City of Mount Carmel City Council met May 20
City of Mount Carmel City Council met May 20.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Invocation was given by Reverend Tony Hodgson.
Present on Roll Call: Mayor Joe Judge Commissioners – Tom Meeks, Eric Ikemire, Justin Dulgar, Rod Rodriguez,
Also, Present: City Administrative Assistant Rudy Witsman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mayor Judge requested a motion to approve the minutes of the last council meeting.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Ikemire seconded to approve the minutes of the meeting held on May 6th, 2019. All present voted Aye by Voice Vote.
Mayor Judge brought the city council meeting to order.
Mayor Judge acknowledged Sheri Spruell and Jeff Spruell, who were in attendance representing the Wabash County Animal Shelter Buddies. Ms. Spruell reiterated the Animal Shelter Buddies had previously requested, however did not receive prior council approval, to put up “dog waste stations” in various locations throughout the city. Ms. Spruell stated the Animal Shelter Buddies would purchase the stations and maintain them, as well. After a brief discussion, the mayor and council decided to allow the “stations” in certain areas of the city.
Mayor Judge acknowledged the Mount Carmel Public Library Director Twilla Coon, who was in attendance to announce the library has received a grant for the amount up to $25,000.00 to change the lighting in the library, which will make the facility more energy efficient. Ms. Coon stated she had requested bids from electrical contractors and the lowest bid was in the amount of $21,650.00. The council congratulated Ms. Coon and the library on the awarding of the grant funds.
Mayor Judge announced the city swimming pool will open on Saturday, May 25th and the general admission price has been lowered to $2.50. Mayor Judge stated a free swim for the public will be held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th. Mayor Judge reported the pool was water blasted and cleaned; concrete repairs were done; and then freshly painted. Mayor Judge stated the pool has now been filled and the water is being filtered in preparation of the opening day.
Mayor Judge presented to the council for approval the appointments of Shad White, Ed Hicks and Mike Harris to the Police and Fire Commission.
Mayor Judge stated three years ago the City of Mount Carmel and the Wabash County Health Department started a Community Service Program and three graduating individuals participated in the program. Mayor Judge reported the program was started to assist students with their future goals on the career/college level as well as assisting the city and the health department by providing volunteer community service work. Mayor Judge presented the awards to Michael Coslett and Brice Peacock for their service work at the WC Cafeteria and Senior Citizens Center as well as Kristen Judge for her service work at the Wabash County Health Department and also the WC Cafeteria and Senior Citizens Center. The council extended their congratulations to the individuals.
Mayor Judge presented to the council for discussion the construction of stop sign islands at the intersections of Third, Fourth, Fifth and Market Streets and asked if the street department crew should perform the work for the islands or if the city should accept bids for the project. Mayor Judge acknowledged Commissioner Ikemire who affirmed TIF funds may be used to offset the expense of the project. Mayor Judge also asked for council input regarding the placement of two or four way stop signs per each intersection and stated the cost for each island is $6500.00. After an extensive discussion, Mayor Judge proposed placing two islands per intersection at Third, Fourth and Fifth along Market Street; to further review the Sixth Street intersection and continue that discussion at the next council meeting.
Mayor Judge acknowledged Dave Dallas, who presented to the council the estimated road maintenance costs for this year and stated a resolution must be passed to appropriate the sum of $139,309.00 of MFT funds to maintain the streets of the City of Mount Carmel.
COMMISSIONER TOM MEEKS – STREETS, CEMETERIES AND PARKS
Commissioner Meeks reported in the last two weeks the street department cleaned intakes; patched potholes; mowed parks; performed yard abatements; cut and cleaned up a tree on the three hundred block of East Seventh Street; started pouring the concrete in preparation of the new stop sign areas along Market Street; cleaned the boat ramp; extended a storm drain area at the golf course; opened and closed graves at Rose Hill Cemetery. Commissioner Meeks asked residents to please not blow their grass clippings into the street, because the clippings clog the storm sewer drains. Commissioner Meeks stated residents should call city hall to report any potholes that need patched.
