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

The first item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes from 02/23/2021 and 04/13/2021.  Clyde Compton moved to approve and John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Approval of claims was passed unanimously after a motion by Ed Johnson and a second by Clyde. 

Council moved on to old business.  The first item on the agenda was the CCMG (Community Crossing Matching Grant) update from Tony Akles.  Robertson paving will begin in work at the end of May or beginning of June.  He also gave an update on the park project.  The new lights should be fixed from the power outage now. 

Susan Thayer Fye then gave a Main Street update.  Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their monthly luncheon meeting Thursday at Willow Leaves.  Kj Goat Soaps and Lotions will have a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on May first.  Sunday Socials will be returning starting May second from two till four.  This event will be considered a Bartholomew County Bicentennial event.  The first cruise-in is scheduled for Friday, May 7th from five till eight.  Main Street will be hosting a tea party in conjunction with Willow Leaves on Saturday, May 8th.    Cornett’s Corner Café is celebrating their twenty-first anniversary of serving our community today.  There were three inquires for the Main Street Director position.  Three resumes were submitted, and one was withdrawn.  She will seek approval from the board before anyone is hired.  That approval is in process.  Hope did not receive the promotions grant applied for, but she has met with John Meyers about other small business opportunities.  He has a website building opportunity with $100,000.00 to spend by September 15th.  Interested parties should reach out to her.  She also presented a plan from landscape architect Joe Dodd.  Dodd designed square improvements for the park project, including the new pathways and light placement.  He feels the southwest corner of the square is lacking an anchor like all the other sides of the square.  The northwest corner has the clock; the northeast corner has the bandstand; the southeast corner has the playground.  The south west corner could be improved by low maintenance seasonal plantings in between the paths that converge there.  The planting would also serve to camouflage the electrical panel.  Dodd volunteered to purchase most of the plants, and Thayer Fye felt the agriculture students who are currently in charge of the memorial garden at Simmons School may take up maintenance of this small garden as well.  Overall, she felt it could be completed for next to nothing. 

Jerry Bragg then moved on to the Shelter House / Park Guidelines.  Matt Tallent presented three quotes for camera systems.

  • Hoosier Securtity with five cameras and a three-year warranty $6,952.80.
  • Tarkington Technologies with eight cameras and a three-year warranty for $6,620.00.
  • Onguard with eight cameras and a three-year warranty for $9,678.42.

Hoosier Security has a good rating and came highly recommended. Onguard has three Better Business Bureau complaints.  He acknowledged the internet speed on the square and in town hall would have to be increased to run any of the security systems.  He had not yet reached out to Xfinity to check on the cost of that.  Mr. Tallent recommended Hoosier Security for the job.  Ohmer Miller asked Matt if he would be willing to ask if Hoosier would match the lowest quote.  He replied he would. 

Mr. Tallent then stated the town had has numerous requests to use the bandstand Saturday for prom pictures and asked how council felt about that.  David Clouse then gave a statement on the new grass.  He felt the new grass would be okay for the cruise-in in May.  He felt it would also be okay for Smoke on the Square as long as cookers were not set up in the grass, with constant back and forth foot traffic trampling the new growth. He stated equipment should be set up in the new gravel area on the west side of the shelter house.  He asked when council wanted to open the square, stating he felt the grass was ready for every day foot traffic.  Event traffic might be too much just yet, but everyday pedestrian use should be fine.  Jerry Bragg felt the square could open now.  Ohmer moved to open the square now.  Clyde seconded the motion and it passed 5 - 0.  Matt asked how soon council wanted the square open, if he should remove the signs and tape this evening.  They replied tomorrow would be fine.

Council then moved on to a park request from Jason Eckart.  He requested park use and street closure for a cruise-in on May 7th.  He asked permission to close the south side of Jackson Street, the north side of Washington Street, and the west side of Harrison Street.  His plan was to control the flow of traffic using Jackson street as an outlet and Washington Street as the inlet from State Road Nine.  He felt it would be easier to park cars and get them to face the inside of the square with this plan.  After the businesses on Harrison Street closed at six, he would also use the east side of that street to park cars.  This would keep the cars on display close to the bandstand.  Both the Methodist and Baptist churches also agreed their parking lots could be used as overflow parking for visitor traffic.  Parking attendants would direct traffic from State Road Nine.  Pawn shop owner Jackie Tallent also recommended suing a golf cart to shuttle elderly and handicapped patrons from the parking area to the bandstand.  Eckhart anticipated eighty cars and hoped for as many as one hundred to show up.  Clyde Compton motioned to allow the road closings and asked him to pursue the golf cart idea.  Matt Tallent asked what they would use to mark the road closings and when they would need to close the roads.  He stated the town did not own enough barricades to close roads on all sides of the square.  John Walstad seconded Clyde’s motion.  Ohmer wanted to make sure there is access to the parking for the businesses around the square.  He stated the accountant was often in the office after hours, and the library, Willow Leaves and the Amish store all needed customer access. After discussion the request was granted 5 – 0.

