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Apr 04 2009

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March 5, 2009 Council Minutes

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March 5, 2009



Roll Call:

Michael L. Selch, Council President, Present

William J. Woodrum, Council Vice-President, Present

Mike Russell, Council Member, Present

Cheryl Russell, Clerk-Treasurer, Present


In Attendance:

Harold Blake, Town Attorney                           Cory Zurcher   

Don Perry, Town Marshall                                Susan Zurcher 

Mark Basham, Water Superintendent                Deb Woodrum                                    

Wilma Williams                                     Lola Stephens

Gary Harris                                                      Beth Russell

Dave Moreland                                                Jim Roberts

David Moreland



The meeting was called to order by the Council President at 6:02 P.M.


Mike S. read a statement regarding complaints and criticisms.  While they are always welcome, there are a growing number of letters that are signed “name withheld” or “concerned citizen”.  From now on, any complaints without a legal signature will not be read into the record.


The minutes from the February 5, 2009 Town Council Meeting were approved as written.


Mike S. opened the floor for citizen input.  Gary Harris spoke regarding the water rates.  He questioned if there are different rates for those on fixed incomes.  Mark and Mike S. explained that everyone is being charged the same rate, and how the process works.


Gary also asked if he needed to get a permit to build a fence on his property.  Mike S. suggested that he check with Hendricks County Building and Planning.  Gary said that they told him to check with the town.  The Board said he could go ahead and build the fence.


Dave Moreland spoke regarding a walk-in/break-in over the weekend of November 9th.  There was no sign of forced entry, but several items were stolen, including some Rock Band items, CD’s, a double LP heater, and some other things.  They started hearing word of where some of this stuff supposedly went.  He contacted the Town Marshall with this information, but couldn’t get him to go check on it.  Subsequently, too much time passed by, it was never checked out, and then it was too late.  Dave’s insurance company told him that if there was no police report, they couldn’t do anything about it.  Then they asked who our Marshall was and also said that under the circumstances, Dave could be

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looking at a rate increase, and they insisted that he put a surveillance system in the building.  This has all come about in the last month.  Dave went on to say that he is also here on behalf of the North Salem Christian Church.  There was a lady who had a function there, and when she left, they pretty much cleaned out the kitchen and took everything with them.  They took a big trash container, stole an electric skillet, a clock, a stainless steel scoop, shears, and a fire extinguisher.  John Gossett called the Marshall.  The woman was sitting in his office, and supposedly told the Marshall what she had done.  She was let go because he was working on something else with this, and something about Child Protective Services was involved.  Theft is theft, and Child Protective Services doesn’t have anything to do with a theft.  Dave says he has this to prove.  They (referring to the Christian Church) did not buy any extras, they replaced only what was stolen.  The Fire Department provided them with a new fire extinguisher, and they did not replace a $30.00 trash can.  When nothing was done, he told the woman to never come to the door of the church again because of the stealing.  At this point, Mike Selch asked Dave to clarify who said this to the woman.  Dave said it was John Gossett.  Dave said he was also told that when he (referring to Donnie) was supposedly working on this that he was always busy or working on something else.  Donnie told him one day that he would be down the next day at 1:00 p.m. to tell him what was going on, and that he would like what he would hear.  So far, 1:00 has never come.  That was probably two months ago.  Mike S. asked the Board if this is something that they need to discuss at a public meeting.  Billy responded that in his opinion, they need to talk to Donnie about it.  Billy also stated that this is the first that he’s heard of any of this.  Dave responded to Billy that they had talked about this same subject many times.  He knows how Billy felt, and is assuming that his position hasn’t changed.  Billy responded that is the way he felt at the time, but now he believes that Donnie is doing a better job.  Dave believes that it is getting worse.  Billy also said that this was the first that he had heard anything about all of this (referring to the thefts).  Dave said that nobody else had either.  Billy said that they would take it up with Donnie.  Dave said that he contacted Mike some time ago and talked to him, and since that time, the Marshall hasn’t been near as friendly to him as he used to be.  When we are paying tax dollars for him to do a job, he thinks he ought to do it and not push it off as working on something else.  Dave also said that he sees his car in Brownsburg and Danville more often then he does in North Salem.  He really can’t understand that.  Mike responded that after he had talked to Dave he talked to Donnie and looked at his records.  He would like to schedule a time to talk with both Dave and Donnie together regarding all of this without taking up other people’s time.  Dave agreed to do that.  Billy asked what the dollar amount was in regards to the theft at his business.  Dave responded that it was somewhere in the $800.00 to $1,000.00 range.  He can’t call it a break in because there were no signs of forced entry.  He thinks what happened is that one of the delivery trucks was unlocked, and they got the door opener out, raised the door and just walked in.  Mike said that he would like to get this resolved in the next week or so.


