Minutes of the April 3, 2018 Council Meeting4/4/2018
Categories:2018,Council Meeting
Publisher:
Author:

TOWN OF WOLCOTT COUNCIL MEETING

 

The Council of the Town of Wolcott met Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in the Community Room of the Wolcott Town Hall for its regular stated meeting immediately following the Public Hearing on proposed Ordinance No. 2018-07, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 2007-03 and the Schedule of Fines of Ordinance No. 2007-03, An Ordinance Establishing the Town of Wolcott Ordinance Violations Bureau.     

  

Council Members Present

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

 

Others Present:

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward; Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas; Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds; Park Board President, Lori Bussell; Town Marshal,

James M. Herre; Wolcott Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief, Kenneth Burns; and on behalf of Town Attorney, Jacob A. Ahler, Attorney, Michael Riley. Also present were White County Building & Planning Executive Director, Colin Betts; Shawn Cain, Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Grant Administrator; Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty; White County Economic Development Representative, Karen Evans; Summer Chase Construction Project Manager, Mandee Kochert; Residents, Marsha Orns, Daryl Orns, Darwin Miller, Janell Hofstetter, Lou Blanchette, Paige, Miller, Mitchell Crenshaw, Brandi Schemerhorn, and James Pinkerton; Tri-County Jr./Sr. High School Seniors, Dawson Hartley, Lizet Geronimo, Brock Langley, Dalton Justice, Drew Moseley and Matthew Harrington; James Wolf of the Herald Journal and Barbara Lawson of The New Wolcott Enterprise.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns opened the meeting by asking all present to join in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns announced that the bidding process for the demolition of the 129 W. Market Street building ended at 6:00 p.m., April 3, 2018. Council President, Christina M. Orns then announced that one bid was received; opened and read the bid. All submitted documents are on file in the Clerk-Treasurer's office. Total bid information included:

1.    Summer Chase Construction, Lafayette IN - $160,000 to perform the following proposed work:

       Demo existing 2-story building; bring in 4 carpenters to stabilize floor in adjacent building and build cross beams; bring in masons to repair loose brick & install new brick in former joist pockets & 2nd floor door opening; haul in dirt & grass seed.

Council President, Christina M. Orns also read the following two (2) Alternate Bids from Summer Chase Construction to finish the once interior walls that upon demolition will become exterior walls of the adjacent buildings:

Alternate #1-A for an additional $42,750

       Installation of 2x4 Horizontal Pressure treated wood furring strips at 5'0" on center attached to the brick and plaster walls with tapcon anchors at 24" on center. Tapcon anchors to be white ultrashield (or approved equal) " diameter, phillips head, 3 3/4" long. Removal of plaster not required, filling joist pockets not required.

Alternate #1-B for an additional $58,000

       New steel siding shall be attached to the furring strips with appropriate trim around new beams and up against new brick pilasters. Siding shall be tucked under parapet wall cap trim. Siding to be pro-rib (or approved equal) .0142 inch thick steel panel with 9" on center raised ribs, painted white with 40-year warranty. Screws for siding to furring strips at 9" on center.

Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Grant Administrator, Shawn Cain explained that in order to determine a base bid that satisfies the Grant Agreement construction costs of $160,000, the bids to finish the once interior walls that upon demolition will become exterior walls had to be separated as the scope of work in the Grant Agreement only entails demolition of the building, stabilization of the adjacent buildings, debris removal and compacting, grading smooth and leveling the area.  Shawn stated that the bids will be submitted to ARKOR Engineer, Andy Switzer for review. Shawn added that upon review, ARKOR will most likely recommend the Town accept the base bid of $160,000 to avoid losing the grant funds and enable the completion of the demolition portion of the Project according to the provisions of the grant. In closing, Shawn stated that supplementary financing to fund the additional costs involved in finishing the exterior walls of the adjacent buildings and enhancing the empty space, will have to be pursued. Council President, Christina M. Orns thanked Shawn Cain for her guidance and attendance.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns then welcomed Mark McCarty, Grant Administrator for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Project. Mark McCarty stated that after reviewing the 2nd round of bids relative to the 408 North 4th Street and 510 North 4th Street properties, he advises the following bids are awarded:

1.    Hopkins Home Improvement, Richmond, IN

a.     510 North 4th Street - $25,944

2.    Summer Chase Construction, Lafayette, IN

a.     408 North 4th Street - $16,890

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to accept the aforementioned bids on the final two properties of the IHCDA CDBG-D Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Project, as recommended by Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty. Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty presented Council with a

"Change Order" on the 406 W North Street property in the amount of $1,158. Mr. McCarty explained that the "Change Order" is to assist the property owners with water issues in their basement. The "Change Order" consists of the following:

       Install new sump pump basin and Barracuda 1/3 HP cast iron sump pump.

       Cut grooves in concrete basement floor to direct water to basin.

       Remove and dispose of any job related debris.

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to approve the "Change Order" on the 406 W. North Street property in the amount of $1,158 to assist the property owners with water issues in their basement. Council Member, Fred A. Young seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty stated that in order to score an extra five (5) points on the IHCDA CDBG Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Grant application, the Town elected to deem April 2018 as Fair Housing month. Mr. McCarty presented Council President, Christina M. Orns with the Proclamation deeming April 2018 as Fair Housing month in Wolcott, Indiana. Council President, Christina M. Orns proceeded to read the Proclamation. Upon reading the Proclamation, Council President, Christina M. Orns then entertained a motion to adopt the Proclamation as read. Council Member, Fred A. Young moved to adopt the Proclamation declaring April 2018 as Fair Housing month in Wolcott, Indiana. Council Vice President,

Michael A. Yelton seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0. The Proclamation was then executed by Council President, Christina M. Orns and Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward.   Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty stated that in adopting the Proclamation; the Town is fulfilling a grant obligation.

