Redevelopment Commission Meeting 05/23/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 23 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (9:38) available at the end: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by Ted Little
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members in attendance were Pat Glotzbach, Ted Little, Eric Vaughn, George Roberts, and Mayor Bob Hall. Also in attendance was Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s Minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 05/05/2019 to 05/19/2019 combined into one motion for consideration.
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Eric Vaughn
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Old Business
    • Paul Wheatley – on behalf of the Renaissance Project and ARC Mr. Wheatley introduced a second amendment to the existing agreement that extends the due diligence period and sets the closing date to June 3.
      • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to accept the amendment
      • Motion made by Eric Vaughn
      • Seconded by Pat Glotzback
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Springville Manor
      • Mayor Hall introduced partial releases of the mortgages on lots 11 and 23
      • Motion to release mortgages made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by George Roberts
      • During discussion Mayor Hall said that these releases absolve the responsibility of the developer for these houses and transfer the mortgage to the owner.
      • Unanimous approval
  5. Mayor Hall’s Update
    • New Washington State Bank is having a retirement cookout today for Pat Glotzbach from 11-4.
    • Mayor Hall congratulated Donna Coomer again on the street dedication in her name and thanked her for her work with the Beautification Committee.
    • There will be a Memorial Day service Saturday at 10 am on the Square
    • Founders Day will be June 21-22
  6.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • Unanimous approval

Audio of the meeting is available here:

Board of Public Works Meeting 05/20/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Public Works met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 20 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (13:33) available at the end: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance: led by Geneva Adams
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: In attendance were Ted Little and Ben Ledbetter. Mayor Bob Hall was absent. Also in attendance was Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 05/05/2019 to 05/18/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to Approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Old Business
    • Organizers of the 5K Pirate Fun Run have asked for approval to change the date to August 17th.
      • Motion to approve the date change made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
      • During discussion Ted Little began to explain the significance of the run but was corrected that this is not a change to the Bertram Memorial 5K but rather the annual Pirate Fun Run.
      • Unanimous approval (occurred later in the meeting after a vote was missed at first and a city employee approached Ben Ledbetter and brought it to the Board’s attention.)
    • City Engineer Presentation of Bids
      • The city received five bids for the Community Crossing street paving process on May 5th.
        • Taylor Friesz from Saegesser Engineering, Inc. said that Wingham Paving, Inc provided the lowest bid in the amount of $1,930,389.81 and requested that the board approve the contract and grant Mayor Bob Hall permission to sign the documents. (A portion of the funding for this project will come from a Community Crossings matching grant in the amount of $941,000.)
        • Motion to approve mad by Ben Ledbetter
        • Seconded by Ted Little
        • During discussion Ben Ledbetter said that he was present during the bid opening and thought the process was handled very professionally.
        • Unanimous Approval
      • New Business
        • Chief Keith McDonald – Swearing in of new Officers – the department has hired a new full time and a new reserve officer.
          • Rick Correa scored exceptionally high on testing. He is 26 years old and from Miami, Florida. He has some experience in fire fighting and EMS. He will come on as a full time officer.
          • Martin Baker also scored high marks will be sworn in as a reserve officer.
        • Motion to approve new officers made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous Approval
      • Adjournment
        • Motion to adjourn made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
        • Unanimous approval

Audio Available here (13:33) :

Federal Judge GRANTS Motion to Amend Complaint: Racketeering Charges against Charlestown Agents Reinstated

59dfc97a89a5f.imageOn Wednesday, May 15, Federal Judge Debra McVicker Lynch granted the Pleasant Ridge Landlords’ motion to amend their complaint against agents of the city including Mayor Bob Hall, some members of the City Council and Redevelopment Commission, Charlestown’s Building Inspector as well as private developer John Neace’s company. The decision allowed the attorney for the Landlords to correct deficiencies in their original Racketeer Influenced and Corruptions Organizations Act  (RICO) claim against the City.

