installation of an inlet and 12-inch pipe for a Parrish Avenue culvert in the amount of $6,338.44; R&R Sewer for a sanitary force main emergency repair in the amount of $6,654.42; Bosak Ford for a 2021 F-250 in the amount of $31,088.00; Webb Ford for four 2021 Interceptors in the amount of $142,620.00.

Mr. Pondinas made the motion; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $2,266,379.75; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Blazak made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion.

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 7:53 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

12-02-2020 Town Council

December 2, 2020 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Special Meeting to order on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at 8:05 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Craig Phillips, Town Manager, and Adam Decker, Board Attorney.

Absent: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer, and David Westland, Town Attorney.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Resolution No. 2020-11-09
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2020-11-09, a resolution approving amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate a Zone Improvement Plan, which was approved by the Plan Commission for a favorable recommendation to the Town Council by a unanimous vote.

Mr. Panczuk and Mr. Phillips advised that the documentation was available for public viewing for the required amount of time.

A brief QA was had with the Council Members and Taghi Arshami of the Arsh Group, Principal Engineer.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-11-09, a resolution approving amendments to the Comprehensive Plan to incorporate a Zone Improvement Plan that was unanimously approved by the Plan Commission with a 7-0 vote; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

REPORTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Phillips advised that a special meeting would be held by the Plan Commission, subsequently followed by a special meeting of the Town Council, on December 16, 2020, to discuss the Road Impact Fee's adoption.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

12-16-2020 Town Council Meeting Canceled
12-30-2020 Town Council

December 30, 2020 Town Council Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Regular Meeting to order on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at 7:08 p.m., via virtual and live attendance, and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Paul Panczuk, Vice President; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President. A quorum was attained.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Craig Phillips, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 23, 2020, meeting; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

COMMENDATION:

Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to thank Fire Chief Fred Willman for years of service to the Town and turned the floor over to Mr. Schilling, the Council Liaison for the Fire Department.

Mr. Schilling thanked Chief Willman for his 40 years of service and for being the Fire Chief for 25 of those years. He commented that when someone is a public servant and leaves a community, the community should be left in a better condition than when that person began as a public servant in that community. Mr. Schilling stated that Chief Willman was instrumental in bringing the first AED to the Fire Department, getting the vehicles certified to respond to medical emergencies, starting the ambulance service, and hiring full-time Firefighters. Throughout his career, Chief Willman had always worked to improve the Fire Department and leave it in a better place than what it was when he took it over. He read and then presented a plaque to Chief Willman.

Chief Willman thanked the Council, the members of the Fire Department, and everyone else. He stated that he loved every minute of his journey and added that he could not have accomplished it without the great people who worked with him. Chief Willman guided and inspired 175 people since becoming the Fire Chief. Chief Willman paid homage to Jake, the Fire Department dog, who was with the department for 13 years.

APPOINT NEW FIRE CHIEF:

Mr. Swets thanked the applicants for applying for the position of Fire Chief and thanked the Safety Board for being a part of the interview process. He then turned the floor over to Mr. Schilling.

Mr. Schilling announced Kevin LaDuke as the new Fire Chief. Ms. Hernandez swore in Chief LaDuke. Chief LaDuke received congratulations and introduced his wife, Nikki; son, Grayson; mom, Mary Ellen; sister, Elizabeth; and dad, Glenn.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to appoint Kevin LaDuke as the Fire Chief.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to appoint Kevin LaDuke as the Chief of the St. John Fire Department effective January 1, 2021; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PRESENTATION:

Mr. Swets turned the floor over Hal Slager, Indiana State Representative.

Mr. Hal Slager remarked that he was a town councilman for Schererville. He stated that he worked with Mr. Phillips in the past, has known Mr. Swets for years, and told a story about Mr. Panczuk. He stated that Mr. Panczuk lived in his neighborhood and would call at times to express concerns, so he extended an invitation to apply to be on a board or commission, and Mr. Panczuk responded that it would be great. Mr. Panczuk then became a member of the Schererville Plan Commission and did a great job.

