Jerry Bragg brought the meeting to order with a reminder to silence mobile devices.  He then led the opening prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

The first item on the agenda was the approval of the 11/22/21 minutes and the 11/22/2021 executive session minutes.  Ed made a motion to approve the minutes.  Clyde seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Approval of the claims was next on the agenda.  John Walstad made a motion to approve them, with Ed seconding the motion.  It passed 5 -0.

Old business was next with CCMG 2021-02 resolution 2021-03 presented by Scott Andrews and Steve Robertson.  It authorized someone to execute documents for INDOT.  It authorized the council president to be the signatory on any and all documents related to the grant.  Ed made the motion with John seconding it.  It passed 5 – 0.

Steve Robertson moved on to the Combine letter.  INDOT awarded three streets to be milled and overlaid.  This will allow all three street projects to be combined into one project and allows the reduction of paperwork by only requiring one set of quotes and timelines.  Clyde made the motion and John seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0. Steve Robertson then stated Katie Adams with INDOT would need the resolution and letter signed and scanned back to her.

Mr. Robertson then said Strand’s fee for overseeing the project would not exceed $3,700.00.  He then presented deadlines for the project.  On 01/07/22 contractors would be contacted for quotes and would have two weeks to return the quotes to Strand’s office.  There would be have to be a special meeting the first week of February to pick a contractor.  The contractor would then have until 02/25/22 to sign the contract and get the bonds.  Katie Adams would need everything related to the project back to her by March third.  The contractor would have until the end of August to complete the work and thirty days after that to finalize everything.  The streets to be milled and overlaid include portions of Grand, High, and Harrison.  Robertson asked what contractors would be notified for quotes.  Council decided the same four contractors that were used last time would be notified. 

Victoria Bechert then gave an update on the income survey and the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds.  Key Research completed the survey.  Hope did qualify for the grant with 59.259% of residents qualifying as low income.  Quarter one has not grant awards announced, but quarter two applications are opening in March, due April 14th. 

Council then moved on to new business.  Salary increases for the Utility Superintendent and Town Marshall were up first.  Clyde motioned to increase their salary by 2.5%.  John seconded the motion and it passed 5 – 0.

Next up was the Building & Zoning contract renewal for Matt Galbraith.  Clyde motioned to increase it by 2.5% as well.  Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

The trash contract renewal from Jeffrey Yarnell was up next.  Clyde questioned the phrasing “$250.00 per four months with the other eight months being at $375.00.”  He felt that expressed a total cost of $250.00 for four months, instead of $250.00 monthly for four months.   The language of the contract will be amended to make it clear the charge is monthly.  Clyde made the motion to approve as corrected; John seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Diane then presented banner corrections.  There were two banners with errors.  One had guard misspelled, and another had a last name misspelled.  Everything was correct on the spreadsheet submitted to the banner company. Since both errors were present on the proof sent for review the banner company only felt they were responsible for the misspelling of guard, but not the last name. The company will cover the banner with guard spelled wrong but needs $108.00 to correct the last name.  $91.00 for the banner plus shipping and handling.  The banner company did give the highest volume discount pricing for the single banner.    Diane asked for a motion to accept that cost.  Ed made the motion and Clyde seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0. 

Diane then moved on to resolution No. 2021-04 rainy day transfer of funds.  It allows for 10% of revenue per year moved to the rainy-day fund.  She requested a total transfer of $40,000.00.  Clyde motioned to approve the resolution.  John seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.

Council then moved on to the town manager position. Frank Owens submitted his resignation.  He cited developments in his personal life as keeping him from being able to devote enough time and attention to the job.  The position has been listed on Indeed and the town is currently taking applications. 

Town council then appointed the town council president.  Clyde motioned for Jerry Bragg to be president for 2022.  Ed seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

The appointment of town council vice president was next.  Ed motioned for John Walstad to be town council vice president for 2022.  Clyde seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

The meeting was then opened for questions and comments.  Jessica Brown asked who was responsible for decorating the square and bandstand for Christmas as she received many comments while decorating stating it shouldn’t be her responsibility.  Jerry replied it was open to anyone who wanted to.  Just ask council first.  Jerry felt someone should be hired to decorate, and the utilities department already had enough on their hands.  David Clouse expressed it would be nice to have help hanging the banners. 

Ohmer applauded the council and the town for coming together during a difficult year and working through tough times together.  Clyde added how the town has improved.  He mentioned how the town was much cleaner than it used to be and just better overall.

Matt Galbraith asked if he could use photos submitted by the police for a code violation.  He also asked if he could use a view obtained by a neighbor's second story window for a code violation.  The answer to both was yes by Scott Andrews.  Galbraith went on to mention the violation on 179 Hitchcock Court. Someone has been hired to work on the outside of the Wentworth property.  Ed mentioned that the siding on a South Street property was already blowing off.  Scott Andrews asked if the town wanted to have an ordinance enforcement body since there was no town manager at the moment   Clyde agreed to be on it.  Ed joined as well. 

Ohmer motioned to adjourn the meeting.  Clyde seconded it.