May 4, 2021
101 W North Street
Present: Council President: Michael Johnson Other:
Council Vice President: Cameron Emond Antoinette Valle
Council Member: Jerry Lietz Robert Bellucci
Council Member: Rex Pearson Jason Padgett
Council Member: Darwin Miller Daryl Orns
Utility Clerk: Breanna Wood George Blissett
Deputy Clerk: Abigail Ewen Michelle Earney
Town Marshal: James Herre Marilyn Maxwell
Town Attorney Jacob Ahler Sandy Miller
Water Superintendent: Robert Thomas Marilyn Young
Wastewater Superintendent: John Emond Deon Miller
Fire Chief: Kenneth Burns Larry Klink
Ambulance Director: Steve Young Robert Hutter
Council President Michael Johnson opened the Public Hearing with the Pledge to the flag.
Wastewater Superintendent John Emond reported that they have been cleaning up the Wastewater Plant to prepare for the construction of the new plant.
Water Superintendent Robert Thomas reported that the line on the corner of Range Street and South Street has been fixed. Robert also announced that he received a quote from Town and Country to put street lines on both sides of Market Street for $609.00. Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to accept the quote. Council Member Darwin Miller second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Marshal James Herre presented his monthly report.
Council President Michael Johnson presented a report on behalf of the Park Board. The report stated that the widening of the walking path has started, and that the restroom and concession stand have been repaired, due to a break in. The Park Board will also be getting a quote for new playground mulch.
Fire Chief Kenneth Burns reported that there have been fires by the Wastewater Plant late at night. Kenneth expressed his concern over the gate to the plants being left unlocked. He also stated that there should be no burning after dark, and that all fires in town should be supervised at all times. Water Superintendent Robert Thomas explained that he believes that the fires are being created by feed bags that are being left on the burn pile. After much discussion, Robert assured everyone that the gate will be getting locked from now on. Robert Bellucci, also, assured everyone that the gate to the plants will especially be locked when construction for the new Wastewater Plant starts.
Council President Michael Johnson announced that bags and sticks do not belong in the Town compost pile.
Sandy Miller reported that the next RWCDC meeting will be taking place on Tuesday, May 11.
Council President Michael Johnson reported on behalf of White County Economic Development. Michael stated that there have been some more inquirers for the Commerce Park. There has also been a total of 12 ribbon cuttings in White County since January.
Council Member Jerry Lietz reported that he attended the White County Area Plan meeting. Jerry said that if anyone has questions about yard sign limitations, to contact the White County Area Plan office.
Michelle Earney reported on behalf of the Fourth of July Committee that they are pretty much all ready for the 2021 festival. Michelle stated that all that they need the Town Council to approve the festival having a Beer Garden. Council President Michael Johnson asked if there should be a Public Meeting for residents to come express their thoughts about a Beer Garden. Town Marshall James Herre suggested that the Town do a poll. Utility Clerk Breanna Wood said that she would put a poll on the Wolcott Facebook page.
Marilyn Young reported that the Mainstreet committee will be hosting their Market Street Days event on Saturday, May 8th. Marilyn announced that the Town Wide Garage Sales will be taking place on June 11-12. Town that will be participating in the garage sale event are Reynolds, Wolcott, Remington, Goodland, and Kentland. To get put on the garage sale map, residents will have to pay $5 at Farney?s. Marilyn told the Council that the EPA is going to be coming on June 1st to test the grounds at the Liquor Store building. They will then decide what they need to do to the grounds moving forward.
Town Attorney Jacob Ahler announced that he had reached out to Baker Tilly to find out if System Development Fees are required. Baker Tilly confirmed that the fees are not required, however, there are concerns that the Town will experience some financial repercussions if these fees are taken away. Jacob suggested that there be a discussion between the Council Members about what exactly they want to amend in the ordinance for the fees. Council President Michael Johnson explained that the Council is worried about the high fees chasing away incoming businesses or residents that are wanting to build.
Council President Michael Johnson announced that KIRPC needs approval to be the grant admin for the upcoming food pantry. Council Member Darwin Miller stated that he believes that the Council needs to see all of the numbers, before approving. Darwin also asked if the food pantry would only be available to Wolcott residents. Council President Michael Johnson stated that he does not believe that the food pantry will turn anyone away. Utility Clerk Breanna Wood responded to Darwin by stating that she recalls hearing that the food pantry will be available to all Tri-County residents, as well. Darwin then said that he believes that it should be available to Wolcott residents only, due to the grant being written to the Town of Wolcott. Town Marshal James Herre said that the newspaper stated that the grant was for $250,000. Sandy Miller explained that there was a typo and that the grant was actually for $100,000. Darwin then started asking questions about where the money will be deposited to. Sandy stated that she was being asked questions that she does not know the answer to, at this time. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler stepped in and said that State Board of Accounts will most likely require the grant money to be in a separate fund. Sandy then said that the grant money has to be used within a year. George Blissett asked if the food for the food pantry would be locally purchased. Sandy explained that they are still in the beginning stages of this grant and do not have all of the details quite yet. President Michael Johnson asked the Council if they should approve KIRPC to be the grant admin for the food pantry. After much discussion, the Council decided not to approve KIRPC as the grant admin until they know more details.
