Council President Jerry Bragg called the meeting to order with the opening prayer and pledge of allegiance. 

The minutes form the February 2, 2021 meeting were reviewed.  Councilman Clyde Compton motioned to approve them and John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Council then moved on to the approval of claims. Clyde motioned to approve them as presented.  Ed seconded the motion. It passed 5 – 0.

Steve Robertson of Strand and Associates then presented council with an update to the CCMG (Community Crossing Matching Grant) quotes and ward.  Bids were received from all four vendors solicited.    The next step is picking a contractor.  Clyde motioned to award the contract to Robertson Paving.  John Walstad seconded the motion.  Scott Andrews noted they were the lowest bidder.  Mr. Robertson then remarked council would need to authorize Jerry Bragg to sign the contract before the next council meeting as it needed to be signed by April first and submitted to INDOT by April 8th.  Council must also issue a notice to proceed so the contractor can begin work.  Clyde made the motion.  Ed seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.  Mr. Robertson remarked he would contract Robertson Paving to notify them of the award.  They will have 150 days to complete the work. 

Mr. Robertson then presented Strand’s Technical Service Agreement Amendment Two.  It would extend the original agreement from four to six years, adding an additional two years.  A motion will be required.  Such an extension would save the town money in the future, but does not guarantee or lock down future engineering work.  Clyde made the motion and John seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.

Steve Robertson ended with an update on the park project.  He stated RC electric had delivered the new bulbs and relays to fix the two new streetlights that are out.  The seating guys are still drilling holes for the replacement bench planks.  The way faring signs and brackets have been installed.  The park project should be completed tomorrow, pending any paperwork ARA still has to submit. 

Council then moved on to 2021 Boards and Committees.  All open positions have been filled.  Shawn Lange will join the planning committee.  John Walstad will have to go off the planning commission due to quorum logistics.  He would have to recuse himself from voting on those items during council meetings, leaving quorum unable to be met.  James Cave will make the fourth member of the planning commission.  Teresa Turner joined the police oversight committee.  Ed motioned to approve the list of new members as presented; John seconded the motion.  Clyde then suggested the working of the town regulations be changed to remove the town officials requirement for committee members.  Scott Andrews will review how many town officials can be on a committee.  Three council members cannot currently serve on a committee because of quorum requirements. 

Scott Andrews then moved on to the amendment to the garbage and rubbish ordinance, 2021-01 second reading.  It allows for the recoupment of attorney’s fees and court costs.  Clyde motioned to pass it.  Ed seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0.

Council tabled the shelter house and park guidelines until Matt Tallent returns from vacation so they can hear what he found out on video surveillance systems. 

Council then moved on the park benches.  There will be thirteen benches.  They have a list of fifteen or sixteen facts provided by the Yellow Trail museum, based on Barb Johnson’s research and expertise.  Clyde wanted to remove the fact about the Cedar Groove Dairy.  He also remarked there was no mention of Hope’s a surprising little town motto.  Ed Johnson did not feel the fact about Hope being designated as a Main Street community in 2015 was necessary. Council decided to add the Hope a surprising little town to the fact about it being founded in 1830 by Martin Hauser as a congregational town.   They also decided to combine the two sports state championships facts onto one bench.  Clyde motioned to pass the edited list with Ed seconding the motion. 