 

In closing, Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty stated that the IHCDA CDBG Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Grant Budget will be audited once the grant proceeds are expended. Mr. McCarty added that following the audit, Council will receive an audit result report. 

Mr. McCarty also stated that upon completion of the Project, the State, along with Mr. McCarty, will inspect each rehabilitated home to ensure the work was done correctly.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns inquired as to a Project completion date. Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty stated that they are in hopes that all of the homes will be completely rehabilitated by the latter part of May 2018. Council President, Christina M. Orns thanked Mark McCarty for his advice and attendance.

 

Star Development, Inc. Grant Administrator, Mark McCarty exited the meeting at this time.

 

Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Grant Administrator, Shawn Cain exited the meeting at this time.

 

White County Building & Planning Executive Director, Colin Betts stated that White County Building & Planning received a Petition to Vacate part of Fifth Street in the Fox & Dibell First Addition to the Town of Wolcott pursuant to I.C. 36-7-3-12. Mr. Betts added that this petition is at the request of Mitchell Crenshaw who lives adjacent to said property. Mr. Betts also stated that the vacated street portion will be divided between Mitchell Crenshaw and Gene Musall, who are the owners of the adjoining parcels on Lots 3 & 4 in the Fox & Dibell First Addition to the Town of Wolcott. Mr. Betts stated that upon said property being surveyed, it was found that the said portion of Fifth Street is not necessary for the growth of the Municipality and that there aren't any utility easements, at least not any they are aware of.  Mr. Betts added that the proposed vacation will not:

       Hinder the growth or orderly development of any contiguous neighborhoods;

       Make access to the lands of any person difficult or inconvenient;

       Hinder the public access to a church, school or other public building or place; or

       Hinder the use of a public way by the neighborhood in which it is located or contiguous.

Council President, Christina M. Orns further explained that the County received a request from a property owner to vacate that portion of the south end of Fifth Street where it is divided between School and North Streets. Mrs. Orns stated that there is a section of said property that is still deemed to be Fifth Street but is essentially a dead-end as a home sits on the north side of said portion, blocking Fifth Street, disabling any street improvements and Town utilization of said portion. Mrs. Orns added that vacating said portion of Fifth Street will extend the property line, thus enabling the property owner to construct an accessory structure out further than he is currently allowed and bring then existing structures into setback compliance. Council President, Christina M. Orns then read Ordinance No. WC2018-08, An Ordinance Vacating Part of Fifth Street in the Fox & Dibell First Addition to the Town of Wolcott, IN Princeton Township, White County Indiana. Upon reading said Ordinance, Council President, Christina M. Orns asked White County Building & Planning Executive Director, Colin Betts if Council had to hold a Public Hearing to adopt the Ordinance. Mr. Betts stated that this meeting is considered the Public Hearing.

 

 

Following a brief discussion, Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to approve and adopt Ordinance No. WC2018-08, An Ordinance Vacating Part of Fifth Street in the Fox & Dibell First Addition to the Town of Wolcott, IN Princeton Township, White County Indiana. Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns read a thank you note from Jeff & Chelsea Williams thanking Council for approving increasing their drip credit adjustment due to extenuating circumstances Jeff and Chelsea explained to Council during the March 6, 2018 Council Meeting.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that Council, in being ambassadors of the Town and for juxtaposing purposes, asked Jeff Rowe of Umbaugh & Associates, in addition to the Bank of Wolcott"s Bond Anticipation Note Proposal, to seek additional Bond Anticipation Note Proposals from other financial institutions. However, efforts were of no avail, as all of the financial institutions contacted were either unresponsive or not interested. Council President, Christina M. Orns then read the Bank of Wolcott's Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) Proposal dated February 15, 2018 stating the following:

       Bond Anticipation Note Amount - $360,000

       One Year, Multiple Draw Loan

       $2,000 Origination Fee Payable at Initial Closing

       3.00% Fixed Interest Rate for the Anticipated 1 Year

       Interest Calculation Based on a 30/360-Day Year

       Interest and Principle to be Paid at Maturity or Upon Redemptions (No Prepayment Penalties)

Upon reading the Bank of Wolcott's Bond Anticipation Note Proposal, Council President, Christina M. Orns asked if there were any questions. None were forthcoming. Council President, Christina M. Orns then entertained a motion to proceed. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to accept the Bank of Wolcott Bond Anticipation Note Proposal relative to the Water System Improvements Project.  Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0. Council President, Christina M. Orns then announced that the tentative Bond Anticipation Note closing date is Friday, April 13, 2018.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns reported, from the Agenda provided by the Clerk-Treasurer, that $187,200 is due and payable to Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. for services rendered to-date relative to the Water System Improvements Project. Following is a breakdown of said amount due and payable to Commonwealth Engineers, Inc.:

       100% of the $140,400 Contracted Preliminary Design Services Amount - $140,400

       50 % of $93,600 Contracted Final Design Amount - $46,800

Council President, Christina M. Orns added that the aforementioned fees will be financed through the Bond Anticipation Note (BAN).

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.

