Mr. Volk inquired as to the entire project cost for the sprinkler park in relation to the use of the CDBG funds. Mr. Fryzel provided an overview of the project and stated that the CDBG funds would be used just for the concrete pad with the remaining cost that included the sprinklers; (events) building (washrooms) would be paid by the Park Department. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil stated that for the sprinkler park itself with pad is about $50,000 (equipment, concrete and piping). The only way the town qualifies for the CDBG money would be if the money were spent in a park or a public place, and he cannot think of an area of town where they can do a low-income survey. Mr. Fryzel said they should start looking at where they will spend the 2008 money.
Mr. Fryzel opened to the floor for public comment. There was none.
Ms. Teibel motioned to amend FY2007 CDBG project from improvements at Lake Hills to Prairie West Park. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes inquired about adding the meeting minutes for all the departments to the website. Discussion ensued that included the procedure and timeframe after the approval of minutes to be forwarded to the website for posting. Mr. Forbes asked if the agenda’s can be put on the website. Discussion ensued. Agendas will not be posted on the website due to the frequency of changes, deletions or additions occurring prior to the beginning of the meetings.
Mr. Fryzel asked Ms. Sury to advertise for the Executive Session on the 24th at 7:00 P.M.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Pharazyn reported public works took down all the holiday decorations. They also began construction of a new bathroom facility at Prairie West Park. They will be completing the extension of the 12” water main south on U.S. 41 and as part of that they will be completing the extension of the storm sewer that is being run to solve the “Dairy Queen Drainage Problem”. He has begun planning the replacement of the water main on Forrest Avenue. The department was called out on six different occasions this month for snow and ice control.
Mr. Sobek stated that the spring flyer will be sent out with the water bill next week and mentioned that the information is on the web site.
Chief Frego summarized the December Activity Report and stated that he will have the year-end report completed in about another week, (exhibit A).
Chief Willman summarized the report for the month of December and the 2007 Call Summary Report, (exhibits B & C).
Mr. Mainwaring reported that for the month of January he issued 16 citations and removed three political signs.
Mr. Barenie asked if the Olthof fencing has been picked up. Mr. Mainwaring stated that he spoke with the foreman and was advised that they were going to pick up all the pieces. Mr. Barney questioned the status regarding the signs and Mr. Mainwaring stated that this item was also addressed.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1466. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Kil added that Mr. Rainwater, a resident of the town, is donating a parcel of property off of Oakwood to the town for the purpose of a park. The appraisal is back and Mr. Kuiper is working on the title so this should come before the Council next month.
Mr. Kil also mentioned that a family in town had a catastrophic event take place and is in need of a building permit to do alterations to their home, the permit is only in the amount of about $305.00. He stated that it might be prudent for the Town Council to waive the permit fees; it was an extremely bad event. Mr. Barenie motioned to waive that amount for that family. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Volk stated that he has had a group of people ask if the gun range would be open to the public. Mr. Fryzel stated that it could not; the facility is only for law enforcement personnel. Discussion ensued.
(Upon adjournment, Mr. Volk asked permission, for the record, from Attorney Kuiper to distribute information to the Town Council members pertaining to the proposed eastside annexation for reference, Exhibit A.)
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Opening Remarks – Mr. Kil referenced the Historical Data/Community Comparisons pertaining to the refuse collection fee and the Building Permit Data information he handed out. He stated that the 1990 census showed a population of 4,921; in the year 2000, the census showed a population of 8,382; and now as of January 1, 2008 the population is estimated, based on actual building permit data, at 13,981. In 2001, there were approximately 2, 072 houses in town; the monthly cost per household per month for trash pickup and recycling was $8.35. In 2008, there are 4,470 households with the cost being $14.35. It has gone from about $30,000 a month to $64,296 a month on average. Only one company, Illiana Disposal responded to the bid; Waste Management declined the bid, they are getting out of residential waste service.
Mr. Kil stated that the cost of the annual garbage fee from May 2007 to May 2008 is $14.35 per household per month; from 2008 – 2009 it goes to $15.07; and from 2009-2010 it goes to $15.82; from 2010 – 2011 to $16.61. He added the Town budgeted in 2008 - $745,000 for trash collection and were then advised by the DLGF (Department of Local Government Finance) to revert back to the 2007 appropriations. The appropriation in 2007 was $540,000, which means there will be a shortfall in the budget of at least $231,000. They compared the surrounding communities and found that Cedar Lake charges $15.00 per month; Dyer $13.79; Lowell $11.89; Griffith $11.50; Merrillville is currently privatized but starting next month they agreed to a town wide collection fee of $14.95 per household which is being billed directly by the service provider; Schererville $15.09; Highland $15.25; Munster $19.00; and Crown Point is currently at $9.75 and believes they are looking at increasing that. That brings the average cost per household for all these communities at $12.79.
Mr. Fryzel stated that he has not had enough time to read the ordinance and is considering subsidizing part of the cost.
Mr. Forbes stated that he agreed with the possibility of subsidizing. He noted that the most significant increase in the cost of waste pick up was between 2006 and 2007 and questioned why this wasn’t done then or even last year. Mr. Kil stated that they had been monitoring it for a few years and thought they could get through it this year, but when the State reduced the appropriations, it wasn’t going to be possible. The Town really received only one bid and the current waste hauler, at the time, could not put the bid bond in for the bid, which made them ineligible. Waste Management refused to bid.
Mr. Barenie stated that he concurs with Mr. Fryzel’s thoughts, it is a lot of documentation to receive very recently; it’s a decision that impacts the residents here on out and would like to have more time to look through the information. Mr. Volk stated that he agrees with Mr. Barenie.
Mr. Austgen stated that this is a Public Hearing scheduled for this evening. It appears there may be residents who have responded to the invitation to comment, and it would be appropriate and lawful to conduct a Public Hearing this evening notwithstanding perhaps your action as a Council to defer, continue, consider first reading only or whatever the Council determines to do at the conclusion of the Public Hearing.
Mr. Fryzel stated that he was going to open it to the floor and if anything; they would consider on first reading. He verified that anything could be changed after consideration on first reading, the entire ordinance can be changed after consideration on first reading. Mr. Austgen agreed that is correct.
Mr. Fryzel opened the floor for comments.
Mr. Joe Dickelman, 9258 W. 92nd Place, Lancer Estates - asked what happens to the recycling money we receive. Mr. Kil stated that the Town does not get extra money for recycling; they are required to recycle a certain amount to be eligible for the Solid Waste District Management money. Mr. Dickelman asked if senior citizens could get a reduction? Mr. Fryzel stated that they were going to look at the entire ordinance, if they subsidize, it will be across the board. Mr. Austgen stated that the law requires that in rate establishment, the legislative body may only adopt a rate that is uniform, fair and non-discriminatory. Discussion ensued. Mr. Dickelman inquired if the residents were being charged for hydrant service. Discussion ensued. Mr. Dickelman inquired as to when Lancer Estates would be resurfaced, as this has not been done for over 20 years. Mr. Fryzel advised him that he must wait until the end of the meeting to ask about that.
Mr. Bill Dravesky, 9038 Howard Court – asked how much it would be for the Town to buy their own garbage trucks and have their own drivers? Mr. Kil responded that one truck costs about $225,000, they must pay employees, transfer costs, landfill costs, and is not cost effective.
Ms. Cheryl Cribari, 9338 Olcott – stated that the money comes from the general fund, which comes from the taxpayers, so this would be double taxation. Mr. Kil explained the general fund and restated the budget reduction dictated by the State. She stated that she was pleased to see the notice for the public hearing in the paper and suggested that study sessions be reinitiated.
Mr. Fryzel closed the floor.
Ms. Teibel motioned to consider Ordinance #1467 on first reading only so that the Council could have further time on that. Motion died for lack of a second.
Mr. Austgen recommended that the Public Hearing be continued to the next public meeting of the Council.
Mr. Forbes motioned to continue the Public Hearing at the March 20, 2008 meeting. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
The firefighters are presently civilian PERF members; they have a pension fund and a membership in a pension, just as the other employees do. They are not however like the Police Department, which has been included within the 1977 fund. The Town’s full time Police Officers have been enrolled in this pension fund from the time of its commencement to the present. The actions needed to be taken regarding that enrollment and enlistment of those full time sworn personnel have been made or is on file for purposes of their eligibility and entitlement under the 1977 PERF fund.
It is a different story with the firefighters because the Social Security Administration receives money from their paychecks. The Social Security Administration must under PERF regulations exempt the Town’s full time firefighter personnel from the Social Security Administration collections and withholdings in order for those full time firefighter personnel to become members of the Firefighter PERF Fund which substitutes for Social Security Funds. This process is not only tedious, it has been underway for the last year or so, since about the time the Council elected by resolution to adopt the entitlement enlistment of those personnel into that fund. Those personnel are not presently in that fund they are in the civilian PERF fund pending whatever action occurs by the Social Security Administration.
The Indianapolis PERF personnel advise him that it is unknown what the Social Security Administration will do and when or if they will act. He added there may an audit or examination by the Social Security Administration of the propriety and validity of the membership of the Police Department personnel in that fund. He mentioned there is no statutory, legal requirement to provide the firefighter PERF pension. The resolution presented before the Council is based on this information. It was clear to them that there is a substantial unknown exposure possibility in awaiting a determination by the Social Security Administration of exempting the firefighters from Social Security and allowing their transfer or to join into the PERF pension fund. Those members are already losing time because you cannot bridge back and the possibility of the unknown related to police personnel that could make the money discussed earlier look very small if you go back over a period of time. This is explained in the resolution. Based on the information in hand, given that you have provided the PERF pension and that there is no statutory requirement to provide the firefighter PERF pension; a pension is being provided, this is their recommendation.
Mr. Fryzel opened the floor for comment.
Ms. Heather Gillette, 10014 Pheasant Lane – stated that two and a half years ago, her husband was brought on as a full time firefighter and was told at that time he would be put into the Firefighters Police PERF. Mr. Fryzel deferred to Chief Willman who stated that at that time he was told that if the town went into it, he would be eligible for it. Ms. Gillette referenced a memo from the Chief stating that the attorney has to establish a “pension board” for the town and you, Jessica and Rachael are going into it as soon as all the requirements for the attorney have been satisfied. She asked how could they make a promise like that. Mr. Fryzel stated that the attorney just explained what they tried to do; the attorney is the one who reviewed this and came up with this determination. She asked if the Social Security Administration is contesting it, how do other Police and other Fire Departments get their members into it. Mr. Austgen stated that he did not say they were contesting it; they have a determination pending before that body on the exempt status of the full time firefighters in St. John from Social Security Administration. He added this is what has been worked on with PERF continuously since about the time of that memo in an attempt to accomplish that. Mr. Fryzel stated that they have not accomplished that, they must rescind the resolution and it will still be going on in the background. Mr. Austgen stated that the resolution that was adopted by this Council was the official public action to move toward and accomplish if possible, that was sought was the opportunity for those full time firefighters here in St. John to become enrolled and participants with the 1977 full time police and firefighters PERF pension.
Mrs. Gillette asked if the pension could be taken away from the police officers and Mr. Fryzel stated that it could not, it is an established PERF fund. He explained that we never had a full time fire department. Discussion ensued.
Chief Willman stated what he told her was under the direction of the Town Council and Attorney Austgen and there was never a time in this whole process, start to finish, that he didn’t work toward putting those people in.
Ms. Teibel motioned to adopt Resolution #08-02-28. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Ms. Teibel read a letter from residents; Brad and Chris Gervais, 9260 Marquette, thanking the Public Works Department for keeping the streets clear this winter.
Mr. Barenie asked Ms. Sury if the shortage discussed earlier of the $231,000, is the only shortage they would have this year. She stated that there would be a lot of shortages in a lot of line items and provided an explanation. He asked that he be provided with the amount of the total operating budget without utilities.
Mr. Pharazyn stated that the Public Works was called out on 12 separate occasions, spread over 600 tons of salt and commended his staff for going above and beyond this month. Due to the budget, members of his staff have been taking comp time instead of overtime.