Council then moved on to new business.  Scott Andrews presented the ARP (American Rescue Plan) Grant fund ordinance.  The creation of fund 176 is necessary to receive the proceeds from the American Rescue Plan.  Clyde noted Columbus gets theirs in May, so council needs to move on tis now.  Trena Carter noted the difference in timeline between urban and rural delegations, clarifying she felt Hope’s funds would arrive by June.  Ed commented he rarely votes to pass an ordinance on the first reading, but he was doing so in this case.  Clyde seconded his motion, and it the ordinance was passed 5 – 0.

Trena Carter with ARA then introduced her colleague Victoria Bechert.  She will be stepping back and Victoria will be taking her place.  Victoria has worked with ARA in housing projects local.  Trena will be with Hope until the end of June. 

Council then moved on to the Goshen Meadows Wastewater Planning Grant presented by Trena Carter, David Clouse and Tony Akles.  Mr. Clouse stated it has been seven years since the last wastewater project.  He would like to alleviate the problems with the Goshen Meadows lift station during wet weather.  Currently the waste from both Miller’s Merry Manor and Goshen Meadows both flow to the same lift station, join together and move on to the Moravian station before finally flowing to the lagoons.  He would like to see a direct line to the lagoons.  Before such a project could begin a planning, grant would be necessary.  Obama created grants for such projects if the design work was already completed.  We were unable to utilize this grant because no planning had been done.  Tony Akles then presented a preliminary plant to get waste from Goshen Meadows to the lagoons, and also pick-up Miller’s Merry Manor, allowing for the elimination of the overflow at the Moravian station.  He estimated the most would be a million one or a million two for forced main installation.  That would not include any easement cost necessary.  He used Mike Meyer’s costs from nine years ago.  His plan presented two options.  Flight pumps or chopper pumps.  Flushable wipes are already an issue at the Goshen Meadows lift station.  Akles would look at both options if they were hired to do the planning.  If the town were able to get OCRA planning and construction grants construction could begin next year.  John Walstad asked how long the process would take to complete.  Trena replied July fist was the due date for the next application.  An income survey would have to be completed first.  Storm water, wastewater and drinking water would all also need to be studied.  She also stated a planning grant was not a necessity to receive a construction grant.  Clyde asked what the cost of an income survey.  Trena replied if a planning grant is sought with the three studies there would be a 10% matching cost.  The American Recovery Funds could be used for that as well.  Trena will get the cost for the income survey and an estimated time frame. 

Council then moved on to a park request from Jessica Brown representing the Yellow Trail Museum.  Permission was asked to use the square on July second for the museum’s Old Fashioned Independence Day in conjunction with Main Street’s cruise-in.  Clyde made the motion to allow the museum to use the square.  John Walstad seconded the motion.  Ed Johnson recused himself from the vote.  It passed 4 – 0.

Matt Tallent then presented the annual animal use agreement.  Duke Everroard, the town’s K9 officer, has to have a contract signed every year.  Ed moved to sign the contract.  Ohmer asked about the charges associated with the contract.  Matt replied it was ten dollars a year.  Diane noted the contract was not legal without an amount attached.  John seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Diane Burton then presented requested utility write offs due to death or bankruptcy.  There were $1,284.29 in water write-offs and $64.19 in sewer write-offs for a total of $1,348.48.  Clyde asked how a resident got a seven-hundred-dollar water bill in the first place.  Clyde moved to write off the amounts.  Ed seconded the motion.  Motion passed 5 – 0.

Council then moved on to an EDIT request from Clyde Compton.  The Yellow Trail museum has requested $1,500.00 additional EDIT funds to cover the fireworks for the fourth of July celebration.  The initial quote they received came in at over nine thousand dollars.  The increase was due to a rise in the cost of gunpowder.  There has a been a shortage during the pandemic.  They negotiated the cost down to $6,500.00 for a good show.  In past years the cost has been $5,000.00.  Clyde pointed out we needed to draw businesses to the square, and the museum had not used their allotted $5,000.00 from the previous year since the celebration was cancelled.  He moved to pass the additional cost for this year only.  Ohmer seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0. 

Council then discussed creating and attorney file for 169 Hitchock Drive.  Ed so moved.  Clyde seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

There were no public questions or comments and the meeting was adjourned.