Council President Michael Johnson asked for approval of the April 2021 minutes. Council Member Darwin Miller made a motion to approve the minutes. Council Vice President Cameron Emond second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Robert Bellucci announced that there was a construction meeting on Friday, April 30. Groundbreaking for the new Wastewater Plant will begin on May 26 at 10:00am. Rob also announced that they will be starting to rewater the old ponds at the plant. With all of the activity that will be going on at the plant, Rob assured everyone that security will be maintained. Marilyn Young asked Rob if the mess on Scott Street and Anderson Street will be cleaned up. Rob told Marilyn that it would all be taken care of. Daryl Orns asked Rob if the fire hydrant at the end of Fourth Street is going to be relocated. Rob assured Daryl that the hydrant will be relocated.
Council President Michael Johnson presented Resolution 2021-07 for approval. Council Member Darwin Miller made a motion to pass Resolution 2021-07. Council Member Jerry Lietz second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Larry Klink mentioned that he is willing to plot off an area for a subdivision in town, but the area is White County property. Deon Miller asked what the Town would be willing to do to help. The project would have to follow county regulations, unless the Town would be willing to annex in the area. Larry told the Council that he plans on plotting off 16 lots. Council Member Jerry Lietz said that he would get more information on what exactly needs to be done.
Antoinette Valle, from the Wolcott Clinic, introduced Jason Padgett, who would be informing the council about Naloxone Boxes. Jason explained the Opioid crisis and how important it is to help our loved ones get into recovery. The Naloxone boxes contain a couple doses of Narcan and a breathing apparatus. The supplies in the box are free to use, and will be refilled for free. Jason explained what Narcan is and showed everyone how to use the Narcan, in case anyone has to ever use it on a loved one. Next to the boxes, will be a sign that will have information about how to get help if you, or a loved one, are addicted to opioids. The boxes will be at no cost to the Town. After much discussion, Council President Michael Johnson asked Antoinette if the Wolcott Clinic would be willing to put up one of the Naloxone boxes on the outside of their building. Antoinette said she would talk to her supervisor to see if that can be done.
Council Member Darwin Miller announced that if anyone is needing Community Service hours, that they can help repaint the fire hydrants in town. Darwin also stated that there have been some complaints in town about vehicles without plates. Town Marshal James Herre said that someone should contact the Wolcott Police Department if there is a problem. Darwin then moved on to ask the Council what they should do about foreclosed homes that are not being mowed. Town Marshal James Herre stated that the grass must measure up to at least one foot in length before anything can be done with the yards. If anyone has a complaint about tall grass, they are to come into the Town Hall and fill out a complaint form. Moving on, Council Member Darwin Miller announced that he looked into how to fix the gas station curb. Darwin said that he contacted the state and got written permission to perform work on the curb. Darwin then said that he went out and got two estimates to fix the curb. Town and Country gave a total estimate of $7,900 for the whole job. Cowboy Excavating gave a total estimate of $6,587.50 for the whole job. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler asked if the curb was on state property or town property. Council Vice President Cameron Emond and Council Member Darwin Miller told Jacob that it is on town property. Water/Street Superintendent Robert Thomas stated that the curb is in the town easement, and that the town is not responsible for fixing anything within the easement. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler expressed concern over the fact that the curb may be owned by the gas station. If the curb is owned by the gas station, it can not be fixed with town funds. Council Vice President Cameron Emond pulled up the White County GIS and showed Jacob the gas station property lines. Jacob said that according to the picture that Cameron showed him, it looks as if the curb is outside of the gas station?s property line. Council Member Jerry Lietz explained that he is hesitant to make a motion to fix the curb until the Town knows for sure who?s property the curb is on. Darwin told the Council that he knows that the curb has caused a lot of problems for people who have trailers. Fire Chief Kenneth Burns asked where the money would come from to fix the curb. Darwin replied to Kenneth by saying that the money would come from a grant. Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to accept Cowboy?s bid to fix the curb. Council Member Rex Pearson second the motion. Motion carried 3-1, Jerry opposed.
Robert Hutter, owner of ARP Rentals, presented the Council with an expensive water bill. Robert explained that he had a tenant in his apartments that had a toilet leak. He asked the Council for a relief on the water bill. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler advised the Council to table the issue so that he can do some investigating on the issue. Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to table the issue. Council Member Darwin Miller second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
George Blissett announced that the Liquor Store used to also be a gas station. George said that the Mainstreet committee would like to sit down with the Council and talk about what all will be going on with the old Liquor Store building, in order to keep them in the loop.
Council Member Darwin Miller asked what he should do with the contents if he were to clean out a ditch that has cardboard and Styrofoam. Water Superintendent Robert Thomas told Darwin to take it to the Recycling trailer, if there is a place for it.
Daryl Orns asked why the remote meters take a little bit to notify the Town of a leak. Utility Clerk Breanna Wood explained that she checks the leak list on her computer every morning and alerts people right away if they have got a leak.
Larry Klink expressed that he was not pleased that the April 2021 minutes, mentioned that there was an illegal meeting. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler explained that the meeting was illegal under the Indiana Open Door Law. Since Darwin openly admitted to the gathering, it had to be put in the minutes. Council Member Darwin Miller asked if it is illegal for three or more Council Members to clean a street together. Jacob replied to Darwin by saying that it is legal to do community service together, but it is illegal to get in a private setting to talk about Town business.
George Blissett expressed concern that there is no open spot for anyone to come to the meeting and speak unannounced. Town Attorney Jacob Ahler explained that the end of the meetings are always open for residents to come speak, if they are not on the agenda.
Deputy Clerk Abigail Ewen read a couple questions from the live stream. One question asked if stick pickup is still happening in town. The answer to that question is ?yes.? Another question asked if there will be pool adjustments. The answer to that question is ?yes, if a resident calls the Town Hall and lets them know.?
Council Vice President Cameron Emond made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Council Member Darwin Miller second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.