December 20, 2023 at 11:55 a.m.

Town Council Meeting Notes 12/19

By JESSICA DECKARD | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Town Council Meeting 12/19

Gary Dodd led the opening prayer followed by the pledge of allegiance.  John Walstad then thanked David Clouse for all his years of service.

Approval of minutes from the October 17, 2023, meeting was the first item on the agenda.  John Walstad motioned to approve the minutes.  Ed Johnson seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

Approval of claims was next on the agenda.  Herby Asher motioned to approve them. John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed unanimously.

The planning commission recommendation for zoning change at 10021 N SR 9 from residential to business for the Dollar Tree store was then presented by Ed Johnson.  The commission had met and voted down the request unanimously.  Ed moved to turn it down.  Shanon Pittman seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

2024 salary ordinance number 2023-05 was then presented for a second reading.  It gave a three percent across the board increase. Herby Asher made a motion to approve it, and John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed unanimously.

Next was the employee handbook ordinance number 2023-07 second reading.  Diane Burton asked when the changes would take effect.  The employee anniversary date was decided. Herby Asher motioned to approve the second reading.  Ed Johnson seconded the motion.  It passed 5 – 0.

The CCMG (Community Crossing Matching Grant) 2023-2 work was then presented by Tony Akles of Strand and Associates. Quotes from the three requested companies have been received.  All Star Paving was $86,081, Globe Asphalt was $108,000, and Robertson Paving was $122,500.  Ed Johnson asked if they were all bidding on the same materials and processes.  They were.  Jason Eckart replied all three bids were to Strand’s specifications.  Akles recommending awarding the job to All Star Paving.  John Walstad made the motion and Herby Asher seconded the motion.  Shanon Pittman asked where All Star was based.  Seymour was the reply.  The motion passed unanimously.

Town manager Jason Eckart was next on the agenda with the recycling dumpster.  It currently cost $24,000 per year to host. Eckart investigated getting grants and a cardboard baler.  The baler would tax the utilities staff too much.  There were no ongoing yearly grants available to cover the cost of the dumpster.  It was recommended that the dumpster be removed in January.  Residents would have to go to the Petersville dump to drop off their recycling.  Herby Asher asked if the town needed to provide notice to terminate the dumpster.  A 30-day notice was required.  Ohmer Miller asked if the town needed to get signage stating the dumpster would be removed.  David had already purchased signage.  Ohmer Miller asked for a motion to suspend the recycling dumpster.  Ed Johnson made the motions and Herby Asher seconded it.  It passed 5 – 0.

Town marshal Matt Tallent was next on the agenda with a town hall security update.  There was no update yet.  Hoosier Security could not come out until after the first of the year.  He hoped to have a quote at the next town hall meeting. 

Town lawyer Scott Andrews then asked for an executive session to address some legal issues.  It was set for January 9, 2024.

Diane Burton then presented resolution 2023-08 the annual rainy-day transfer of funds.  The transfer total was $40,000 and affected funds such as clerk treasurer, animal control, FICA and Medicare, worker’s compensation, liability insurance, telephone, police salaries, police gasoline usage and park maintenance. Ed Johnson made the motion to approve the transfer.  John Walstad seconded the motion.  It passed unanimously.

David Clouse then presented new town limit signage.  The sign would be .125 thickness, eight feet wide by sixty feet tall.  The price is $2,196 for two signs.  That price was with the town picking them up and installing them.  He would reuse the existing posts and cover them with white aluminum or vinyl. There were two choices for the sign.  One using the existing bandstand design, and one featuring the new Main Street Historic District logo with the horse and mail hack.  The council decided to put both designs on Facebook and HSJ Online and let the townspeople decide which they liked better. 

Jason Eckart then presented the trash contract renewal with Jeff Yarnell.  Eckart was happy with the numbers for renewal if the town was happy with the service he provided.  Ed Johnson moved to accept the contract with Herby Asher seconding the motion.  There were no complaints about service and the motion passed 5 – 0.

Council member John Walstad then presented two EDIT (Economic Development Income Tax) requests by Main Street of Hope.  One was for a storage shed on skids so it could be moved.  The other was for an increase in pay for the executive director. Two thousand more dollars were requested for pay.  An itemized list of what the pay was for must be turned in.  Jason Eckart asked if there was any discussion on Main Street becoming self-sufficient within two to three years.  There had not been.  Ohmer Miller felt Main Street should become self-sufficient by 2025.  Herby Asher asked how long the organization has been in effect.  Burton replied five or six years. Asher said they needed to focus on becoming self-sufficient.  Ed Johnson asked what their draws had been for the year.  The annual salary for the Main Street director is $9,600.  It was raised to an hourly rate of $15 two years ago.  Jason Eckart then explained the Main Street software tracking system named Maestro and how much time the data entry and tracking took. Main Street is working on becoming more stable and this salary draw would only last through the end of 2024.  Main Street has not submitted anything for payment yet this year.  EDIT had already approved a motion.  Shanon Pittman voted yes, Herby Asher voted no, Ed Johnson voted yes, John Walstad voted yes and Ohmer Miller voted yes.  The motion passed 4 – 1.

Ohmer Miller then thanked the town council, the utilities department, the town manager, the police, and fire departments for a great 2023 and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.  The meeting was then adjourned.