 

Resident, Brandi Schemerhorn stated that storm water drainage issues are not only on the south side of Town but also on the Northeast side of US 24. Mrs. Schemerhorn informed Council that since purchasing their home on Burke Street two (2) years ago, they have been flooded four (4) times. Mrs. Schemerhorn stated that despite the utilization of several sump pumps during the most recent rain event, they had 41 inches of water in their basement. Mrs. Schemerhorn added that storm water entered their basement thru the wastewater cleanout with such force; it blew the cap off of the wastewater cleanout. Mrs. Schemerhorn stated that if the Storm Water System is a closed system, then under no circumstances should storm water be entering their home thru the Wastewater Distribution System. Mrs. Schemerhorn expressed her concern that children are playing in the water being pumped from their basement into the streets which contains fecal matter and coliform bacteria. Mrs. Schemerhorn stated that not being able to flush toilets, run water and having 41 inches of contaminated water in their basement is unacceptable. Mrs. Schemerhorn reiterated that this is a serious matter that needs to be addressed. Mrs. Schemerhorn stated that everyone knows there is/has been a storm water drainage problem, but wanted to bring it to Councils attention that the problem is worsening. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that the Wastewater Distribution System will have to be video-inspected in order to find the connection in which storm water is entering. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn stated that in order for the storm water to enter his wastewater cleanout line with such force it blows the cap off, he feels storm water is infiltrating the Wastewater Distribution System from a tile that is connected to it. Council President, Christina M. Orns directed Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds and Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas to obtain quotes to have the Wastewater Distribution System on the Northeast side of US 24 video-inspected.   In closing, Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn stated that the 41 inches of water in their basement during the most recent rain event, was rain water flowing out of the sewer.

 

Resident, Brandi Schemerhorn exited the meeting at this time.

 

Attorney, Michael Riley exited the meeting at this time.

 

 

 

 

Resident, James Pinkerton stated that the occupants of his apartment complex dripped water from their faucets during the sub-zero temperatures to keep the pipes and meter from freezing, resulting in an increase in water consumption. Mr. Pinkerton added that when he approached the Clerk-Treasurer about a drip credit, she informed him that a drip credit is applied to the utility bill as a sewage adjustment and since his apartment complex is located outside the Town limits and water is the only utilized service; a drip credit could not be applied to his bill. Mr. Pinkerton asked Council if there was any chance of resolving this Ordinance oversight. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that it is her understanding that the reason a drip credit is applied to the sewage portion of the utility bill is because consumed water is treated before entering the Water Distribution System so that cost has to remain; and the water from a dripping faucet is clean water entering the Wastewater Distribution System justifying the credit being applied as a sewage adjustment.   Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that Mr. Pinkerton is on a dead-end line and if the occupants of the apartment complex don't drip their faucets the main/meter could potentially freeze causing bigger issues for the Town. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton expressed his opinion that when residents drip faucets during sub-zero temperatures in an effort to keep pipes from freezing, that is to the Town's benefit. However, by applying a drip credit to the utility bill as a sewage adjustment, the credit is not being applied to the correct side of the equation; as in essence the Town is affording the cost for the water not to freeze but penalizing the wastewater budget, which he feels is backwards. Mr. Yelton stated that in an effort to be fair to everyone, he feels the Ordinance or Policy should state that if a resident drips their faucet, upon request, said resident will receive a water credit for the amount of water consumed above their average rather than a sewage credit as the current Ordinance/Policy states. Mr. Yelton stated that he feels basing the credit on average consumption will, in essence, address both water consumption and wastewater charges as the amount billed for wastewater is based on water consumption. Council President, Christina M. Orns then asked if there were any public opinions relating to said matter. Town Marshal, James M. Herre expressed his opinion that if a consumer who utilizes the Town's water service only, requests a drip credit the credit adjustment should be based on the consumer's annual average consumption. Whereby subtracting the annual average consumption from the water consumed for the month, in which the consumer requests the drip credit, as only one credit per calendar year is allowed, and multiplying the difference by the average water rate and applying the credit to the water portion accordingly.   Marshal Herre added that he feels the Ordinance or Policy as it pertains to a credit adjustment should remain as written for residents who utilize the Town's Water and Wastewater Services and be amended to include consumers who only utilize the Town's Water Service. Following a brief discussion, Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to approve applying a drip credit to Mr. Pinkerton's utility bill by subtracting his annual average consumption from the water consumed for the month in which Mr. Pinkerton requested the drip credit and multiplying the difference by the average water rate and applying the credit to the water portion accordingly. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn seconded the motion; and the motion

passed 4-0.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that Council will review the current Credit Adjustment Ordinance or Policy at a later meeting.

 

On behalf of Remington-Wolcott Community Development Corporation Executive Director, Sara DeYoung, Council President, Christina M. Orns announced that the Wolcott Main Street Survey is still available for input. Mrs. Orns added that the survey can be accessed on the Main Street website, remingtonwolcott.org/wms or on Facebook.

