Lowell Town Council

May 29, 2012

 LOWELL TOWN COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING 
MAY 29, 2012
 
 
 
The regular meeting of the Lowell Town Council was called to order on Monday, May 29, 2012 at 7:00 P.M. by President Phillip Kuiper.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and a moment of silence was observed to remember Kathleen White. Clerk-Treasurer Judith Walters called the roll.  Members present were Craig Earley, Donald Parker, Phillip Kuiper and Edgar Corns. Councilman Robert Philpot was absent.  Also present were Town Attorney Gregg Sobkowski, Director of Public Works Greg Shook, Assistant Police Chief Scott Tokach, Town Administrator Susan Peterson, two members of the media and seventeen citizens.  
 
TREASURER’S REPORT – April  2012
 
Councilman Parker made a motion to approve the April 2012 Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by voice vote.
 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
 
Councilman Corns made a motion to approve the May 14th regular meeting and work session, seconded by Councilman Earley and carried by voice vote.  
 
APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS
 
President Kuiper stated he reviewed White Vouchers #1558 - #1590, White-Police #4081 -#4088, Water #2297 - #2317, Waste Water #3276 - #3299 with the exception to void Water Voucher #2313 to Pro Pump Inc. and recommended them for approval.  Councilman Earley made a motion to approve the vouchers as listed, seconded by Councilman Parker and carried by voice vote.
 
 
ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS
 
2nd reading – Ordinance #2012-06 – amending Chapter 71 – regulation of school grounds.  Councilman Parker made a motion to approve Ordinance #2012-06 by name and title only, seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by roll call vote.  
 
Councilman Parker made a motion to table Resolution #2012-08, adopting a written fiscal plan for Area #3 – Cedar Creek West and Resolution #2012-09, adopting a written fiscal plan for Area #4 – Woodlawn Manor and McDonnell Ditch area, seconded by Councilman Earley and carried by voice vote. 
 
 
 
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The following resolutions were read by President Kuiper  - 
 
Resolution #2012-06 – adopting written fiscal plan to provide services for annexed area – Area #1 – North Nichols – described as follows:  A parcel of property located in the South 20 acres of the South one-half of the Southeast one-quarter of the Northeast one-quarter of Section 22, Township 33 North, Range 9 West of the 2nd Principal Meridian in Lake County, Indiana, bounded on the East by Nichols Street, on the North by Better Built Products, on the West by Deere Acres, and on the South by Bethany Chapel.  
 
Resolution #2012-07  - adopting written fiscal plan to provide services for annexed area – Area #2 – Suheil Nammari – described as follows:  A parcel of property located in the North 180 feet, including all real estate East of the East line of the West 370 feet of the North 20 rods of the Southwest one-quarter of the Northwest one-quarter of Section 23, Township 33 North, Range 9 West of the 2nd Principal Meridian in Lake County, Indiana, bounded on the West by Nichols Street, on the South and East by Timber Springs Subdivision, and on the North by Freedom Springs Subdivision.
 
Resolution #2012-10 – adopting written fiscal plan to provide services for annexed area – Area #5 – West 175th Avenue – described as follows:  A parcel of property located in the Northeast one-quarter of Section 24, Township 33 North, Range 9 West of the 2nd Principal Meridian in Lake County, Indiana; excepting therefrom Dahl Estates Units One and Two, bounded on the South by West 175th Avenue, on the East and North by Dahl Estates Subdivision, and on the West by the Preserves Subdivision.  
 
Resolution #2012-11 – adopting a written fiscal plan to provide service for annexed area – Area #6 – Holtz Road – Novak – described as follows:  A parcel of property located at 18007 Holtz Road in Lowell, Indiana, bounded on the West by Holtz Road, on the South by Speedway Fuel Station, on the North by Spring Run Subdivision and on the East by Lowell Professional Center Phase I.
 
