Vernon Township Board Meeting - February 13th 7pm
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Meeting Venue: 700 W Broadway, Fortville (Seals Ambulance Building)
Vote to Open Meeting - Gary Sharrett, Board President
Vote to Accept January Vernon Township Board Meeting – Gary Sharrett
The meeting was called to order at 7 pm by Board President, Gary Sharrett.
Florence May – Trustee
Gary Sharrett – Board President
Marybeth Sears – Board Member
Nancy Cushman – Board Secretary
Amanda Fronek – Deputy Trustee
Todd Jordan – Public Safety Director
Virginie McNamar – Community Outreach
Jeff McCoy – Fortville Fire Chief
Ashley McCoy- Fortville Fire Ladies Auxiliary
Ray Hashley – McCordsville Fire Chief
Tim Hexamer – Fortville Town Council
Review and Acceptance of January Board Meeting Minutes:
The January Board Meeting minutes have been posted on the web site. They were reviewed and accepted as posted by a unanimous vote.
Outgoing Trustee, Jim Nolte, was not present at the meeting to present the Annual Report and answer any questions surrounding the report. A copy was emailed to the Board prior to the meeting to review; however, since he did not attend, there wasn’t a way to answer any questions about the report.
According to the following, which was provided by Township attorney, Stephen Buschmann, former Trustee Nolte is required by the State Board of Accounts to attend the meeting, present the Annual Report and be available for any questions.
C 36-6-14 Expiration of term; delivery of funds, property and annual report; submission to inquires at annual meeting - Sec. 14. When the executive’s term of office expires, the former executive shall:
Immediately deliver to the new executive custody of all funds and property of the township, except records necessary in the preparation of the former executive’s annual report
Deliver to the new executive, not later than the second Monday in the next January, the former executive’s annual report and any records the former executive has retained; and
Attend the annual meeting of the township legislative body held under IC 36-6-6-9 and submit to inquiries from the legislative body concerning the operation of the executive’s office during the preceding calendar year.
(Pre-Local Government Recodification Citations: 17-4-6-6; 17-4-28-5 oart,)
Annual Report (continued):
The architects were paid out of Township funds in 2018 but are now being paid out of the bond. If there is money left in the bond upon completion, the township may get some back, but that is not likely.
Payments made to the Hancock County Treasurer are being researched.
Motion was made by Nancy to accept the annual report as presented without the ability to get answers to questions. Second by MaryBeth. The annual report was accepted with a unanimous vote.
Amanda will submit the records to the Auditor’s office. The report will be uploaded to Gateway and submitted to the paper.
In his absence, the Board would like to recognize Jim Nolte for his 8 years as Trustee and for all the good thing that he did for the community.
In his absence, the Board would also like to recognize Andrew Smith for his service to the Board and, as former President of the Board, his time and effort that was put in to get the new fire station started.
Trustee Report – Florence May
The office has been moved and is now officially in the Seals Building on Broadway. Until the fire station is open, we are sharing the building with Seals Ambulance. There is still a challenge with getting the phone connected. For the time being, all calls go to the voice mail and someone must go to the Main Street building to check it. There will also be a Post Office box set up for all mail.
Property Management: Florence presented the Appraisal process: 1) 2 Appraisals from licensed appraisers; 2) Determine a minimum bid; 3) Obtain board approval to sell; 4) Publicize the Auction; 5) Set an Auction Start and Closing Day; 6) Sale or option for no sale; 7) if no sale, go to a realtor. Appraisal costs quoted have averaged $1500 per building.
Construction update: Monthly walk-throughs have been scheduled for the last Monday of each month at 5:30 pm. Florence asked the fire chiefs to notify their teams.
Cemetery update: Stonehuggers level of detail is phenomenal. The Jacobi family has been asked help provide a location for the rubble. We will be working with both the Fortville and Hancock County libraries on the genealogy aspect of the project.
Township Assistance/Community Engagement Update – Virginie McNamar:
The mural project with the Mt Vernon High School students was cancelled due to the weather. However, Amanda’s daughter and two of her friends came and painted part of it. There is still some work to be done.
