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Town Council Meeting Minutes 2023

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Meeting Minutes

01-11-2023 Town Council

January 11, 2023 Town Council Special Meeting Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:

Town Council President Gerald Swets called the St. John Town Council Meeting to order on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 7:01 p.m., and led all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Councilmen present: Michael Aurelio, Councilman; Bryan Blazak, Councilman; Wayne Pondinas, Councilman; Michael Schilling, Councilman; and Gerald Swets, President.

Also present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; Joseph Wiszowaty, Town Manager; and David Westland, Town Attorney.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Pondinas asked to move the Election of Officers to the beginning of the meeting. Mr. Swets responded that the agenda will stay in the order as posted.
A. Financial Matters of the Corporation
i. Motion to approve an Agreement with K2M for St. John Fire Station Needs Assessment/Concept Design amount not to exceed $16,000
Mr. Wiszowaty reported that K2M made a presentation to the Town Council at the last meeting with a favorable recommendation from the Board of Safety. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the Agreement with K2M for the St. John Fire Station Needs Assessment. Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried with 5 ayes and 0 nays.
ii. Motion to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to remit payment of $53,000 for the Groen Settlement from the Fund Balance in the Cumulative Capital Development Fund (#4402)
Mr. Westland explained that the Town sent a uniform offer in late 2019 to Mr. Groen regarding property required for the widening of Parrish, which was rejected. The construction on the road was completed without finalizing any compensation. Now Mr. Groen and his attorney contacted the Town to negotiate the price. Mr. Schilling made a motion to authorize the Clerk-Treasurer to remit payment of $53,000 for the Groen Settlement. Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried with 5 ayes and 0 nays.
B. Ordinances and Resolutions
i. Ordinance No. 1789: An Ordinance creating a Department of Parks and Recreation and repealing and/or amending Chapter 15, Parks and Recreation
Mr. Wiszowaty explained that the ordinance reestablishes the Parks & Recreation Board. Mr. Aurelio made a motion to consider Ordinance No. 1789 on first reading. Mr. Blazak seconded the motion. Motion carried with 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.
ii. Resolution No. 2023-01-11: A Resolution declaring an emergency and approving an extension for repayment of loans until not later than December 31, 2023
Mr. Wiszowaty reported that this resolution allows for a loan from the Cumulative Capital Development Fund (4402) to TIF #1 Fund (4445) as recommended by Cender Dalton in order to make the payment on the bonds. On December 21st, 2022, the County Auditor’s office certified the December tax distributions to each of the units of the County. The Target Corporation filed a tax appeal in November 2021 for their 2015 to 2020 assessed valuations. The notice of determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review should have been sent to the Town Officials on the date the case was settled back in November 2021. The appeal was unexpected, and the Town now struggles to make the payment for the 2018 Redevelopment District Bond amount. It is the recommendation of Cender Dalton to approve the loan and extend the repayment of the loan until December 31, 2023. The Town will continue to assess the impact of this discovery, what our options are, and continued recommendations. Mr. Wiszowaty reported distributions from prior years. The Council members asked some additional questions and a discussion ensued.

Mr. Aurelio made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2023-01-11. Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. The motion carried with 5 ayes and 0 nays.

iii. Resolution No. 2023-01-11A: A Resolution providing for the transfer of appropriations for the various funds of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, for the Year 2022, for the Actions and Passable by the Town Council pursuant to IC 6-1.1-18-6 (Water District)
Mr. Wiszowaty explained that this resolution allows for various transfers of $30,739.98 appropriated funds within the Water District for FY2022. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2023-01-11A. Mr. Pondinas seconded the motion. Motion carried with 5 ayes and 0 nays.
iv. Resolution No. 2023-01-11B: A Resolution providing for the transfer of appropriations for the various funds of the Town of St. John, Lake County, Indiana, for the Year 2022, for the Actions and Passable by the Town Council pursuant to IC 6-1.1-18-6 (Sanitary District)
Mr. Wiszowaty explained that this resolution allows for various transfers of $71,772.50 appropriated funds within the Sanitary District for FY2022. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2023-01-11B. Mr. Aurelio seconded the motion. Motion carried with 5 ayes and 0 nays.
C. Council Action
1. Motion to remove a specific appointed member of the Board of Safety for cause pursuant to 18-1(e) and 16-47 of the St. John Town Code and Indiana Code 36-8-9-3.1 (a)(6)
Mr. Blazak made a motion to remove Rob Kmetz from the Board of Safety immediately. Mr. Aurelio seconded the motion. Motion carried with 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.
2. Consider Appointment of a specific individual(s) to the Safety Board
Mr. Swets reported that there are two (2) positions to fill, one position being a citizen appointment and one position being with Fire experience. One of the candidates is Randy Palmeter for the citizen appointment and Scott Swets for the Fire appointment. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve. Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried with 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.
3. Motion to remove specific appointed members of the Stormwater Management Board pursuant to 2-102 of the St. John Town Code
Mr. Swets reported that the Council is removing Bill Manousopoulos and Joseph Gomeztagle from the Stormwater Management Board effective immediately.
4. Consider Appointment of specific individual(s) to the Stormwater Management Board
Mr. Swets reported that the recommendations are Ken Gembala, Democrat to expire December 31, 2023 and Vanessa Merkle, Republican to expire December 31, 2024. Mr. Blazak made a motion to approve the candidates. Mr. Aurelio seconded the motion. Motion carried with 3 ayes and 2 nays by Mr. Pondinas and Mr. Schilling.
5. Motion to approve an Independent Contractor Agreement with Michelle Velez
Mr. Wiszowaty explained that this is for a Communication Event Coordinator. Mr. Aurelio made a motion to approve the Independent Contractor Agreement with Michelle Velez. Mr. Schilling seconded the motion. Motion carried with 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS – 2023

A. Town Council President (effective meeting of January 25, 2023)
Mr. Aurelio nominated Mr. Schilling for President. Mr. Blazak nominated Mr. Swets for President. The following voted via roll call vote: Mr. Aurelio-Schilling, Mr. Blazak-present, Mr. Pondinas-Schilling, Mr. Schilling-Schilling, Mr. Swets-Schilling. Michael Schilling is appointed as President with a 4-0 vote, with 1 present by Mr. Blazak.
B. Town Council Vice-President (effective meeting of January 25, 2023)
Mr. Blazak nominated Mr. Swets for Vice-President. The nomination is approved with 4 ayes and 1 nay by Mr. Pondinas.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made to adjourn. The Town Council Special Meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Anastasia Lowery, Recording Secretary
St. John Town Council

Approved This 25th Day of January, 2023:

___________________________________
Michael Schilling, Town Council President

Attest:

________________________________
Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer

Meeting Video Recordings may be found on the Town's YouTube channel

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