Mr. Slager commented that he is available to the Town Council by cell phone and for them to reach out to him at any time. He noted that the session starts on Monday. Mr. Slager stated that he is happy to help if needed. He is working on several bills, such as better access to pediatric care for Medicaid patients and a bill to redefine what a virtual education is to help public schools avoid funding problems. He offered to answer any questions and thanked the Town Council for having him.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Community Crossings Municipal Grant Agreement
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the Community Crossings Municipal Grant Agreement, which will bring in $1 million from the State.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the Community Crossings Municipal Grant Agreement and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

B. Consider Ordinance No. 1721 – Road Impact Fee
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Ordinance No. 1721, an ordinance establishing the St. John Road Impact Fee.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to only consider Ordinance No. 1721 on the first reading; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried 4 ayes to 1 nay by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Nay
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets noted that they would address the adoption of the ordinance at their next meeting.

C. Resolution No. 2020-12-30 – Civil Transfer of Appropriations
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-12-30, a Civil transfer of appropriations.

Ms. Hernandez advised that the transfer of appropriation resolutions are simply transferring one line item to another and should conclude the remaining transfers for 2020.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion for both Resolution Nos. 2020-12-30 and 202-12-30A.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to adopt Resolution Nos. 2020-12-30 and 2020-12-30A; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

D. Resolution No. 2020-12-30A – Waterworks Transfer of Appropriations
Passed with Item C.
E. Resolution No. 2020-12-30B – Creation of New Fund Titles and Numbers
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-12-30B, a resolution creating new fund titles and numbers: US HHS Stimulus Cares Act Relief Fund (150), Coronavirus Relief Fund (151), and 2020 GO Bond Fund (315).

Ms. Hernandez advised that the funds have already been created and assigned. Since they are special funds, they don't necessarily have to be done by resolution, but she is presenting them for the Town Council's approval by way of this resolution.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-12-30B; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

F. Resolution No. 2020-12-30C – Transfer of Funds, Restricted MVH to Local Road and Bridge
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-12-30C, a resolution to authorize the transfer of funds from Restricted MVH, Fund 203, to Local Road and Bridge, Fund 447.

Ms. Hernandez advised that these funds are the remaining matching funds for the last Community Crossing Municipal Grant project.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-12-30C; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

G. Resolution No. 2020-12-30D – Transfer of Funds, Coronavirus Relief Fund to General Fund
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider Resolution No. 2020-12-30D, a resolution to transfer funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (Fund 151) to the General Fund (Fund 101).

Ms. Hernandez advised that this resolution is the Coronavirus Relief Fund that the Town just received money into and that we are using it to reimburse the Public Safety Payroll and are transferring the funds to the General Fund to do so.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to adopt Resolution No. 2020-30-12D; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

H. Easement Agreement between Town of St. John and NIPSCO
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider an easement agreement with Northern Indiana Public Service Company, LLC, for Electric Facilities, known as easement 45116.

Mr. Phillips advised that it is an easement for work for the electrical facilities on the west side of Wicker Avenue (US 41) as part of the State's improvements.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to grant Easement No. 45116 to NIPSCO and authorize the Town Council President to sign; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

I. Professional Services Agreement – Westland & Bennett
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the Professional Services Agreement for legal services with Westland & Bennett.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to approve the 2021 agreement with Westland & Bennett; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

J. Professional Services Agreement – Adam Decker
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a professional services agreement for legal services with Adam Decker.

Mr. Phillips asked that this item be deferred to the January meeting.

Mr. Panczuk made a motion to defer; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

K. Professional Services Agreement – Haas & Associates
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a professional services agreement for engineering services with Haas & Associates.