Updates have been made to the website. A News section has been added which will have the meeting notes and items from the Facebook page. An event calendar will have special events by non-profit groups in the community. Our Community will have links to the web pages of both towns, the school and non-profit groups. Township Assistance has links to groups in Hancock County for continuing assistance.
To be added: Cemeteries, links to both Fire Departments, Parks, Food Pantry
A separate website for volunteer engagement for the township is being added. This volunteer registration site will not cost the Township as it has been donated by TRS. It will enable citizens to volunteer for a variety of non-profit activities such as food pantries, neighborhood associations, the school system and more. The goal is to have this site live by the end of March.
Township Assistance: Five applications were received in January. $1985 was paid in rent and $1592.64 was paid in utilities. One application was received so far in February which was denied.
The last meeting of the Food Pantry Committee was cancelled.
There is now a display in the entry of the office that will contain information on partners for assistance.
January Volunteer of the Month was Tom Alexander, retired Fire Chief of McCordsville Fire Department.
Nominations are being accepted for the February Volunteer of the Month.
Public Safety Director Update- Todd Jordan
Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGS) – a copy from 2011 has been located. Will also be looking at the SOGS from Sugar Creek township and Greenwood as they both have paid part-time and volunteer departments.
A meeting is set up with Tony Anteau from Seals Ambulance for February 15th.
Paid Part-Time applications – 20 applications have been received to date. Candidates will be interviewed. May possibly have the final candidates available for board approval at the March meeting. One problem is that gear for these fire fighters was not budgeted in the 2018 process. If there isn’t gear available to fit them, it may delay the hiring process.
Public Safety Task Force will meet for the first time on Tuesday, February 26th from 6pm – 7:30 pm. The first phase is to develop the 2020 plan and budget, hopefully by late Spring. The 3-5 year strategic plan should be complete by Fall 2019.
Fortville Fire Department will start going through things at the current station to see what needs to be moved, what doesn’t and what needs to be replaced.
A committee will be formed to plan the station opening. It will not be right away – probably mid-Summer or early Fall to give the department a chance to get settled in. The committee will be open to representatives from both stations, Seals, the Township Board, Seals, Town Leadership and other interested individuals.
Fire Contracts: This is a work in progress. Continue to meet with both chiefs with proposals.
There is a vendor meeting set up concerning the electronic sign out front.
Finance and Contracts -Amanda Fronek:
Internal Controls-this is a must. The state has recommendations on controls. A policy will be developed, probably using the state recommendations with some modifications to fit our needs. This policy will be presented at the next board meeting. The transfer of paying and approving the township fire funds directly by the township is being done to adhere to this due diligence policy.
Capstone has been asked to come and do an overview of insurance coverage and policy. This is set for March 4th.
Document destruction: There were 40 boxes of documentation that have been gone through. Documents that are not needed and not required to be kept have been removed and will be disposed after 30 day required wait period.
Property Tax update: We are researching the delinquent tax bills due. We have enlisted the assistance of our attorney, Stephen Buschmann on this.
The decision has been made to join the Indiana Townships Association.
Amanda went to visit the Delaware Township Trustee’s office in Hamilton County. She received considerable help with processes.
Amanda and Virginie will attend TOMS (financial software) training on Monday.
We need to align the budget with the strategic plan and create line items. We also need to update the credit card and mileage policies. There currently isn’t a capital assets ledger, which is another item to create.
Administration – Florence May:
Nepotism and Conflict of Interest are signed in December
Township Assistance Policy information has been submitted to the County- no response has been received at this time.
Meeting minutes are now posted to the website and will be updated after each Township meeting. Task Force minutes will also be posted after each meeting.
Township Flags: an account has been set up with the American Legion for purchasing flags. New flags and ropes have been purchased. Florence is working on an education program with the schools. She also met with Don Cushman to work with Eagle Scout candidates on the flags.
Old Business – there was no Old Business presented for discussion.
Signage for the building: There have been calls made to several parties concerning signage for the building. There is a town ordinance that must be taken into consideration. The current sign on Main Street will be taken down and the Chamber of Commerce portion removed. A decision has not been made on what to do with it after that. A comprehensive signage plan will be considered for the 3 Broadway properties.
Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Township Advisory Board will be Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7pm at 700 W. Broadway.
A motion was made and seconded to close the meeting at 8:35 pm.