On March 13, this portion of the Landlords’ case was dismissed by Judge Lynch. Although the Judge found that the Landlords’ case successfully alleged extortion, the dismissal was based on the lack of evidence to demonstrate that a pattern of racketeering activity had taken place. Read about the dismissal here: Partial Dismissal Information

On March 22, the attorney for the Landlords filed a petition with the court to allow for an update to the RICO charges based on new information obtained that allowed them to address the deficiencies noted by the Judge in her dismissal. Read about the motion here: Motion to Amend Complaint

In granting the Plaintiff’s motion to amend their complaint, Judge Lynch noted that “it is unusual to prohibit a party from having the opportunity to address such defects at least once when the court has ruled that the complaint is deficient” (p 4 of Order). The Judge stated that the Plaintiffs should be allowed to add information to address what the Court found missing in their original complaint and found that allowing the amendment will not complicate the procedure for the City because the Landlords have not engaged in “bad faith” or caused “undue delay” in the matter (Order p 5). 

In addition to adding the RICO allegations back to the case, the amended complaint also adds the allegation of an Eighth Amendment, excessive fines violation. 

You can read the Judge’s order here: PLED-Order Granting Motion for Leave to Amend

You can read the full amended complaint with the new evidence included here: PLED-Third Amended Complaint

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting 05/13/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Zoning Appeals met for an advertised meeting on Monday, May 13 at 7:00pm. Following is a summary with full audio of the meeting: 

  1. Call to order – Pledge of Allegiance 
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Darrell Stidham, Danny Oakley, Paul Collier, Zach Payne and Barry Early. Also in attendance was Tony Jackson.
  3. New Business
    • 131 Herbert Drive (Variance Request for Carport)
      • Petitioner is requesting a variance to install a carport over his driveway to cover his vehicles. Mr. Stidham asked for more information. The petitioner said that the cover will protect the vehicles from hail or damage. He’s requesting a variance for the ordinance regarding setback from the road. He said that he thinks the distance is 50-55 feet and that Tony Jackson (Building Commissioner) said that he would need a variance. The petitioner said that the carport would not go to the sidewalk that it’s 19×20 feet. Tony Jackson clarified that the setback rules state 55 feet from the center of the road or 35 feet from the edge of the road. Mr. Stidham said that when he measured from the center of the road to the edge of the house was 55 feet. He asked how close the carport will be to the sidewalk. The petitioner said it will be at least two feet from the sidewalk.
      • Mr. Stidham said that the request does not comply with the ordinance and the petitioner said that’s why he’s requesting the variance. Mr. Stidham asked about other structures on his property.
      • Questions from the board:
        • Barry Early – He asked if the petitioner had previously installed the carport. The petitioner said that he was asking questions of the city and was told that the BZA variance was really “just a formality” so he thought he could get approval. Mr. Early asked for clarification on the timing of the carport construction. The petitioner said that he has appeared before the board before (represented by his mother the first time), and received an order to remove the structure at his second visit. This is his third appearance. Mr. Early noted that the owner has a two car garage and asked how many vehicles the petitioner owns. The petitioner said that he currently has two and is getting his son one soon. Mr. Early asked why he doesn’t park his cars in the garage. The petitioner said he has a pool table and entertainment area in his garage. Mr. Early asked questions about how the carport is anchored and the petitioner explained the frame is anchored by concrete. Mr. Early said that if he uses concrete to anchor it that makes it a permanent structure and is against the ordinance.
        • Zach Payne – He asked how long the ordinance has existed that restricts this carport and how long the setback has been in place. Tony Jackson said that the setbacks have been in place since the original construction in the 1990s and that Indiana Code sets the definition of a structure. Mr. Stidham said that the city’s codes follow the state codes and there are no variances allowed. Tony Jackson said that there are five criteria required to grant a variance. Mr. Payne asked if this board has granted a similar variance for a permanent structure. Tony Jackson said that each individual variance sets on its own merits. Mr. Early said that Indiana Code does not set precedence. Mr. Stidham said that in recent years the Plan Commission restructured certain city codes and that he made a motion to the board at that time that the residences of the city would not have more than two accessory buildings on their property.
      • Motion to deny variance made by Paul Collier
      • Motion seconded by Barry Early
      • Unanimous denial the variance petition.
    • Barry Early noted that the Board had not yet approved the prior meeting’s minutes.
      • Motion to approve made by Paul Collier
      • Seconded by Zach Payne
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
    • 7921 Stacy Road (Variance request to split lot)
      • Tony Jackson represented the property owner in this instance.
      • Mr. Stidham said that from what he can determine from the documents provided there’s never been a clarification of what the property is.
      • Tony Jackson said that the petitioner is requesting a variance to split a lot and for access off of a private drive. Mr. Jackson said there are three other houses on the private drive and that the petitioner knows he needs to clarify shared access to the drive on the deed.
      • Motion to grant variance contingent upon successful attainment of the deed made by Barry Early
      • Seconded by Paul Collier
      • No additional discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  4. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Paul Collier
    • Seconded by Zach Payne
    • Unanimous Approval