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Mike S. moved on to Cory and Susan Zurcher in regards to vacating alleys.  This has been brought up before, and they have done quite a bit of work with Mr. Comer.  Harold said that they have e-mailed back and forth, and everything is in order to proceed.  Billy made a motion to vacate the alley.  Mike Russell seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.  Cheryl will have this ordinance, 2009-3, published once in the paper.


Mike S. gave an update on the website.  In December, there were 171 visitors; in January, 152; in February, 167, and that figure is actually 262 visits by 167 people.  We had an e-mail from Britton Stucker, which Mike went on to read.  There were also 2 e-mails from Mark W. Fishback, a marine.  Mike went on to give information from those e-mails in regards to getting a plaque to display in North Salem in honor of Capt. Milton Russell, who received a medal of honor from the Civil War.


Mike S. showed everyone the new Town Seal, which will be necessary for some of the future grant projects.


Mike S. said that he has had many meetings in the past few weeks involving funding for the 12 ½ acre parcel and the new water tower.  When we did the Fire Station, we didn’t have knowledge of needing a Capital Assets Ledger.  It should have been kept during that time, and somewhere along the line, communications fell apart.  We can now no longer get any funding from the Federal or State Government until that is resolved and that grant is closed.  Donna Astin and Cheryl have been working on that and hope to have it done in the next week.  The other thing that has happened is that the Governor has set forth funding for the Community Development Block Grants.  This is for projects like what we did with the Fire Station, and what we can do for the water tower, and other things.  That budget is set for this year, so there will be some money coming to the State of Indiana.  The stimulus money adds several million dollars that will be available as well.  They opened this up to be able to register any projects that we have in the future (the next 2-5 years).  They want as many as possible that will be ready to start building by the end of this year.  That means all of the forms and applications have to be in line.  We aren’t even close to that.  They don’t know what the regulations are going to be on how they are going to disperse money.  They expected 5,000 projects to come in, and as of yesterday morning, they had 7,700, and the deadline for that is not until noon on Monday.  They are in the process of sorting them out now.  North Salem is on the project list for a walking trails park.  We hope to receive funding to buy that parcel.  If we can get things done before the deadline in September, we will look good because it would be shovel ready.  A number of things have to happen before that.  One of the first things we have to do is get the Capital Asset settled and approved.  The next thing is that we have to have a comprehensive plan, which explains who builds what, and what’s going to be where.  We can apply for a grant for up to $50,000 for a comprehensive plan that we can develop.  We have to have 10% matching.  Cheryl and I have talked about what we can do to come


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up with the $5,000.00 matching – it might not be that much.  They may get it for $25,000.00 to $30,000.00 then we would have to come up with $2,000.00 or $3,000.00.  Harold asked if this means that we would have to come up with out own Planning Commission.  Mike said that it could.    Mike has to meet with Don Reitz and as long as he will work with us and we fit into that program Roger Stevens, who was out here today, says we might get by without it.  Mike stated that at the OCRA meeting last night that several stated that we go ahead and establish a planning and building commission because you can control things better and not have to go back and forth to the county.  Mike’s concern is finding people to serve on the board.  Mike said that he wants to make sure everyone is on board with going through the steps, once the Capital Assets thing is out of the way.   Then apply for a grant for comprehensive plan and development.  Then the next step would be getting the income survey, which would cost around $2,000.00 so we’re still under the bar of being hardship – so to speak.  Then apply for a planning grant for the water system.  That will be about $30,000.00 and that is a 10% match.  Then once we get to that point we can apply for the engineering grant to actually come out and measure pipes, how long they are, and where they’re at and that will all fit into the comprehensive plan.  Then after all of those steps are done we can apply for a grant to build the water tower, wherever it’s going to be.  But if we don’t get started on this we are going to run out of precious time.  A lot of these things are on a moving scale and it’s very difficult to plan what’s going to happen, but if we need to get started.  Right now it is agreed from Sandy Powers, from Roger Stevens, and Walt Reeder who came and looked at the plans for the Terry Northern addition, they all agreed that there is an easier and less restrictive way to get the money to buy that personal land through the parks department.  In order to get money from the parks department we need to have a parks board – it has to be 5 members.  So we have to have a comprehensive plan, we have to have a park board, and we have to apply for a grant from the parks department to see if we can get help on buying that parcel (12 ½ acres) and developing the walking trails.  Along with all of this Mike had Walt Reeder come over, who helped draw up some of the plans and blueprints that (inaudible) has with this property and we had questions – where does the property stop?  We were told that it goes to the middle of the creek, which is normal on parcel land.  The property goes to a flat landing at the edge of the creek.  Mike was told that that could be an isolated flood plane or it could belong to the people from Brownsburg who bought the lot on the other side.  Harold said it probably depends on the shifting of the creek. Mike said that we have a number of things in our favor to do that with a walking trails park.  One is that we are close to the school.  The rails and trails stops at the overhead.  It’s going to have to be diverted to get around town and SR 75 and privately owned property – so they will come through town and that will come by it.  The retirement and low income apartments right next to it, we’ve got the playground, the shelter and restrooms.  And according to Roger Stevens there is a good possibility that we could hit a different vein of water there if we drilled a new well.  That would most likely be the case the way the creek is.  The grant announcement is some time in September for disbursement in November.  Mike reiterated that we need to apply for a grant for a

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comprehensive plan; we can’t apply for this until we have the capital assets ledger done.  And we need money set aside for the 10% match. 