Mr. Fryzel asked if there is time, could he go around town and check on potholes. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Sobek reported that the Park Board approved all the maintenance for the parks this summer, the port-o-potties, landscaping and the spraying of the parks. They also completed the five-year plan for the parks; the books will be ready next week. He added that if it doesn’t snow anymore they would have the Easter Egg Hunt.
Chief Frego summarized the January Activity Report, (Exhibit A).
Chief Willman reported they had their busiest month ever with 92 requests for assistance, held three training sessions, and that the department is participating with the Griffith Fire Department to provide a Firefighter I & II course. (Exhibit B).
Mr. Mainwaring reported that (inaudible).
Mr. Joe Dickelman, 9258 W. 92nd Place – inquired as to what would happen if no one recycled anymore. Mr. Kil explained the diversion rate and stated that they would be in danger of losing solid waste management money if no one recycled.
Mr. Bill Dravesky. 9038 Howard - asked if anyone could do anything about the potholes on Route 41. Mr. Fryzel stated that is the responsibility of the state and they will make another call tomorrow morning. Discussion ensued.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Town Council Comments – Mr. Barenie summarized the financial overview that has been done, provided a financial briefing and thanked the department heads, their staff and the Town Council for this undertaking. He stated that they looked at the operating budget, financial records, anticipated capital projects and recommended that the town make a long-range financial plan similar to the private sector and requested an RFP for financial forecasting. He recommended that the garbage fee be put on hold as there is more work to do and stated that staff has identified areas to make budget adjustments this fiscal year. They have assured the council they can balance the budget this year without imposing the garbage fee and continue to be cost conscious.
Mr. Fryzel and the other Council members thanked Mr. Barenie, Ms. Sury, and everyone that helped in this process.
Ms. Teibel motioned to deny Ordinance #1467 and not impose a garbage fee at this time. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Open to the Floor – Mr. Fryzel opened the meeting to the floor. (Exhibit A)
Ms. Pam Vana, 9142 West 98th – Asked how much the long range planning would cost. Mr. Barenie stated that an RFP has been sent out. Mr. Kil stated that they start with the firm they use right now, H. J. Umbaugh and go from there. He added that there are about three firms in the state that are really good with municipality finances. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Paul Muskin, 9014 Lancer Drive – complimented the work Mr. Barenie did, he emphasized the need to be on implementing the plan and running the town like a corporation. He added that inflation is part of life and recommended making the long-range plan and implementing it.
Mr. Fryzel closed the meeting to the floor.
Mr. Forbes stated that he received a complaint from a Weston Ridge resident regarding the website. The events page brings up an event from March 2007, an incorrect date for the Easter Egg Hunt. Discussion ensued. Ms. Teibel stated that she would take care of the corrections.
Mr. Fryzel addressed the first question that referenced the annexation and time frame. He stated that there is no documentation on that and Mr. Kil confirmed that no formal action towards annexation has been taken on the east side of town. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil responded to question two and stated that he has no interest in the property at all. In response to the third question, Mr. Kil stated that they were not contiguous to the town and did not meet the requirements of law to annex. Ms. Byars referenced the 40 acres of property. Discussion ensued. The Grant of Rights approved that included the signed waiver not to remonstrate against annexation was explained. Mr. Fryzel stated that property that is annexed would also increase the services the town must provide and the cost involved in those services. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil stated that the tax money from the annexation would not pay for the additional costs incurred. More tax money would be gained from commercial development. Mr. Volk referenced his earlier proposal of moving forward on annexing the smaller area. Discussion ensued. Mr. Fryzel asked Mr. Kil to do an analysis of the cost to the town if the property was annexed based on Mr. Volk’s recommendation of the smaller area. Mr. Forbes stated that he agrees with Mr. Volk’s proposal.
Mr. Pete Monix, 9364 Belmont – asked where is the MVH money going and said that something must be done on 93rd from Blaine to Sheffield. Mr. Kil stated that there is no MVH money, it is the worst budget they have in the community. MVH is way behind in money from the State. Mr. Fryzel added that during the review of the town finances Mr. Barenie suggested that whatever money they have be used on road repair.
Mr. Bill Dravesky, 9038 Howard Court – stated that 93rd Avenue needs to be fixed right, and asked if the town can get a guarantee for the work. He asked if there are restrictions regarding semi’s driving done 93rd and would like signs that say “turn on red after stop”. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Rebecca Dykstra, 6931 West 90th, Crown Point – addressed the signage when pulling out of Strack & Van Til and mentioned that the police are not setting a good example when they do not follow the driving rules and use their sirens to go through the light. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Brenda Bagherpour, 8347 Heron Lake Road – stated that she would like a police patrol there when kids get out of school. Mr. Fryzel stated that the police are there and stated that he will have one go to her area. Discussion ensued. She also thanked the Council for not implementing the garbage fee.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Opening Remarks – Mr. Kil stated that this is the third phase of the Three Springs development. It is just to the south of the current Three Springs development and is currently outside the corporate limits of the town. He referenced the annexation schedule that is inside the meeting binders and expects the fiscal plan tomorrow.
Open to Floor – None – Exhibit A
Mr. Fryzel closed the floor for public comment.
Ms. Teibel motioned to consider Ordinance #1469 on first reading only. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Volk mentioned that there are a couple of residents on the south end of town that are having some drainage problems. Discussion ensued. Mr. Pharazyn stated that he would look into this matter.
Mr. Fryzel inquired as to the status of preparing the amendment ordinance for the building permit fees. Mr. Austgen stated that he is meeting with Mr. Kil on Monday to review all the material Mr. Kil provided to him and that it is likely that a public hearing will need to be held.
Mr. Pharazyn stated that he has a meeting scheduled with Lake Central School Corporation regarding the resurfacing of 93rd Avenue. He also mentioned the water tower in The Gates subdivision will be raised on April 9th. The dates for the spring leaf and branch collections were noted and stated that on April 21st through May 9th all the fire hydrants are going to be flushed.
Chief Frego provided his report the month of February, (exhibit B). He stated that he has advertised for a crossing guard at Clark School and has received three responses.
Chief Willman gave the department’s monthly report for the month of February, (exhibit C).
Chief Frego stated that he was successful in securing Northwestern Staff and Command School to conduct a ten-week course in their facility and would like the Town Council to approve the contract. In exchange for hosting the school they will receive two spots tuition free, tuition for the ten-week course is $3400. Ms. Teibel motioned to approve and authorize the school be conducted and the Town enter into the agreement with Northwestern. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Ms. Byars asked about the road between Blaine & Cline and the promise she received from Mr. Scheub that it would be fixed. Mr. Fryzel responded that the county had promised last year to pave this section this year since they worked on the south side last year, the Town is going to have to work really fast to get it done. Mr. Volk added that the developer of Tiburon is committed to putting in a turn lane when the road is paved.
Mr. Forbes asked about two police cars that needed to be replaced. Chief Frego stated that one car was totaled and they received insurance money, the other car is ten years old, being driven by a Commander and is an unmarked police vehicle. The funding to purchase the two vehicles will be from the Traffic Deferral Program, explained the program and referenced its success. Mr. Forbes motioned to approve the purchase of two squad cars per Chief Frego’s request. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion passed 3 ayes and 1 abstention by Mr. Fryzel.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Kil stated that the property and casualty insurance decreased 13% while adding a lot of buildings and equipment. We have a great claims history, 20% loss ratio and the company complied with a decrease which resulted in only a 3% overall increase. The blue pole barn was torn down last week and will be removed from the policy.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel called the meeting to order at 7:26 P.M. and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was taken with the following members present: Michael Fryzel, President; Jerri Teibel, Vice-President; Gregory Volk, Member; Mark Barenie, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Steve Kil, Town Manager and Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer. Also present were Fred Frego, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Bob Pharazyn, Director of Operations; Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent and John Mainwaring, Code Enforcement Officer. Absent was Council Member Michael Forbes.
Mr. Fryzel stated that any of the temporary signs that are up past this weekend, the builders and developers should be fined. Every sign receives a separate ticket, no warnings. He added that every construction site must have a dumpster and a portable restroom according to the Ordinance and they will get a ticket if they do not comply. He also mentioned that Olthof is the only builder in Town using Romex (which is okay to use by law) and does not comply with the town’s suggestion of what to use. The town sees it as a safety issue and national code says they can use Romex.
Ms. Teibel stated that they are still not getting the minutes, to get posted on the Internet, from some of the recording secretaries for the board and commission meetings including the BZA. Ms. Sury stated that not all boards and commissions meet regularly, only when there is business and the meeting is posted, would there be minutes for the record. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Pharazyn reported that West 93rd Avenue (by Clark School) is tentatively scheduled to be re-paved on June 9th. The water main on U.S. #41 is complete, now in operation and the water tank raising at The Gates will be May 1st. They will begin in the next ten days, the replacement of the water main project on Forrest Avenue. National Drinking Water Awareness Week is May 4th – 10th and he will be giving speeches and passing out water bottles to the 4th grade classes. He also mentioned that they are in process of flushing hydrants across town, the project will be completed a week from tomorrow. They have solidified the fireworks date with Mad Bomber Fireworks Inc. for the night of July 5th; and the mosquito abatement program will begin, weather dependent, mid to late May.
Mr. Sobek stated that the summer brochure would be coming out about the first week in May and volleyball registration finished up this week with over 200 kids involved in the program.
Chief Frego summarized the monthly report for the month of March, (Exhibit B).
Chief Willman summarized the Monthly Call Summary for the month of March, (Exhibit C).
Mr. Mainwaring reported that on May 9th the Building and Planning and the Code Enforcement Departments are hosting a class on erosion control from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in the Public Safety Building. There will be approximately 4 guest speakers and eighty builders in town have been invited to attend.
Ms. Patty Byars, 9111 Cline Avenue, Crown Point – referenced the previous presentation of Mr. Muenich and inquired why it was said that the process would take until 2009. Mr. Kil explained that an involuntary annexation takes much longer than a voluntary annexation. She stated that the section of 93rd between Blaine and Cline is being paved, she said a turning lane was to be added and there does not appear to be one. She asked if the Council would check on that. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Dale Robert, 11990 Heron Lake Road – He referenced the same complaint he stated last year, two pools in the neighborhood are still not to code. He stated that he called code enforcement two weeks ago about a fence; one is a privacy fence around a deck and provided details. Discussion ensued. Mr. Mainwaring stated that he thought the call was about the electric, which has since been completed and re-inspected and stated that he did not see any problem with the fence. Discussion ensued. Mr. Robert stated that another pool at 8199 Hawthorne, still does not have a fence around it; a plastic snow fence was placed around it, a temporary four-foot fence. Ms. Teibel inquired if the pool was in-ground or above. Mr. Robert stated that it was an above ground pool. Discussion ensued. Mr. Mainwaring stated that he will go out with the Building Inspector tomorrow to look at the fence on the deck and believes this is due to neighbor problems.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Resolution # 08-05-29 as submitted. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Roll call vote: Ms. Teibel, No; Mr. Forbes, Yes; Mr. Volk, Yes; Mr. Barenie Yes; Mr. Fryzel, No. Motion passed with a vote of 3 – 2.
Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance # 1471 as provided on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 2 with Ms. Teibel and Mr. Fryzel voting no.
Mr. Barenie thanked Ms. Sury and Mr. Kil for compiling the financial results and projections that they received tonight and referenced the reports from Mr. Jim Bennett, Financial Advisor. Mr. Barenie recommended that sometime in the future, Mr. Bennett do this on perhaps an annual or quarterly basis, it is more of a financial report than an A/P journal.
Mr. Volk asked Mr. Kil if the paving of 93rd from the “S” curve on down is still on schedule for next week. Mr. Pharazyn stated that it is and there is a small chance it could be moved ahead a week.
Mr. Sobek stated that they are progressing with their summer programs and some have started already. Signs have been put up for the free concerts; the signs were donated by Community Hospital and donations by some of the local businesses to help promote the concerts. Girl Scout Troop #192 volunteered to plant one of the planters at Lantern View Park with the plants being donated by the T&J Landscaping.