Full audio available here (26:48):

Common Council Meeting 05/13/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a rescheduled meeting on Monday, May 13 at 6:30 pm. Following is a summary with full audio of the meeting: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by Christopher Early who is collecting money for the Crusade for Children.
  2. Invocation – led by Neyland McClelland from the North Charlestown Church of God
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, Tina Barnes, and J.T. Cox. Also in attendance were Mayor Bob Hall and Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket 03/31/2019 to 05/11/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  6. No legislative business
  7. Mayor Hall’s update
    • Police station construction is moving along and they anticipate completion in June or July
    • Renaissance Project I plans to break ground in June or July.
    • Neighborhood parks – excavation has begun in Ashley Springs and Heritage Place. Equipment has been delivered.
    • Street paving – all bids have been received and will be addressed at the next Board of Public Works meeting. Paving will be completed in 90 days from the acceptance of the bid.
  8. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by J.T. Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Audio here: (5:17):

Redevelopment Commission Meeting 05/09/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a rescheduled meeting on Thursday, May 9 at 1:30 PM. Following is a summary with full audio: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Eric Vaughn
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members in attendance were Pat Glotzbach, Ted Little, Eric Vaugh, George Roberts, and Mayor Bob Hall. Also in attendance was Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims and payroll allowance docket from 04/08/2019 to 05/04/2019 combined into one motion for approval.
    • Motion to approve made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • No discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Mayor Hall added a claim for Paul Wheatley’s quarterly consultant fee and requested a motion to approve payment of $15,000. 
    • Motion to approve made by Pat Glotzbach
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. New Business
    • Paul Wheatley – SME Phase I (L&M Bag Co., LLC)
      • Hotel Feasibility Request For Proposals
        • Mr. Wheatley explained that Mayor Hall asked for a feasibility study for a hotel. He introduced Nick Lawrence who explained the RFP purpose and process. 
        • Mr. Lawrence explained that this is a request for proposals from companies who specialize in putting together feasibility studies for hospitality use. He said that feasibility studies are often used by active developers to review appropriateness of size for hotels in the market or in developing marketing tools to attract investors. The proposed RFP would ask companies to submit their qualifications to complete the feasibility study. The scope being requested includes a review of existing demand or suitability of the market for hotel/hospitality use. The study will also assess possible room rates or other incentives. This study will focus on the highway 3/62 interchange. The ideal outcome would be a recommendation on a site, identification of potential flags, and room number/size. The deliverable will be something the Redevelopment Commission can present to possible developers. The RFP allows consultants to submit their proposals to produce the feasibility study for a hotel.
        • Paul Wheatley requested a motion to solicit this RFP
          • Motion to approve RFP solicitation made by Eric Vaughn
          • Seconded by George Roberts
          • No additional discussion
          • Unanimous approval
        • ARC Project Update (Renaissance I)
          • Paul Wheatley said that ARC has been doing due diligence. He thanked Donna Coomer and Geneva Adams for providing needed documentation. He presented a schedule that outlines where they are in the process today.
            • The next date on the schedule is May 23 at which point the Redevelopment Commission will need to adopt the resolution to pledge TIF revenue to the project. 
            • On June 6, the Economic Development Commission will need to hold a public hearing and uphold the resolution accepting the Redevelopment Commission’s TIF resolution. The following day they will need to publish notification to schools and plan commission.