Mark told Mike that he can start getting the park board together.  Mike S. said that he has some contact in with Bill Harrington (he left an e-mail and phone message).  He’s on the McCloud park and he has an e-mail message from somebody that’s on the Indiana Parks Board through either Roger Stevens or Walt Reeder.  So at this point it looks like what we need to do is a comprehensive plan, and set up a parks board, and proceeds down that road.  And at the same time trying to work on getting a planning grant, because all of that is going to take time.  Mike said he didn’t see any way that we could get this done within the next year to get all those steps to do anything about the water tower.  Harold said that we would be surprise at how expensive our own planning department is going to be.  Mike said that he would like to avoid that.  Harold said that the board acts as their own bza and that’s fine for local decisions are making, but building inspectors and certified planning technicians, certified town planners.  Harold said that if this is a step that needs to get done in order to buy that parcel of ground then that’s what we need to do in order to get the grant. Mike is going to do some research about what is going on in other towns and their bza and how they do it so he’s going to spend some time with Don Reitz.  And he also has information about parks boards.  We need to be ready by the end of the year.


Mike S. said that the Board has information from Senator Phil Boots regarding the township trustees– right now its dead in the water.  Dick Thompson thinks they will revive that in April and bring it back out and try to eliminate more trustees.


Mike S. said that John Berry has information on the upgrade of Eel River township emergency equipment.


Mike S. presented information on the expenses and the income of the community building, which the trustees pay.  Years 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 basically 2008 $5,993.00 more to maintain and keep the community building open than she took in.  Income has been from $1,600.00 to $2,400.00.  Everything else has gone up 62% in 4 years.  Mike doesn’t see how the town can take over that and serve the township, which is where we are on the fire department too. Mike said he thinks a farmers market or craft fair on the weekends to allow people to come in and sell items and charge booth space or take a percentage of what they get and be able to off set some of this.  Then what do you do with wedding receptions, holidays and that kind of things scheduled there. 


Mike S. asked Harold about emergency water restrictions and an article on local government’s role in enforces it.  Harold said there needs to be a list of restrictions and the fines.  The State wants an ordinance in your town before they will consider spending money on water towers.  The Board agreed to a $50.00 fine per day.  Mike asked Harold what he needed to redraft the ordinance.  Harold said that places to be posted will be the

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Town Hall, the web site and the NSSB and the fine would be $50.00 per day that’s all we need.    Harold will make the changes and have the ordinance regarding emergency water restriction ready for April. 


Mike S. stated that he would like to have a littering ordinance.  Mike would like something done about the extra Flyer newspapers lying around town. 


Mike S. stated that the week of May 11-15 is Municipal Government Week.  People can be invited to meetings and get involving and see what municipal government is.  Also, May 7 is the National Day of Prayer will be our May meeting there will be a gathering at the Community building of the area ministers and they would like the Town Council there and all those in authority.  Mike has invited John Berry to have the firemen and the emts there, and Jeff and Dick Thompson will be there.  There will be flyers different places.


Cheryl presented an invoice for the IACT dues that are due.  The amount if $587.00.  The Board decided to not pay the dues.


Mark said that he had his IDEM inspection and it went well.  They look at the records and facility. 


Mark and Doug have been cutting saplings in the ditches. And on McKinley and Vine Streets at the creek by Donna Clark’s it’s washing out so he’s going to call the County and see if can do something about the creek.  Something needs to be put on the sides.


Mike S. asked if the hood at the fire station was fixed.  Mark said that he can’t find a big enough break to bend the metal.  Mike R. recommended the man at the machine shop in Lizton or maybe an air conditioning guy.


Mike S. asked Mark about the dialer at the sewer plant.  Is everything where it should be on that? 


Mike R. asked about the clean-up notices.  It was discussed at the April meeting that due to the weather that clean-ups could wait.  Mike S. suggested that the board get together a week or so before the next meeting in April and send out notices with a deadline in May.

The Board agreed. 











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Jim Roberts asked that the Board work with the Masonic Lodge on their water bill or they will have to shut the water off.  There was much discussion and the decision was made to shut the water off.


There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.



Michael L. Selch, Council President



William J. Woodrum, Council Vice-President



Mike Russell, Council Member

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