Ms. Teibel asked if they were taking advantage of the newspapers The Post, The Times and the Shopper, they would print stories about upcoming events and everything. Mr. Sobek stated that he has the e-mail addresses.
Chief Frego provided the monthly report for the month of April (Exhibit A).
Chief Frego requested permission to have August 5th declared as a “National Night Out”. They would like to have it at Prairie West Park this year and they are going to have the canine out there, police officers and possibly refreshments. Ms. Teibel motioned to declare August 5, 2008 “National Night Out” in St. John. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Chief Frego stated that he has also received a request from a resident of St. John; for permission on June 7th to conduct a fundraiser on US 41 and 93rd for his organization. They provide care packages and letters for the troops in Iraq, the organization has a website treatsandletters.org. Ms. Teibel mentioned that this is a festival day. Chief Frego stated that there are alternate days. Discussion ensued regarding the dangerous intersection and that this will be the last fundraising event at that intersection.
Chief Frego reported that they were awarded a $10,000 grant for the DARE program from the Drug Free Alliance of Lake County and also received a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) for $9,000 to purchase equipment. They’re purchasing some cameras, printers and drug education material.
Chief Willman thanked the Council for their positive reaction to their donation request and provided the April monthly report (Exhibit B).
Mr. Mainwaring stated that on May 9th a class on erosion control was held at the Police Department with about 35 builders in attendance. The class was very successful and they hope to hold another class next year.
Mr. Kil asked for authorization to employ the firm of Cender & Associates to assist the town with annexation proceedings. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes motioned to engage Cender & Associates for the purposes of the review of the fiscal plan for the annexation as the Council discussed in the Executive Session. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Roll call vote: Mr. Forbes, Yes; Mr. Volk, Yes; Mr. Barenie, Yes; Ms. Teibel, No; Mr. Fryzel, No. Motion passed with a vote of 3 - 2.
Mr. Kil stated that he has a request from the Fire Department. They have been working for the past 12 months for their own frequency for the Fire and EMS services. The cost is $32,295.00 and can be paid for out of the Cumulative Fire Fund, designed solely for Fire Department purchases or items related to the Fire Department and Public Safety. Ms. Teibel motioned to approve Miner Electronics to do the work for the new frequency system in the amount of $32,295.00. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Roll call vote: Mr. Forbes, Yes; Mr. Volk, Yes; Mr. Barenie, Yes; Ms. Teibel, Yes and Mr. Fryzel, Yes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Kil stated that he also had a request from Bar Louie. They formed a team for the “Relay for Life” event for the American Cancer Society. They want to raise funds by holding a garage sale on Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st and all the proceeds will go towards the event. They would also like to hold a car wash on June 8th. Discussion ensued. Ms. Teibel motioned to allow this event as long as Denny Myers approved it, who is the property owner, and to waive the $5.00 fee for the garage sale permit that will be on the 31st and the 1st of June and the car wash being on June 8th. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Ms. Patty Byers, 9111 Cline Avenue, Crown Point - asked if the commitments made by the County are legal and who could enforce the commitments. Can the town enforce a commitment made to the County? Mr. Austgen responded that a zoning commitment is a statutory mechanism for binding a parcel of land in a zoning application to a set of criteria that are volunteered by the petitioner and/or required by the legislative body after the Plan Commission Acts. The zoning commitment is enforceable if the underlying zoning ordinance, which is the subject of the zone change, provides the proper criteria for the establishment of a zoning commitment. The proper question should be is the county zoning ordinance compliant with State Law to permit a validly submitted zoning commitment. The answer is no, in his (Mr. Austgen’s) opinion. He added that it could create an issue of validity for enforcement.
Mr. Wickland added that he agrees with Mr. Austgen, there are two cases in Indiana that address the issue, both in Lake County. The Appellate Court decision stated the legislative body, in this case, the Lake County Council, could attach these commitments, regulations etc. to an appropriate plan or change. Regarding the issue of enforcement, because they are recorded, they can be enforced by individuals and not just communities. Mrs. Panagakis is fully prepared to record them and abide by them.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes inquired about a bill from Burrink Concrete for a retaining wall on Olcott Avenue. Mr. Pharazyn stated that when they did the culvert replacement project, the bridge on Olcott Avenue, there was a portion of a resident’s retaining wall that they had to remove and shift over to get a sidewalk in. They forgot as part of the restoration to do that and they went back this spring to complete the project. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Fryzel asked Mr. Austgen to look into a brick ordinance that could be put in place on US 41; he would like it to be looked at by the council, and to also include 231 and Calumet Avenue. Discussion ensued. Mr. Austgen stated that there is a public hearing advertised and anticipated to be opened on July 2nd, it is very evident to them that the public hearing will not be closed. He will likely advise that the public hearing be continued or set-over to be rescheduled. He has not completed their review, which is taking an excessive amount of time based upon the large amount of changes, recommendations and clean up that is required. So if they want to look at and make this change or have it considered by the Plan Commission to certify to the Council it would be a lot easier and a lot quicker to send this small text amendment to you while the master replacement is being worked on. The Plan Commission has some work to do with the consultant and possibly his office. He added that it would a lot easier and more simple to enforce and administer if they identify that all buildings, all structures within any commercial zoning district in the town be the subject versus trying to pick out geographic areas. Discussion ensued regarding commercial/industrial use.
Mr. Sobek mentioned that the summer programs are progressing very positively, the summer concert series began last week with a good crowd, and the second concert is this Saturday.
Chief Frego gave the May Activity Report, Exhibit A. He added that the town will be receiving federal money next year that is to be used for technology only and it is anticipated that St. John will receive $125,000 in April of 2009.
Chief Willman gave the May Activity Report, Exhibit B.
Mr. Pharazyn stated that 93rd Avenue will be closed Monday through Thursday for the resurfacing project, they have installed the new water main on Forest Avenue and on Tuesday they will go back to re-connect the homeowners to the new water main. The concrete and asphalt restoration has been done; they began the sod restoration today.
In early July all the homeowners can expect to receive in the mail the annual Consumer Confident Report that IDEM mandates they send out to each customer of the utility. He added that the water tower by the Gates subdivision is aesthetically almost complete; operationally it is not quite there.
Mr. Pharazyn stated that Mr. Scheidt’s drainage problem is a very expensive project. He went to the property with Metro Engineering who recommended that a 24” pipe be installed from Mr. Scheidt’s back yard to somewhere. He spoke with a couple of homeowners in the area and found out that the sewers in the street are draining very slowly and there might be an issue there. He would like to propose that they have Mr. Scheidt’s pipe connect to one of the pipe’s that handles a lot of water from the street. He would like to implement the engineers recommendation by starting the process of installing a 24” pipe basically at the pond and running it back towards Mr. Scheidt’s backyard to get within about 600 feet of his property. Mr. Pharazyn hopes that by taking the water that is now currently restricting the pipe that goes back to Mr. Scheidt’s property and putting it into a newer much larger pipe will alleviate or much quicker drain Mr. Scheidt’s backyard. Discussion ensued. He plans to pay for this project from the Cumulative Sewer Fund. Ms. Teibel motioned to begin the project, Phase I on Magnolia in the amount not to exceed $40,000.00. Mr. Forbes seconded the motion. Motion passed with a vote of 4- 0.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel stated that the policy and guidelines for the use of the town dumpster has been let go and that the extra cost to the town for the dumpster is over $7,000 because of what is being placed in there and cited examples. He stated that Public Works is telling people if they are remodeling their house they need to get their own dumpster. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes motioned that the Town discontinue the public use of the garbage dumpster at the town site as of August 1st. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0. Mr. Austgen suggested they put the discontinuation notice on the water bill.
Mr. Fryzel stated that they are getting a lot of calls that trees are blocking stop signs and sidewalks. Mr. Pharazyn stated that the policy that has been in place; is to put a notification on the resident’s door and give them a week to trim the tree and if the resident does not respond to that request, the town will do so. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Pharazyn mentioned that Chief Frego and Mr. Kil met with the school and the decision was made to put a crosswalk at the intersection of Marquette and 93rd Avenue. He measured the sidewalk and by the time they are done with the work, they are looking at a price tag of $17,425.00 and explained the pricing. He stated that he is confident that a not to exceed amount of $18,000.00 would do this work. Mr. Kil stated that this would be paid for out of CCD and/or the Casino Gaming Funds; both accounts have money in them. Several council members asked if the school corporation is going to contribute to the cost of the sidewalk. Discussion ensued. Mr. Kil stated that he would ask the school corporation again if they would. This item will be deferred to the July 31st meeting. Chief Frego suggested that all the children cross at Marquette because there are sidewalks on Marquette and not on Schafer. Discussion ensued.
Chief Frego requested authorization to purchase two marked squad cars from Bloomington Ford on a state purchase. The vehicles would be paid for through the Special Equipment Fund, funds generated from the Infraction Deferral Program. They would enter into a lease/purchase agreement, which is the most economical way to go, and would replace four of the old squad cars with the old cars being traded in. The cost of the two vehicles will be $46,646.50 and does not include light bars and radio equipment. These items would also be paid for out of the Special Equipment Fund. Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize the police purchase of two new squad cars in the amount of $46,646.50. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes and one abstention by Mr. Fryzel.
Chief Frego also reminded everyone that the “National Night Out Against Crime” is August 5th at Prairie West Park.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Town Council Comments – Mr. Kil stated that several of the property owners are in the audience and that the Council has a copy of letter from them requesting a continuance for thirty days. He stated that the property owners have not had any luck with their attorneys looking over the annexation request and are asking for a little more time.
Mr. Fryzel suggested that the meeting be opened to the floor for comments and that the council take no action.
Open to the Floor – None
Closed to the Floor
Mr. Barenie motioned to continue the Public Hearing to the next meeting and to defer action on Ordinance #1474. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4- 0.
Mr. Austgen asked which August meeting the public hearing will be deferred to and Mr. Fryzel stated the public hearing will be deferred to the August 21st meeting.
Mr. Volk said someone thanked him yesterday for the great job the town is doing mowing their retention pond at Sierra Pointe. Discussion ensued regarding the responsibility of the homeowners association and/or the town for maintenance. Mr. Volk asked for a list detailing the ownership of the retention ponds in town that would identify the areas that are the town’s responsibility.
Mr. Forbes referenced a letter that he sent in May regarding the Solid Waste Management District looking into trash to ethanol processing, asking if they would be interested as the town in sending their trash out that way and supporting this project. A lot of communities have sent letters back to the Board stating they are interested in the process although they are not supporting a specific company. He asked if they are interested in sending a letter. They are looking at a cut in tipping fees; they could go down to $17.00/ton from $41.00/ton. Mr. Forbes asked that Mr. Kil redistribute the letter.
He also reported that Lake Central School Corporation will pay for half of the public sidewalk installation on 93rd by Clark. Mr. Forbes motioned to have the Town pay for half, $9,000.00, and the School Corporation pay the other half. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Kil stated that there was an accident in town today regarding a commercial building at Martin’s Commercial, the roof trusses collapsed and two people were injured. The job is stopped until the builder provides the Town with a plan on how they are going to re-brace the trusses. Mr. Fryzel asked Mr. Kil to tell Mr. Foley that the job is not to start until OSHA is notified. Discussion ensued regarding the stop work order.
Chief Frego gave the June Monthly Report and asked that the four old squad cars be put out for bid. He stated that trading them in is not very profitable. The vehicles are a 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001, range from 86,000 miles to 106,000 miles, and one vehicle does not have a transmission. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize putting up for bid the four squad cars listed by Chief Frego. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Chief Willman gave the June Monthly Report
Mr. Mainwaring reported that 10 tickets were written which also include violations of Ordinance #1271 on 93rd and 41.
