Minutes 8/27/2020

Meeting Minutes – August 27, 2020


The Churubusco Town Council met for a special meeting on August 27, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. Members present were Council Members Mark Pepple, Bruce Johnson, and Nathan Van Horn; and Clerk-Treasurer, Madalyn Sade-Bartl. Also in attendance were Holly Miller and Connor Hickey, DLZ Engineering; Town Supervisor, Jeremy Hart; and Wastewater Superintendent, Bob Gray.


Council President, Nathan Van Horn, called the meeting to order. He stated the primary purpose of the meeting was to further discuss the sewer improvement project. Mr. Pepple began by stating there had been new developments regarding the RSD. They had received news that their project was not selected for 100% financing in this round of SRF funding. That meant their project would be pushed back by at least a year, but the RSD was still moving forward with contract negotiations with the Town because it needed to be done sooner rather than later. Pepple asked Mr. Hart and Mr. Gray how the plant could further maximize its efficiency without spending $10 million. Mr. Gray and Mr. Hart went through the preliminary engineering report and further identified components that had to be done. An ongoing need that the Council identified was priority was sewer separation. One facet of the project that was debated was to move forward with expanding service to the county line.


The Council discussed costs associated with the identified projects and costs that would be expended on the project. A timeline and schedule were also discussed between the Council, Ms. Bartl, and Ms. Miller. The next step would be to hire a rate consultant. Ms. Bartl stated she would like to hire Baker Tilly because they had been working with her on other issues. She stated, though, Eric Walsh from Baker Tilly had disclosed some possible conflicts as their firm was involved with both Blue Lake Conservancy District and the RSD. Mr. Walsh had assured Ms. Bartl, though, that those conflicts would not interfere with work Baker Tilly may do with Churubusco and different people would be working with the Town than those working on the BLCD and RSD accounts. President Van Horn made a motion to solicit a proposal from Baker Tilly for a sewer rate study. Mr. Johnson seconded, and the motion carried 3-0.


President Van Horn asked if it would be possible for the Town to take out a private loan to begin working on infiltration issues with that loan paid later through the bond. Ms. Miller stated a bond anticipation note (BAN) could be taken out, but that was to pay for professional costs incurred during the bond process, an average cost of $150,000. Ms. Bartl was unsure if that type of private financing could be used for public construction projects and was unsure if, if it was even a possibility, the loan could then be paid through the bond. She stated she would check with Ron Felger as she was new to the bond process and unsure of its limitations.


Finally, Ms. Bartl informed the Council that after speaking to Mr. Pepple concerning how Dekalb County was able to spend COVID funds, she again raised the question to the Indiana Finance Authority about purchasing new radios for the police department. She had asked the question a few months prior, but the answer she had received was that radios were not an eligible expense. However, in her latest email, she had again explained the need and cited other communities who had made similar purchases using COVID funds. A different contact from IFA responded to her email and replied radios would be an eligible expense. She stated there was about $37,000 left in COVID funds that the Town could use and Marshal Papenbrock was awaiting a quote for six dual band radios. The Council was excited about being able to utilize that money for something the police department needed and agreed by consensus to allow Marshal Papenbrock to order the radios.


Having no other business, President Van Horn adjourned the special meeting.





Council Member, Mark Pepple



Council Member, Bruce Johnson




Council President, Nathan Van Horn





Madalyn Sade-Bartl, Clerk-Treasurer


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