John Walstad then presented an extension on town council funding for the food bank.  He reviewed the statistics regarding the number of households and individuals served by the food bank during the pandemic.  He noted by May most people will have the vaccine and will be able to return to work.  He would like to continue supporting the food back until April with another $500.00 contribution.  Clyde pointed out how many people who live in town or within our township are served by the food bank.  He would like to continue funding so no one goes hungry.  Clyde motioned to continue the funding.  Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Council then moved on to new business.  Chelsea Warriner of the Community Center requested use of the park for Smoke on the Square.  Chelsea asked council what the plan was regarding the opening of the square as the plan for their event hinged on that.  Clyde motioned to open the square April first.  There was no second.  David Clouse printed out the benches are not finished and there are sharp metal pointy objects out there right now.  He also commented the grass that was sown last week has not yet had a chance to germinate.  Chelsea carried on with her request, asking to shut down the outside of the square.  She stated there would be a drive thru service this year since the inside of the square was not open.  They would close the west side of the square for vehicles to drive up and use the shelter house their food staging area.  Ohmer Miller’s comment on the park open request was that it was a huge capital investment and the grass needed time to set in and grow.  David Clouse remarked council needed to do a walk through and to view the spots where the grass has not yet taken.  He also commented the ground was still soft in spots.  Ohmer asked if it has been reseeded yet.  David replied affirmatively, it was reseeded and fertilized last week.  David stated it needed ten to twelve days of warm temps and sunlight to germinate.  Clyde remarked he did not feel the square needed to remain closed, a open date of April first would give it the two weeks it needed to germinate.  Ed remarked he felt the new grass would be in regardless by May 15th.  Ohmer asked if professionals and amateur competitors would be broken down into classes as there were complaints about professional level competitors.  Chelsea Warriner replied that the competition was a backyard level one and open to everyone.  Clyde wanted it recorded for the record that everything the community center does returns twenty-five percent of the profits to the food bank.  Council then motioned to approve Smoke on the Square for May 15th.  It passed 5 – 0.  John Walstad pointed out that the festival guides disturbed in the town already had the date for Smoke on the Square printed as May 14th and 15th.  He will distribute the remaining copies to local businesses. 

David Clouse then presented the SCADA (Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition) computer quote.  The software was an $80,000.00 software investment in 2000.  It controls water tower levels to keep the water fresh and controls the level of discharge into the creek, only adding ten percent to the creek flow.  This level is monitored daily.  The software also collects data from different flow meters and sends out alerts when there is a problem.  Such alerts can be accessed via mobile phone, eliminating the need to go into the office to pinpoint the source of the alert.  The current computer is an XP model, the new model would be a seven.  Funding would be fifty percent from water and fifty percent from sewer.  Clyde motioned to accept it, with Ed seconding the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.  Ed then asked about the impeller station.  David said it was still not up to snuff. 

Clyde then moved on to an Edit request.  Jessica Brown appeared in front of the Edit committee on behalf of Main Street to request funding for  the flowers that are put out every year on the square.  The request included a gardener to take care of them.  There were two different quotes presented from Linda Cleland.  One including flowers for the horse troughs inside of the square and one without flowers for the horse troughs.  Both quotes include funding for mums for Heritage Days.  The request was for $2,500.00 for flowers and $5,000.00 for a gardener, pending actual submitted numbers.  The gardener earns $10.00 per hour and submits a time sheet weekly.   Clyde commented he thought the town had voted to get rid of the horse troughs.  He also asked why the round planters were still there when they were supposed to be removed.  David noted he needed to get them taken out.  Edit did approve the request 3 – 1 at their meeting.  John asked about using perennials to reduce the cost.  It was noted that would not work in the planters as they would freeze.  Ohmer inquired if Heritage Days was happening this year.  The motion for flowers passed 5 – 0. 

Clyde then questioned David on a submitted report.  He asked about the park spacing in Norman park and railroad ties.  David replied they were required to provide eight feet of clearance around each item of playground equipment.  The mulch and railroad ties delineated this space.  The railroad ties also keep the mulch off the grass.  Clyde then asked about expanding the gravel parking space as it currently only held two cars and that was not enough room.  David Clouse remarked two cars are all that is ever there and adding parking would be troublesome due to the amount of equipment and eight foot clearance requirements.  Clyde replied maybe more people could park there and utilize the park if there were more than two spots available. 

Ed Johnson then noted David’s trailer was bottoming out when he was bringing in the railroad ties.  He would like to see David get a new trailer as that one was homemade anyway.  Council agreed Mr. Clouse should go ahead and proceed with getting pricing for a new trailer. 

Meeting was adjourned.