Minutes of the May 16, 2017 Meeting5/16/2017
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TOWN OF WOLCOTT COUNCIL MEETING

 

The Council of the Town of Wolcott met Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the Wolcott Town Hall for its regular stated meeting. 

 

Council Members Present

Council President, Michael A. Yelton, Vice President, Fred A. Young and Members, Tina M. Orns, Michael J. Johnson and Stephen Schemerhorn

 

Others Present

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward and Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas; Also present were Residents, Daryl Orns, Marsha Orns, Brandon Meyer, Darwin Miller, Janel Hofstetter; Tri-County Senior, Taylor Crumpton and Barbara Lawson of The New Wolcott Enterprise.

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton opened the meeting by asking all present to join in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.

 

Resident, Brandon Meyer stated that upon cleaning the ditch North of Town, located on the West side of the 614 N Range Street Parcel, it has been found that the ditch is not draining properly.  Mr. Meyer added that the ditch needs gutted otherwise a sinkhole may form due to the drainage issue.   Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas stated that the triangle shaped ditch area is the State's responsibility, not the County's or Town's.  Following a lengthy discussion, it was determined that there are no apparent air wells to jet to aid in the drainage issue, therefore Council President, Michael A. Yelton will contact the White County Surveyor, Brad Ward, relative to this matter. 

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton extended a special thank you to Darwin Miller, Brandon Meyer and Cody Miller for cleaning the triangle shaped ditch area North of Town, located on the West side of the 614 N Range Street Parcel.  Resident, Darwin Miller suggested contacting the State relative to placing a guardrail on the South side of the triangle shaped ditch area. 

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton informed Council and those present that he contacted John Meyer, who in turn directed him to Mark Kelly, the INDOT LaPorte District EPS Inspector, relative to tying into the State's storm water drain in order to resolve the drainage issue of the South Range Street Parcel Chris Helderle owns.  Mr. Yelton stated that in talking to Mr. Kelly, the Town has to complete a permit (which is available online and of no cost) so the State has record of the Town tying into the storm drain.  Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas pointed out that the closest catch basin in which the town can tie into is located near 508 S Range Street.  Mr. Yelton also stated that in talking to Mr. Kelly, since the State isn't always able to attend to matters in a timely manner, the Town can maintain the ditch as long as the ditch isn't altered in any way.  Discussion ensued.

 

Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas stated that resident, Peggy Meyer contacted him regarding the storm water drainage issues she is experiencing.  Mr. Thomas added that he contacted White County Surveyor, Brad Ward, inquiring as to the location of a drainage tile in that area.  Mr. Thomas stated that Mr. Ward believes there is a regulated tile under the waterway that could be cleaned.  Mr. Thomas added that Mr. Ward was not sure if the waterway itself is regulated and if the waterway is not a regulated waterway, the homeowner could fill that area with dirt if they so desire.

 

Resident, Darwin Miller stated that he and Cody Miller edged the sidewalks South of the Railroad tracks and hope to be able to edge the sidewalks North of the Railroad tracks in the near future.

 

Resident, Darwin Miller inquired as to the status of replacing the two (2) dead trees along

US 24.  Council President, Michael A. Yelton opened discussion relative to contacting the property owners in which the dead trees are located to see if they want the trees replaced.   Mr. Yelton stated that Council needs to keep in mind that if the Town replaces a tree for one homeowner, then the Town will have to replace trees for all homeowners.  Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas stated that the trees needing replaced were part of the Downtown Enhancement Project; therefore the Town is responsible for replacement of those trees. Following some discussion, Council Member, Michael J. Johnson moved to have Council President, Michael A. Yelton contact the property owners in which the dead trees are located inquiring as to whether or not they are in favor of replacement of the dead trees.  If the property owners are in favor of replacement of the dead trees, the Town will finance replacement of the trees, with the property owners maintaining them.  Council Member, Tina M. Orns seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton opened discussion relative to there being volunteers to sweep the streets.  Mr. Yelton suggested making the Project a Main Street Committee Project which would allow the volunteers to use Town equipment.  Council Member, Michael J. Johnson expressed concern relative to liability issues that may arise.  Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that the Town has a blanket volunteer insurance policy in place in which a list of volunteers and the time-frame in which they volunteer is submitted to the Insurance Company.  Council President, Michael A. Yelton directed Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas to place the Street Sweeper on the Bobcat to enable the volunteers to sweep the streets.  Following some discussion, Council Vice President, Fred A. Young moved to allow volunteers to sweep the streets with the Town's Street Sweeper.  Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn seconded the motion and the motion passed 4-0.  