Mr. Sobek reported that they are concluding the summer programs this Sunday with volleyball end of year and a picnic. They are negotiating to have some adult exercise programs this fall and that there were 230 children in the volleyball program.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Proofs of Publication – Mr. Muenich stated that the published legal notices in The Times and the Gary Post Tribune have been presented to the Clerk-Treasurer and finds them to be in order. In addition his office executed and issued approximately 540-550 certified mailings to the residents and owners of property. His affidavit concerning that service has also been filed and he finds those notices and publications to be in order for the Public Hearing tonight.
Opening Remarks – Mr. Muenich stated that tonight is a matter solely for the public hearing and to take public comment on the annexation. After the close of the public hearing and the acceptance of any remonstrance’s that may be filed, not approval, just acceptance; the Council may not for a period of 30 days adopt a final annexation ordinance but they must within 60 days adopt that ordinance. According to Mr. Kil the next meeting that would fall within that range is September 25th. After adoption is needs to be republished, there’s a publication period of 90 days, if it is adopted at the meeting of the 25th the ordinance could be finalized as early as December 26th, if adopted at the end of that 30 day window it would be acceptable in the month of January 2009. The fiscal plan has already been approved by the Council and the ordinance has been adopted on first reading.
Mr. Kil stated that the east side annexation is about 540 acres and includes the subdivisions of Tiburon and Grouse Point, it covers the Backe Farm; it basically goes from on the west side the boundary of Sierra Point, there’s 40 acres of Baacke Farm it goes over to Tiburon, next to Tiburon is the Panagakis parcel which is included. Nothing on the east side of Blaine. It comes back to Blaine, south to 101st and then back to the corporate limits of town.
Town Council Comments – None
Open to the Floor
Mr. Tim Mitchell, 7850 West 91st Place – Stated that he lives in Tiburon, Phase One. He referenced the recent communications with Mr. Kil and stated that there are several parcels in Tiburon that are common ground, a park, a couple of retention ponds and couple of other areas which is under a homeowners’ association. The majority of Tiburon’s homeowner association dues are to maintain and pay taxes on the retention ponds and park. The association does not pay for snow and trash removal. With the annexation they would like the town to assume financial responsibility for the maintenance of the retention ponds, parks and the taxes.
Mr. Michael Budack, 9155 Morse Place in Tiburon – Stated that he is the President of the Tiburon Homeowners’ Association and would like to see how the Town feels about the association donating those common areas to the Town of St. John or to arrange a meeting with the Board to discuss the possibility of donating the land which consists of two detention ponds, a park and a fence line along 93rd Avenue and a fence line along Cline Avenue. Currently the maintenance budget is between $9,000 - $10,000 for mowing, $3,000 - $4,000 for weed control, $2,000 for additional insurance and about $250.00 per year property tax. They also maintain the entrances on Cline Avenue. He stated it is an estimated area of 15 – 20 acres. Discussion ensued. Mr. Budack requested that a meeting be scheduled to get discussion started and once he knows how the Council feels about the donation, he needs to hold a vote with the Association members. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Budack if the park is developed and if the expectation is for the Town to develop the park. Mr. Budack stated that it is not developed and that they would like the town to develop the park. This would be part of the negotiations. Mr. Kil asked to meet with Mr. Budack so he can create some kind of budget to present to the Council. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Joe Wein, 8408 West 101st Avenue – Asked to make a formal request that the Town opt to forgive the tax figure rate for their 89 acre parcel key numbers 023-0019-0013 and 0014, 0911-0025. It is his understanding that such requests have been honored in the past for agriculture acreage once annexed by the town and would like the same consideration that his neighbor farmer, Don Barman got about six years ago when The Gates of St. John opened up.
Mr. Steve Backe, Dyer – Stated that he has the same request as Mr. Wein. He knows the Council has received the paperwork from the trustee of the Backe family trust and requests that they get some kind of legal document on that returned to the trustee so they have some kind of paperwork based on the request.
Mr. Kil mentioned he has the request from the Backe family trustee, he has Mr. Wein’s request and he also has a request from Ms. Kathy Pasek who owns the 20 acres of the southwest corner of 93rd and Blaine. All of these individuals have large farms. He asked Mr. Muenich to verify that the current annexation and the zoning shows these all zoned as open space and eligible for this. They did it the same as they did for Mr. Barman and forgave the corporate property taxes for a period of ten years which is the maximum amount allowed by law.
Mr. Fryzel asked Mr. Muenich if all the properties in question are open space. Mr. Muenich replied all the parcels that are currently under agricultural tillage are zoned as open space. Mr. Muenich added that the only parcels that are not zoned open space, which is the closest zoning the town has to agricultural, is the Tiburon parcel and the Grouse Pointe parcel, there are also 4-5 houses along 101st west of Blaine that are R-1 because they meet the R-1 standard, Tiburon and Grouse Point are zoned as R-2. Mr. Muenich stated the process is to provide a certification to the landowner that the land it is zoned for a use appropriate with agricultural, the landowner must actually process the document with the Lake County Auditor’s and the Lake County Assessor’s office.
Closed to the Floor
Mr. Muenich stated there is no further action the Council can take this evening. He commented regarding the issue presented by the Tiburon Homeowners’ Association. Generally Homeowners Associations are created either through a statute; some sort of a corporation, an LLC, there is an entity. Generally it is provided with some sort of a property declaration and covenants that ride with the subdivision. The town would not be in a position to accept real estate from those entities except in accordance with the covenants or the declaration and the Town could not under any circumstances accept that property until the annexation was completed and the filing was made. The negotiations are fine, he wants the Council to understand there is a disconnect between the annexation process and the manner and method in which this property is brought. He referred the Council to Mr. Austgen for review and final determination.
Mr. Muenich referenced a letter from Attorney Dave Wickland regarding the Panagakis property and the publication that was originally set as “OS”. Mrs. Panagakis is currently in front of the Lake County Plan Commission and Lake County Council for the subdivision of that parcel. She has proceeded through a public hearing, a primary plat has been approved, a rezoning has been effectuated and that they are requesting that the town provide them with the courtesy to adopt; they are willing to meet the Town’s specifications for engineering and subdivision development. They are requesting that their concept plan, which meets about 90-95% of the R-2 density issues, they are asking consideration of that property be zoned and she be allowed to develop as she has expended a considerable amount of money getting to the stage she is at and is fearful of having to start the process over. Mr. Muenich asked that the council decide by the September 25th meeting as he would have to amend the ordinances and the legal descriptions of that zoning classification. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Teibel motioned to place Ordinance #1472 on the September 25, 2008 agenda for adoption. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Attorney Bob Selund stated that he is from Highland and is representing the following people on this annexation: Parcel 2, owners Neil Florek and Phyllis Bergiel; Parcel 4 owner Adolph and Jeanne DeGrawe; and Parcel 5 owner Vern L. Buchmeier. He said the Town has been very cooperative in working with his client’s needs. He has been working with Attorney Tim Kuiper and he knows through Tim that Mr. Kil has been very cooperative and helpful and after several revisions of the proposed ordinance it is a win/win situation. He wants to thank the town for their cooperation.
Closed to the floor
Mr. Kil stated the only change to the document is in response to a request by Ms. Eva Howes this afternoon, to keep her horses on her property, Parcel B.
Ms. Teibel motioned to consider Ordinance #1474 on first reading only. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Austgen asked if the second reading will be on the next public meeting in September. Mr. Kil stated that would be on September 18th.
Mr. Barenie stated that he looked at the August 8th report from Mr. Bennett. He suggested possible miscellaneous revenue sources such as garbage collection and fire hydrant fees. Discussion ensued regarding the significant increase in the cost of road salt (from $36 and change a ton to $101.96 a ton) and the viability of having the salt delivered by rail to reduce costs.
Mr. Fryzel referenced the streets that have the turn circles and stated that some people are cutting in the wrong way in the turn circles, he suggested they put signs or arrows on the streets to get the people to go the right direction so the police can enforce any violations. Mr. Kil stated that he would come up a striping plan.
Chief Willman requested funds for the final piece of equipment for the radio frequency; this includes all the portable and mobile radios that are necessary. This will all come from the Cumulative Fire Fund which is designated for firefighting and for radio communication equipment. This will complete the equipment; they will be on the same frequency as Lake Hills. The total amount is $28,040.00. Ms. Teibel motioned to approve the amount of $28,040.00 to purchase the communications equipment as outlined by Chief Willman. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Kil stated that the only one they have in front of them is a petition from Schilling for the Schulte piece. Mr. Austgen recommended that the Council favorably consider the initial reading of this ordinance to allow the public hearing to be held. The Council will have a month to review everything, the fiscal plan, the proposed resolution to adopt the fiscal plan and the clean annexation ordinance with the clean petition for voluntary annexation by these separate property owners. Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1476 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes motioned to schedule a public hearing on the said ordinance on September 25, 2008. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie stated that he is concerned because the past two years the Haunted House has had a big deficit and feels that it should be mandated that it make money this year or it’s done. Discussion ensued. He stated that he would like the Clerk-Treasurer to commit to have someone from her department volunteer to go to the Haunted House and handle the funds. Mr. Fryzel stated that it would be easy to have a girl instead of working the day, work out there at night. Ms. Teibel added that they have town workers that volunteer out there. Ms. Sury stated that she is concerned her clerks have other evening commitments and with her staggered office hours, it would be an imposition upon the office and their duties. Ms. Teibel stated that she would like them there the hours of the Haunted House, which are 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and on Friday’s and Saturday’s the hours are 6:00 p.m. to Midnight. The event runs from the 10th of October through the 31st, for three weeks. The festival is different; the food vendors are not paying anything because it was so successful. Mr. Barenie stated that he would like one person on staff as a central person and that Mr. Kil will be making all the orders for the Haunted House and the Taste of St. John. Mr. Barenie motioned to recommend that the Town of St. John continue with the Haunted House with a budget not to exceed expenditures of $12,000.00; the Haunted House must actually turn a $10,000.00 profit for it to be considered next year. The Clerk-Treasurer will have a member from her office at the Haunted House on a daily basis to collect the funds and balance out and make the deposits. Mr. Kil, the Town Manager, will do all the ordering of the $12,000.00 of budgeted items and he will prepare bi-weekly updates of how they are doing. Mr. Kil stated that for the record, that anybody buys anything without his knowing about it, it is immediate grounds for termination. Ms. Teibel added that the $12,000.00 budget actually covers the Haunted House and the Taste of St. John Festival. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes asked why the police call out sheets (monthly police report) was not in his packet. Ms. Sury stated that she does not prepare the packets and referenced the minutes. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Austgen stated that he has been made aware of a personnel matter and employee circumstances that he has been asked to investigate and research. Pending completion of that investigation and research he would recommend that status quo be preserved in compensation status of all the employees in the town. He will be prepared next month to make a report to them. He also asked there be an Executive Session at either the meeting on the 18th or the meeting on the 25th, perhaps both depending upon whatever additional information the Council may need in advance of the meeting. His recommendation would be that a motion be made for status quo preservation of employee compensation through September. Ms. Teibel motioned for status quo preservation of employee compensation through September. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Fryzel mentioned that there is a Food Drive for the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana on September 11th at the Jewel store in Dyer.
Mr. Sobek reported that the Fall Program Guide would be sent out this week.
Mr. Pharazyn reported that the Scheidt drainage project has been finished. There were two points in the sewer line that ran between the houses that had obstructions in them which will add about $5,000.00 to the project. There is some asphalt and landscaping that needs to be done. After the last heavy rain Mr. Scheidt was pleased with the results, he had no flooding.
He added they have begun inspecting for parkway hazards, trees blocking signs, and explained the process. He also advised the Council that they are going to be starting a minor water meter replacement project on approximately 300 – 400 water meters in town that are due for replacement. After this initial batch of meters are in compliance as far as the age and years of service of the meters, they will begin on an annual basis repairing or replacing meters greater than 12 years in age.
He also reported that the Public Works Department was requested by the Department of Homeland Security to help clean up the damage from the tornado. He spent a couple of days in Highland and 3-4 days in Griffith. He received a thank you phone call from the Public Works Director in Griffith and he complimented the assistance received from St. John.
