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Bremen Town Council Meeting 02/23/15

by Bremen Town Council on March 9, 2015
 

The Town Council of the Town of Bremen, Indiana, met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 23, 2015, at the Bremen Town Hall pursuant to notice previously published. Council members Michael Leman, Heath Thornton, Rick Graverson and James Leeper were present. Also present were Trend Weldy, Director of Operations; Jay Stoneburner, Superintendent of the Electric Department; Alex Mikel, Superintendent of the Street and Water Department; Chief Matt Hassel, Police Department; Chief Matt Neher, Fire Department; Brian Main, Superintendent of the Park Department; Janet Anglemyer, Clerk-Treasurer; and Anthony Wagner, Town Attorney. 

Otis “Doc” Bowen Proclamation: Mr. Leman read a proclamation declaring February 26, 2015 to be Otis “Doc” Bowen Day, in honor of Dr. Bowen and his accomplishments.

MINUTES: Mr. Thornton made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 9th, 2015 meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Graverson and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

CLERK-TREASURER: Ms. Anglemyer presented the docket without amendment. Mr. Graverson made a motion to approve the claims, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

ATTORNEY: Mr. Wagner presented a copy of the biotower project settlement agreement for the Council to review, and informed them that his edit was mostly complete. The Council discussed the final draft of Resolution 2015-3, regarding the adoption of the new tax abatement policy and application. Mr. Wagner explained that, under the new process, a new resolution would be adopted for each abatement, but that one resolution may be used for multiple abatements submitted by one applicant when appropriate. Mr. Thornton made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-3, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Mr. Wagner then ceded the floor to Mr. Weldy for the presentation of the first abatement resolutions.

PUBLIC COMMENT: No public comments were offered.

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: Mr. Weldy presented Resolution 2015-4, regarding an abatement application submitted by Indiana Carton. Mr. Weldy recommended that the Council approve the abatement as described in the resolution. Mr. Graverson made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-4, which was seconded by Mr. Thornton and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Mr. Weldy then presented Resolution 2015-5, regarding an abatement application submitted by Accraline, Inc. Mr. Weldy recommended that the Council approve the abatement as described in the resolution. Mr. Thornton made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-5, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Mr. Weldy asked Jeff Rowe from Umbaugh, Inc., to present information regarding the water plant project. Mr. Rowe offered a brief recap of the project to date as well as the actions taken by the Redevelopment Commission immediately prior to the Council meeting. He provided a packet of schedules that showed the impact of the Redevelopment Commission’s contributions from TIF funds, and then asked the Council to make a decision regarding the application of the fire hydrant fee. The Council discussed the increased cost from the fee. Mr. Graverson asked if property taxes could be increased instead, and Mr. Rowe explained that they would have to be raised or else the general fund would absorb the entire fee increase. Mr. Graverson suggested that the increase be phased in, and Mr. Thornton agreed and proposed that the increase be limited to 31%. Mr. Rowe noted that this increase would result in no new impact on the general fund. The Council asked Mr. Rowe to present information on this plan at a future meeting, and Mr. Rowe said that he would try to have it ready for the March 9 meeting since the bond ordinance should also be adopted at that time. Mr. Rowe also recommended that the Council suspend the rules and pass the ordinance on all three readings in order to get the bond ordinance submitted for the SRF.

Mr. Weldy and Mr. Wagner addressed the Council regarding pending legislation addressing electric utility territory expansion and municipal annexation. Based on the likelihood that both pieces of legislation would pass, Mr. Weldy and Mr. Wagner recommended that the Council consider annexing several nearby areas before the legislation would take effect. The Council asked Mr. Weldy and Mr. Wagner to begin work to determine if the annexations would be in the best interests of the Town. Mr. Weldy ceded the floor to Mr. Downey of Commonwealth Engineering, who asked the Council for a response to the bids. Mr. Graverson asked whether any cost savings could be determined, particularly those identified by Jones Petrie Rafinski, and Mr. Thornton agreed and said they should be pursued if possible. Mr. Weldy explained that the savings would be marginal relative to the time it would take to amend the plans, which was echoed by Mr. Downey. Mr. Wagner expressed his concern that the SRF funding might not be available if the project was delayed much longer, and Mr. Rowe explained that the project could still be financed if that was the case but that the interest rate would be at least half of a point higher. The Council discussed the project, the potential cost savings and other financing options at length. Mr. Thornton made a motion to accept the low bid submitted by R.E. Crosby in the amount of $3,255,467.00 with the alternate bid #2 of $1,500.00, which was seconded by James Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays. Mr. Weldy presented Resolution 2015-6, approving the amendment of the Southwire Financing Agreement. Mr. Thornton made a motion to approve Resolution 2015-6, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Mr. Weldy informed the Council that a new Regional Cities group would meet on March 4.

DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS: Jay Stoneburner submitted his report on behalf of the Electric Department and reminded the Council to submit any questions regarding the Department’s annual report. Mr. Mikel informed the Council that, after some study, he intended to install meter pits for all new and replacement meters in the future. The Council asked how he arrived at the decision, and Mr. Mikel explained that the meter pits would help reduce water loss on the Town’s end and could be installed without increasing liability. Mr. Weldy requested permission to advertise for bids for the repainting of the East Water Tower, so that the work could be performed between May and August of this year. Mr. Graverson made a motion to advertise for bids on the project, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Chief Hassel informed the Council that dispatcher Tara Beasley was eligible for promotion to Class B operator with a raise to $17.55 per hour. Mr. Leeper made a motion to promote Tara Beasley to Class B operator as of February 23, 2015, which was seconded by Mr. Thornton and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Chief Hassel then informed the Council that the Board of Police Commissioners had identified a suitable candidate for the open officer position, but that the officer would need to be accepted into the pension system first. Chief Hassel asked that the Council permit him to begin the pension application process with the prospective officer in order to present the officer as a candidate for hiring to the Council at a subsequent meeting. Mr. Graverson made a motion to allow Chief Hassel to begin the pension application with the officer candidate, which was seconded by Mr. Thornton and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Mr. Main submitted his report on behalf of the Park Department. Chief Neher informed the Council that the city engine specifications were ready for bid and requested permission to advertise for bids. Mr. Thornton made a motion to advertise for bids for the city engine, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

Ms. Anglemyer presented the annual report of the Cemetery Department on behalf of Mr. Ervin, who was unable to attend due to illness. Mr. Graverson made a motion to approve the department head reports, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays.

TOWN ENGINEER: Mr. Jones submitted a letter regarding the recent evaluation of the Lebermuth building.

COUNCIL COMMENTS No Council comments were submitted.

ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Thornton made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Leeper and carried by a vote of 4 ayes, 0 nays. 

    

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