Resolution #2012-12 – adopting a written fiscal plan to provide service for annexed area – Area #7 – Holtz Road – Pendoski – described as follows:  A parcel of property located at 17997 Holtz road in Lowell, Indiana, bounded on the West by Holtz Road, and on the North, East and South by Spring Run Subdivision.
 
Resolution #2012-13 – adopting a written fiscal plan to provide service for annexed area – Area #8 – Holtz Road – Nichols – described as follows:  A parcel of property located at 17725 Holtz Road in Lowell, Indiana, bounded on the Northwest by Holtz Road, and on the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest by Spring Run Subdivision.
 
Resolution #2012-14 – adopting a written fiscal plan to provide service for annexed area – Area #9 – Holtz Road – Pratt – described as follows:  A parcel of property located at 17707 Holtz Road in Lowell, Indiana, bounded on the Northwest by Holtz Road, on the North by the Heiser property, and on the East and South by Spring Run Subdivision.  
 
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Resolution #2012-15 – adopting a written fiscal plan to provide service for annexed area – Area #10 – Holtz Road – Heiser – described as follows:  A parcel located at 17705 Holtz Road in Lowell, Indiana, bounded on the Northwest / West by Holtz Road, on the North by the Wietbrock property; on the East by Spring Run Subdivision, and on the South by the Pratt property.
 
Councilman Parker made a motion to adopt Resolution #2012-06, #2012-07, #2012-10, #2012-11, #2012-12, #2012-13, #2012-14, and #2012-15, seconded by Councilman Earley and carried by voice vote. Attorney Sobkowski asked for Council to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to set a public hearing after giving notice as required by law.  Councilman Parker made a motion to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to set a public hearing, seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by voice vote.
 
President Kuiper read Resolution #2012-16 – transfer of funds of $15,000 in the General Fund - Plan & Building budget -   Councilman Corns made a motion to approve the transfer of funds, seconded by Councilman Parker and carried by voice vote.
 
President Kuiper read Resolution #2012-17 – approving Interlocal agreement for the purpose of properly managing solid waste with the Lake County Solid Waste Management District -  President Kuiper stated there were representatives from the Solid Waste Management District present along with a representative from Powers Energy to answer any questions.  Councilman Parker made a motion to approve Resolution #2012-17, seconded by Councilman Earley.  Councilman Corns asked if this  agreement would be null and void if they do not build the Ethanol plant.  President Kuiper answered by quoting the Interlocal Agreement, which states when the Ethanol plant is built the town will get their garbage to them and if they don’t build it, there would not be a contract or place to take the garbage.  Attorney Cliff Dugan, representing Lake County Solid Waste Management District agreed that the agreement would become null and void if the plant is not built.  Ed Cleveland, representing Powers Energy, stated it was his understanding that the agreement was non-binding.  The motion carried by voice vote.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
 
Public Works Department Update -   Public Works Director Greg Shook stated he was still waiting on the wetland delineation to begin and the submittal to the DNR and Army Corp of Engineers on Powell Ditch.
  
Streets/Sidewalks  - Councilman Corns asked if they were going to get any more sidewalks and curbs.  Mr. Shook stated the curb and sidewalk work that has been done by INDOT along Route 2 is complete.  He  stated the Town has a grant to do a curb and sidewalk project and hopes construction will occur next year, which will replace any curbs and sidewalks that haven’t been completed and fill in the spots where there are none between Burr and Fremont Street.  Councilman Corns asked if there were any plans for the west side of town.  Mr. Shook stated there were no plans right now.    Mr. Shook 
 
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stated the town is two years into the current grant and would have to apply for another grant and there is a possibility they would move into that direction.    
 
Update on Water Refunding Bond -   Clerk-Treasurer Walters explained a few months ago the Council gave her permission to work with Greg Guerrettaz of Financial Solutions to re-finance the Water Bond.  The current water bond from 1994  was at 5.25%, and we have re-financed to 2.0 - 3.0%, with a savings to the Town of $778,903.  We have also reduced the bond by one year for a savings of another $270,000, which has given the Water Utility a $l,000,000 savings.  She further stated the Council had given approval to be rated by Standard & Poor and the Lowell Water Utility came back at an A+ rating.  
 
