Meeting: Ferdinand Town CouncilFebruary 20, 2019
The Ferdinand Town Council met Tuesday and:
• Heard that the town’s police department made 81 traffic stops, issued nine citations and investigated 11 accidents in January. Officers also held an active shooter training for the Sisters of St. Benedict and attended firearm training.
• Heard that the Ferdinand Police Department is looking to hire five reserve police officers and one full-time officer. The application can be found on the town’s website and closes March 8.
• Heard that the fire department had one fire run and nine first responder runs in January. The department also toured MasterBrand and Best Home Furnishings facilities.
• Heard that the electric department dealt with a couple power outages in January. One was because a semi hit lines on a service road not meant for semi trucks. The town is working to get the cost of the repairs covered by insurance.
• Heard that the property and street department is working on repurposing the Third Street building near the Ferdinand Volunteer Fire Department into sleeping quarters for emergency medical services staff. The town recently purchased the building.
• Approved Street and Property Manager Tom Lueken to attend this year’s road school.
• Opened quotes for a new trash truck for the town. The bids were taken under advisement, and a final decision will be made at the council’s special meeting planned for 1 p.m. Friday.
• Heard that there have been vandalism issues at the Fifth Street Park that are being dealt with.
• Approved starting the ordinance process to encumber $80,000 from last year’s budget for the 2019 budget.
• Heard that a public survey is available regarding the possible merger of the Ferdinand and Huntingburg chambers of commerce. The survey can be accessed at www.huntingburgchamberofcommerce.org and will also be posted on social media. The survey will also be sent out in a Chamber Connect19 newsletter. The survey is completely anonymous and must be completed by Feb. 28.
• Heard that Town Manager Chris James will attend the Forest Park Junior-Senior High School senior reality check program to educate students about utility bills and costs. The event features several local speakers focused on teaching seniors what it takes to live on their own.
• Heard that the veterans memorial being built on the town’s north side along Highway 162 is set to open on Memorial Day weekend.
• Held a public hearing on the water rate increase and approved the measure. The average customer uses 4,000 gallons of water a month and will see bills increase by $8 a month. The increase is $2 per 1,000 gallons of water used. The increase will first appear on bills sent out in March.
• Heard that the lineup for this year’s Folk Festival is almost finalized. This year will be the 10th Folk Festival and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21.
• Approved James to attend a family medical leave act seminar in March to go over updates to the law and to learn best practices.
• Heard that the park board received the final permits from the Department of Natural Resources Division of Water for the trail project at the Old Town Lake. The council will open bids for the project at its special meeting at 1 p.m. Friday.
• Heard that Council President Ken Sicard is still working on an emergency response and maintenance plan for the dam on the Old Town Lake. The plan is required by the state.
• Heard that Suez Advanced Solutions of Perry, Georgia, inspected the town’s two water towers and provided estimates and recommendations for maintenance work. One of the towers has immediate needs, including replacing the current ladder that is out of code and removing lead paint from the outside of the tower. The town is considering working with the company on ongoing maintenance for the towers. Evansville and Patoka Lake also work with the company.
• Approved the $5,062.78 membership with Dubois Strong for 2019.
• Approved a contract with the Dubois County Election Board for the county to run the municipal primary and general elections this year.
• Heard that work updating the employee handbook is ongoing. Changes will include revamping the employee vacation days schedule, vehicle take-home policies for police officers and salaried employees, and adding grandchildren to the list of relatives approved for use of sick leave. The updates will modernize the town’s policies.
• Discussed replacing overtime pay for police officers with a compensation program that gives officers hours off for hours of overtime. The move is expected to save the town money on overtime pay.
• Approved paying Police Officer Rob Randle an addition $1 an hour for the hours he works on night shift. Randle usually works during the day, but will cover the night shift temporarily while the department fills a vacancy. Once the vacancy is filled, Randle will go back to his current shift and pay.
• Tabled a request from SitCo High Speed Internet of Evansville to attach fiber lines to the town’s utility poles. Council members want to know more about the company’s project and why they need to cut through town before making a decision.
• Approved Clerk Treasurer Tammy Miller to attend the Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers annual institute in Muncie in March.
• Opened quotes for an excavator and trailer to be shared among the utility departments. The quotes were taken under advisement with a final decision set for the council’s next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19.
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