Chief Frego gave the July Summary Report for the Police Department. He added that their first Nite Out was a success, about 300 people attended. Mr. Austgen asked Chief Frego if he tracks the number of traffic infraction deferrals and he stated yes. Discussion ensued. Mr. Austgen stated that the officers are doing a terrific job in that program.
Chief Willman gave the July Summary Report for the Fire Department.
Mr. Mainwaring gave the August Report for Building & Planning and Code Enforcement.
Mr. Austgen asked Chief Frego is the town is holding a specific ceremony or remembrance for September 11, 2008. Chief Frego stated that in the past they have been invited to participate in connection with the Eric Graf display on 77th and Ticonderoga, due to the road construction it will not be held at the location it will be held at the South Chicago Heights Memorial Park and they have been invited to participate, to date there has been no decision on his part, it should be a voluntary basis on the part of the police officers and he’s sure they’ll get some response. Mr. Austgen stated that Schererville would be holding a specific ceremony on Sunday, September 7th at 1:00 P.M. in the downtown area. There will also be a service on September 11th at 8:30 A.M. on the east side of the old courthouse in Crown Point.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Forbes complimented the Public Works, Police and Fire departments, and Mr. Kil for their hard work during the storm. All the council members added their thanks and Ms. Teibel read a letter from the Director of Public Works Town of Griffith thanking Public Works for their assistance after the tornado.
Mr. Fryzel mentioned there were some areas they had problems with one area is Wildwood where residents could not enter or leave the area due to the streets flooding. Mr. Pharazyn stated that he knows what is causing the problem and has a possible solution that he wants to discuss with Mr. Faberbock from Robinson Engineering.
Mr. Dan Vescovi, 12020 Wildwood Drive stated that he previously spoke with Mr. Fryzel regarding this problem.
Mr. Fryzel stated that he has been watching the corner of 93rd and Patterson for about a year and said the “No Left Turn” sign should be changed to “Right Turn Only” and requested an update to the signage for the circle at the Gates of St. John.
Mr. Kil stated that the bridge for the bike trail was delivered today.
Chief Frego stated that he received a call from the Munster Police Department requesting assistance to help provide security for the homes vacated due to flooding in the town.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Ms. Ann Urquiza, (address not provided) – stated that they own one of the properties on the south side of the proposed annexation area that abuts the annexation directly, 109th and the dead end cul–de-sac. She inquired as to what would happen regarding water and sewer and wanted to know that her property would not be impacted with the annexation. Mr. Forbes stated that her property would not be affected and explained the service area. Discussion ensued regarding the extension of services and the proposed development.
Mr. Tom Kowalik, (lives across from Heritage Christian School on Calumet Avenue) – requested clarification on the area of the annexation in relation to his property. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Gary Medcalf, (lives on 109th Avenue) – expressed his concern regarding the potential of an access road and drainage. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Austgen read into the record, a remonstrance letter that was received from Mr. Joe Neeb the Town Manager of Dyer, Exhibit B.
Mr. Michael Muenich, on behalf of CWS, LLC. one of the three petitioners – stated that solely for the record that there is no proper remonstrance for a voluntary annexation but for an issue of contiguity. The documentation filed with the fiscal plan and petitions clearly show the parcels involved meet the contiguity requirement. He added the Town of Dyer is not a proper remonstrator under any set of circumstances, they do not own any land to his knowledge within the affected area and as such are just not a proper remonstrator under state statute especially in a series of cases recently coming down concerning zoning and subdivision which the Indiana Supreme Court has limited to property owners adjacent to the parcel notwithstanding the statute, they simply are not a proper player in this proceeding and requests that the Council proceed with the annexation.
Mr. Forbes stated that he would not consider an annexation where they did not have the waiver of remonstrance just to grab the land. It is not something he would proceed with and would not consider hostile annexation just voluntary.
Mr. Dave Wickland stated that he is the attorney representing Mr. and Mrs. Panagakis the owners of approximately 37 acres adjacent to Tiburon. He stated that he is here to ask the Council to go back to the zoning of R-2 PUD not R-2. The R-2 zoning will cause them to lose 7 lots. The lots vary very little from R-2, most of them are 15,000 sq foot; some of the front footages is less than 100 which is why it’s a little different from R-2. It’s about 90-95% in compliance with R-2 and they pledge to develop the parcels pursuant to St. John subdivision control and engineering standards. They have invested $67,000+ in engineering plans with Land Technology. The County Council approved the original zoning as County R-2 with 80 parcels. They have modified the plan to reduce the lots from 80 to 67, which they thought the Town Council was okay with. Given that they are asking the Council to approve the plan as R-2 PUD. He stated that he has done some research and found there is precedent for this that accommodations have been made for other projects.
Mrs. Sophia Panagakis, 1116 Berkshire Lane, Dyer - addressed the Council and stated that these will be single-family homes not apartments, not townhouses, similar and better than the Tiburon subdivision. The minimum price will be $275,000; they want to make something nice and have seen other subdivisions close by with less square footage per lot than hers and that’s why she is there tonight to ask to consider the R-2 PUD.
Mr. Volk told Mr. Wickland that the Council never received a formal petition to rezone as R-2. Mr. Wickland referenced the County’s approval of R-2 zoning. Discussion ensued. Mr. Volk stated that he is not opposed to the R-2 at this time but not the PUD.
Mr. Austgen asked Mr. Muenich if the ordinance is drafted for the R-2 zoning district classification designation of the Panagakis parcel. Mr. Muenich stated that it is, in the last preparatory paragraph of the first page, referenced and explained Exhibit C of the ordinance.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1472 as presented. Discussion ensued regarding the zoning of the property to be R-2. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize publication of Ordinance #1472 immediately. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Chief Frego gave the August summary report.
Mr. Mainwaring gave the September code enforcement report.
Mr. Pete Faberbock stated that he was asked to attend the meeting by Mr. Forbes. He was asked to look at the storm water overflow at Patnoe Pond. He has a cost estimate based on running storm sewer pipe of approximately $47,000; to modify the roadway, to eliminate some flooding and get the storm water to continue on is about $125,000. The recommendation would be to put the pipe in the ground as opposed to lowering the roadway. Mr. Pharazyn’s recommendation is to install a 15” emergency overflow pipe out of the Patnoe Retention Pond straight west to White Oak Avenue then turn north and be installed between the bike trail and the western edge of White Oak Avenue at the existing ditch line. Discussion ensued. The estimated total cost including restoration would be $59,180 to be paid out of cum sewer. Mr. Barenie motioned to take care of the problem out at Patnoe Park not to exceed a price of $59,180 and to be paid out of cum sewer. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Pharazyn referenced the storm water project at the intersection of Wildwood and Patterson and distributed photographs given to him by the residents. There is some ditch work that needs to be done and some pipe similar to what is being done at Patnoe Park. He has an estimate from Metro Excavating to extend an existing pipe, clean the ditch and install an 18” pipe that will serve as an emergency spillway for the pond for a total of $37,500 to be paid through cum sewer. Mr. Forbes motioned to approve $37,500 repair for the Wildwood/Patterson flooding issue. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Austgen suggested that a motion be made to continue the compensation action taken last month for the employee related to the IT Department for the month of October. Mr. Barenie motioned for status quo preservation of employee compensation through October for the employee related to the IT Department. Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar Street – Stated that she is a CPA with about 20 years of accounting experience and is concerned about an article in the newspaper on August 31st regarding an internal audit and a statement by Mr. Kil that the Town hired a financial advisor. She summarized her requests, responses along with the documents received pertaining to these public record copies, and referenced the Public Access website. Ms. Brennan referenced the reports that she received and provided her recommendations that also included using an internal accrual basis so that the Council would be provided with more understandable financial information to base their decisions upon.
Ms. Brennan suggested that the financial details be published on the website, the use of more electronic data to eliminate the waste of paper and as also being a certified information technology professional, has implemented such systems.
Mr. Robert Larson, 11652 W. 94th Place – Stated that with the recent rain he has an issue with water in his home and would like to see if the town can address the Prairie West retention pond, some kind of secondary containment area or something. He stated that he spoke to Mr. Kil on Monday. Mr. Kil stated that he was out there several times and Mr. Pharazyn and Mr. Faberbock were out there. Mr. Pharazyn stated this is one of the issues they discussed at the last Council meeting and did not have an answer on what to do. The other projects they are moving on are not as global as this one and there are quicker fixes to the other projects. This is one of two projects that require more detailed engineering and fixes and would begin working on this once these other two projects are up and running. Discussion ensued. Mr. Pharazyn stated that he would stop by and look at his personal situation and the internal plumbing.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel opened the floor for comment. Chief Frego stated that he has purchased some maintenance items out of this fund, as there is not any money in the other fund. Discussion ensued regarding the use of the funds in Special Revenue #275 and LECE #233. Chief Frego stated that the training comes out of LECE fund #233. Mr. Barenie clarified the purpose of Ordinance #1273; it is to be used for continuing education, training, equipment and supplies.
There were no public comments.
Mr. Fryzel closed the floor for comment.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Resolution #08-10-16A. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes stated that there is still a frame at Heartland Park from the kid’s game booth from the St. John Family Fest and asked if Mr. Pharazyn could clean the area up, he would appreciate it.
Mr. Barenie mentioned that this week would be a big week for budget calculations for the State of Indiana for the town’s budget forms. He summarized the budget process and the figures that were compiled for the computations. Mr. Barenie stated that the only way they are going to get the budget back is if everyone shares in the pain, the town, residents and employees. It will be very difficult for the next couple of years but is confident this will be accomplished with everyone’s cooperation.
Ms. Kristin Lynch, 10151 Delmar – Stated that she wanted to talk about the Haunted House this past weekend, the reason she quit, and questioned Ms. Teibel why she was restrained to the first floor on Saturday. Ms. Teibel referenced Nick’s chart and explained that she had adequate actors on the second floor. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar – Stated that she is Kristin’s Mother, takes issue that Ms. Teibel revoked Kristin’s costume, is concerned about how a volunteer is treated, referenced the volunteer registration form she completed and provided a synopsis of the events. She referenced a call that she received from Mike Fryzel that everything has been resolved and that she needs to sign the volunteer form. Mr. Fryzel interrupted Ms. Brennan and requested that she tell the story the proper way. Discussion ensued. Ms. Brennan referenced phone calls and e-mails. She stated that she was told by Ms. Teibel to leave the Haunted House and that she was no longer welcome there. Discussion ensued. Ms. Teibel stated that she was told she was not needed this year and referenced the documented phone calls and e-mail that Ms. Brennan made to town employees. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Dave Poplon, 9555 Julia Drive – Stated that he wanted to say he is very proud of his son. He referenced the town’s deficit if 1. 7 million dollars and stated that the deficit is going to go down to 1.699400 because his son is going to help this town.
Mr. Barenie inquired if they were any more questions on the budget. Unidentified individual referenced the consultant fees, inquired if the fees have increased and expressed his concern on the number of employees mowing the grass at the parks. Discussion ensued.
Meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Michael Fryzel, President; Jerri Teibel, Vice-President; Mark Barenie, Member; Michael Forbes, Member; David Austgen, Attorney; Steve Kil, Town Manager and Sherry Sury, Clerk-Treasurer. Also in attendance was Fred Frego, Police Chief; Fred Willman, Fire Chief; Bob Pharazyn, Director of Operations and John Mainwaring, Code Enforcement Officer. Absent were Gregory Volk, Member and Chip Sobek, Parks Superintendent.
Mr. Fryzel entertained a motion to consider Ordinance #1477 on first reading with the stipulation that the two employees that were eliminated would have the first priorities for the jobs if they ever fill those again. Mr. Forbes mentioned that this should be a stipulation on the 2009 salary ordinance. Mr. Fryzel stated that he is stipulating it right here. So moved by Ms. Teibel. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4-0.
Mr. Barenie motioned to adopt Ordinance #1477. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Ms. Teibel also stated that she had questions with just about every item on the budget and asked that someone clarify the longevity.