 

White County Economic Development Representative, Karen Evans stated that there is still a lot of activity with regard to companies interested in populating Mid-America Commerce Park. Karen added to please keep in mind, when she provides these numbers, that there are other locations these companies are considering, not just Mid-America Commerce Park. However, two (2) additional bids have been received. Karen proceeded to share the following information she found to be interesting:

       In 2017, five (5) homes sold in Wolcott

       So far in 2018, four (4) homes have sold in Wolcott

       To Karen's knowledge, currently there are only three (3) maybe four (4) homes for sale in Wolcott

With that being said, Karen reiterated the need for available housing. Karen posed the question as to how to effectuate developing Wolcott in the absence of available housing. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that the lack of homes for sale isn't the only issue, it's also the lack of rental units available and the quality of housing Wolcott has to offer. Mr. Yelton added that Wolcott doesn't have the type of housing that draws quality people to Wolcott; Wolcott has the type of housing that people settle for. Despite having an outstanding school system, Wolcott lacks the quality of housing where people will want to live because they love the school, they love the housing and they love working in Wolcott. People are settling, which in turn drains the school resources as the children of those families receive free/reduced lunches, free breakfast and don't pay textbook rental fees, etc. Mr. Yelton stated that Remington-Wolcott Community Development Corporation representatives and White County Building & Planning Executive Director, Colin Betts are collaborating as to ways in which to increase the value of the Town, update housing, update rental housing and enhance the quality of life. Mr. Yelton also stated that downtown Wolcott is a deterrent in attracting quality people to reside in Wolcott. Mr. Yelton added that it is unlikely someone driving thru Wolcott will say "I bet there is a really nice $200,000 home in this Town". Discussion ensued.     

 

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns opened and read the following bids received on the

1988 Club Car Golf Cart:

       Michael J. Johnson - $182.91

       Janell Hofstetter - $475

       Fred A. Young - $60

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to accept Janell Hofstetter's bid on the 1988 Club Car Golf Cart in the amount of $475. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

White County Economic Development Representative, Karen Evans; Summer Chase Construction Project Manager, Mandee Kochert and Residents, Lou Blanchette and Paige Miller exited the meeting at this time.

 

Minutes/Memoranda

Council President, Christina M. Orns asked for a motion to approve the minutes and/or memoranda for the following meetings:

       Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Rainy Day Additional Appropriation Public Hearing 

       Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Council Meeting

       Thursday, March 15, 2018 Local Road & Bridge Additional Appropriation Public Hearing

       Thursday, March 15, 2018 Special Session

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton 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 informed Council that he will be attending the IRWA 2018 Water Institute in Indianapolis, IN from April 1-18, 2018.

 

Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas reported that Peerless Midwest performed the annual maintenance on the wells and pumps. Report is forthcoming.

 

Water/Street Superintendent, Robert Thomas reported that the Street Department has started patching potholes.

 

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds reported that beginning April 1st the water that leaves the Wastewater Plant will be chlorinated.   

 

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds reported that the Flow Meters at the Wastewater Plant will be calibrated in April. 

 

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that of the three (3) contractors they contacted in regards to tiling Third Street up to the north property line of the Apostolic Christian Church, only two replied. Of the two (2) that replied, one contractor is contracted out for the next two (2) years and the other one is going to meet with Bob and Chad on Wednesday, April 4th to review the Project with them and provide an estimate. Mr. Reynolds provided Council with the following summary of the costs to install approximately 850' of tile on Third Street up to the North property line of the Apostolic Christian Church property:

       10" Pipe approximately $5,000

       12" Pipe approximately $6,000

       Labor to Install - 850' at approximately $30 per foot = $25,500

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds added that this would enable the property owners on the South side of Town, who are experiencing drainage issues, to connect their tile to the Town's Stormwater System. A lengthy discussion followed, regarding the reasons the Town is experiencing drainage issues and the different ways the County, residents and farmers could assist to alleviate this issue. Following said discussion, Council Members were in agreement that installing said infrastructure will benefit all; and requested additional quotes be attained.

  

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds reported that Accu-Dig (Underground Specialty Holdings LLC) purchased the Trailer Jetter for $999.00.

 

Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that Vince Sommers of Commonwealth Engineers, Inc. inquired as to the status of the property easement rights relative to the Water System Improvements Project. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that all of the property owners have been contacted and have taken the property easement request under consideration.

 

Wolcott Town Marshal, James M. Herre presented his department's activity report for the month of March 2018.   

 

Wolcott Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief, Kenneth Burns stated that the Air Packs are on the fire trucks and thanked Council for the financial assistance in purchasing them. Mr. Burns added that the firemen are very proud of the SCBA improvements. 

 

 

 

Wolcott Park Board President, Lori Bussell reported that currently, the fence by the backstop of the Ball Diamond is being replaced. Lori added that the Park Board is seeking someone to remove the remaining Ball Diamond light poles and someone to donate new poles. 

 

Resident, Darwin Miller stated that the Park Board granted the Miller family permission to plant a tree in the Park in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Miller. 

 

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward requested approval to transfer $28,987.50 from the Local Road & Bridge Matching Grant Fund/Transfer Out #258001520.000 to Motor Vehicle Highway/Transfer In #201920.000 to restore the MVH Funds used to finance the 2017 street repairs.  Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to approve the transfer of $28,987.50 from the Local Road & Bridge Matching Grant Fund/Transfer Out #258001520.000 to Motor Vehicle Highway/Transfer In #201920.000 to restore the MVH Funds used to finance the 2017 street repairs. Council Member, Fred A. Young seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward stated that she reported the 2017 "Wolcott Wise" Newsletter postage costs incorrectly during the March 6, 2018 Council Meeting. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that she reported said costs as $65 when it was actually $635. Following is the breakdown of the

2017 "Wolcott Wise" Newsletter postage costs:

     2017 Spring & Fall Newsletters - $425

     2017 Newsletter Addendum - $210

     Total 2017 Newsletter Postage Costs - $635

 

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

       Received Bruce Furrer's Confined Feeding Operation Approval Renewal Documents from IDEM, with a 15-day Appeal Window.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the Bank of Wolcott's Bond Anticipation Note Proposal, as it pertains to the Water System Improvements Project, was accepted earlier in the Council Meeting; and that the remaining items on the Agenda that pertained to the Water System Improvements Project were discussed.  

