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February 8, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes


FEBRUARY 8, 2018  6:00 P.M.





PRESENT:  Council; Elmer J. Mast, Lynn M. Bontrager, J. Mike Wilcher, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Tad T. Hite.  Staff; Bob Shanahan, Kurt R. Bachman, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Guy Thompson, Richmond Stoltzfus, Brett Byrkett.


Council President E. Mast called the meeting to order, noted that all Council Members were present, welcomed everyone, and asked that they sign in.  Agendas were available.


MOTION:  L. Bontrager made a motion to accept the agenda with flexibility.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


INVOCATION & PLEDGE:  J.M. Wilcher gave the invocation and C.A. Lazzaro led the pledge.



CARRIAGE COMMITTEE APPOINTMENT:  B. Shanahan reported that the Carriage Committee is made up of three members and requires annual appointments.  One Town Council Member who is Lynn Bontrager, one Police Department Member who is Tom M. Fitch II.  The third member is a Business Representative and Phil Heyerly from Riegsecker’s has agreed to serve this year.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the appointment of Phil Heyerly of Riegsecker’s Inc. as the 2018 Business Representative on the Shipshewana Carriage Committee.

  1. Bontrager seconded the motion. Motion carried.



SEWER HOOK-UP RATE FOR CAMPGROUNDS:  B. Shanahan reported that there was a discussion about 4 or 5 months ago regarding campground sewer hook-up rates.  The Shipshewana Auction Campground area is expanding by 94 sites.  Currently our sewer hook-up rates are based on EDU’s which are equivalent dwelling units and the fee is $1,250.00 per EDU, the connection fee is normally based on 12 months usage.  The County Ordinance only allows a campground to operate for 6 months out of the year.  At first, we thought we would have to change the Sewer Rate Ordinance to make an exception for campgrounds but that is not necessary.  Our engineer has provided us with the EDU calculation for sanitary sewer connection for the campground expansion.  The standard usage for campgrounds with individual sewer connection is 100 gallons per day so you take 94 x 100 = 9,400 gallons per day.  Then you take the 9,400 and divide them by 310 gallons = 30.3 EDU’s that is based on 12 months usage.  Since the County Ordinance states that they are only allowed to operate for 6 months you divide the 30.3 EDU’s by 2 and that leaves you with 15.15EDU’s for a six-month period.  You take the 15.15 X $1,250.00 and come up with their hook-up fee of $18,937.50 for the six-month period that they are in operation.  K. Bachman pointed out that per the Sewer Rate Ordinance the Council makes a determination regarding the number of EDU’s.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion approving the Shipshewana Auction Campground Hook-up fee for an additional 94 sites based on ½ of the EDU’s which is 15.15 EDU’s at $1,250.00/EDU for a total cost of $18,937.50 due to the County Ordinance that only allows six months of operation per year for a campground.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


WAGES & SALARY ORDINANCE AMENDMENT:  R. Downey reported that there had been discussion regarding raising wages for one of our police officers who chose not to participate in the employer contribution to an HSA account.  This employee served in the military and the federal laws and regulations that control employer contributions to HSA accounts make it difficult when a veteran receives health services from the VA.  The Wage & Salary Ordinance Amendment for your consideration reflects a raise of .96 per hour for this individual but also states that this is in lieu of a $2,000.00 HSA contribution and it will be discontinued if the employee is no longer on the Town Health Insurance.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey pointed out that this wage increase will be retroactive to January 1, 2018.


President Elmer J. Mast introduced AN ORDINANCE AMENDING WAGE AND SALARY ORDINANCE NO. II-F-1-d(2) FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2018.  Council Member T. Hite made a motion, seconded by Council Member J.M. Wilcher, that said Ordinance be numbered and placed on first reading, and that the same be read in full at this time.  Motion carried.


Said Ordinance having been designated as “II-F-1-d(547)” and having been read in full, and the provisions of the same having been considered by the Council, Council Member L. Bontrager made a motion, seconded by Council Member J.M. Wilcher, that any requirements for a second or third reading be waived and that all rules of the Council, which unless suspended, might prevent the final passage and adoption of “II-F-1-d(547)” at this meeting, be suspended and that said Ordinance be placed on its final passage.  Motion carried.


“II-F-1-d(547)” having been read in full was then placed upon its final passage, and on call of the roll the vote for the adoption of said Ordinance was as follows:


AYES:  Tad T. Hite, J. Mike Wilcher, Lynn M. Bontrager, C. Arlene Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast.

NAYS: – 0 –


There being present at said meeting at least two-thirds of the members elect of the Town Council and “II-F-1-d(547)” having been passed after unanimous suspension of the rules, the President thereupon declared said Ordinance to have duly passed and adopted.


Elmer Mast reported that Council Members should have received minutes from September 28, 2017; November 9, 2017; December 14, 2017; and January 25, 2018; Council meetings and requested a motion.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the September 28, 2017; November 9, 2017; December 14, 2017; and the January 25, 2018 minutes as submitted.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


EMERGENCY DECLARATION:  B. Shanahan asked in the event of an emergency such as the major snow event that is predicted for our area tonight and tomorrow what are the procedures to declare an emergency and who has the authority to make the declaration.  Discussion followed.  E. Mast pointed out that in the past the Town has followed whatever LaGrange County does and we close when they do.  It was pointed out that there may be a situation where the Town would need to close and not the County what will be our course of action.  K. Bachman recommended that a document be signed by the Council President that would close the roads to vehicles.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion authorizing the Council President to declare a Snow Emergency when necessary.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Hite asked who determines when the snow plow guys are called out. B. Shanahan reported that the Town has one individual that is on-call each week, the Police Officer on duty will call the on-call individual when they determine that we should have someone come in for the roads. I had a meeting with the guys this afternoon they will be out at 5 a.m. tomorrow.  I gave Rodger Owsley permission to take the big truck home this evening to be sure that at least two of the guys will get in tomorrow morning.  Discussion followed.


FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey reported that the 1782 Notice for the 2018 Town Budget had been received on January 27th.  This notice is also sent directly to the Town Financial Consultant by the DLGF.  We are given 10 days to respond to this notice and it was due on February 5th.  I responded on February 1st after receiving the review that was prepared by Financial Solutions Group.  A copy of the 1782 Notice and the financial review are in your paperwork.  The good news is that it looks like the 2018 Budget will be funded as the Town has requested but we have not received Final Budget Approval, the DLGF has until the middle of February to provide Final Budget Approval.  This is the first year in several years that the Assessed Value for the Town has gone up rather than down so that will give us a lower tax rate for 2018.  Our assessed value went up by $5,600,000.00 or 8% over the 2017 AV.  We are one step closer to final budget approval for 2018.  Discussion followed.  R. Downey reported that a Public Notice has been placed in the paper to let people know that the Shipshewana Fire Department is seeking a USDA Rural Development Grant to assist with the purchase of equipment for the new truck that is being purchased.  This is not a Public Hearing, but it is a requirement of the grant to let the public know that at our February 22, 2018 Council meeting there will be discussion about pursuing this grant.  I believe that Fire Chief Chad Miller will be at that meeting to let you know more about the equipment that will be purchased should we receive this grant.  The January Fund Report is in your paperwork and a motion to approve the Claims Registers, Adjustment Journals and January Bank Reconciliations would be appreciated.


MOTION:  T. Hite made a motion to approve the Claims Registers, Adjustment Journals and January Bank Reconciliation Statement as presented.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Mast asked Council Members if they had anything further to bring before the Council.


Council Member T. Hite presented a Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to the Council stating that he is the owner of Hite Uniform Co. LLC and would like to continue providing uniforms and equipment to the Shipshewana Police Department this year.


MOTION:  L. Bontrager mad a motion to accept the Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement as submitted by Tad T. Hite.  J.M. Wilcher seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that J. Mike Wilcher was not at the December meeting when other Council Members submitted their Annual Certifications regarding Nepotism and Contract Policy.  J.M. Wilcher has submitted these forms this evening and a motion of acceptance and authorization for the Council President to sign is in order.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to accept the Annual Certification of Elected Official to the President of the Shipshewana Town Council on Compliance with the Town Nepotism Policy and on Compliance with Town Contract Disclosure Policy as submitted by J.M. Wilcher and authorized the Council President to sign the same.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Mast asked if there was any further business to come before the Council. T. Hite asked if comas could be placed in the Fund Report. R. Downey reported she would check into it.  T. Hite asked where we are at with the new server installation.  B. Shanahan reported that it has been installed, we were down about an hour when they were working on it.  Discussion followed.


  1. Shanahan reported that he was looking forward to the phone system upgrade, we currently have a system from 2003. Discussion followed.


  1. Mast introduced the Town Council and Staff to Westview Government class students and asked them to introduce themselves and ask any questions they may have. Introductions followed.


There being no further business to come before the Council, E. Mast asked for a motion to adjourn.



MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to adjourn.  L. Bontrager seconded the motion.  Motion carried.