Common Council Meeting 03/04/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 4 at 6:30 PM. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (14:05) at the end. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by Christopher Early from Charlestown Middle School. Christopher is raising money for the Lymphoma Society. 
  2. Invocation – led by David Flucke from Otisco Community Church
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members in attendance were Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, and Tina Barnes. JT Cox was absent. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and city attorney Michael Gillenwater
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Mayor Hall requested the addition of Resolution 2019-R-5 
    • Motion to approve amended agenda made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • Unanimous Approval
  5. Approval of prior meeting’s Minutes, current Claims and Payroll Allowance Docket from 02/18/2019 to 03/03/2019 combined into one motion for approval 
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  6. Ordinances and Resolutions
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-4 – An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 2018-OR-23, An Ordinance Establishing Property Maintenance Standards Within the City of Charlestown, Indiana
      • Motion for second and final reading made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion 
      • Ted Little, Brian Hester, and Mike Vaughn voted in favor. Tina Barnes voted against.
    • Resolution 2019-R-5 A Resolution Directing the Disposition of Net Proceeds from the Sale of the Water Utility 
      • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      •  Discussion
        • During discussion Tina Barnes noted that she wasn’t given this resolution until she sat down at tonight’s meeting and has not had adequate time to review it. She asked for clarification on the purpose and use of the EPIC fund and the Capital Trust Projects. Mayor Hall told Ms. Barnes that if she pulled the ordinance that established the EPIC fund it would tell her everything it can be used for, so this will be used for those items spelled out in the EPIC fund ordinance. He said that the consumer credits fund is for the credits the city is doing on water bills to offset rate increases from the sale to Indiana American Water and that the remaining balance goes into the Capital Trust Projects which has existed for about 25 years. He noted that to move money from the Capital Trust Projects a vote from the council is required. Ms. Barnes asked Mayor Hall to give her a brief overview of the EPIC fund since she hasn’t had a chance to look at it before the meeting and would have to pull an ordinance to review what the fund can be used for, which she has not had time to do since she just received the resolution tonight. Mayor Hall said that the EPIC Fund can be used for any of the items in the ordinance and said that one thing it is set to do is put in neighborhood parks in different areas of the city.
        • Ted Little said it would involve other things the city is allowed to do but are not yet moving forward on. Mayor Hall clarified that they’re moving forward on the parks. Mr. Little asked if these funds will draw interest in the meantime and Mayor Hall said yes.
        • Ms. Barnes asked if she could abstain from this vote because she approves of the fund for the water subsidies but does not approve of the EPIC Fund. Mayor Hall told her that she can do what ever she wants to do. 
        • Ted Little, Brian Hester, and Mike Vaughn voted in favor. Tina Barnes abstained. 
  7. Mayor Hall Update –
    • Mayor Hall said that “the long awaited day is happening tomorrow” and they will close on the sale of the water after what he thinks was an unnecessary 18 month delay. He said he understands that the NOW group plans to file with the supreme court, but he does not anticipate the supreme court will agree to hear the case. He said that about three years ago he proposed to address the water infrastructure and IAW stepped in and expressed interest. After rate comparison he thinks they will be able to fix the water. He said they have no reason not to fix it and they are committed to doing so. He said that the president of IAW stated on video that they expect to have it resolved in five years or less. IAW will send a letter repeating this information. He said it’s a good day and he’s happy that we will see a time when the water will no longer be a discussion in the public or political arena. He said that, as it has always been, the number of customers and the few that are affected by it became a “squeaky wheel.” He asked for any other comments. Ted Little, praised the sale and described a study by Indiana University that talked about Charlestown’s water situation in 1940 during WWII. Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer said that she thinks it’s a great thing and the most economical answer. Mike Vaughn agreed.
    • Mayor Hall said that at the next meeting they will see the designs of three parks and he has identified properties and they’re getting the necessary agreements in place. Heritage, Ashley Springs, and Lakeview/Highview have already identified properties. They are still dealing with a property owner in Woodford Farms. He said that they are also working with Danbury Oaks on a lot. He said that by the end of the month they’ll be able to add five parks this summer. 
  8.  Adjournment
    • Motion made to adjourn made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous Approval 

Audio:

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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