 

IHCDA Housing Grant

Clerk-Treasurer, Tammy L. Seward provided an Agenda stating that notification was received from IHCDA that the 15-month Construction Benchmark that 50% of the grant funds be drawn by

March 30, 2018 was met. 

 

129 West Market Street Property Clearance Project

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that following the Pre-Bid meeting, the Contractor, Andy Switzer of ARKOR and KIRPC Grant Administrator, Shawn Cain previewed the 129 W Market Street building and it was pointed out that there is a decorative light pole on Market Street located near the building. Mrs. Orns added that Andy Switzer of ARKOR asked if the Town would take responsibility in removing said pole prior to demolition to remove any possibility of the pole being damaged. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the estimate she obtained from Schneider Electric to remove the pole, cap off wires and reinstall the pole is $550. Council Members were in agreement that removing and reinstalling the decorative light pole is the Contractor's responsibility and should be included in the bid.  

 

2017 Hail Damage Claims

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the 2017 Hail Damage Claims Settlement Check in the amount of $85,615.42 was received and deposited as follows:

       General Fund - $60,374.32

o   Town Hall Actual Cash Value - $12,975.79

o   Fire Station Actual Cash Value - $40,018.34

o   Municipal Utility Building Actual Cash Value - $4,517.94 ($13,553.84/3)

o   Open Park Shelter Actual Cash Value - $2,862.25

 

       Water Fund - $20,723.15

o   Water Works Office Actual Cash Value - $6,775.17

o   Reservoir Actual Cash Value - $9,430.03

o   Municipal Utility Building Actual Cash Value - $4,517.95 ($13,553.84/3)

 

       Wastewater Fund - $4,517.95

o   Municipal Utility Building Actual Cash Value - $4,517.95 ($13,553.84/3)

 

       Deposited $900 into the Wastewater Fund as follows:

o   General Share - 67% of $1,000 Deductible - $670.00

o   Water Share -    23% of $1,000 Deductible - $230.00

 

 

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns then opened discussion regarding whether to accept the Actual Cash Value or move forward with replacing the roofs.  Following some discussion,

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to replace the roofs of the buildings encompassed in the 2017 Hail Damage Claim Settlement. Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0. In closing, Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the bids on file will need to be reviewed due to the increased cost of building materials.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the drainage issues on the south end of Town as well as those on the northeast side of US 24 were discussed earlier in the Council Meeting.

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that during the March 15, 2018 Special Session, Council discussed hosting a "Spring Clean-Up Day" since the trash service is limited to the items in which they can collect due to landfill regulations. Following some discussion, Council Members were in agreement of the following, relative to "Spring Clean-Up Day":

       Location - Wastewater Plant

       Date - Saturday, May 12, 2018

       Hours - 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

       Two (2) dumpsters for disposal of items will be provided

o   The following items will NOT be allowed:

 Tires

 Building Materials

 Plant Debris and Sticks

 Paint

       A trailer for collection of electronics will be provided

       Open to Town of Wolcott residents ONLY

o   Names and addresses of those utilizing the service will be collected

Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton moved to designate Saturday, May 12, 2018 as

"Spring Clean-Up Day" providing the residents of the Town of Wolcott a way to dispose of those unwanted items the trash service is no longer able to collect due to landfill regulations. Council Member, Fred A. Young seconded the motion; and the motion passed 4-0. 

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns opened the floor to discussing increasing water and wastewater rates asking Council if the opportunity had presented itself for them to peruse the Water/Wastewater rate increase comparisons she emailed them several weeks ago. Mrs. Orns then asked Councils' thoughts on increasing the rates incrementally, what percentages, effective dates, how often, etc. Mrs. Orns added that Council needs to put something in place in order to sustain the operating expenses of the Water & Wastewater Departments. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that in his opinion, increasing the water and wastewater rates is a move in the wrong direction. Mr. Yelton feels that before Council establishes water and wastewater rate increases, the allocation of the Water and Wastewater funds need to be re-evaluated, in addition to the expenses that will be associated with operating and maintaining the new Water Treatment System. Mr. Yelton stated that when expenses such as office supplies, truck repairs, fuel, postage, Clerk-Treasurer organizational dues, copier lease fees, Employee Handbook, water/wastewater employee clothing, etc. are allocated 1/3 from General, 1/3 from Water and 1/3 from Wastewater it is costing the Water and Wastewater Departments where it shouldn't be costing them. Mr. Yelton added that these types of expenses should be expended solely from the General Fund as they are expenses of the Town; not the Water and Wastewater Departments. Mr. Yelton stated that in his opinion, the Town should be affording the cost of the Town's infrastructure to the property owners via the General Fund; and affording the expenses of the Water and Wastewater Funds to those who utilize the services. In this manner, those who enjoy the benefit of the services will be charged correctly. Mr. Yelton stated that funding a portion of expense items such as the water and wastewater employee clothing, out of the Water and Wastewater funds has hurt the Town financially. Mr. Yelton added that this practice continues to be followed because it is available. Mr. Yelton stated what that has done, is it has made it look like the Town's budget is less than it actually is; so when the Town doesn't request enough tax monies to fund those types of expenses out the General Fund, the difference is compensated for by taking it out of the Water and Wastewater funds. Mr. Yelton added that that has hurt the Water and Wastewater Departments all these years and now those monies can't be clawed back. Mr. Yelton stated, as a result, when the Water Department needs money, the first answer is to raise rates; when, in actuality, funds are not being properly allocated is what has hurt the Town. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that it is critical Council raise water and wastewater rates. Mrs. Orns added that she feels Council has been foolish not to increase water and wastewater rates in the past. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton asserted that he agrees, however a 43% increase is not going to set well with the residents. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that a 43% increase and this conversation would be non-existent if Council had tended to this matter years ago. Mr. Reynolds added that Council can continue to evade a rate increase but that action will result in the Water and Wastewater Departments' budgets to continue to decline. Mr. Yelton stated that the reason the Water and Wastewater budgets continue to decline is because money is being spent on things that it shouldn't be; in essence, expenses are not being properly allocated.   Mr. Yelton stated for example, the Town of Wolcott cannot have a Street Department without a Town truck. But because the Truck is also utilized by the Water and Wastewater Departments, expenses pertaining to the truck are allocated 1/3 from General, 1/3 from Water and 1/3 from Wastewater. Mr. Yelton continued?now if the Street Department needs a new truck, the truck will be funded 1/3 from General, Water, and Wastewater respectively. 

