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December 5, 2023 - Council Meeting

Council Meeting

December 5, 2023

Present: Cameron Emond, Rex Pearson, Jerry Lietz, Michael Johnson, Jacob Ahler, Breanna Plantenga, Abby Ewen, Bob Thomas, Jeff Province, Jared Baer, Betty Hoster, Steve Young, Kenny Burns, Mark Bachman, Susan Bachman, Daryl Orns, Larry Klink, Carey Jordan, Pam Jordan, Michelle Earney, Marilyn Maxwell, Marilyn Young, Sany Miller, Judy Thomas, Janet Gross, Nanette Whitmire, Theresa Dye, Mallory Bowman, Laura Jordan, Jeff Fish, Logan Plantenga, Lucio Ternieden, Janell Hofstetter, Louis Chader.

Absent: Darwin Miller (Council Member), Pam Bennett (Clerk Treasurer)

 

Council President Cameron Emond opened the meeting with the pledge. The November 21st minutes were presented for approval. Council Member Rex Pearson made a motion to approve the November 21st minutes. Council Member Michael Johnson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

Wastewater superintendent Jeff Province said that the furnace at the Wastewater plant needs to be replaced. Jeff stated that he is estimating the value to be around $4,000. Council Member Jerry Lietz made a motion to replace the furnace at the Wastewater Plant for $4,000. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion Carried 3-0. Jeff Province then told the Council that the leaf vac is currently down, due to broken parts on one of the wheels. Jeff has ordered new parts to get it fixed.

Water Superintendent Bob Thomas introduced Lucio Ternieden, from IDEM, to address the brown water issue in town. Lucio stated that he was in town last week to review the water at the water plant, and everything looks good. He also let it be known that Indiana has experienced a lot of red/brown water complaints this year. At the water plant, all of the IDEM requirements for the town’s water have all checked out, meaning that the water that is coming out of the plant is in great condition. Lucio informed the concerned residents that the red/brown color in the water is caused by iron. Manganese is the black color that will appear in water or cause the black ring in toilets. The water plant is designed to remove iron, but not manganese. There is currently a plan in motion to see if the town can obtain a manganese filtration system for the water plant. Residents were told to let Bob Thomas know when they are having brown water, so that the Town can make a map of affected homes. Council Member Michael Johnson stated that he has emailed KIRPC to see if the Town can get a grant to replace some waterlines. Jeff Fish, from Commonwealth explained that the water plant is doing exactly what it is supposed to do, and that not many water plants have filters to get rid of manganese. While flushing hydrants can help clear lines, it can also disturb the iron in the pipes, and can cause the iron to be more present in resident homes. Utility Clerk Breanna Plantenga stated that anyone who has a complaint should fill out an official complaint form in the office, or online. The floor was then open for residents to share their concerns.

Marshal Jared Baer presented his monthly report. Jared then informed the council that he is waiting on an invoice for the new truck.

Sandy Miller, from RWCDC, announced that they have obtained a grant to help fund the Senior Café, in Wolcott. The Senior Café is for anyone 55 years or older and is located at Wolcott Christian Church on the third Wednesday of every month.

Council Vice President Jerry Lietz updated the Council on what Area Plan is working on, regarding the BP putting in CO2 lines in the ground.

Michelle Earney reported that the Summer Festival planning is coming along.

Marilyn Young reported on behalf of the Mainstreet Committee, that the Christmas Décor has been put up, and the windows have been painted downtown. Marilyn then reported Mainstreet’s yearly report of everything that they have done in Wolcott in 2023.

Town Attorney Jacob Ahler presented his 2024 retainer for approval, in the amount of $20,000. Council Member Michael Johnson made a motion to renew the retainer. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0. Jacob also stated that the Town will need to replace Clerk Treasurer Pamela Bennett on the TIF Committee, upon her departure from the town.

Ken Smith sent in an invoice for the PASER report for 2023 grants. Council Member Michael Johnson made a motion to pay the invoice. Council Vice President Jerry Lietz second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

Resident, Pam Jordan asked the Council where she can find commonly asked ordinances. Marshal Baer and Utility Clerk Breanna Plantenga told everyone that there is now a rack outside of the office doors that contains commonly asked ordinances. The Town website has also updated the ordinances to make them easily accessible. Pam also expressed concern over junk cars/properties in town.

Council President Cameron Emond read the salary ordinance for the second reading.

There was an invoice that was missed during the wastewater construction. Council Member Michael Johnson made a motion to pay invoice #7 in the amount of $150,279.67. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0. Council Member Michael Johnson made a motion to transfer funds into the wastewater construction account to cover the invoice. Council member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

Utility Clerk Breanna Plantenga told the Council that Clerk Treasurer Pam Bennett, and Deputy Clerk Abby Ewen, want pre-paid on their December 29th paychecks, in order to avoid having a W-2 for 2024. After some brief discussion, the Council denied the request.

The Council made a vote to change the name on the checking account from Pam Bennett as of December 31, 2023 to Judy Thomas, January 1,2024. Council Member Rex Pearson made a motion to change the name on the checking account. Council Member Michael Johnson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

The upcoming clerk treasurer, Judy Thomas told the Council that she has some training coming up for her new position. Pam Bennett has lined up Suzy Bass and Todd Caldwell to help train Judy at the beginning of the year. After some discussion, the Council decided that Suzy and Todd could be hired, at Judy’s discretion. Council Member Jerry Lietz made the motion, Council Member Michael Johnson second the motion. Motion carried 3-0.

Deputy Clerk Abby Ewen discussed that she will be stepping down to part time at the end of the year.

Council President Cameron Emond announced that the first meeting of the year will be on January 9, 2024.

 

Meeting Adjourned.

 

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