 

Minutes/Memoranda

Council President, Michael A. Yelton asked for a motion to approve the minutes and/or memoranda for the following meetings:

       Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Council Meeting 

Council Vice President, Fred A. Young, moved to approve the aforementioned minutes and/or memoranda.  Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Departmental Reports

Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas reported that the Railroad removed the asphalt waste from the Railroad Crossings.  Mr. Thomas added that the Railroad representative he spoke with stated that he will have to consult with his supervisor as to the removal of the railroad ties by the Feed Mill storage shed and the Wastewater Plant.  Council President, Michael A. Yelton inquired as to whether or not the Railroad representative mentioned repairing the US 24 Railroad Crossing Tracks.  Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas stated that the topic was discussed but the representative did not give a time-frame as to when the repair would be made but he did mention that it would probably take 2 weeks to complete the needed repairs.

 

Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas informed Council that he pursued 3 bids to repair the housing over the clear water well; and presented Council with the only bid received, which was from Schuh Construction in the amount of $6,175.46.  Council directed Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas to request a more comprehensive estimate from Schuh Construction as the estimate states "Reroof Water Treatment Plant" which leaves the estimate open to interpretation. Council Member, Tina M. Orns stated that she will have the bid correspondent from FBi Buildings, Inc. contact Water/Street Superintendent relative to providing an estimate to repair the housing over the clear water well. 

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton informed Council that he contacted the Chalmers Town Manager and stated that he would like to create a conversation between Chalmers, Reynolds and himself relative to best utilizing the Wolcott Water/Wastewater employees by means of job sharing.   Council Member, Tina M. Orns expressed her feelings regarding this matter by stating that Robert Thomas and Chad Reynolds are employees of the Town and that this type of discussion should include all Council Members.  Following some discussion, Council Members were in agreement to schedule a work session to discuss sharing resources pending Chalmers' and Reynolds' decision relative to partaking in said matter.

 

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward presented the following correspondence not requiring action:

       Received payment from the Town of Reynolds for March's Wastewater Testing Fee in the amount of $500.

       The Town of Reynolds has been invoiced $500 for the April Wastewater Testing Fee.

       As requested by Marshal Herre, a Junk Vehicle Ordinance Violation Letter was mailed to a resident.

 

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward reported that the Road Asset Management Plan relative to the Community Crossings Grant was submitted to LTAP for the 2nd time on April 27, 2017.  Mrs. Seward added that, to-date an acknowledgement of receipt or approval/denial letter has not been received.

 

 

Old Business

 

Water System Improvements Project

Council President, Michael A. Yelton expressed his concerns relative to the astronomical cost of the Water System Improvements Project and how the expenses of the Project continue to increase.  Mr. Yelton stated numerous reasons as to why he is apprehensive in executing the Amendment to the Master Copy of the Preliminary Owner-Engineer Agreement that Vince Sommers of Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. presented him during the May 2, 2017 Council Meeting; and stated that he would like to seek legal counsel from Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler prior to executing the amended Agreement.  Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler perused the original and amended Agreements and stated that upon review of the documents, Mr. Ahler saw nothing of any legal concern that would make him think that the Council President, Michael A. Yelton should not execute the document.   Following a lengthy discussion, Council Vice President, Fred A. Young moved to approve Council President, Michael A. Yelton execute the Amendment to the Master Copy of the Preliminary Owner-Engineer Agreement.  Council Member, Tina M. Orns seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Stormwater Ordinance

