City Council Meeting 07/02/2018

The Charlestown City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 2 at 6:30 PM. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (36:18) at the end:

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Invocation – Neyland McClellan (North Charlestown Church of God)
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Roll call not formally taken but by observation the following members were in attendance – Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, Tina Barnes, and J.T. Cox. Also present were Mayor Bob Hall, Attorney Michael Gillenwater, and Deputy Clerk Nancy Rogers.
  4. Approval of Agenda – Mayor Hall asked to approve the agenda with an addition of 2018-OR-16 regarding the financing for the police station construction.
    • Motion to approve the agenda with the addition made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • During discussion, Tina Barnes asked to table this additional ordinance until the next meeting. Council Member Barnes noted that the ordinance was not sent to the council members until earlier that day and she had not had adequate time to review the document.
    • The motion to approve the minutes with the addition passed 4-1 with Tina Barnes the ‘nay’ vote.
  5. Claims – Mayor Hall added two claims to the list from Custom Computer and Consulting for updates to the City’s servers in the amount of $7,415.96 and $2,138.00.
    • Motion to approve claims with additions made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by J.T. Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  6. Prior Meeting’s minutes and Payroll Allowance Docket from 06/03/2018 to 07/01/2018 combined into one motion
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by J.T. Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  7. Public Comment – David Hayes, Sr. – the Villas of Springville Manor – Mr. Hayes described growing up and raising his children on Berkley in Pleasant Ridge. He noted that the neighborhood declined in the time he lived there, and that since moving to Springville Manor in December 2017, his utility bills have decreased and life has gotten easier due to property maintenance being provided for residents there. He and his wife are very happy in their new home. He expressed excitement about growth in Charlestown and thanked Bob Hall and the Council for the opportunity to move into a new home. He said that, while the Villas at Springville Manor are not fit for everyone in Pleasant Ridge, they are a good fit for him and his wife.
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • During Discussion Council Member Tina Barnes asked about “Item F” in the ordinance that prohibits glass containers. Noting that many people prepare and serve food from glass dishes she requested clarification of this item. Mayor Hall noted that clarification to prohibit glass bottles would be beneficial. Additionally, Ms. Barnes was concerned about the prohibition of “shock collars” since many trainers use such e-collars to provide an extra level of control for dogs. Mayor Hall asked Tony Jackson about the inclusion of this item among the prohibited items and Mr. Jackson said that all the dog parks they surveyed in their drafting of the ordinance prohibited shock collars. Ms. Barnes asked if more research could be done to clarify the issue and Mayor Hall said that she is welcome to do whatever she wants in that regard and that he is reluctant to require the collars. Ms. Barnes clarified that she’s not saying the collars should be required but that they should at least be allowed. More research will be done on the collar issue before the second reading of this ordinance.
    • Upon 1st reading the ordinance passed unanimously. Amendments will be made before the second reading.
  9. Tax Abatement Request – James Atcher with 3M Properties, LLC – Mr. Atcher is building a 7,500 square foot office building for his insulation installation company at 105 Industrial Way and is requesting a three year, 33% tax abatement for the improvements he is making at the property. During discussion he explained that he does not currently have an abatement and has not had such since he has owned the property (2009). He will be adding approximately 5-8 employees to his existing staff of 12 at average salaries of $47,000. Bob Hall noted that with the 33% abatement, the City will still net out more revenue than they currently do from the property once improvements are made.
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • Unanimous approval
    • Paul Wheatley from the Wheatley Group, who has been contracted to build the new police station, presented the ordinance that will allow them to move forward with construction. He noted that the ordinance will allow the City to enter into this debt instrument, allows the Mayor to execute the documents, and pledges LOIT as the repayment fund for the project. Construction and designs and site work will take approximately three weeks. Architectural plans are anticipated in Mid- August. Total cost of the project is $1,299,500. Financing is provided by New Washington State Bank at a 10 year fixed interest rate of 3.8% after which the loan will convert to a variable rate. Payments will total approximately $115,000 annually (split into two payments). The Bank has agreed to hold this rate in case this ordinance does not pass in entirety tonight. Year end 2017 collections in LOIT are approximately $216,000, so there is enough money in the fund to cover the instrument. If approved tonight, occupancy can be granted in Spring 2019.
    • Council Member Tina Barnes asked for clarification on who is taking part in this project as the Developer and about the interest rate. She apologized for not being able to ask more informed questions, but noted that she had not been allowed adequate time to review the documents in full.
    • Chief McDonald and members of the police department were present and expressed their excitement and thanks for the City moving forward on this project.
    • Council Member Little asked about funding for furniture and Mayor Hall said that the police department has some money available and that the City will assist them.
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by J.T. Cox
    • Prior to the vote Council Member Tina Barnes stated that she would abstain from voting because she has not had a chance to read the ordinance in full. She tanked the Police Department for their work and noted that they deserve this station but that in order to do her job she needed time to read the documents first.
    • Motion passed 4/1 with Ms. Barnes making an abstention
    • Mayor Hall called for a motion to suspend the rules to allow for a second and final reading of the ordinance.
      • Motion to suspend made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • Passed 4/1 with Ms. Barnes making an abstention
    • Mayor Hall called for a motion to approve the ordinance in a second and final reading.
      • Motion to approve on second and final reading made by Mike Vaughn
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • Passed 4/1 with Ms. Barnes making an abstention
  11. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by J.T. Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Full audio (36:18) available here: 


Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s