Ferdinand Town Council: Busy night for ordinances, resolutions and approvals

It’s sometimes amazing what can be accomplished in one hour and 45 minutes.

Don’t believe it?

Here’s proof.

The Ferdinand Town Council met Tuesday night (February 14). They opened bids, adopted five ordinances and three resolutions, heard reports from department heads, transferred funds, signed contracts, annexed property (or at least began the process) and approved attendance at various continuing education events.

Here is a recap:

Council members opened four bids for the Missouri Street Water project. Low bidder was Quality Craft Construction, Inc. from Dale, at $87,943.55. The bids were taken under advisement for review by Utility Department head Henry Haake and attorney Bill Shaneyfelt.

Phase II of this project is a water main for Best Home Furnishings and the west side area. Lochmueller Group has finished the design, said Haake. The council approved finalization of bid documents and scheduling publication of required public notices. Because no new customers are involved, the project does not need state approval. To work through the process the bids will likely be opened at the April meeting, date and time to be determined.

Graves Plumbing will begin construction of a storage building later this month or early next for the phosphorous abatement project. This structure will be erected at the treatment plant. No later than April 15, Graves will start building the drying beds.

Council members adopted Resolution 2017-02, a fiscal and development plan to annex property owned by Möbel and Knu into the town. They then introduced Ordinance 2017-01 to annex the property and scheduled a hearing for a special meeting on Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m.

They then went through the same process to annex Randy and Diane Begle’s new home on the southeast side of Ferdinand. Resolution 2017-03 includes the fiscal and development plan. The companion annexation ordinance is 2017-02. Optimistically, they set the hearing for 5:35 p.m., immediately following the Möbel/Knu hearing.

Held a scheduled hearing and approved rezoning a house on the corner of Maryland and Kundek from residential to B2 commercial for P and S Properties. The remainder of the block is already commercially zoned and the house will be used by Universal Design Associates for document storage and offices.

According to Councilwoman Debbie Johnson, at least one new fire truck is needed to better serve the community. In looking for financing options, the council decided to reestablish a Cumulative Capital Development Fund, increasing the tax levy from 4¢ to 5¢ per $100 of assessed valuation (the amount allowed by statute).

An ordinance was introduced to that effect (2017-04) and a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, at 8 p.m. Shaneyfelt will take care of publication of legal notices. Following adoption another notice must be published.

The council renewed an annual contract with the Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission to update code books for a lump sum fee of $1,900.

They also amended a clerical error in the wholesale electric contract, then heard Clerk Treasurer Bev Schulthise express concern that the most recent bill from the electric wholesaler was $65,000 higher than what the town billed customers. Shaneyfelt told her the error needs to be addressed with the company.

On a roll, council members adopted Resolution 2017-01, transferring $80,000 in surplus funds from the General Fund to the Rainy Day Fund.

Finishing out new business, council members approved several transfers within specific funds, put $35.79 back in the electric utility for a check that had not been cashed in over two years, authorized Schulthise to complete some necessary bond disclosure paperwork for HJ Umbaugh, approved $1,000 as Ferdinand’s portion of administrative expenses for the Leadership Academy and discussed who would attend the Southern Indiana Round Table for cities and towns to be held at the Log Inn in Haubstadt February 28, starting at 6 p.m.

Department reports

Police Department: Chief Lloyd Froman presented the monthly report, then said Assistant Chief Brian Sefferneck had attended the debriefing meeting for Christkindlmarkt. He was advised this was one of the most successful in the markts 19-year history and the traffic flow changes were a vast improvement. Department personnel gave a presentation at Scenic Hills on scams and will host a 40-hour prebasics class in March. The police department (as well as the utility, wastewater, re and street departments) attended a recent pipeline training session.

Fire Department: Chief Dan Lindauer said his department received 10 calls in January, four for fires and six first responder requests. Department members toured Best Home Furnishings and were assisted by the Police Department.

Utilities: Henry Haake asked for (and received) permission to purchase supplies for the Missouri main project from low bidder Fortiline Waterworks for $20,254.78. He said the fence on the north side of the New Lake needs to be replaced and the neighboring property owner has agreed to split the cost. He was granted permission to submit plans for the Leaf Drive water project for Begle Development, was given permission to attend the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water Spring Conference at French Lick March 15 and 16 for which he will receive 10 continuing credit hours.
Haake also reported that Dean Gogel has completed the apprenticeship program and his salary will be adjusted accordingly per the council.

Street and Property: Tom Lueken was given permission to attend Purdue Road School March 7-9 and reported he is developing plans for the next round of Community Crossing grants. He also received permission for the Park and Street Departments to jointly purchase a Tool Cat Utility work machine from Hopf Equipment for $43,557.

Wastewater: Town Manager Chris James said three members of this department also wished to attend the conference in French Lick (permission granted). Permission was also given for Ryan Ernst to attend WTH Mapping School March 2 in Indianapolis.

James gave his report and noted applications for the Leadership Academy will be accepted through March 29 with the first session April 8. He said fundraising has begun for the Ferdinand Folk Fest and several related events will be forthcoming.

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