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December 12, 2011 Regular Town Council Meeting

December 12, 2011

The Santa Claus Town Council met in regular session on December 12, 2011 at the Town Hall.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Ron Smith at 5:30 P.M.   Christensen announced that the meeting was being recorded.
Present:  Ron Smith, Kevin Burke, Dennis Della Morta, Michael Johannes
Absent:  Elmer Dilger
Also present were Town Attorney, Kevin Patmore; Utilities Superintendent, Russ Luthy; Town Marshal, Joey Brown and Clerk-Treasurer, Kim Christensen.

REVIEW OF MINUTES:

Burke moved to approve the November 14, 2011 regular session minutes and November 29, 2011 special session minutes as presented.  Johannes seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

COMMENTS FROM THE FLOOR:

Presentation:  Shirley Blazey presented the Town Council with a copy of an article written by Frank M. Hohenberger named “How Santa Claus Got Its Name”.

Fire Department’s Worker’s Comp:  Mike Becker, Dale State Agency, presented the Council with the renewal of the Fire Department Worker’s Comp at a cost of $1,010.00.  Della Morta moved to approve the renewal.  Johannes seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

CLERK-TREASURER:     

Ordinance 2011-14:  Christensen presented Ordinance 2011-14, an ordinance fixing salaried of elected officials and employees of the Town of Santa Claus, Indiana effective January 1, 2012, for its first reading.  Goldsberry asked if the Council could take into consideration the money that was saved with the resignation of Phil Gessner when talking about the employee insurance increase.  Smith said that the Town was lucky this year with the 7% increase that it could be 20% next year.  He said that his insurance goes up and no one helps him cover the increase.  Vaal stated that he felt part of the employee turn over rate was because of benefits.  Smith said that insurance increase is the same everywhere.  Goldsberry said that the Town trains employees and then they leave to go to jobs with better pay and benefits.  Johannes moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 2011-14.  Della Morta seconded the motion.

Burke felt that some of the insurance increase should be passed on to the employees.  Everyone’s insurance has gone up.  Johannes said that the police department has the same issue as the utility department with training employees and then they leave.  Della Morta felt that the Town had a good team, but that you are not going to make everyone happy.  Smith said that there was a motion on the table and called for a vote.
Ayes:  Smith, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  Burke
Motion carried.

Safety Merit Pay:  Christensen informed the Council by ordinance they need to decide each year if they are going to pay the year end safety merit pay, which is $30.00 per full quarter for full time employees and $15.00 per full quarter for part time employees.  Luthy said that there had been employee accidents, but there was no loss of time.  Burke moved to approve the payment of the safety merit pay per ordinance to all employees that have not turned in their resignation.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion passed.

Holiday Merit Pay:  Christensen said that also per ordinance the Council needs to decide each year if they are going to pay holiday merit pay, which is $18.00 per full month for full time employees and $9.00 per full month for part time employees.  Burke moved to approve the payment of the holiday merit pay per ordinance to all employees that have not turned in their resignations.  Johannes seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion passed.

TOWN ATTORNEY:

Contract for Bonds:  Patmore presented a contract with Koch Development for two million dollars (2,000,000) worth of bonds. The Council needs to give permission for the Town Council president to sign the document to approve entering into the bond agreement.  Della Morta so moved.  Burke seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta.
Nays:  None
Abstained:  Johannes
Motion carried.

Midwestern Engineers:  Patmore stated that he was informed that the Town could not reroute the trail because of technical requirements.  The Town does have grant money to have the engineering done and then the Town can decide how they want to proceed.  Johannes moved to authorize the Town Council President to the contract with Midwestern Engineers for $75,000.00.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes,
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

O’Brien asked who would be involved with the trail project.  Della Morta thought that maybe a group could be organized to help with the designing.  Luthy was asked to come up with some names and come back to the Council with them.  Patmore states that if this is an official board they will have to give notice of meetings and have minutes taken.

Bids for demolition of unsafe buildings:  Patmore stated that the Town had advertised for bids for the demolition of two buildings.  Two packets had been picked up, but only one bid was received.  Smith said that he had a signed contract to purchase the house in Christmas Lake Village.  The one bid received for the demolition of the residence on Blitzen was from K & K for a cost of $9,500.00.  Patmore felt that the Town would have a hard time collecting on a judgment since the homeowner lived in Kentucky and does not own any other property.  Smith asked if the Council would give him two weeks to buy the property and four weeks to demo the foundation.  P. Brown stated that the bids are good for 60 days.  Burke moved to table the issue until the January meeting.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Abstained:  Smith
Motion carried.

