June 1, 2021
101 W North Street
Present: Council President: Michael Johnson Other:
Council Vice President: Cameron Emond Daryl Orns
Council Member: Jerry Lietz Heather Vandemark
Council Member: Rex Pearson Marilyn Young
Council Member: Darwin Miller Marilyn Maxwell
Clerk Treasurer: Pamela Bennett Dawn Blissett
Utility Clerk: Breanna Wood George Blissett
Town Marshal: James Herre Tom Bennett
Town Attorney Jacob Ahler Rick Bennett
Water Superintendent: Robert Thomas Walt Owens
Wastewater Superintendent: John Emond
Ambulance Director: Steve Young
Council President Michael Johnson opened the Council Meeting with the Pledge to the flag.
Wastewater Superintendent John Emond reported that construction for the new Wastewater Plant has started.
Water Superintendent Robert Thomas reported that everything is going good at the Water Plant.
Council President Michael Johnson presented a report from Sandy Miller on behalf of the RWCDC. The RWCDC June meeting will be held on June 8th. The RWCDC 5k Fundraiser will be at Carpenter Creek Cellars on September 25th. Lastly, the RWCDC board approved the new team of student board members.
Council President Michael Johnson also reported for Janell Hofstetter, on behalf of KIRPC. The report stated that KIRPC had their first meeting of 2021 on May 27th. At the meeting, two people from CREC attended. The two individuals will be working on an Economic Resiliency Plan for the region. The process will begin in June 2021, and it is expected to be completed in January 2022.
Council President Michael Johnson reported that the White County Economic Development went to Wolcott’s Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Wastewater Plant on May 26th.
Council member Jerry Lietz followed up last month’s meeting by reporting that Larry Klink would have to get ahold of a real estate company if he is wanting to proceed with plotting of some land for a subdivision.
Rick Bennett reported that the Summer Festival committee has everything figured out for the Fourth of July Festival. The only thing that the committee is waiting on, is the Council vote on the Beer Garden. Council President Michael Johnson asked the Council to vote on the Beer Garden issue. Council Member Darwin Miller made a motion to approve the Beer Garden. Council Vice President Cameron Emond second the motion. Motion carried 3-1, Council Member Rex Pearson voted against it.
Marilyn Young reported on behalf of the Mainstreet committee, that they had a meeting with Brownsfield regarding the old liquor store building. When Brownsfield begins digging the contaminated ground, there will be a strong gas smell on the north end of town. The project will be starting in June 2021; however, the building will not be cleared for two years. In the meantime, Mainstreet will be able to do whatever they want with the building while waiting for the building to be cleared. Shop Galore on 24 garage sale event will be taking place on June 11th and 12th. If residents would like to be put on the map for the garage sales, they are to drop off $5.00 at Farney’s. Marilyn Maxwell announced that there will be a Cornhole Tournament at the Summer Festival. The cost to participate in the Cornhole Tournament is $20 per person or $40 per pair.
Town Attorney Jacob Ahler reported that he created a rough draft of an ordinance to waive the development fees in town. It will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Clerk Treasurer Pamela Bennett announced that the Town will be receiving $200,000.00. Pam stated that the Town is restricted on what they can spend the money on.
Council President Michael Johnson presented the May 4 Council Meeting minutes, the May 17th Special Session minutes, and the May 26th Public Meeting minutes for approval. Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to approve the minutes. Council Member Darwin Miller second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Following up from last month’s meeting, Town Attorney Jacob Ahler told the Council that he spoke with INDOT and White County Area Plan, regarding the gas station curb. It was determined that the curb is within the property owner’s right of way, which is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain. After much discussion, it was decided that the Council will table this issue until the July 6th meeting. In the meantime, the Council will work on gathering information on how to address the curb issue.
Council President Michael Johnson presented Robert Bellucci’s report for him, in his absence. The report stated that KDM Construction’s PPAs were sent to David Hacker for processing. Rob also stated in his report that we are “waiting for an INDOT permit based upon actual location of existing water meter pothole along the west side of 231.” The new Wastewater Plant construction has begun. Rob reported that the Groundbreaking ceremony had very good attendance.
Walt Owens announced that there is a busted line at one of his properties. Water Superintendent Robert Thomas went out to the property and turned the meter off. The meter was not turned off all of the way, so Robert had to unhook the meter completely. Due to the amount of water that was pulled through the meter, Walt asked the Council to waive his water bill cost. The Council explained to Walt that they could not discount water legally, since it is a product. However, they would be willing to waive the sewage fees and credit the remainder to another account. Walt agreed to these terms. Council Member Darwin Miller made a motion to waive Walt’s sewage fees and credit the remaining balance to another account of Walt’s. Council Vice President Cameron Emond second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Council President Michael Johnson read a letter written by Hick’s Gas stating that they had not filled one of the Town’s tanks with propane since 2/13/2019. In order for the Town to keep the tank and maintain it, Hick’s Gas would need to charge the Town a rental fee of $175.00 per year for low usage. They requested that the Town let them know if they would like to keep the tank or not. Water Superintendent Robert Thomas told the Council that he believed that the Town owns the tank. After little discussion, Clerk Treasurer Pamela Bennett said that she would make a call to Hick’s Gas to find out if the Town owns the tank.
Couoncil President Michael Johnson presented a proposal from Deputy Andrew Lanoue. Andrew went through physical therapy and was told by the Town’s old insurance company that insurance would cover it. When the Town changed to a new insurance company, Andrew was told that his physical therapy was no longer completely covered. Andrew received a bill for $225.42 for his physical therapy. He has requested that the Town pay the bill, since he was originally told that it would be covered. Council Member Darwin Miller made a motion to pay Andrew’s bill. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Council President Michael Johnson read Resolution 2021-9. The resolution states that the checks sent out by the Town require one signature, being from the Clerk Treasurer. Vice President Cameron Emond stated that he believes that the checks should require two signatures, rather than just one. After much discussion, it was decided that the Town will rewrite an ordinance that will require the checks to have the signature of the Clerk Treasurer, along with the Council President’s signature.
Council President Michael Johnson read Ordinance 2021-10. The Ordinance is about establishing an appropriation for the OCRA grant for the food pantry. Council member Jerry Lietz made a motion to approve Ordinance 2021-10. Council Vice President Cameron Emond second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Council President Michael Johnson read Ordinance 2021-11. The Ordinance is about establishing an appropriation from Coronavirus State and Local Relief Funds. There will be $200,000.00 that will need to be spent within four years. Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to approve Ordinance 2021-11. Council member Jerry Lietz second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
George Blissett announced that the Mainstreet Market Street Days will be taking place on Saturday, June 12. George asked permission for Market Street to be closed for part of June 11th and during the day of June 12th. Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to approve Market Street being closed on June 11th and 12th. Council Member Darwin Miller second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Larry Klink brought to the Council’s attention that the bricks on the sidewalks are caving in. Larry asked the Council whose responsibility it was to fix it. Clerk Treasurer Pamela Bennett said that she would call INDOT to find out who is responsible for the bricks.
Daryl Orns expressed to the Council that he does not agree with paving the road that goes through the park. Daryl said that people drive through there recklessly, and that paving the road would only cause more traffic to go through the park.
Vice President Cameron Emond asked if it would be possible to receive a revenue report at the end of every month. Clerk Treasurer Pamela Bennett stated that she can give a report to the Council members regarding money usage in every department.
George Blissett, Mainstreet President, addressed the issue of a message that was put on the Mainstreet sign on 24. George stated that even though many residents took offense to the message, it was meant to be humorous. George stated that there will be a Mainstreet meeting soon, where the committee will address the issue.
Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.