Minutes 7/18/18

Meeting Minutes- July 18, 2018


The Churubusco Town Council met on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. Members present were Council Members Mark Pepple, Frank Kessler, and Bruce Johnson; and Clerk- Treasurer, Madalyn Sade-Bartl. Also, in attendance were area residents Jean Haynes, Pat Liggett, Wayne Yager, Coleen DeLong and Nick Brandt; Jon Myers, Whitley County EDC; a reporter for Post & Mail; Bob Gray, Wastewater Superintendent; Jeremy Hart, Town Supervisor; and Mike Engle, Town Marshal.


President Kessler called the meeting to order, welcomed visitors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll was called by the Clerk-Treasurer. Bruce Johnson was absent during roll call but arrived prior to old business.


Approval of July 5, 2018 meeting minutes:

Mr. Pepple made a motion to approve the minutes for the meeting of July 5, 2018. President Kessler seconded, and the motion carried 2-0.


Approval of Claims and Payroll Vouchers:

Claims Vouchers dated for July 18, 2018 in the amount of $116,444.77 were presented and approved.


Public Comment:

Nick Brandt approached the Council to ask for permission and approval of the route for the New Era 5K. He stated the event would occur on Sunday, August 26 beginning at 2 p.m. and would follow the same route as last year. President Kessler asked if Brandt had received approval from the Park Director. Brandt stated he had not but would talk to him. Marshal Engle gave his approval of the routes that would occur on town streets. President Kessler stated as long as the Park was in agreeance with the route, so was he.


Old Business:

SRO Contract: Ms. Bartl presented a signed contract for SRO services for the 2018-19 school year. The SGCS School Board approved the document at their last meeting. President Kessler asked Marshal Engle if he had any concerns with the contract. Marshal Engle had no issues with the contract. Mr. Pepple asked Engle what his thoughts were on the program. Marshal Engle stated everything was running smooth. Mr. Pepple made a motion to approve the presented contract. President Kessler seconded, and the motion carried 3-0.


New Business:

EDC Update: Jon Myers, executive director for Whitley County EDC, gave Council an annual update. He stated Whitley County was exceeding national averages in both population and tax revenues. He also stated he was working with area organizations to update listings for available properties as well as developing job training & development programs to assist further in attracting families and employees.


Zoning Map Change: Ms. Bartl provided the Council with Ordinance 2018-07, An Ordinance Amending the Zoning Classification of Certain Property from the A-! Agricultural District to the GB General Business District. She stated the change had already been approved by the Plan Commission. Mr. Pepple made a motion to approve Ordinance 2018-07. Mr. Johnson seconded, and the motion carried 3-0.


Water Rate Increase discussion: Ms. Bartl requested Council start the discussion about increasing water rates. O.W. Krohn had recently completed a rate study which suggested a minimum increase of 26% over current rates with small incremental increases of 3%-5%. Annual increases, she explained, accounted for inflation and increasing costs. She stated it would also decrease the likelihood of having to do another double digit increase in a few years. Per the rate study, revenues needed to increase by about $100,000 annually to keep in compliance with debt service agreements and stay afloat as water revenues had been in the red since at least 2014, with an average annual loss of $34,977.46. Already in 2018, the loss exceeded $30,000. Mr. Johnson was not pleased with increasing rates and suggested possibly a 5% or 6% increase annually over a few years. Mr. Kessler stated he felt the increase should not be spread for more than three years and it needed to be enough to get out of the red and provide additional revenue. Mr. Pepple asked Ms. Bartl to prepare more information for the Council including revenue projections for a few different increase scenarios. She stated she would get that information to the Council and asked if the Council had considered a trash rate increase. Pepple requested she prepare the same information for the trash rates.


Department Reports:

Jeremy Hart, Town Supervisor

Mr. Hart presented the attached report. President Kessler asked how soon smoke testing would be completed. Mr. Hart stated it should be complete by the end of the week and that from preliminary reports, there was a lot of work to be done.


Bob Gray, Waste Water Treatment Plant Supervisor

Mr. Gray reported he had lost a controller at C&A. He has the part ordered and it will be in next week. He also recently replaced the motherboard for the chart recorder.


Michael Engle, Town Marshal:

Marshal Engle reported a trailer in Holiday Park had been raided by the Drug Task Force earlier in the week. He commended Officer Garry Jones for his role in the investigation.


Rick Krider, Park Supervisor:

Mr. Krider was not present.


Ron Felger, Town Attorney:

Mr. Felger was not present.


Council Reports:

President Frank Kessler:

Mr. Kessler reported he attended the RSD meeting the night prior. He stated the charter should be approved within the next 30-60 days. He also stated the group had been squashing rumors, many concerning capacity and annexation.


Bruce Johnson:

Mr. Johnson had nothing to report.


Mark Pepple:

Mr. Pepple had nothing to report.


Madalyn Sade-Bartl, Clerk-Treasurer:

Ms. Sade-Bartl presented the attached report. She also informed the Council there was an opening on the BZA that needed filled by one of four Plan Commission members and asked the Council for their help in filling that vacancy.


Having no other business and after all proper papers were signed, President Kessler adjourned the





Council President, Frank Kessler



Council Member, Bruce Johnson



Council Member, Mark Pepple



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