The bids from K & K for the demolition of the Ruth Rice property was for $3,245.00.  Patmore said that this would be easier to collect on since the homeowner had other property.  Johannes moved to table this issue until the January meeting.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

PARKS & RECREATION/COMMUNITY CENTER:

Update:  O’Brien said that the open house at the community center went well, they had nice turn out for the 5K run and that they participated in the Christmas parade.

Ashburn road drainage:  O’Brien asked about the drainage issue on Ashburn road.  Luthy said that he would address this later in the meeting.

PLANNING AND ZONING:

Monthly Report:  P. Brown presented his monthly report to the Council.

POLICE DEPARTMENT:

Vehicle quotes:  J. Brown said that he had received vehicle quotes in order to encumber some of this year’s money to pay for the vehicle.  Brown stated that Keller’s car needs a new transmission.  Burke asked what make he was looking at and should we not get quotes from more than one vendor.  J. Brown said that if it is state bid they should all be the same.  The bids received were:

Champion Reo:
2013 Interceptor, $22,088.88
2012 Charger, $21,672.00

Sternberg:
2012 Charger, $24,477.00

Uebelhor & Sons
2012 Impala, $21,698.00
2012 Caprice, $26,026.05

There was discussion about trading in one of the vehicles.  It was felt that the Town could get more out of the vehicle if it was sold outright.  J. Brown was to check on how much it would cost to repair Keller’s vehicle.

Burke moved to accept the quote from Uebelhor & Sons for the 2012 Impala at a cost of $21,698.00, along with money for a trailer hitch and to have everything moved to the new vehicle.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

Uniforms:  J. Brown showed the Council the Class A uniforms that he would like to switch to.  He felt that they were more wearer friendly.  Burke felt that all of the officers should be in dress uniform at all times when they are on duty.  They need to dress in a professional manner, and polo shirts are not a uniform.  Smith said that they had given J. Brown latitude on how he runs his department.  Burke and J. Brown both read from different part of the SOPs.  Patmore suggested going over all of the SOPs and doing a blanket ordinance change.  Burke felt that they should be required to wear uniforms.  Johannes said it depends on the condition.  Della Morta remembered that it was discussed that the uniform should be worn at the meetings.  J. Brown was asked to come back to the Council with any changes that he felt needed to be made to the SOPs.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:

Midwestern Engineering will be scheduling a pre-construction meeting for the fire station.

STREET DEPARTMENT:

Safety:  Luthy state that the Town had received a safety award from IPEP for 2010.

Patching quotes:  Luthy stated that he had requested proposals for pavement patching, which included six pavement locations and eight chip seal areas.  Three proposals had been received:
Hunter Paving, $13,965.00
Metzger Construction, $21,412.00
J.H. Rudolph, $15,945.00

Johannes moved to accept the bid from Hunter Paving at a cost of $13,965.00.  Della Morta seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

Ditching quotes:  Luthy stated that he had requested proposals for ditching and ditching diversions.  Two proposals had been received:
B.F.J. Construction, $8,900.00
Shelton Excavating, $11,890.00

Della Morta moved to accept the bid from B.F.J. construction for $8,900.00.  Johannes seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Della Morta, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.

Luthy said that they are going to dip the ditch and blast the culvert in the area at Ashburn Road.

WASTEWATER:

PMR:  Luthy presented his month report to the Council.

WATER PLANT:

Luhty said that there have been some maintenance issues and they were trying to find a happy medium.

INDUSTRIAL PARK:

Luthy asked if the Council would think about clearing areas in the industrial park and patching the road.  He felt it would attract potential buyers.

MISCELLANEOUS:

Proclamation:  Smith presented Christensen with a proclamation declaring December 31st as Kim Christensen day and thanking her for her service to the Town.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business to come before the Council, voucher were approve and signed.  Johannes moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:05 p.m.  Burke seconded the motion.
Ayes:  Smith, Burke, Johannes
Nays:  None
Motion carried.