COMMISSIONER ERIC IKEMIRE – FINANCE AND SENIOR CITIZENS
Statement of Receipts and Expenditures – See attached agenda with financials. Commissioner Ikemire reported the city’s finances are in fair shape.
Commissioner Ikemire stated the Kiwanis sponsors the Downhill Derby Event in conjunction with the Wabash Roots ‘N’ Que Festival and are requesting the street closure from Second and Market Streets to the end of Market Street at Little League Ballpark for this year’s event. Commissioner Ikemire reiterated in prior years the event was held at Market and East Third Streets to Mulberry Street. The council gave its approval for either location the Kiwanis chooses to use for the derby.
Commissioner Ikemire reported the golf course pro shop renovations are almost complete and a “soft opening” was held last Wednesday along with a two-man scramble golf tournament. Commissioner Ikemire stated both the golf course and the pro shop are now open to the public. Commissioner Ikemire reported the kitchen area renovations as well as the kitchen staffing should be finalized within two weeks.
COMMISSIONER JUSTIN DULGAR – WATER AND SEWER
Commissioner Dulgar addressed the council on behalf of Saint Mary’s Catholic School and Allendale School District regarding the use of the West Fourth Street Ballpark from the end of July to the end of September for the newly added Girls Softball Team to the schools’ consolidated sports program. Commissioner Dulgar stated the schools will maintain the ballfield and the city will not be obligated to line or prep the fields during their softball season. The council agreed to allow the use of the ballpark.
Commissioner Dulgar reported the city’s swimming pool is being prepped for the season and the chlorine was added today. Commissioner Dulgar stated the water maintenance department found and repaired water leaks; responded to sink hole complaints; ran the flood pumps; opened and closed the levee gates; checked for sewer issues at both the high school track facility and the minor league baseball field.
Commissioner Dulgar stated the wastewater plant’s aeration project is ninety-five percent complete and is waiting on the final electrical work as well as the telemetry package to be installed. Commissioner Dulgar reiterated the wastewater plant’s outfall project was completed approximately a year ago and reported the digestor project will begin once the aeration project is complete. Commissioner Dulgar stated the wastewater plant’s grit collector snapped a shear pin due to all the excess water and the repairs are scheduled to be made; the Cherry Street lift station check valve failed and a new one was ordered on May 16th.
COMMISSIONER ROD RODRIGUEZ – FIRE, HEALTH & SAFETY, GARBAGE, CITY HALL AND CIVIL DEFENSE
Commissioner Rodriguez reported in the last two weeks the fire department had ten runs and conducted the second half of hazmat training.
Commissioner Rodriguez announced mosquito spraying for the summer has started today and asked residents to please drain any areas with standing water to help alleviate the mosquito problem. Commissioner Rodriguez stated the West Side of the city will be sprayed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with the East Side being sprayed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Commissioner Rodriguez reported the spraying is not done on rainy days and/or on extremely windy days.
CITY ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – RUDY WITSMAN
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated at a prior council meeting he had discussed headstones that are knocked down in the city owned cemeteries and that a company had agreed to work for eight hours on resetting the headstones for $4500.00. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported Saint Johns the Baptist Episcopal Church has donated $2000.00 to that program. City Administrative Assistant Witsman anticipates getting the program started soon and stated the Rotary Club is also interested in assisting with the resetting of the headstones at the cemetery by the golf course. City Administrative Assistant Witsman thanked the Church for its contribution and stated the city is still accepting contributions if anyone is interested in making a donation to the project.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman presented to the council for approval a façade grant application from Vintage Collections. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated the city will match up to $1000.00 from the façade grant program.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported he has received a request from Constance Folsom, who is organizing a cookout to be held at her store, the Backyard Markets, which is located at 522 N. Market Street. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated Ms. Folsom is seeking council approval to put up a small tent/sun shade on the sidewalk area in front of the store for the cookout but would still allow citizens to walk through on the sidewalk. City Administrative Assistant Witsman added Ms. Folsom is anticipating other food trucks and food vendors wanting to participate and is requesting those vendors be allowed to park along Market Street or to use one of the city’s vacant lots also along Market Street. The council gave approval for Ms. Folsom to proceed with the organizing of the event.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated Brittany’s Sweet Treats, which is located at 411 N. Market Street, is requesting council approval to have a promotional event in front of their store on Saturday, June 8th. The council stated a formal request from Brittany’s Sweet Treats would need to be presented at the next meeting on June 3rd.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported the City of Mount Carmel is soliciting companies for its trash pick-up service for the next contract year which begins August 1st and a meeting will be held at city hall on Thursday, May 23rd at 1:00 pm to discuss the contract details.