Mr. Schilling made a motion to approve the 2021 agreement with Haas & Associates; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

L. Professional Services Agreement – Baker Tilly
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider a professional services agreement for financial advice with Baker Tilly.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the 2021 agreement with Baker Tilly; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

M. Consider Appointment of Redevelopment Commission Members
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the appointment of the Town Council members to the Redevelopment Commission for 2021.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to appoint the Town Council Members to the Redevelopment Commission for 2021; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

N. Consider Acceptance of a Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 1
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the acceptance of a Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 1.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to accept the Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 1; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

O. Consider Release of the Surety Bond and Acceptance of a Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 2
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the release of the Surety Bond in the amount of $353,786.88 and accept a Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 2, which received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to release the Surety Bond in the amount of $353,786.88 and accept the Maintenance Guarantee for Walden Clearing, Phase 2; Mr. Panczuk seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

P. Consider Release of the Surety Bond and Acceptance of a Maintenance Guarantee for Summerlin Estates, Phase 1
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the release of the Surety Bond in the amount of $61,629.75 and accept a Maintenance Guarantee for Summerlin Estates, Phase 1, which received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission.

Mr. Blazak made a motion to release the Surety Bond in the amount of $61,629.75 and accept a Maintenance Guarantee for Summerlin Estates, Phase 1; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Q. Board and Commission Appointments
Mr. Swets advised that the next item on the agenda is to appoint members to various boards and commissions for the 2021 calendar year. He noted that some appointments would be made at a future meeting.
Board of Zoning Appeals:
Mr. Panczuk made a motion to appoint John Kennedy as the Town Council appointment of a Plan Commission member to the Board of Zoning Appeals; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Plan Commission:
Mr. Pondinas made a motion to appoint Jon Gill, Donna Little, and Jason Vlasic as the statutorily required employee members to the Plan Commission; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Economic Development Committee:
Mr. Blazak made a motion to appoint John DeYoung, Rob Godoy, Karl Madsen, Erica Hill, Kelly Stoming, and Joe Barry to the Economic Development Committee; Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Sanitary District:
Mr. Blazak made a motion to reappoint Patti Sims-Smierciak to the Sanitary District; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Safety Board:
Mr. Schilling made a motion to reappoint Ray Paradiso and Pat Moran to the Safety Board, Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Waterworks Board:
Mr. Pondinas made a motion to reappoint Ken Gembala and Bill Manousopoulos to the Waterworks Board; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

Mr. Swets advised that we are still looking for a few more applications for the Tree Board, and they would like to fill that in before the next Town Council meeting on January 13, 2021.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Town Council:
Mr. Panczuk stated that he wanted to recognize the work that has been done. He thanked the Police, Fire, Public Works, and all employees for making it through COVID and 2020. He appreciates everyone's hard work. Mr. Panczuk thanked Mr. Pondinas for his work with the Waterworks, Sanitary District, and Park Board, which saw many accomplishments, especially in the Parks area. In addition to helping with the road projects, Mr. Schilling has worked wonders with Police, Fire, and Safety Board. Mr. Swets, as Town Council President, does all the background legwork that is unseen. He works hard at the work that doesn't get seen by the public, and Mr. Panczuk appreciates what he does every day. Despite battling an illness in 2020, Mr. Blazak worked diligently at the Road Impact Fee process, a grueling process by State statute. Mr. Panczuk noted that he worked with the Plan Commission to update the Subdivision Control Ordinance. He thanked all for their support. Mr. Panczuk thanked Ms. Hernandez for the switch to Baker Tilly, the five-year plan, and Christmas at the Park, where her office rearranged everything so people could see Santa Claus.

Mr. Schilling thanked Public Works for their snowplowing. He thanked his fellow Councilmen, Mr. Westland, Mr. Phillips, Mr. Dravet, and Ms. Hernandez for all their work and help this past year.

Mr. Blazak commented that Mr. Panczuk has worked very hard on the Shops 96 project and put in much time and effort to get that project going and thanked Mr. Panczuk for the same.