With the Town's budget being approximately 5 times that of the Water and Wastewater budgets, how can dividing an expense, as such, three (3) ways be justified.  Mr. Yelton feels that such an expense should be funded solely from the General Fund, making it a Town truck, and then the Water and Wastewater Departments pay the Town (General Fund) $50 a month for the use of the truck. In turn, this will make the Water and Wastewater operating budgets more substantial because expenses will then be properly allocated. Mr. Yelton added that this will also afford the expenses of the Town to the taxpayers, as it should be. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that time is of the essence, and Council needs to establish, at least an initial rate increase, prior to performing a Job Cost Study. Mrs. Orns asked Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton his strategy to effectuate the Job Cost Study. Does he plan to spend $25,000 of the Town's funds to effectuate this? Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that this can be effectuated internally by disbursing expenses pertaining solely to water out of the Water budget; expenses pertaining solely to wastewater out of the Wastewater budget and all other expenses out of the General budget. Mr. Yelton added that Water rates should not be raised in order to fund expenses of the Town. Mr. Yelton feels that increasing rates will result in a loss of sales. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn disagreed, stating that when NIPSCO raised their rates, they didn't experience a decline in gas and electric sales. Resident, Janell Hofstetter stated that from an accounting perspective, when you are looking to increase the revenue of a particular item, in order to be able to determine the necessitated increase, you first need to realize the cost of that particular item. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that municipality budget procedures are different than personal budget procedures. The Clerk-Treasurer proceeded to explain municipality budget procedures; and stated that the 2018 Budget is set; it can be changed but is difficult and very time-consuming. Resident, Janell Hofstetter stated that in assessing the actual direct costs, which Mr. Yelton initially alluded to, such as water production costs, maintenance, salaries, etc. you are then able to determine the necessitated increase amount. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the necessitated water rate increase amount was determined in the Rate Study performed by Umbaugh. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that the Town has paid for two (2) Rate Studies in the last five (5) years, totaling $10,500, of which Council has ignored. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that the Rate Study didn't communicate the actual direct costs of the Water Department and which appropriations of the Water budget need to be increased. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynold asserted to Mr. Yelton to contact Umbaugh and express to them that their Rate Studies are deficient in providing the correct information; don't try to convince everyone in attendance.  Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that he thought the Rate Study performed by Umbaugh was to analyze costs associated with the production of water, which, in turn, would determine which appropriations of the Water budget needed increased and which ones could be decreased. Instead, Umbaugh took the figures provided by the Clerk-Treasurer and articulated that with these figures being the costs associated with what is spent on water; and because rates haven't been increased since 2009 and since the surrounding municipalities rates have; then a rate increase is necessitated. Mr. Yelton proceeded to assert that any idiot knows that, what Council really needed to know is whether or not the Water Department funds are being expended correctly; and that has yet to come to fruition. Mr. Yelton stated that Council chose not to raise rates because the Rate Study information was useless.   Mr. Yelton stated that he hopes the employees understand that if the Wastewater budget is $180,000, but the funds are being spent all over Town and not on expenses that solely pertain to the Wastewater Plant, the Wastewater Superintendent would be concerned that the budget is not being spent on the Wastewater Plant. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that neighboring municipalities allocate the General, Water and Wastewater funds in the same manner as the Town of Wolcott. Mr. Yelton stated that he understands that the Town of Wolcott isn't the only municipality allocating funds in that manner, but he doesn't think that is the correct method.   Mr. Yelton stated that he feels monies are not being appropriated correctly at the beginning of the year because every month the Clerk-Treasurer requests approval to transfer money from one appropriation to another to balance the budget. Mr. Yelton reiterated that funds need to be appropriated where they are to be expended and we can effectuate this by appropriating more funds from the State of Indiana. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the General budget is tax-based and the Town isn't going to receive additional funds from the State. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that if the Town needs 1.2 million dollars to operate, and the tax base is $800,000, then the Town needs to request the additional funds needed from the State. Council President, Christina M. Orns, Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds and the Clerk-Treasurer communicated that even if funds are redirected and a budget requiring more tax dollars for operating expenses is presented to the Department of Local Government Finance, the Town is still only going to receive its Max Levy, which is what the Town currently bases the budget on. Mr. Yelton stated that he understands that, but if the budget presented doesn't reflect the monies necessary to operate the Town, then the Town won't receive the additional funds needed because the budget presented isn?t a true reflection of the Town's needs. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that the budget does represent that which is necessary to fund the Town's General budget, and if the budget amount requested exceeds the Max Levy then budget cuts are made to offset the difference. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that the Water and Wastewater budgets are governed by the revenue generated and the only means of increasing the revenue is to increase rates. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that he opposes a rate increase and if the other Council Members elect to do so, he thinks they are crazy. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that she feels past Councils have been foolish in not being proactive in raising rates and now the current Council is to the point they are crazy for considering an incremental rate increase? Mrs. Orns added that maybe Council should do as other Town Councils have done and implement a 75% one-time rate increase and then consider an additional 10% increase a few years later. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that some municipalities have increased their water rates 103% - 107%. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that as a resident, of course she would rather not pay more, but if I could choose, I would rather pay a little more at a time by the rate increase being phased in rather than a colossal amount at one time. Once again, Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that if rates had been increased a small percentage every year over that past nine (9) years, like they should have been, a 43% rate increase would not be necessary. Christina M. Orns stated that increasing rates will put the Town in a better position, as water is the Town's enterprise. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that if water is the Town's enterprise than the Water Department needs to be operated like one. The