Mr. Barenie stated that rather than individually respond to each question, for the residents and the high staff turnout tonight, he would like to give a an overall presentation of the process the Council went through for the past six to eight months, specifically the budget process. This presentation would include some of the principles and guiding thoughts they went through and that he would then address any questions the Council, employees or residents may have.
Mr. Fryzel announced a ten-minute recess at 7:20 P.M.
Mr. Fryzel reconvened the meeting at 7:33 P.M.
Mr. Barenie gave a PowerPoint Presentation that he had prepared, Exhibit A, that reviewed some of the processes that were used to come up with the 2009 General Fund Budget and stated that the top priority was public safety.
Ms. Teibel asked how the longevity will work. Mr. Barenie stated that there were not a lot of options of where to cut funds, personnel costs is the majority of the budget. Everything affects the pensions. Ms. Teibel stated that she feels that they overstepped their boundaries regarding the police take home cars and believes that the Police Commission should make that call with Chief Frego’s input. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes stated that the Council is involved from a budgetary standpoint by controlling fuel costs. Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie stated that this was an area he put on the table by requesting / recommending that Chief Frego put together a policy.
Captain Bernie Johnsen, 9123 W. 90th Avenue – stated that he wanted to talk about the longevity issue. He stated that there is no such thing as cutting longevity across the board because the years of service are different for most individuals. Longevity is an incentive program and is concerned that his pension is locked into the longevity amount and he will not be able to recover. He requested that they consider things that do not affect the people that make things happen in the town – the employees; perhaps they should look at events to cut expenses.
Mr. Fryzel asked if anyone else would like to address the Council.
Ms. Teibel stated that they should be creative and think of ways to bring in revenue to the town.
Mr. Barenie stated that he wanted to clarify that the term “across the board” is departmental not by individual employee.
Mr. Barenie thanked everyone for coming out and stated that he expected this kind of turn out. He stated that the Council did work very hard and explained how the reserves will be used. Officer Stamate asked if the employees could be informed at this time of what is happening rather than hearing the rumors and asked what other items or events were being cut.
Mr. Barenie responded to Officer Stamate’s inquiry and apologized to the staff and their families for the ridiculous rumors that were circulated. He stated that he received phone calls from staff members asking about the 10-20% pay cut reductions, and a dozen people whose jobs were being wiped out. He apologized for the misinformation, stated that these meetings were held in Executive Session, did not know how that information got from an Executive Session out into the streets and is very disappointed in the people in that room that let this information out.
Mr. Barenie stated that he has personally received some very troubling and derogatory comments and had messages that can be construed as warnings or threats. He received mail addressed to his home that his wife opened up. All of this stuff is affecting him as well and that he will take a pay cut as well. He cannot control the leak and wanted to make sure everything was completely done and set and that there were no other options that came in before the employees were notified. Mr. Barenie added that he is tired of being intimidated and his decisions on issues in St. John based on his independent thinking and no one else’s. He will always look at the staff and residents as equal partners. He may disagree with others but he is going where he heart tells him to go and this is where it tells him to go.
Joan Millis, 9062 Howard – asked if the garbage fee would have been implemented earlier would it have helped the budget. Mr. Barenie stated that basically they would still be $1 million dollars short.
Mr. Paul Forystek, 9783 Hart Street – stated that he wanted to speak as a resident not as an employee. He asked if there are any other fees that can be charged?
Mr. Tim Foley, Town Employee - suggested that they rethink the police take home cars. Ms. Teibel and Mr. Fryzel interjected that this is a topic that is under discussion right now, no decision has been made and it has been turned over to the Police Commission. Mr. Barenie stated that the out of town police officers will not be able to use the cars for personal reasons and referenced the recommendations being submitted to the Police Commission.
Unidentified resident asked if there is someplace on-line residents could send suggestions. Ms. Teibel responded that there is a place on the website to send in comments and that the council members can be sent a mass e-mail. The webmasters are Rachel from the Fire Department and Ms. Teibel.
Mr. Barenie stated he will stay after the meeting to answer any other questions.
Officer Turturillo – stated that the longevity is only 10% of the money and asked where the rest of the money is coming from. Mr. Barenie responded that the longevity was $42,000; they asked Mr. Austgen to reduce legal fees by $27,000; there are a few that he would like not to mention as Mr. Kil has not gotten the letter out yet. There’s a newsletter, some lighting cuts of $5,000; fireworks possibly for $17,000; summer help for $30,000; $75,000 from the special police budget that will be used for the operating expenses and $102,000 for the two positions that were eliminated earlier in the meeting. That gets them to $400,000.
Officer Gardenhire - asked if the out of town use was considered in the recommendations. Mr. Barenie stated that he assumes Chief Frego wrote that into his recommendation that if the officers live in the town limits, they can drive the vehicles.
Officer Stamate - stated that it has been reported that a town council member saw his car, he lives in Merrillville, at Gander Mountain and he had a good reason for being there off duty.
Mr. Fryzel stated that it was a hard decision to make some of the cuts; the longevity will be looked at every year. He would like to talk to Mr. Austgen to determine if there was something they could do so it does not affect their retirement / pension. Mr. Austgen stated that the compensation provided for in the salary ordinance includes longevity so you go to the authority as the legislative body to establish the compensation you pay the employees. Longevity is a component of that. As the ordinance was considered and adopted tonight to remove a couple of positions, provide a special severance compensation, the council has the same authority to establish or to define and describe how you will compensate your employees otherwise in addition to the bi-weekly wage and benefits that they receive that they are entitled to and to address how they can compensate for longevity in other ways as long as it is done in an ordinance and amend the salary ordinance to do so.
Mr. Bill Dravesky, 9038 Howard – referenced the increase in fees and stated how it would affect someone like him, who is on a fixed income and asked the council to consider senior citizen discounts. Discussion ensued. Mr. Austgen referenced the opinion rendered to the council and stated that the fees must be fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory and if it is a cost based fee, example garbage, it must be based on the cost.
Mr. Fryzel stated these are hard times and the Police Chief is going to make recommendations. He added that he appreciated everyone coming to the meeting tonight.
Officer Moffitt – referenced the elimination of longevity, the effect of this action, inquired how much the council members receive and stated that there are other areas that can be cut.
(Inaudible), 10522 Maloian Dr. - asked how much the lights are at the softball fields and if they considered shutting them off. Mr. Barenie stated that the lighting fee is approximately $18,000 and the council has not talked to the league about being more efficient with the lighting. Mr. Barenie suggested that surveys could be utilized in receiving feedback from the residents to determine what services and events they are interested in.
Ms. Cheryl Cribrari, 9380 Olcott - stated that people want to know what is going on regarding the budget. Discussion ensued regarding the possibility of putting such information on a web site for people to vote on, lighting conservation at the baseball fields and use by senior citizen teams at the fields.
Chief Frego read the September police report.
Chief Willman read the September fire report.
Mr. Mainwaring read the code enforcement activity report for September.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Ms. Teibel asked if the Solid Waste Operating fund would be adjusted and Ms. Sury explained that the grant money we receive is based on the census figure of 8,345 homes and we received less money.
Mr. Fryzel referenced the Police Special Fund and asked if the budgeted amount would remain at the $107, 500 figure. Ms. Sury stated that this amount would be budgeted, referenced the fund balance and that the appropriation is permission to spend the money. Discussion ensued as to the use of this fund.
Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Austgen to look into the procedures that it would take to create a finance committee or something like that. Mr. Austgen stated that the Council has the ability, as an elected body, to create any committees they deem necessary. They can do so at the meeting (number of members, term of appoint, etc.) or they can by resolution or ordinance establish formally a permanent type committee for the purposes he is talking about. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Teibel stated that the Lake Hills Haunted House did very well, did not have the exact numbers however; approximately $36,000 was earned after paying all the bills. They came in under budget. She would like to get a commitment from the Council that they can do this in 2009. If they can get a budget for $15,000 they can purchase supplies when they are on sale. Mr. Pharazyn stated that there is an increase in the proposed budget to incorporate some of the material that was donated to the town (LGS Plumbing) for the event. Mr. Barenie asked if they have a consultant. Ms. Teibel said it’s on the list. Discussion ensued pertaining to the consulting fees budgeted and the need for approving the 2009 budget. Ms. Teibel motioned to approve the Lake Hills Haunted House Autumn Festival budget for 2009 in the amount not to exceed $17,000 and Mr. Barenie amended the motion to include the use of the Forystek’s as the consultants. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Forbes.
Ms. Teibel complimented the staff of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office for all of their help and assistance throughout the event and stated that it was a pleasure working with all of them. Mr. Fryzel congratulated everyone that participated in the Haunted House and its success for this year.
Mr. Kil stated that he didn’t know if the Town Council wanted to take some action that would amend that agreement that allows for the purchase of supplies. Mr. Fryzel questioned the nature of the bills and the time frame. Mr. Kil provided copies of the bills for the prizes and some bills dated August 21, September 18, September 2, October 16, a bunch of different things, laser jet toner, ink cartridges, drum kits, yellow toner, remote backup for the building.
Mr. Austgen addressed Mr. Fryzel and stated that these sound like office supplies and questioned if these items are within the Town Manager’s purchase authority, responsibility, Mr. Fryzel referenced the last conversation that they had about this was that one of our employees not being here, that the consultant would be purchasing as long as it was approved by Steve and there was a comparison done on prices by Steve or the department head. That was the last he heard and that hasn’t been done. Mr. Kil stated that he has no objection with that; that is fine as long as he knows that the Town Council concurs with that. Mr. Fryzel stated that as long as a price check is done and it is under Mr. Kil’s authority, Mr. Fryzel stated that he does not have a problem with that. Mr. Kil stated that again, he is fine with that, and has a memo from Mr. Austgen that says that they should consider formal action by the Town Council to allow that.
Mr. Austgen stated that, that is not what his memo said. The memo said with relationship to JDM Consulting, that JDM Consulting did not have the authority to purchase supplies and equipment. But he advised the Town Council and you (Mr. Kil), specifically, was that you have the authority as a department head, as the administrative head of the administrative offices with your purchase authority that you could authorize or approve based upon your due diligence assessment of the best prices. Mr. Kil stated that there is no problem, again, as long as the Town Council concurs with that and has no objection to that. Ms. Teibel asked if this has been going on for years but only Tina Fletcher did it and he signed off on it. Mr. Kil stated that when the TV’s were purchased, it started all of that and he wanted to make sure everyone is fine with that and has no objection to doing that. Mr. Barenie asked why the store that was used to purchase the TV’s did not invoice, is not being paid, and Mr. Forbes questioned why we are paying the markup. Ms. Teibel explained that Jeff (JDM) is a wholesaler and Jeff stated that he is a distributor with Office Max, (inaudible). Ms. Teibel motioned to approve the invoices from JDM Consulting for office supplies for $2,800.00 and festival prizes for $2,300.00 for the Town of St. John. Discussion ensued questioning if there were charges for interest; there were none, and addressing the dates of the invoices. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes and 2 nays by Mr. Forbes and Mr. Volk.
Mr. Fryzel asked Mr. Kil to find a better way to do this. Mr. Austgen stated that Sherry inquired about the detail of the invoices so Steve when you present them to her checked off, make sure the detail is attached, she cannot process them without that detail. Mr. Pharazyn asked for clarification, are they going to Steve and get the okay from him and Steve will go to the consultant to buy the equipment and Mr. Fryzel stated that they go to the consultant, he will know what they need and then go to Steve. Discussion ensued.