Mr. Pondinas supported Mr. Panczuk's comments, stated that Mr. Panczuk has put much work into projects, and thanked Ms. Hernandez for adopting the Town Council. She is the glue that keeps everything going. Mr. Pondinas stated that Chief Willman's 40 years probably equals 50 years with all the extra work he has put into the Town. He was present all the time, including weekends and after hours. Mr. Pondinas appreciates that as a resident.

Mr. Swets echoed Mr. Pondinas' comments and stated that the years of service Chief Willman put into the Town were phenomenal; he worked hard and was always upfront.

Mr. Blazak said on behalf of the residents that he would miss Chief Willman rolling into a call at 3 a.m. going down 93rd with his siren screaming.

Mr. Swets commented that the Town Council accomplished a lot in the twelve months since they have been here. He stated that he appreciates working with all of them and the cooperation to accomplish all they have. The Town's development and direction are in good hands. Mr. Swets thanked Mr. Phillips for his work and helping the Town Council work through projects, submitting NIRPC applications, and submitting Community Crossing Municipal Grant application resulting in funds approved for $1 million. He is looking forward to another year of accomplishing more together at a slower pace and take things a bit more deliberately.

Clerk-Treasurer:
Ms. Hernandez stated that she is looking forward to 2021 and echoed working together and being more deliberate with how quickly we move. She noted that the Town Council tackled numerous things its first year, and she is proud of them for all they have done.

Mr. Swets thanked Mr. Dravet for all his work, making all the meetings available for the public to see, and settling up the virtual meetings for remote participation. Mr. Swets stated that he is appreciative of Attorney Westland's temperament and wise advice.

Staff:
Mr. Phillips thanked all the employees for all the hard work they put forth during a challenging year that presented many difficulties. Mr. Phillips stated that he wanted to specifically thank Mr. Dravet and Ms. Abernathy for the work that they had done. Mr. Phililips also thanked Ms. Abernathy on behalf of himself and the Town Council for helping in an interim capacity in the Town Manager's office before he was hired. He thanked the Councilmen for allowing him the opportunity to serve the community. He is looking forward to working with the Town Council in 2021. Lastly, Mr. Phillips wished everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2021.

Mr. Swets concurred that Ms. Abernathy did a phenomenal job filling in the gaps before Mr. Phillips was here. He stated that she had gone above and beyond, and her work is much appreciated.

Mr. Westland thanked the Council for his appointment last year and reappointment for 2021. He said he has gotten to know them much better over the year and is looking forward to next year. Mr. Westland wished everyone a "Happy New Year."

REQUESTS TO PURCHASE:

Ms. Hernandez stated that they have nine Requests to Purchase totaling $221,457.20 that the Council had received for review.

Mr. Swets entertained a motion. Mr. Panczuk made the motion; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Pondinas made a motion to pay the bills in the amount of $2,694,862.06; Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously by roll-call vote.

Mr. Blazak Aye
Mr. Panczuk Aye
Mr. Pondinas Aye
Mr. Schilling Aye
Mr. Swets Aye

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Swets entertained a motion to adjourn. Mr. Schilling made a motion to adjourn; Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion.

Mr. Swets adjourned the meeting at 7:58 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

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

Meeting Video Recordings may be found on the Town's YouTube channel

Meeting Audio Recordings

01-01-2020 Town Council

01-08-2020 Joint Town Council Safety Board

01-08-2020 Town Council

01-22-2020 Town Council

02-03-2020 Town Council

02-26-2020 Town Council

03-11-2020 Town Council

04-22-2020 Town Council

05-27-2020 Town Council

06-24-2020 Town Council

07-22-2020 Town Council

08-04-2020 Town Council

08-26-2020 Town Council

09-09-2020 Town Council

09-23-2020 Town Council

10-21-2020 Joint Town Council Plan Commission Study Session

10-28-2020 Town Council

11-09-2020 Town Council

11-24-2020 Town Council

12-02-2020 Town Council

12-30-2020 Town Council

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