Clerk-Treasurer stated that a municipality is a government entity and the operations of the Water Department are governed accordingly. Town Marshal, James M. Herre stated that he was under the understanding that in order for the Town to receive grant and bond funds for the Water System Improvements Project, a water rate increase had to be implemented. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that in addition to that, another requirement is that the Town has to bank a percentage of the water revenue in a bond reserve account to ascertain that the Town is fiscally sound; can fulfill their bond obligation, and the Water System Improvements Project grant requirements. Marshal Herre stated that he feels a rate increase is imminent and that it should be phased in. Marshal Herre added that once a rate increase is established, then down the road, instead of implementing another rate increase; perform other evaluations to determine if another rate increase is necessitated. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that some of the options discussed are phasing in percentages over certain time-periods. For example, phase in a rate increase in July, and then another one in January of the following year, and then another one in July and then another one in January of the following year. Council President, Christina M. Orns asserted that Council needs to be proactive by establishing the rate increases in one Ordinance, thus giving Council time to re-evaluate the water and wastewater allocations and the costs associated with the operations of the new water plant, if they so desire. Mrs. Orns stated that in her opinion, Council has to act on this matter immediately, and if they don't, they are foolish and ignorant. Resident, Daryl Orns asked if the Town being awarded the Water System Improvements Project grant is contingent upon a water rate increase. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that the Town has already been approved to receive grant funds, but to be in compliance with the rules of the grant, water rates have to increase a certain percentage in order for the Town to be able to fulfill the bond obligation. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds asked Council Members, Fred A. Young, Michael J. Johnson, and Stephen Schemerhorn their thoughts regarding increasing water and wastewater rates. Council Member, Michael J. Johnson stated that he feels the water rate has to be increased. Mr. Johnson inquired as to whether or not Bob and Chad told him that presenters at the Water Conferences they attend recommend raising rates a small percentage on an annual basis. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that it is recommended both, water and wastewater rates be increased 3% annually. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn stated that he doesn't want to pay more, just like the next guy, but in talking about operating a business; the operating costs of a business increase annually. Council President, Christina M. Orns agreed and asked Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds what it cost to repair the oxidation ditch rotor. Mr. Reynolds stated that it cost $47,000. Mrs. Orns responded, increasing rates is a necessary evil, as the Water and Wastewater Departments need to be able to sustain the costs of unforeseen repairs such as this, and is impossible to effectuate without increasing rates. Council Vice President, Christina M. Orns recapped the initial plan to establish water and wastewater rate increases stating the plan is to phase in four (4) rate increases over a 16-17 month time-period, throwing in a wastewater increase since the last wastewater rate increase was in 2011; with the initial water rate increase projected to be effective sometime in the next 9 months and the final rate increase projected to be effective in January 2020. Mrs. Orns added that at the end of the said time-period, the water portion of a minimum consumption (2,000 gallons) utility bill is going to increase approximately $6.70 (plus tax) a month. How many of us waste $6 in groceries a week and don't think anything of it. Mrs. Orns stated that a 43% increase sounds astounding, but honestly as long as the increase is phased in, it isn't going to cripple the consumer's budget or be a noticeable difference. Wastewater Superintendent, Chad Reynolds stated that he doesn't want to pay any more than necessary, but there has to be money available to make needed repairs when the need arises. Mr. Reynolds added that in looking down the road, there are waterlines in the ground that are 70 years old and at any time the unknown could happen, and the Water Department must have funds readily available in the event of a disruption in those waterlines. Council President, Christina M. Orns then asked Council Member, Fred A. Young his thoughts. Mr. Young stated that he feels a small increase is needed. However, he agrees with Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton's stance on the method in which the water and wastewater funds are being allocated. Mr. Young stated that, in a round-about way, monies are being distributed from water and wastewater accounts in order to fund an expense that pertains to the General Fund. For example, when there is a truck related expense, instead of financing that expenditure between the General, Water and Wastewater funds; it should be paid out of the General/MVH fund; building the available balances of the Water and Wastewater funds. Mr. Young added that the fund each expense is associated with is where the monies need to be budgeted. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that State Board of Accounts recently placed additional restrictions on the amount and what MVH funds can be used for other than street repairs. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that she isn't saying re-evaluating the allocation of the Water and Wastewater funds is a bad idea; it's that Council needs to initiate the process of a rate increase now and re-evaluate the water and wastewater allocations and the costs associated with the operations of the new water plant, at a later date.  Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn requested clarification as to how paying for maintenance and use of the Town truck from the Water Department is allocating funds incorrectly. Mr. Schemerhorn asked?is the truck not used for the Water Department? Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton stated that yes, the truck is used for the Water Department. However, let's think about this?Mr. Reynolds, how often is the truck used for Wastewater Plant purposes? Mr. Reynolds replied?there are manholes in every street of the Town; it is used to check Lift Stations on a regular basis, etc. Mr. Yelton asked, so how many hours? Mr. Reynolds replied?it depends, some weeks more than others. 

Mr. Yelton proceeded to explain that all of the expenses of the Town truck are allocated 1/3 across the board and asserted?Is that enough? It might not even be enough! Mr. Reynolds responded, yes that's plenty. Mr. Yelton then asked Mr. Reynolds, how do you know?

Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn, asked for clarification as to why the Town needs a truck. Mr. Schemerhorn stated that, in his opinion, it isn't the Town that needs the truck; it's the Water/Street and Wastewater Superintendents who need the truck. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton, stated that if the Town of Wolcott didn't have a Water Department, the Town would still needs trucks for the Street Department. Just like West Lafayette, they don't own their Water Department but they still have trucks for the Street Department. Mr. Yelton then referenced

Mr. Reynolds' comment that Mr. Yelton was insinuating that he thinks the Town shouldn't have its own Water Department. Mr. Yelton stated that that isn't his position, however if the County decides that the Town of Wolcott isn't going to be the one to provide water and wastewater services to Mid-America Commerce Park, the Town is spending a copious amount of money the Town doesn't have, for nothing. Council President, Christina M. Orns asserted that "no" it's not for nothing; it's for the betterment of the community. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton, once again, stated that if the Town needs 1.2 million dollars a year to operate the Town of Wolcott and only requests $830,000 a year, the Town is not receiving what it needs; and funds are being taken from Water and Wastewater to compensate for the difference, when they shouldn't be. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that job costing every expense of the Town is impossible. Mrs. Orns, upon reiterating the point Mr. Yelton was conveying, stated that in the end, the Town will still have the same expenses regardless of how they are allocated. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton posed a scenario of increasing the water rates 100% and repair the sidewalks with the additional money. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that within the confines of the Water budget, that isn't allowed. The Clerk-Treasurer also stated that the Town has a Sidewalks/Streets account that has been appropriated to be utilized specifically for Sidewalks and Streets and if the cost to have the sidewalks repaired exceeds the amount available, the Town would have to forgo the sidewalk repairs. Mr. Yelton asked?then how is the Town able to utilize monies from water and wastewater to fund an expense that should be paid from the General Fund, such as the Newsletter, what's the difference. The Clerk-Treasurer responded, so you are saying that the Newsletter doesn't contain any information relative to the Water and Wastewater Departments.   Mr. Yelton responded, well most of the sidewalks are over the waterlines and chances are the waterlines would have to be dug up to repair the sidewalks. The Clerk-Treasurer stated that Council will have to make the decision either to outsource a Job Cost Study, or have a Council Member perform the study. The Clerk-Treasurer added that if Council elects to perform or outsource a Job Cost Study, it needs to be completed by the end of June, as Budget preparation for the year 2019 begins July 1st. Council Vice President, Michael A. Yelton responded, let's raise the water rates as we certainly wouldn't want to do anything hard or take the time to figure anything out. Resident, Marsha Orns expressed her opinion that rates should be increased a little at a time. Council President, Christina M. Orns stated that she feels that the initial water rate increase should be a larger percentage than the rate increases to follow as this will enable the Town to bank monies needed for the upcoming Water System Improvements Project. Mrs. Orns added that Council needs to act on this matter and move forward. No action was taken.

 

Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn suggested scheduling a Special Session to further discuss this matter. 

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns scheduled a Special for Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to further discuss increasing water and wastewater rates publicly. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Council President, Christina M. Orns read the Transfer of Funds Resolution No. 2018-09 to transfer $200 from General/Election, Acct #101001315.001 to General/Postage,

Acct #101001322.000 to cover the mailing expenses of the 2018 "Wolcott Wise" Newsletter. Council Member, Stephen Schemerhorn moved to approve said Transfer of Funds Resolution

No. 2018-09 Council Member, Michael J. Johnson seconded the motion; and the motion

passed 4-0.

 

 

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

 

Accounts Payable

 

General Fund

 27,792.13

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund (MVH)

2,494.04

Park & Recreation

3,424.02

IHCDA Home Rehabilitation

50.65

Riverboat Gaming

50.65

Rainy Day

448.85

Local Road & Bridge Matching Grant

45,825.00

Fire Dept. Grant

70,858.00

Blight Clearance Grant

448.85

Cumulative Capital Improvements

252.71

Water Operating Fund

14,200.00

Water Utility Depreciation

6,222.00

Wastewater Operating Fund

14,834.47

Stormwater

912.50

Ambulance

311.96

Water Project Grant

4,450.00

Payroll

14,075.53

Payroll Federal W/H

1,692.30

Payroll FICA/Medicare W/H

2,901.96

Payroll State/County W/H

845.96

Payroll Perf W/H

784.61

Payroll PERF Corp Share

2,249.82

Payroll Health Savings Account

430.00

Payroll Medical

1,285.56

Payroll Liberty National

253.92

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

$217,095.49

 

 

Payroll Docket

$10,228.91

     Payroll Ending 03/05/2018

 

 

 

Payroll Docket

$10,480.79

     Payroll Ending 03/19/2018

 

 

 

Utility Adjustments

-1,674.95

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

2018 Town of Wolcott, Inc.  ::  All Rights Reserved  ::  privacy policy-site map