Chief Frego stated that the current IT policy states that no purchase can be made without the approval of the director of the IT or the analyst, and questioned that if he needs an ink cartridge on Friday, does he have to wait until Tuesday to see the consultant to get the cartridge. Mr. Fryzel stated that this is pretty well clear now and still signed off by Steve. Discussion ensued regarding the confusion and the potential purchases of toner, hardware and software. Mr. Austgen stated that the ordinance would be reviewed to determine if it needs clarification.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar Street - complimented the kids and workers at the Haunted House. She stated that she requested information this week, was able to get some or most of that information, and referenced the revenue and expenditures reports. Ms. Brennan stated that she did request information as was discussed at the October 16th meeting regarding the sale of the t-shirts, how much money was made, where do the proceeds go, and if the Town Council approved the sale of the shirts. She stated that a 16-year old made $500.00 by selling the t-shirts to his co-volunteers and thinks that the money should be given back to the kids who purchased the shirts or sold at cost. A response was received from Mr. Kil regarding her request for information and she referenced his reply. “Neither his office nor the office of the Clerk-Treasurer has any documentation or knowledge of anything related to this request therefore there are no public records available to provide to you”. Ms. Brennan stated that she responded by e-mail to the council members and wonders where all the money is. Ms. Teibel stated that she does not recall at that meeting how Mr. Poplin said how his son was going to repay the town. Ms. Brennan asked how she can get approval to sell Santa Claus t-shirts. Ms. Teibel stated that it was a form of advertising, described the t-shirts and the project that was done on his own through a class at school and received credit for. Discussion ensued regarding the cost and discrepancy in the lettering of the t-shirts. Mr. Kil stated that he would forward the final spreadsheet of the Haunted House expenses to Ms. Brennan when it is complete.
Ms. Brennan also asked who is on the Special Events Committee, how it is established, who makes the decisions, how she can obtain reports and stated that she put in another public record request for this information this afternoon. Mr. Fryzel stated that the Town Council approves the decisions for the events and that there is no Special Events Committee. Ms. Teibel stated that they have a list of volunteers.
Mr. Jeff Fryzel thanked the Council for continuing the number of programs that have been started for the residents over the last few years, mainly the Haunted House, Christmas in the Park and the Family Festival. He stated that he would like to offer his help with finances with the Christmas in the Park and pay for the fireworks, (either personally or through his business) was told no thank you and that Mr. Kil felt that a majority of the council was not in favor of taking the donation for the entire cost of the fireworks. He stated that he didn’t understand why that happened and wanted to ask each councilman individually why not.
Mr. Volk stated that they are reducing the number of dollars for the event and believed that if someone wanted to make a donation, it would be used towards reducing that number that was set. Mr. Jeff Fryzel stated that his donation is intended for the fireworks, not for running the electric or for the expenses, it would be an additional donation for the event.
Mr. Forbes stated that they would take the donation for the event, not a specific part of the event. Discussion ensued. Mr. Mike Fryzel stated that we should have them if he is paying for them. Ms. Teibel stated that it would be insane to not accept the generous offer. Mr. Barenie said no and Mr. Fryzel stated that he spoke with Mr. Barenie on the phone and reiterated his reason and that was because they are cutting back and it would create an ill atmosphere on the town employees if they had the fireworks. He questioned if the statement was right or wrong. Mr. Barenie stated that he recalled some of that being accurate.
Mr. Jeff Fryzel stated that the room was full of employees. He asked the audience if any would object as employees of the town, for him paying for the fireworks for the Christmas in the Park. There were several “no’s”. He then asked if anybody would like him to pay for them as an employee of this town. There were several “yes’s” and some applause. Mr. Jeff Fryzel then addressed Mr. Barenie and asked him if that was one of his reasons, discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes stated that there are no fireworks planned for the Christmas in the Park according to the budget that was approved. He added that if he wanted to make a donation to the Festival of Lights or whatever it would be, it would be applied accordingly.
Mr. Jeff Fryzel addressed Mr. Barenie, requested his reasoning and he declined. Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie stated that there are other businesses in town and asked if they were asked to participate in this opportunity and stated that there is a slight conflict of interest, Mr. Jeff Fryzel being the brother of the chair, and asked if this opportunity went out to everyone else in town and did they have the option. Mr. Jeff Fryzel stated that he does not care if he gets credit for the fireworks and would send a letter or personally approach all the businesses in this community and ask for donations and if not, he would guarantee the amount because we are running out of time. Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie stated that he and Mr. Mike Fryzel said that they spoke to employees and they are sensitive to the perception that the Council might charge garbage fees yet they are spending money of fireworks. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Marilyn Hornyak, 11903 Louis Drive – stated that she is shocked that the Council would not say thank you and accept this gift. She remembered the man from the Diary Queen that came in and gave a check for $1,500.00 to the Police Department. He had a right to designate as a private citizen, where he wished his gift to go and she does not understand why this is such a big deal. She thinks it’s a very nice thing this fellow is doing.
Mr. Barenie asked the rest of the audience how they feel. A woman said it is a wonderful gift and it has nothing to do with the employees. Another woman said the only thing is when they are going to bill the rest of the town $15.00 or whatever it is, they’ll see this huge production taking place, it doesn’t look like the town is suffering and the people are paying for it all. Discussion ensued. Another comment was made that a person is paying three times; there is a freeze on wages, longevity is taken away, and if you live in St. John, you get the garbage fees.
Discussion ensued about the Haunted House money and the profits. Mr. Austgen stated that the funds from the special events are to be used exclusively for special events and they contemplated in the ordinance adoption and the ordinances that were approved, several of them for the various special events, that the funds generated if any, would be used to support and sustain those events from year to year as funds existed. Ms. Teibel stated that she always believed that the Haunted House would do well and support other events as they came along. Discussion ensued. Mr. Austgen stated that he looked at the ordinance and verified that the Council can designate where the funds go, to the next year’s event or to the next event.
Mr. Jeff Fryzel stated that he would contact the other businesses to see if they want to donate, discussion ensued.
Ms. Teibel motioned to consider acceptance of a gift proposed of an in-kind donation of fireworks for the Festival of Lights event subject to the solicitation of the additional business entities or enterprises in our community for co-sponsorship or co-participation for same. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Forbes.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
September 11, 2008 Executive Session
September 18, 2008 Executive Session & Regular Meeting
September 25, 2008 Executive Session & Regular Meeting
October 9, 2008 Executive Session & Special Meeting
October 16, 2008 Executive Sessions 1 & 2 and Regular Meeting
October 23, 2008 Regular Meeting
Mr. Barenie motioned to approve the minutes of the meetings listed above except for the October 23, 2008 Regular Meeting. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to approve the minutes of the October 23, 2008 Regular Meeting. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes and 1 abstention by Mr. Volk.
Mr. Forbes motioned to consider Ordinance #1480 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Barenie motioned to consider Ordinance #1478 on first reading the 2009 Salary Ordinance. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes motioned to adopt Ordinance #1478. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Pharazyn stated that one of the areas has a problem with dams being built by rodents which has given the developer great pain, stated that these parcels are swamps, will be challenging and require real money. Mr. Fryzel stated that he heard that there was a call that came into Public Works the other day about this problem and that the developer should take care of the problem before they accept it. Discussion ensued. Mr. Pharazyn stated that the area has been a challenge to deal with mosquito abatement and algae control if they are going to accept these. He suggested that he go out to these three spots and asked that the Council take action next month. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Forbes stated that it is in the commitment that we would accept and Mr. Fryzel confirmed it.
Mr. Forbes motioned to accept the deeds for the properties specified . Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes referenced the Haunted House and stated that the payment to the Forystek’s was cut by $2,000 and motioned to fulfill the contract of $5,000 and pay the Forystek’s the $2,000 remaining on their contract. Mr. Fryzel stated that the contract was for $3,000. Mr. Kil said the contract was down from $5,000 last year to $3,000 this year and that he signed the contract. Mr. Barenie seconded the motion and stated that the motion should be considered. Mr. Forbes stated that there was a motion on the table, Mr. Fryzel stated that the motion was to consider and asked him to make a proper motion. Mr. Forbes motioned to pay the Forystek’s an additional $2,000 for their work related to the 2008 St. John Haunted House. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Fryzel.
Mr. Forbes stated that it was his understanding that Strack & Van Til’s donated pumpkins for decorations at the Haunted House and they were sold. Mr. Pharazyn stated that Strack & Van Til’s donate the pumpkins for the pumpkin sale and not for decorations. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes stated that he is fairly certain that the manager there was under the impression that these were not being re-sold; they were donated, and if they were sold under that pretext believes that was extremely inappropriate. Mr. Fryzel stated that for the last few years they have sold the pumpkins.
Mr. Forbes asked Mr. Kil if he sent out a memo regarding the cell phones. Mr. Kil stated that he sent out a recommendation on how they can reduce and get down to the budget the Council asked for and will make the plan change immediately as long as the Council is okay with it.
Mr. Forbes stated that in line with their budget discussions he would like the Council to consider, that they immediately impose a freeze on promotions, hiring and/or raises for the Town of St. John. Mr. Barenie suggested that if there is any of that it should come before the Council. Mr. Forbes motioned that the Town Council immediately impose a freeze on promotions, hiring and/or raises for the Town of St. John; and any exceptions must come before the Town Council. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Mr. Forbes referenced Mr. Pharazyn’s street light list and stated that he discussed it with some of the residents, some people are leery about shutting the lights off in front of their house given the recent activities in town. A suggestion was made to turn off the lights in redundantly lit areas first to determine what affect it has. Discussion ensued. Mr. Pharazyn stated that he would re-evaluate the list, take out the ones in the middle of the block and provide a revised list.
Mr. Forbes inquired about the status of the sewer reimbursements in the Lotton subdivision. Mr. Pharazyn stated that they have not been forwarded, they stopped issuing water and sewer permits in the subdivision and that there is a meeting with the town staff and the attorney representing the town next Monday. They are hopeful to have a meeting with the developer later next week. He added that there was an article in the paper and it wasn’t quite six hours after that article appeared that they got a phone call from the developer’s legal counsel requesting a meeting and stated that after the meeting he would provide an update to them on the second meeting.
Mr. Sobek stated that they are doing the Annual Special Needs Visit with Santa on Wednesday, December 3rd.
Chief Frego read the October Monthly Police Report. He stated that on November 5th, two police cars responded to an accident in Schererville. The two vehicles were totaled and the driver arrested. They will receive $20,190.00 from the driver’s insurance company. Two new cars (2009 Ford, Crown Victoria’s) from the state purchase program will cost $47,806.00, along with another $3,000.00 per car to cover the graphics, etc. He would like the Council’s consideration for the balance of $34,616.00 and asked if there was any legal avenue to request more money from the driver due to the arrest. Discussion ensued. Mr. Barenie motioned for Chief Frego to replace two vehicles damaged / hit in the accident in an amount not to exceed $35,000.00 and to include the insurance money of $20,190.00 Seconded by Mr. Volk. Motion passed with a vote of 4 - 0.
Chief Frego mentioned that on Jan 1st, they assume responsibility for the Tiburon and Grouse Point subdivisions. They had a meeting last week and he requested the names and addresses of all the residents in those two subdivisions so they could forward them to Lake County and have the 911 switched over to St. John’s dispatch at that time. Mr. Kil referenced the new resident packet that he sent out to everyone in Tiburon and Grouse Point, basically welcoming them to the Town.
Chief Willman read the October Monthly Fire Department Report.
Mr. Mainwaring read the code enforcement report for the month of November.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar – stated that she finds the website unusable, most of the links do not work. She also stated that she received copies of the ordinance establishing the special events committee and the ordinance establishing the Haunted House fund. However, she did not receive a list of the members of the special events committee and the copies of the minutes of the special events committee which was part of her request. Ms. Brennan referenced Mr. Kil’s letter to her that stated the town has no available records or knowledge of a listing of any members on the committee or minutes.
She referenced parts of Ordinance #1361 and stated that the committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Council which means they have no decision making authority; members of the committee shall be appointed by the Town Council for a term of one year, the minutes do not show anyone has been appointed. She would like to see someone actually do this, (appoint members) make someone do this before they have another festival, they should have a committee in place. Ms. Brennan stated that the ordinance was violated as in someone selling the t-shirts, it was nice that someone was able to do class project, but it was outside the scope of the authority of the single councilperson authorizing it.
Ms. Brennan stated that the ordinance also says the committee shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws...Open Door Law and Indiana Access to Public Information and Records laws and shall record and publish minutes of these meetings. She stated that is not the case because for two years there are not copies of those, they are not available. The last item is that the committee shall not usurp the authority or replace any of the existing Town Boards, Commissions or Departments. She stated that again, lack of authority in making decisions about the Haunted House and other events.
Ms. Brennan stated that the stationary changed, everyone’s name was on the waiver last year; this year only Ms. Teibel’s name was listed. All the documents have this change and stated that there were memo’s in town saying they did not need any more volunteers this year; yet they were short of staff this year, believes this needs to be better organized in the future, recruit some residents, let them do their job, let them present their recommendations to the Council and let the full Council decide as it should be.
Mr. Fryzel noted for the record that there were people at the meeting who worked at the Haunted House and asked Mr. Pharazyn who ran the Haunted House and if there was chaos there. Mr. Fryzel stated that in his opinion it ran very well, it was very profitable for the community. Mr. Pharazyn said it was very well organized, they were fully staffed and that there were a couple of nights when they were a few people down.
Niel, one of he workers at the meeting was asked and he stated that it ran great. Discussion ensued.
Officer James Turturillo stated that he is not here as an adversary, he is here to shed some light and offer some assistance as a professional town employee. He read a statement on behalf of the town employees. They understand items in the budget need to be cut, they already are assisting by self-policing their overtime. Taking away longevity of the employees is saving the Town approximately $42,000 per year. A 1% pay cut for all employees across the board would save the Town approximately $49,500 giving an additional cost savings to the Town. The employees feel a reduction in longevity is a significant cut in benefits and would like a week to poll the town employees to see if they would agree to a 1% reduction in pay. He stated that if the Council would like him to do that, let him know, and he will do that to save any future deterioration of employee morale.
Mr. Alex Konieczka, President of the Chamber of Commerce – stated that at the last Chamber meeting, they learned the fireworks at Christmas in the Park would be cut due to budget constraints. The Chamber members were polled and asked if they would like to donate to come forward. He presented to Mr. Fryzel the money collected and recognized the following businesses that donated: Quality Auto Parts, HD Waterworks Supply, Grimmers Service, Superior Petroleum Products, USA Tools, Judith Stahlhut, Redbud Landscape Services, Munster Community, Metro Excavating Corp, Alcon Consulting and Northwood’s. He stated that the total amount donated was $3,125.00 and believes this to be more than the cost of the fireworks with the remaining money to be used wherever else they need it for Christmas in the Park. Mr. Pharazyn stated that the fireworks would cost $2,000.
Ms. Brennan referenced the minutes from the October 16th meeting and stated that at the meeting Mr. Dave Poplin stated that the $1.7M deficit was going down to $1.6994M which would be $600 from the t-shirt sale and asked what happened to the rest of the money. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Leslie Poplon, Neil’s mother – stated that the check was $340.00, everything was mapped out, and he made nothing on this. They did not deduct for taking Neil places, making phone calls for this project and that this is the amount his son came out with. Discussion ensued. Ms. Poplon stated that the amount Mr. Poplin gave at the meeting was a figure he threw out, they did not sell all the t-shirts and if someone wanted their shirt re-done because of the missing “t” they would do so at no cost. Discussion ensued. Ms. Brennan stated that she wanted a refund. Ms. Poplon said all the money has been turned over to the Town Council, if they want to give her the $10.00 refund it is up to them.
Mr. Forbes stated that he would like to use the $340.00 from the sale of the t-shirts to be used for the volunteers and cater something for them. Mr. Fryzel stated that they were going to have a get together in January and pay for it out of their pocket. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes motioned to use the $340.00 to cater the finale get together for the Haunted House volunteers. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion passed with a vote of 4 – 0.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer
Mr. Fryzel stated that on behalf of the Town Council he wanted to extend their condolences and have a moment of silence for the Town’s I.T. employee, Tina Fletcher, who recently passed away and George Gawrys, husband of Beverly of the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, who died last night.
Mr. Douglas Ziemak, 9032 West 90th Avenue – stated that they are already paying the garbage fee when they pay their taxes. At the end of 2007, the town employees received a 6% raise; the towns pays for the policemen’s uniforms, and have movies in the park and Santa Claus coming to town. Mr. Ziemak stated that there are organizations that make money doing that; the town is not there to entertain the residents, and that leaves can be bagged and picked up by the garbage men. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Joe Dickelman, 9258 W. 92nd Place – stated that he would like the dental and vision coverage eliminated from the employee’s medical coverage. They should have medical coverage only like he does. He stated that senior citizens are on a fixed income and should receive a break. Mr. Forbes stated that if the municipality had their own trucks and employees for garbage pick up they could do that. Discussion ensued. Mr. Dickelman stated that if the town needs the money, fine – he is concerned about the senior citizens. Mr. Fryzel stated that they looked into giving the senior citizens a reduced rate but cannot legally do so.
Brenda Baghepour, 8347 Heron Lake Road – stated that she researched other municipalities and St. John would be paying the highest fees second to Munster and asked why, what’s next and referenced hydrant and storm water fees. She stated that they pay their property taxes and expect the town to live within the budget the residents give them. Mr. Austgen explained the bid process and the bids that came in. He stated that this was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Discussion ensued. Ms. Baghepour stated that the majority of Lake County is picked up by the company they have. Mr. Kil explained the re-bid process and stated that this is the lowest amount that came in. Mr. Barenie added that some of the contracts were done four to five years ago and when they renew the contract their prices will go up.
Mr. Bill Dravesky, 9038 Howard Court – questioned why the council doesn’t go to the Federal Government and get a bailout. He stated that he doesn’t want garbage pickup, will get rid of his own garbage and agrees that the town has a tough job cutting the budget, but the people on a fixed income have it hard too.
Mr. Dickelman referenced the building permits and the revenue. He asked what happens when the housing starts up again and inquired if the garbage fee would be reduced and would it be compensated back. Mr. Barenie stated that it could be discussed; it could be frozen or reduced and referenced the potential of quarterly or semi annual sessions to inform the residents on how the town is financially progressing. Discussion ensued and Mr. Kil stated that we are still operating on money from 2007 based on assessments of 2006, the tax money has been frozen and that Mr. Diekelman could call the building department to find out the number of permits being issued monthly.
Mr. Chris Sorenson, 12632 Patnoe Dr– stated that it is apparent the community is being run on building fees and part of the deficit currently is due to lack of building. Mr. Barenie stated that the revenue from the building fees are a substantial portion but the services that are provided by the town are needed by the town is probably more of a focus of why. Mr. Sorenson inquired about the recent staff reductions, and discussion ensued.
Mr. Sorenson stated that he is concerned about all the new communities and the concrete and building material trucks are ripping up the streets and asked if the developers are paying for the infrastructure damages that are occurring or if they are paying fees for that. He referenced the intersection of 93rd and Route 41. Mr. Kil referenced the state roads and maintenance, stated that the developers pay for all the internal roads and pay developmental fees. Discussion ensued.
Mr. Sorenson asked for confirmation that the town is currently operating out of the 2006 assessments. Mr. Kil stated that that was correct and that they have not received $1,508,411.00 in tax money from 2008 this was from the general fund alone; the tax draws are woefully delayed. Total property taxes they still have not received is $2.6M.
Mr. Austgen stated that the property tax legislation that the General Assembly adopted last year froze and caused what Mr. Kil said to occur. The county is frozen at the 2006 assessment until or unless the Lake County Council adopts a County Option Income Tax. The County Council has rejected the adoption of legislation that will collect more tax from the residents of the county. Discussion ensued. Mr. Austgen stated that on the flip side there has been a capping of the property tax.
Ms. Janet Brennan, 10151 Delmar – stated that after examining the budget and seeing what the town is dealing with she can support the garbage fee. She presented her suggestions of educating the public, getting input from the public, hold public budget hearings and stated that the proposed formation of a finance committee is a good idea.
Ms. Teibel motioned to consider Ordinance #1482 on first reading. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Barenie motioned to adopt Ordinance #1482. Seconded by Ms. Teibel. Motion unanimously passed.
At 8:15 p.m. Mr. Fryzel announced that there would be a five-minute break, at 8:22 p.m. he called the meeting back to order.
Ms. Teibel motioned to adopt Ordinance #1484. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Forbes referenced the system development charges, the recapture fees and a rate increase to pay for LS#1 for the Sanitary District Board. Discussion ensued. Mr. Forbes stated that they have already had their public hearings; however, the Town Council needs to have their public hearing to implement those fees and requested that the public hearing be scheduled for January 22nd for the system development charges to include the water and sewer. Discussion ensued with the scheduled date of the public hearing in January.
Mr. Forbes also referenced the TIF districts and potentially paying those off early. Mr. Kil explained that the TIF districts have been paying itself off a lot faster than the schedule allows for. As soon as that gets paid off, the discussion was to eliminate the TIF district to take that money and put it back against the property taxes and is proceeding along those lines unless directed otherwise. The financial advisor presented an alternate schedule that would pay that off faster, so Mr. Kil is following his schedule right now.
Mr. Austgen stated that there is a difference between paying off the debt and continuing in existence, the TIF district, or the economic development area. And even if the economic development area is left in place you do not need to capture the increment. You can decline to collect the increment thereby allowing that increment to pass with the regular property taxes. There is probably a reason to consider that, and that is, that there is a process for reestablishing if you ever need it in the future. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Sury asked if the meeting dates for the Town Council during 2009 would remain at the same time and dates, she needs to notify the newspapers. It was confirmed that the meeting dates would remain the same.
Ms. Sury asked the council to acknowledge the extension of the $600,000 loan from the Sanitary District. Ms. Teibel motioned to acknowledge the extension of the $600,000 from the Sanitary District. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Ms. Sury also asked for a motion to pay the Plan Commission recording secretary for vouchers that were submitted late. Ms. Teibel motioned to pay Susan Wright. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion unanimously passed.
Ms. Teibel asked if the town employees would have Christmas Eve off as they did last year. Discussion ensued. Ms. Teibel motioned to give the town employees Christmas Eve day off. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Chief Frego gave the November activity report for the police department. He stated that the two replacement squads for the ones damaged in Schererville are ready for pick up. Previously, they attempted to bid out the old squad cars and had negative results, he renegotiated with the supplier of the new squad cars who has agreed to take them on trade in. He added that all the final paperwork has been turned into the insurance company with charges for everything. Mr. Forbes motioned to authorize the trade in of the old squad cars once all the paperwork is completed. Seconded by Mr. Barenie. Motion unanimously passed.
Mr. Fryzel commended the dispatchers, Cliff Wroe and Linda Case, police Officer Moffitt and Corporal Demeter, and the fire department personnel for assisting in the delivering of a baby boy over the telephone during one of the nights there was bad weather.
Chief Willman gave the November activity report for the fire department.
Mr. Kil stated that he has had extensive discussions today with the Lake Central Superintendent Dr. Chabot. He discussed setting up a shelter this winter with Chiefs Frego and Willman with the impending bad weather. If people lose power the residents of St. John are to go to Lake Central High School, the main entrance. Schererville residents go to Grimmer and Dyer residents go to Kahler.
Officer Turturillo, town employee – reported the results of the employee survey he took; 43 employees voted to take a 1% pay cut, 17 employees voted to take away longevity. He stated that the survey netted more results than just the vote and read the following: The employees feel the Town Council has ignored them; if they were counseled in regard to any cuts they would have been more than happy to help. The employees also said they would have no problem taking any cuts if they had a say in what was being cut. Giving the employees a say in what happens to them gives them ownership in the decision and creates a buy in. A buy in makes it easier for the employee to accept the change and builds a better relationship between management and employees. During the gathering of the information of the survey it was mentioned by the employees that they feel the Town Council does not care about them because they are continually being ignored by them. As result of being ignored, morale is at one of its lowest point in the recent history of the town. It’s still not too late to take the employees into consideration and change the salary ordinance to reflect a 1% pay cut which will save the town an additional $7,500 per year instead of cutting the longevity. Now that you have the information from the employees and you know how they feel let your conscience be your guide in making this difficult decision. Thank you.
/s/ Sherry P. Sury, Clerk-Treasurer