*Enter into agreement with Tri-Creek School Corporation to regulate traffic -  Attorney Sobkowski stated this is a follow-up to the ordinance where Tri-Creek came at last month’s meeting and wanted the Town to regulate traffic on the school grounds.  He further stated the town did have an ordinance in place but the school wanted additional traffic issues addressed and this is the agreement between the Town and Tri-Creek School Corporation whereas the Town will regulate the traffic by the time designated and the school will pay the officers.  Councilman Corns made a motion to approve the agreement between Tri-Creek School Corporation and the Town, seconded by Councilman Parker and carried by voice vote.
 
*WWTP Improvement Project – Approve Pay Request #11 – Payment #1 to Thieneman Construction - $108,000.00 – ($102,600 to Contractor, $5,400.00 to Retainage Account) and forward to SRF for payment  -  Councilman Earley made a motion to approve Pay Request #11 – Payment #1 to Thieneman Construction, seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by voice vote.  
 
Fire Territory -  President Kuiper explained Councilman Earley has been meeting with other representatives about a Fire Territory and the reason this item is on the agenda is for them to continue to get information  as a committee, there is nothing official yet. They have agreed on a specific attorney and are asking the Council to agree to pay it’s fair share to this attorney.  Councilman Earley explained the representatives at the meeting were from the Town of Lowell, West Creek, Cedar Creek and the Town of Schneider was not represented but supports the Fire Territory.  He further stated all they were looking for was the Town Council to pay for part of the attorney fees to get them through the preliminary stages.  The attorney has quoted a price of $150/hr plus $50/hr travel time not mileage, which would be split evenly with all the entities.  This attorney, whom Cedar Creek Trustee Alice Dahl brought to the meeting, has done several Fire Territories throughout Indiana.    Councilman Parker made a motion to have the town pay their fair share, seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by voice vote.
 
 
 
 
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*Sign letter from Commissioner Gerry Scheub re:  Illiana alternative route -   President Kuiper read the letter from Commissioner Scheub seeking a federal waiver that requires a minimum of three miles between exchanges for the road that would run from Interstate 55 in Illinois to I-65 in Lowell.  The letter supports an alternate route that would move 
southward before reaching Lowell and would disrupt less homeowners.  The letter will be forward to U.S. Senators Dick Lugar and Dan Coates, and U.S. Representative Peter Visclosky.  Councilman Corns made a motion to support the letter from Commissioner Scheub, seconded by Councilman Parker and carried by voice vote.
 
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
*Enter into agreement with McMahon & Associates to perform annual audit of Water Utility -    Councilman Parker made a motion to enter into the agreement with McMahon & Associates to perform an annual audit of the Water Utility, seconded by Councilman Earley and carried by voice vote.
 
*Water Supply Evaluation and Recommendation – Commonwealth Engineers -   Greg Shook explained the Council authorized Commonwealth Engineers last year to do a water evaluation study; they have reported back with that study and looked at six different options of additional water supply.  Of those six the least costly would be about 2.2 million dollars.  There is one other option they want to investigate, they recommend  to put infiltration trenches into our permanent well field and are looking at three different locations to do that on our property, which is approximately two hundred acres.  In order to do that it would cost  $37,200.  He is asking the Council to approve that expense to complete the study, which is a part of the Master Plan of the Water Utility.  Councilman Parker asked if this would be something they would do over the winter.  Mr. Shook stated he believed so. Councilman Parker moved to table this item and set a work session so the new councilmen could be brought up to date on this study,  seconded by Councilman Corns and carried by voice vote.  
 
