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January 24, 2019 Council Meeting Minutes


JANUARY 24, 2019  6:00 P.M.


Roger D. Yoder Council Room

345 N. Morton Street

Shipshewana, IN  46565


PRESENT:  Council;  C.A. Lazzaro, Elmer J. Mast, Tad T. Hite, Joshua A. Weimer, Zachary J. Stoltzfus.  Staff; Robert W. Shanahan, Kurt R. Bachman, Chad L. Miller, Sean M. Neeley, Ruth Ann Downey.  Public; Luke Borror, Ben Bentrup, Chelsey Feuston, Jeremy VanErman, Albert C. Stong, Theresa Criss-Hartwig, Marvin Yoder, Lyle E. Miller, Phyllis  J. Youga.


Council President, T. Hite called the meeting to order, noted that all Council Members were present, welcomed everyone and asked them to be sure to sign in.  Agendas were available.


PLEDGE & INVOCATION:  E. Mast led the pledge and J. Weimer gave the invocation.


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


LCCVB DIRECTOR INTRODUCTION:  B. Shanahan introduced LCCVG Executive Director Phyllis Youga.  P. Youga reported that she is thrilled with her new position and has met a number of people in the community.  She has spent time listening and is trying to get a big picture view of the area so that  a report can be put together.  P. Youga shared some of her background which includes 10 years at the Sturgis Young Auditorium, Assistant Calhoun County Administrator, and 18 years of marketing for Sturgis Hospital.  Discussion followed.


COMMONWEALTH ENGINEERING PRESENTATION:  B. Shanahan reported that  Commonwealth Engineering had made a presentation to the Town Council last year and submitted a preliminary report on the WWTP(Wastewater Treatment Plant) addressing where we are, what issues we may need to address, and where we may need to go in the future.  This Town continues to grow, not just the number of residents but the number of visitors who come to this Town.  Commonwealth also feels that the Town may be eligible for a USDA Planning Grant in the amount of $40,000 which the Town would put $10,000 towards.  B. Shanahan asked WWTP Superintendent, S. Neeley to walk the Council through a photo presentation of the WWTP.  S. Neeley presented photos of the Headworks, EQ Basin, Raw Pit, Oxy Ditch, Clarifier, pumps etc. and explained how the plant works.  S. Neeley pointed out where repairs have been made and what parts of the plant are not used during the winter months due to low flows, along with the challenges that are faced during different times of year as he tries to keep the plant operative efficiently and effectively meeting all IDEM requirements.  J. VanErman passed out an updated Wastewater Utility Assessment to Council Members, introduced T. Criss-Hartwig who will help the Town through the USDA Planning Grant application process and introduced A. Stong  the project manager.  J. VanErman pointed out that Commonwealth Engineering specializes in Water Resources.  A. Stong gave a power point presentation and pointed out that he has been in a lot of Waste Water Treatment Plants and your plant is the cleanest plant I have ever been in.  Your plant is old and not up to today’s standards.   J. Weimer asked if we needed to do an update now to meet new regulatory requirements.   A. Strong responded that we will point out the risk regarding flows and future growth, possible savings with more energy efficient equipment, and what may be needed to address freezing issues and sludge storage.  What I have this evening is a preliminary report, the final report will have more detail and have a number of scenario’s regarding what action we feel you need to take now and what you need to plan for in the future.   Discussion followed regarding high phosphorus levels, etc.  A. Stong pointed out the importance of knowing what you have to work with and where you need to be.  T. Criss-Hartwig pointed out that the Town is eligible for the USDA grant because of the low population of the Town and the fact that according to the last census the median income of the Town is below poverty level.  There is the requirement for a Public Hearing before the Grant Application can be submitted.     We can begin the process once a contract is entered into and a notice to proceed is received from the Town Council.  The application process may be slowed down because the USDA Website is shut-down  due to the Government shut-down.  B. Shanahan pointed out that this is a lot of information to digest.  T. Hite recommended taking the information received under advisement .  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan recommended putting this on the February 14th Council Agenda for further consideration.  T. Criss-Hartwig reported that there is a 10-day notice requirement for the public hearing.  B. Shanahan noted that if the Council decides to move forward with the project at the February 14th Council meeting a Public Hearing could be set for February 28th.   Discussion followed.