POLICE CHIEF – RYAN TURNER
Police Detective Mike McWilliams was in attendance for Police Chief Ryan Turner and had no report.
CITY ATTORNEY – KELLI STORCKMAN
City Attorney Storckman absent.
FIRE CHIEF – FRANCES SPETH
Fire Chief Frances Speth absent.
CITY INSPECTOR – MIKE GIDCUMB
City Inspector Gidcumb presented to the council a request from Rick Marshall of Hogg Heaven to have a beer and wine garden on the vacant lot located at 416 N. Market Street during the upcoming Wabash Roots ’N’ Que Event on June 21st and 22nd. City Inspector Gidcumb stated the area will be fenced in, arm bands will be sold and ids will be checked.
City Inspector Gidcumb reported Ordinance 2013 is contained within the consent agenda and the ordinance clarifies the definitions of mobile homes and modular homes to be compliant with state statues. This meeting constitutes the first reading of the ordinance.
AIRPORT MANAGER – CHAD HILL
Airport Manager Chad Hill gave the council an updated overview of the airport and the services it provides. Airport Manager Hill reported currently pilot training is being provided with the use of two airplanes; full-service airplane fuel and jet fuel is available as well as the airport being a fuel dealer.
Airport Manager Hill stated the airport could be the future site of development and economic success as five hundred and forty acres of the city owned property is currently being farmed. Airport Manager Hill reported the airport was originally called Presbyterian Field; was a training base during World War II; and afterwards the federal government offered the airport to the City of Mount Carmel. Airport Manager Hill stated the airport currently has over eight thousand operations a year; which includes fueling, “touch and goes”, regular transit aircraft coming into the airport, and aircraft training. Airport Manager Hill affirmed the airport is self-sustained and receives no tax monies. Airport Manager Hill reported every year the airport can apply for up to $150,000.00 in Airport Improvement Grants from the FAA, which requires a five to ten percent contribution by the airport and those funds are used for maintenance as well as improvements at the airport. Airport Manager Hill stated he would like to see the airport and the city be more proactive in working together for the economic development of the future of both. Airport Manager Hill presented one of the development ideas for council consideration, which would be a forty-acre solar panel farm.
Airport Manager Hill announced the Military Recruitment and Aviation Day will be held this year on Saturday, August 3rd.
Airport Manager Hill reported himself and local airport pilots are currently working on forming the Mount Carmel Airport Historical Development Foundation, which will assist in raising funds for the future of the airport.
STREET DEPARTMENT SUPERINTENDENT – DAVE EASTER
Street Department Superintendent Dave Easter reported the concrete has been poured for the new stop sign islands at the designated intersections on Market Street. Street Department Superintendent Easter asked for patience from drivers while the flashing lights are being taken down and the new stop signs are being put up.
Commissioner Meeks motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to approve the appointments of Shad White, Ed Hicks, and Mike Harris to the Police and Fire Commission. All present voted Aye by Voice Vote.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to approve Resolution R- 65, a resolution to expend MFT Funds for road maintenance. All present voted Aye by Voice Vote.
Commissioner Meeks motioned and Commissioner Ikemire seconded to approve the construction of stop sign islands at the intersections of Third, Fourth, Fifth and Market Streets. All present voted Aye by Voice Vote.
Commissioner Ikemire motioned and Commissioner Dulgar seconded to approve the consent agenda. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Mayor Judge and the Council approved the Consent Agenda, as presented in the agenda dated May 20th, 2019. The consent agenda included First Reading of Ordinance 2013 – An ordinance amending Appendix A – Definitions mobile home or modular home and approval of paying all bills bearing the proper signatures.