President Kuiper added the next item to the agenda.   Austgen Electric approached the town, they are the new owners of the Rieter property, and representatives met with them last week and they plan to continue the cleanup.  At this time they don’t have an exact purpose as to what they will do with the property.  Austgen Electric asked if they could crush rock at this site on a temporary basis, which would be about six months coming from property they own at I-65.    The property is zoned I-2, and the Town would have to give them special permission.   Councilman Earley made a motion to allow Austgen Electric to crush rock on that site for six months, seconded by Councilman Parker.  Councilman Earley asked if there is any way the council could allow for an extension if this project takes more than six months.  David Austgen, Austgen Electric, stated he did not think it would take more than six months.  Councilman Earley wanted to know how many trucks would be coming in and out of the site.  Mr. Austgen stated the total loads for the whole project would be 266 loads with 30 loads coming in tomorrow and no more 
 
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than 40 to 50 loads a day after that.  Asst. Police Chief Scott Tokach asked if his company would be responsible for any spillage or fallouts.  Mr. Austgen stated they would.  Councilman Corns asked if they had an environmental assessment done on that property.  Mr. Austgen answered before they closed on the property, Well Corporation had a Phase II done and there was no further action done by IDEM.  The motion carried by voice vote.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
President Kuiper announced the next regular meeting will be Monday, June 11th at 7:00 P.M. after an executive session.  
 
MEDIA QUESTIONS / PUBLIC COMMENTS
 
Melanie Csepiga, The Times, asked for a copy of Commissioner Scheub’s letter.  She also asked what the locations were for Area 3 and 4 Annexation.  President Kuiper answered Area 3 was the five houses on the east side of Cline before you reach Freedom Park, and Area 4 was north and south of the VFW.  
 
Adam Lulinski, 17330 Castlebrook Drive, stated about a month ago he came in to pull a permit to build a deck around his pool.  Mr. Trulley informed him he could not issue a permit and had to get a permit from the DNR because his property was in a flood zone.  Mr. Lulinski wanted to know where the town was when his house was built, when the pond was put in, when the streets were put in, and sewers were put in. According to the town ordinance, you cannot build in a flood zone and he wanted to know why the town let Roy Mason do all that and how all this allowed without a permit.  He was planning on living in his home for at least twenty years and is now being told  not only is him home in a flood zone, but a flood way.  President Kuiper stated the flood maps have changed.   Mr. Lulinski stated he had the maps from 2005 and they changed January 18th of this year.  Councilman Parker stated Mr. Lulinski was his neighbor and he was able to get his property out of the floodway.  Councilman Parkers feels that somewhere along the line, the ball was dropped.  There are several issues in that subdivision and he has expressed his concern to the attorney; he is going to work diligently to get some answers and resolutions.  Mr. Lulinski stated no one will want to pay full value for his house.  He further stated he found the town 100% at fault because the town allowed it to happen and Roy Mason is at fault for not disclosing it.  The town has made builders put silt fences around building sites, but never made this developer put a silt fence around the pond, which takes all the debris and water from the street.  President Kuiper explained there has been a lot of discussion regarding this subdivision and Tom Trulley has been working very hard to find a solution. Councilman Parker stated Tom Trulley is by the book,  but this is not Tom’s fault.  He further stated he did not know what can be done for Mr. Lulinski’s property but he will identify specific problems and bring it to an executive meeting.  Mr. Lulinski stated he knew this was not Mr. Trulley’s fault but he is a town employee and his whole project was put on hold because Mr. Trulley would not issue a 
 
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permit.  He further stated he built the deck without a permit because Mr. Trulley was not in the office. 
 
Councilman Parker asked about the status of the eighty-acre annexation.  Attorney Sobkowski answered they were waiting for the fiscal plan being done by Financial Solutions.
 
Dick Ludlow, Town Council President of Schneider, wanted to thank the council for their approval of the Interlocal Agreement with the Ethanol plant and also for their support on the Illiana Expressway.  He stated these two projects will tie in together because they are looking at 150 to 200 trucks a day coming to the plant and feels it will also benefit Lowell.
 
There being no further business or discussion, Councilman Parker motioned to adjourn, seconded by Councilman Corns at 7:42 P.M.
 
 
    __________________________
Phillip Kuiper, President
Attest:
 
                                                
Judith Walter, Clerk-Treasurer