PUMPKINVINE TRAIL PARKS & RECREATION GRANT UPDATE:  B. Shanahan reported that he had approached the County regarding moving forward with the pursuit of a grant for the Pumpkinvine Trail and they have provided a letter of recommendation for the project.  Applications for the first round of this grant are due by February 15th.   I believe there are a number of shovel ready projects that will be applying for this grant and we are just not shovel ready at this point.   Should we not receive a grant this round I believe there will be another round of grants in August when we would be more prepared.  Preliminary Engineering estimates for this project is 1.2 million.  We are looking to bring the trail into Town from CR 850 and take it all the way to CR 735, we may have to reduce the project and have the trail stop here in the Town Park.  Discussion followed.  B. Shanahan reported that  Region 3-A continues to work on the Park Master Plan and a public meeting will be scheduled soon after the Park Board has reviewed the plan.  Discussion followed.


2019 VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP FIRE AGREEMENT:  R. Downey reported that the 2019 Shipshewana Fire Service Agreement was approved by the Town Council and presented to both Newbury Township and Van Buren Township  in November 2018 for their consideration.  Newbury Township agreed to enter into the agreement with the Town on November 28, 2018 and the Town Council signed the Agreement with Newbury Township on December 13, 2018.  Van Buren Township has a new Trustee that took over on January 1, 2019 and Van Buren Township agreed to enter into the 2019 Fire Service Agreement with the Town at their January 18, 2019 meeting.  This evening the Town Council is being asked to approve entering into the 2019 Shipshewana Fire Service Agreement with Van Buren Township.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  Z. Stoltzfus made a motion to enter into the 2019 Shipshewana Fire Service Agreement with Van Buren Township as presented and to sign the same.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


TOWN MANAGER REPORT:  B. Shanahan reported that the Community Crossings Grant for E. Middlebury Street and Morton Street has been submitted to INDOT.  I am requesting authorization for the Council President to sign these documents between Council meetings so that we can get the paperwork back to INDOT as soon as possible.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion authorizing the Council President to sign the Community Crossings Grant paperwork between Council meetings.  J. Weimer seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Shanahan reported that REMC had done an assessment of the electrical service at the North Water Tower, the WWTP and the Fire Station. The Fire Station was built in 2003 and by replacing some electrical fittings with more energy efficient fittings it should reduce our energy bill. I am requesting permission to pursue quotes for electrical upgrades at the Fire Station.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion authorizing the Town Manager to pursue quotes for electrical upgrades at the Fire Station.  C. A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


FINANCIAL REPORT:  R. Downey referred Council Members to their paperwork for the December 31, 2018 Fund, Appropriation and Revenue Reports and asked that they let her know if they have any questions regarding these reports.  R. Downey reported that she will need to begin the process to re-establish the Town Cum Fire and CCD Funds so that the Town can capture the maximum amount of tax dollars for these funds allowed.  The deadline to re-establish these funds is April 30th.  I will also need to begin the additional appropriation process for the SR 5 South Sidewalk Improvements.  Council Members should have received minutes from the December 13, 2018 and December 27, 2018 Regular Council meetings along with minutes from the December 21, 2018 Special Council meeting where the Town opened bids for the SR 5 South Improvement Projects and finally the minutes from the January 10, 2019  Regular Council meeting.  Discussion followed.


MOTION:  E. Mast made a motion to approve the minutes for the December 13, 2018 and December 27, 2018 Regular Council meetings along with the December 21, 2018 Special Council meeting and the January 10, 2019 Regular Council meeting as submitted.  C.A. Lazzaro seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


  1. Downey requested approval for the Claims Register, Adjustment Journals and December Bank Reconciliation as presented.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to approve the Claims Register, Adjustment Journal and December Bank Reconciliation as presented.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


ATTORNEY REPORT:  K. Bachman reported that a question had come up regarding annexation during a Census Year.  Following some quick research, the answer is that you cannot annex in the year preceding a census year.  The next census is in 2020 so you cannot complete any annexations in 2019.  B. Shanahan expressed concern regarding some properties located just outside of the Town Corporate limits that are seeking Town Utilities.  K. Bachman pointed out that a census only happens one time every ten years we can get everything ready for the annexation it just cannot take affect this year.  Even with a voluntary petition for annexation it is a lengthy process and it could take affect next year.  Discussion followed.


  1. Hite asked Council Members and Staff to introduce themselves to the Westview High School Government Class Students. Introductions followed.


There being no further business to come before the Council T. Hite asked for a motion to adjourn.


MOTION:  C.A. Lazzaro made a motion to adjourn.  E. Mast seconded the motion.  Motion carried.