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that the language relating to the monthly fee needs revised as the current language is conflicting.  In addition, Mrs. Seward provided Council figures pertaining to the number of farm ground (6) and adjacent (approximately 55) Parcels affected by the per property Parcel Stormwater Fee.  Following some discussion, Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn moved to approve amending Ordinance No. 2013-03 An Ordinance Amending the Stormwater Assessment Fee in Accordance with Wolcott Town Ordinance No. 2010-02, An Ordinance to Establish the Fee to Provide Revenue to the Stormwater Fund, amending the billing cycle language; excluding farm ground from the per property parcel stormwater assessment fee; and assess all other Parcels individually.  Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Recycling Area

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that she spoke with Dawn Girard from the White County Recycle Center and due to schedule restraints and since there are businesses in Town that are scheduled for pick up on Monday as well, they are not able to increase the frequency in which they pick up cardboard.  Ms. Girard stated that they would have to send an employee as a "special service" to come to Wolcott and exclusively pick up a second time at the recycle area; and they would have to charge for that "special service"?probably $50-$75 a week.  Ms. Girard also stated that in speaking with the Wolcott route recycling employees, they have not had any recent issues with Wolcott residents putting non-recyclable materials in and outside the containers and trailer; and they are willing to supply the Town a third cardboard container, if interested. Council President, Michael A. Yelton directed Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas to contact Jack Buntin from the Farmer's Co-Operative Elevator asking permission to place a third cardboard recycling container in the recycling area. 

 

Council Member, Michael J. Johnson inquired as to whether or not the White County Recycle Center offered rain barrels.  Council President, Michael A. Yelton suggested Mr. Johnson contact Northwest Indiana Solid Waste District, an affiliate of the White County Recycle Center. 

 

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward opened discussion relative to assigning the Town Code Enforcer duties to Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler.  Mrs. Seward stated that in consulting with Marshal Herre, he is in agreement of this reassignment.  Mrs. Seward added that Marshal Herre also agreed to the use of the Marshal's Department Budget to assist in financing the reassignment of the Town Code Enforcer duties.  Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that in consulting with Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler, he is interested in this undertaking.  Council President, Michael A. Yelton stated that if we choose to assign the Town Code Enforcer duties to the Town Attorney, all Codes will have to be enforced, picking and choosing Codes to enforce will not be an option.  Following some discussion, Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that the current Code Enforcement procedures will be adhered to, whereby upon a complaint being filed with the Clerk-Treasurer's office, the Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler will notify those citizens that they are in violation of a Town Ordinance(s); and if the resident does not comply, he files in court for the property to be brought under compliance; and the resident will be responsible for any and all fees associated with bringing the property under compliance.  Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn moved to approve assigning the Town Code Enforcer duties to Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler.  Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.      

 

 

Council President, Michael A. Yelton read a letter from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch congratulating the Wolcott Main Street Committee on receiving a 2017 Indiana Main Street Certificate.  The Certificate signifies that the Wolcott Main Street Committee met the 2016 community involvement requirements and remains in good standing with the Indiana Main Streets Program for the year 2017. 

 

 

There being no other business, the accounts payable register was approved and signed for the following amounts:

 

 

 

Accounts Payable

 

General Fund

$ 10,273.74

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund (MVH)

1,506.96

Park & Recreation

111.41

Cumulative Capital Improvements

130.00

Water Operating Fund

4,939.05

Wastewater Operating Fund

12,203.69

Ambulance

654.11

Payroll

7,185.29

Payroll Federal W/H

1,138.14

Payroll FICA/Medicare W/H

1,527.54

Payroll PERF W/H

396.98

Payroll PERF Corp Share

1,137.23

Payroll Health Savings Account

140.00

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

$41,344.14

 

 

Payroll Docket

$10,533.91

     Payroll Ending 05/01/2017

 

    

 

Utility Adjustments

 

 

 

Council Vice President, Fred A. Young moved to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Council Member, Michael J. Johnson; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

 

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