            • On June 17 the City Council will meet to have the initial reading of the bond ordinance
            • On July 1, the City Council will have the second and final reading of the bond ordinance
            • Closing can take place mid-July and construction can begin then. 
          • Bond Council delivered four documents two days ago. These documents are:
            • Council bond ordinance
            • Redevelopment Commission TIF pledge
            • Economic Development Commission’s resolution
            • Notice of public hearing
            • City attorney Michael Gillenwater will review these documents and have them at the next Redevelopment meeting. 
            • He said that the Mayor and Staff and Pat Glotzbach have met with the developer to move this to closing.
          • Mr. Wheatley offered to answer questions related to financing. Mayor Hall asked the amount of the bond needed. Mr. Wheatley said approximately $950,000 but they are still working through the debt structure. Mayor Hall said in the original agreement they said they would either issue the $950,000 or they’d waive fees for $800,000. They’re looking into this more to determine which plan they will use. 
          • This information should be clarified at the next Redevelopment Meeting on May 23. 
          • Mayor Hall said he’s excited about ARC. He asked if they’ve submitted their state approval paperwork and Mr. Wheatley said he wasn’t sure yet.
  6. Proposed change of meeting times
    • Mayor Hall said that because Mr. Glotzbach sits on other boards and cannot make the 9:00 Thursday meetings, he recommends moving the times to fit Mr. Glotzbach’s schedule. Mr. Glotzbach review his schedule and said that he can make the May 23 meeting at 9am so it can stay where it is.
    • Mr. Glotzbach said everyone is invited to his cookout on that day at 11:00. He announced he is retiring from NWSB. He wanted to thank the people of Charlestown for the support they’ve given to him and the bank. Mayor Hall said he will probably do something more formal for Mr. Glotzbach in the future, but he appreciates everything Mr. Glotzbach has done.
  7.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • Unanimous approval 

Audio (17:09) available here:

Board of Public Works Meeting 05/06/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Public Works met on Monday, May 6 at 9:00 am for a regularly scheduled meeting. Following is a summary with full audio available at the end:

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Ben Ledbetter
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – members present were Ted Little, Ben Ledbetter, and Mayor Bob Hall. Also in attendance was Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 04/14/2019 to 05/04/2019 combined into one motion for consideration
    • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Approval of Contracts
    • CPD Furniture
      • Mayor Hall told the board that he toured the police department and it looks good. He said that it is time to provide furniture and to provide “Shoot-Don’t Shoot” training. He asked the board to authorize him to sign the lease agreements for the furniture and the training program. The program trains officers in real life situations and addresses proper use of force in interaction with suspects.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • BMS Agreement
      • Heather Mick addressed the board in reference to the insurance renewal. The new plan has no changes in rates or benefits for employees. This agreement allows pre-tax deductions for employees.
      • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
  5. Chief Keith McDonald addressed the board and thanked them for approving the furniture and training program.
  6. Ben Ledbetter thanked Kerri Vaughn for all the work she has done with the CEEF on getting the banners for the seniors put together and placed. He also thanked the Charlestown Beautification Committee for the planters on the square.
  7. Eric Vaughn made a request for two additional draws on the police station in the amounts of $404,850 for construction and $6,540 for IT for a total of $411,390
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  8.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Audio file here: